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Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG
Company typePrivate
IndustryAudio electronics
Founded1 June 1945; 78 years ago (1 June 1945) (as Labor W)
FounderFritz Sennheiser
HeadquartersWedemark, Hanover Region, Lower Saxony, Germany
Key people
Daniel Sennheiser and Andreas Sennheiser (CEOs)
ProductsAudio equipment
RevenueDecrease 507,4 million (2022)[1]
OwnerSennheiser family
Number of employees
2,801 (2019)[1]

Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG (/ˈzɛnhzər/, German pronunciation: [zɛnˈhaɪ̯zɐ]) is a German audio equipment manufacturer headquartered in Wedemark. Sennheiser specializes in equipment for both the consumer and professional audio markets, including microphones, headphones, and loudspeakers.

Founded in 1945 by Fritz Sennheiser, the company's professional media division has been under the leadership of third-generation co-CEOs Daniel Sennheiser and Andreas Sennheiser since 2013. The Sennheiser Group has over 2,800 employees worldwide, and reported total sales of €756.7 million in 2019.[1] Sennheiser's consumer audio division was acquired by Sonova Holding AG in May 2021.


Labor W products at a radio show in 1950

The company was founded in 1945 shortly after the end of World War II by Fritz Sennheiser[2] and seven fellow University of Hannover engineers. Originally named Laboratorium Wennebostel (shortened as "Labor W"), named after the village of Wennebostel in the municipality of Wedemark, where it had been relocated during the war, the company's first product was a voltmeter.[3][4]

Martin Luther King Jr. with an MD 21 in 1965

In 1946, the company began building microphones designed for broadcast reporting, beginning with its first original design, the DM 2, soon followed up by the DM 3 and DM 4. In 1953 the company introduced the MD 21 dynamic microphone, which became established as the standard microphone for radio and television reporting.[5]

Sennheiser mm26 magnetic microphones were used as covert listening devices by the Stasi, the official state security service of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).

By 1955 the company had 250 employees and had begun production of many products, including geophysical equipment, noise-compensated microphones, microphone transformers, mixers, and miniature magnetic headphones, and introduced the MD 82, one of the world's first commercially-produced shotgun microphones, in 1956.[6] The following year, the company introduced "Microport," a wireless microphone system for television production.

In 1958 Labor W was renamed Sennheiser electronic.[7] In 1960, Sennheiser introduced the cardioid successor to its popular MD 21, the MD 421; this microphone was also quickly adopted for professional broadcasting applications, music recording studios, and live concert performances. Still in production more than 60 years after its introduction, the MD 421 is considered an industry standard, with more than 500,000 units having been produced.[5] In the early 1960s, Fritz Sennheiser tasked Thomas Schillinger with establishing the company's presence in the United States, and the distribution company Sennheiser Electronics Corp. was founded in 1963.

In 1968, the company introduced the world's first open-back headphones, the HD 414,[8] and in 1971, Sennheiser introduced the MD 441. Sennheiser transformed into a limited partnership (KG) in 1973.

In 1980, the company entered the aviation market, supplying Lufthansa with aviation headsets.[9][10] The company began producing modern wireless microphones in 1982, the same year founder Fritz Sennheiser handed the management of the company over to his son, Jörg Sennheiser.

In 1987 at the 59th Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized Sennheiser with a Scientific and Engineering Award for the industry-standard MKH 816 shotgun microphone.[11]

In 1991, Sennheiser Electronic GmbH acquired studio microphone manufacturer Georg Neumann GmbH, and moved Neumann microphone production into a newly-built level 100 cleanroom factory in Wedemark, while maintaining Neumann's official headquarters in Berlin.[8]

In 2003, Sennheiser entered into a joint venture with Danish company, William-Demant-Holding, a specialist in hearing aids, diagnostic technology, and personal communication, establishing Sennheiser Communications A/S.[12] In 2005, Sennheiser acquired speaker manufacturer Klein + Hummel.[13]

Co-CEOs Andreas Sennheiser (left) and Daniel Sennheiser (right)

Daniel Sennheiser, grandson of the founder, joined the company in 2008,[14] as did his brother Andreas Sennheiser two years later. Both are company shareholders.[15] On July 1, 2013, Daniel and Andreas Sennheiser were promoted to the position of co-CEO, responsible for Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG.[16][17][18][19]

In 2014, Sennheiser founded the new subsidiary Sennheiser Streaming Technology GmbH (SST), which develops streaming solutions for software and hardware.[20] In March of the same year, Sennheiser assumed sponsorship of Shanghai Concert Hall, which was renamed Sennheiser Shanghai Concert Hall. At the same time, the company launched the Sennheiser Media record label with the release of A Bu's first album.[21][22] Sponsorship of the concert hall continued through August, 2017.

In 2019, Sennheiser acquired a majority stake in Dear Reality, a company that specializes in spatial audio algorithms and VR/AR audio software.[23]

In May 2021, Sonova Holding AG, a Swiss cochlear implant and hearing aid manufacturer, acquired Sennheiser's consumer audio division, which produces a range of headphones and home entertainment speakers, for €200 million.[24][25]

Sennheiser's professional audio division continues to produce for live music, studio, broadcast, video, and film production, as well as spatial audio audio and AR/VR/XR. The professional audio division also produces solutions for business communication, such as presentations, conferences, meetings, visitor guidance, hearing support, and the education sector.[26] The company manufactures wireless microphones; aviation, multimedia and gaming headsets; micro-Hifi systems; conferencing systems; speakers; amplifiers, and high-end audiophile headphones like the HD 800 S and Orpheus.[27]

In 2022, Sennheiser acquired Merging Technologies.[28][29][30]

Production and locations[edit]

The Sennheiser Innovation Campus is located at the headquarters in Wedemark near Hanover.
A Sennheiser-produced flagship open-back headphone, the HD800S

Sennheiser is headquartered in the municipality of Wedemark, Germany (near Hannover). Its United States headquarters are located in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sennheiser has a total of 21 sales subsidiaries and trading partners and is active in more than 50 countries.[31]

Sennheiser has research and development sites in Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Singapore, and the United States. In addition, the Innovation Campus in Wennebostel opened in 2015 with 7,000 m2 of space.[32] The company invested 60.5 million euros in research and development in 2018.[33]

The company has factories in Wennebostel (Wedemark, near Hannover); Tullamore, Ireland (since 1990); Albuquerque, New Mexico (since 2000), and Brașov, Romania (since 2019).[34] The factory at its Wennebostel headquarters focuses on products for the high-end consumer and professional audio markets. The Tullamore facility manufactures acoustic transducers for headphones and headsets. The Albuquerque facility manufacturers wireless systems and components for the US market,[8] and the Brasov facility is focused on the assembly of products for both the professional and consumer markets.[35] Some consumer products are made in China.

The company opened its first Sennheiser store in 2016. Sennheiser now has seven stores in Berlin, San Francisco, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City, and Sydney and at its headquarters in Wedemark. In 2016, a temporary store was located in New York City.[36]

Ambeo 3D Audio[edit]

The AMBEO Soundbar

Ambeo is a family of Sennheiser products dealing in 3D audio technologies. Sennheiser has been recording 9.1 music since 2010 and has developed an upmix algorithm that generates 9.1 music from conventional stereo recordings. The AMBEO Music Blueprints provide information about the recording, mixing, and playback of live music in 3D audio.[37] The first AMBEO product to be introduced in 2016 was the AMBEO VR Mic for professional VR/AR/XR sound recording.[38] Sennheiser created the first augmented audio listening accessory for Magic Leap’s AR/VR goggles, the AMBEO AR One.[39]

In July 2022, the company began collaborating with Netflix to produce "spatial audio" tracks for its original productions, downmixed to stereo from the original multi-channel versions. In February 2023, Netflix expanded this support to over 700 films and television series.[40][41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report – Sennheiser". Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Fritz Sennheiser gestorben", Heise Online (in German), 19 May 2010
  3. ^ Mr Ugesh A. Joseph (28 January 2014). The 'Made in Germany' Champion Brands: Nation Branding, Innovation and World Export Leadership. Gower Publishing, Ltd. p. 396. ISBN 978-1-4094-6648-2.
  4. ^ Frangoul, Anmar (19 November 2014). "Family Affair: Rise of the Mittelstand: How Sennheiser kept it in the family". NBCUniversal. Retrieved 23 March 2023. Trying to get yourself heard in the global audio equipment market is a hard job when you're struggling against giant brands such as Beats, Sony and Bose. But German company Sennheiser has built up an enviable reputation in the market since it was started in the aftermath of the Second World War, when Fritz Sennheiser founded Laboratorium Wennebostel in Wedemark, north of Hanover, Germany.
  5. ^ a b Petersen, George (10 October 2020). "Sennheiser Celebrates 60 Years of the MD 421". FOH. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  6. ^ "The history of the shotgun microphone". Daylight Control Technologies LLC. 6 September 2021. Retrieved 6 December 2023.
  7. ^ "Sennheiser - About Us - Meet The Company - Sennheiser History - Animated". Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Roessler, Anselm (2003). Neumann: The Microphone Company : a Story of Innovation, Excellence and the Spirit of Audio Engineering. PPVMedien. ISBN 978-3-932275-68-5.
  9. ^ "Sennheiser's success". Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  10. ^ "History of Sennheiser headphones". Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Sennheiser Electronics Corp.-40 Years of Innovation". Future plc. 18 May 2004. Retrieved 6 December 2023.
  12. ^ "Sennheiser, William Demant Holding Announce Joint Venture". Mixonline. 25 October 2002. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  13. ^ Baldock, Lee. "Sennheiser takes over Klein & Hummel". LSi Online. PLASA Media Ltd. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  14. ^ Everington, John (24 December 2015). "Off hours: Sennheiser co-chief makes sweet music". The National. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Sennheiser - Our History". Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  16. ^ Curtis, Sophie. "Sennheiser: German audio pioneer prepares for the 'next milestone'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  17. ^ Why Sennheiser Electronic is bringing production home from China, IndiaTimes.
  18. ^ "Expansion at Headquarters in Wedemark: Sennheiser Showcases its Innovation Campus -". Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Sennheiser Celebrates 70 Years of Innovation". AV Magazine. 17 February 2015.
  20. ^ "At InfoComm: Sennheiser Sets Streaming Subsidiary". 20 June 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Sennheiser Launches Hall, Label in China". Future plc. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2023.
  22. ^ "Audio titan enters the music business". 29 September 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Dear Reality Becomes Part of the Sennheiser Group". AudioTechnology. 5 August 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  24. ^ "Expanding our offering and entering new growth markets – Sonova to acquire Sennheiser Consumer Division". Sonova International. Retrieved 16 September 2023.
  25. ^ "Consumer Electronics Division". Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  26. ^ "Professional Systems Division". Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  27. ^ "Sennheiser's New Orpheus Headphones Cost a Cool $55,000 USD". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  28. ^ Martins, Joao (July 2022). "Sennheiser Acquires Merging Technologies to Reinforce its Growth Strategy for Neumann". Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  29. ^ Klostermann, Felix (July 2022). "Sennheiser expandiert wieder: Neumann und Merging Technologies ab sofort unter einem Dach". Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  30. ^ Fischer, Kevin (July 2022). "Schweizer Firma für Audio-Aufnahmesysteme partnert mit Neumann.Berlin". Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  31. ^ "Sennheiser subsidiaries". Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  32. ^ "Expansion at Headquarters in Wedemark: Sennheiser Showcases its Innovation Campus". Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  33. ^ "Fiscal year 2018: Sennheiser achieves slight increase in turnover". Sennheiser. 18 June 2019.
  34. ^ "Sennheiser celebrates official opening of new factory in Brașov, Romania". Sennheiser. 6 August 2019.
  35. ^ Touzeau, Jeff; Balint, Violeta (6 August 2019). "Sennheiser celebrates official opening of new factory in Brașov, Romania". Sennheiser. Retrieved 6 December 2023.
  36. ^ "Sennheiser Stores". Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  37. ^ "Sennheiser Ambeo Music Blueprints website launched". Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  38. ^ Magazine, Keyboard. "Sennheiser Releases AMBEO VR Mic". KeyboardMag. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  39. ^ Larcher, Veronique (10 June 2020). "Q&A with Dr. Veronique Larcher: Director of AMBEO Immersive Audio, Sennheiser". Immersive Audio Album.
  40. ^ Weatherbed, Jess (1 February 2023). "Netflix brings spatial audio to a lot more movies and shows". The Verge. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
  41. ^ Welch, Chris (7 July 2022). "Netflix introduces spatial audio for Stranger Things and other originals". The Verge. Retrieved 23 January 2024.

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