|Founded||1 June 1945(as Labor W)|
|Headquarters||Wedemark, Hanover Region, Lower Saxony, Germany|
|Daniel Sennheiser and Andreas Sennheiser (CEOs)|
|Revenue||€756.7 million (2019)|
Number of employees
Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG (//, German pronunciation: [zɛnˈhaɪ̯zɐ]) is a German privately held audio company specializing in the design and production of a wide range of high fidelity products, including microphones, headphones, telephone accessories and aviation headsets for personal, professional and business applications. The company's head office is located in Wedemark, near Hanover, and the company is represented in more than 50 countries worldwide.
The German company was founded in 1945 by Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser and it is still an independent family business. Since 2013, Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser have been Co-CEOs. They are the third generation of the Sennheiser family to lead the company. According to its own figures, the Sennheiser Group has around 2,801 employees worldwide. In 2019, the total turnover amounted to €756.7 million.
The company was founded in 1945, just a few weeks after the end of World War II, by Fritz Sennheiser (1912–2010) and seven fellow engineers of the University of Hannover in a laboratory called Laboratorium Wennebostel (shortened, "Lab W"). The laboratory was named after the village of Wennebostel in the municipality of Wedemark to where it had been moved due to the war. Its first product was a voltmeter. Lab W began building microphones in 1946 with the DM1, and began developing them in 1947 with the DM2. By 1955, the company had 250 employees, and had begun production of many products including geophysical equipment, the Noise-Compensated microphone (DM4), microphone transformers, mixers, and miniature magnetic headphones. Labor W was renamed 'Sennheiser electronic' in 1958.
In the late 1950s/early 1960s, Professor Sennheiser met a gentleman in the hospital by the name of Thomas Schillinger. Mr. Schillinger was tasked with starting Sennheiser's presence in the United States. The culmination of this was a technical Oscar Award in 1987 at the 59th Academy Awards (see below).
The company began producing modern wireless microphones in 1982, the same year when founder Fritz Sennheiser handed the management of the company over to his son, Jörg Sennheiser. In 1987, Sennheiser was awarded at the 59th Academy Awards for its MKH 816 shotgun microphone.
In 2003 Sennheiser entered into a joint venture with the Danish company, William-Demant-Holding, a specialist in hearing aids, diagnostic technology and personal communication. Sennheiser Communications A/S was founded.
2005: Sennheiser acquired the speaker manufacturer Klein + Hummel.
Daniel Sennheiser, grandson of the founder, joined the company in 2008. In 2010 his brother Dr. Andreas Sennheiser also did so. Both are shareholders of the company.
On July 1, 2013, Daniel Sennheiser and Andreas Sennheiser were promoted to the position of CEO responsible for Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG.
In 2014 Sennheiser founded the new subsidiary "Sennheiser Streaming Technology GmbH (SST)", which develops streaming solutions for software and hardware.
In 2019 Sennheiser acquired a majority stake in Dear Reality, a company that specializes in spatial audio algorithms and VR/AR audio software.
Sennheiser is headquartered in the municipality of Wedemark, Germany (near Hannover). Its United States headquarters is located in Old Lyme, Connecticut. The company has factories in Wennebostel (Wedemark, near Hannover); Tullamore, Ireland (since 1990); Albuquerque, New Mexico (since 2000) and in Brașov, Romania (since 2019). Some consumer products are made in China. Sennheiser's R&D facilities are located in Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Singapore, and San Francisco, California.
Sennheiser has a total of 21 sales subsidiaries and trading partners and is active in more than 50 countries. Besides, the company opened its first Sennheiser store in 2016 to make products accessible to customers. Sennheiser now has a total of seven stores in Berlin, San Francisco, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City and Sydney and at its headquarters in Wedemark. In 2016 there was a temporary store in New York.
Sennheiser developed the directional microphone model MD 421 in 1960; this microphone was quickly adopted for professional broadcasting applications, for music recording studios and for live concert performances. The MD 421 is an industry standard; more than 500,000 units have been produced.
Sennheiser is mainly known for its consumer headphones and professional headphones and microphones, such as the MKH 416 short shotgun, which came to be the Hollywood standard shotgun microphone; and the 816, similar in design with longer reach. It also makes the US$55,000 Orpheus headphone set; wireless microphones; aviation, multimedia and gaming headsets; micro-Hifi systems; conferencing systems; speakers; and amplifiers.
Sennheiser consists of two independent business units: its consumer division and the professional audio division. The consumer division offers customers a range of headphones and home entertainment speakers. Regarding professional audio Sennheiser provides audio solutions for live music, DJing, theater, studio, broadcast, film and video as well as 3D audio and AR/VR/XR. It also includes solutions for business communication like presentations, conferences, meetings, visitor guidance, hearing support and the education sector.
Andreas Sennheiser is a German business executive, known for serving as chief executive officer of Sennheiser. He took over as CEO along with his brother Daniel Sennheiser on July 1, 2013. Andreas was born in 1974 in Zurich, and earned a doctorate in Supply Chain Management from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in 2004. Sennheiser Electronic was founded by his grandfather, Fritz Sennheiser, and he joined the family business with his brother Daniel. In 2013, both Daniel and Andreas were promoted to the position of CEO. Andreas focused on gaming handsets and affordable wireless headphones including Sennheiser PC350. Along with his brother Daniel, they entered the music business in 2014.
Research & development
Sennheiser has a total of four research and development sites in Germany, Switzerland, the US and Singapore. In addition, the Innovation Campus in Wennebostel opened in 2015 with 7,000 square meters of space. According to Sennheiser, the company invested a total of 60.5 million euros in research and development in 2018.
AMBEO 3D Audio
The AMBEO technology program is supposed to cover immersive audio products and activities from recording through processing and mixing to playback. According to the company, the technology is applicable in areas such as realistic live concert broadcasts, sports broadcasting, 3D recordings, exhibition installations, VR/AR/XR applications and 3D audio for the home.
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. The first AMBEO product to be introduced in 2016 was the AMBEO VR Mic for professional VR/AR/XR sound recording. Sennheisser created the first augmented audio listening accessory for Magic Leap’s AR/VR goggles, the AMBEO AR One.
Awards & nominations
In 2002, founder Fritz Sennheiser received with the Audio Engineering Society's gold medal. In 2004, Prof. Fritz Sennheiser was awarded the Diesel Medal of the German Institute for Inventions, the oldest innovation prize in Germany. In 2013, Sennheiser is honored with the Primetime Emmy Engineering Award, the Philo T. Farnsworth Award. The prize honors the company's contribution to TV production technology.
In 2015, Prof. Dr. Jörg Sennheiser receives the German Founder's Prize in the Lifetime Achievement category.
In 2017, Dr. Andreas Sennheiser and Daniel Sennheiser are awarded the title Entrepreneur of The Year from Ernst and Young.
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