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Manufacturer profile – Sennheiser
A great telephone headset is one which is so comfortable that you don't notice it on, and is smooth to use – it just works every time. For users this is the ideal, and the manufacturers strive to achieve this every time, but as the end users of well-designed telephony accessories we tend to take this for granted, without acknowledging the effort that goes in behind the scenes, and how much history there is behind that piece of plastic. With that in mind we're bringing you short profiles of our suppliers, so you can see how quality is brought to life.
One of the biggest players in the audio and telephone headset market is Sennheiser. The name is as ubiquitous as a technology expert that almost everyone will know the name, if not the products, as the brand advertises on television and across the internet. The company turned over $846 million in 2015, with an almost even split between the consumer and professional markets. The company employs over 2,750 people worldwide with headquarters near Hannover in Germany and Connecticut, USA and manufacturing facilities in Germany, Ireland, China and New Mexico. Sennheiser also established the Sennheiser Streaming Technology (SST) GmbH in 2014, a research facility focusing on streaming science and innovation. Founded on core values of superior technology and innovation it is no surprise that Sennheiser also has dedicated research and development centers in Germany, Denmark, Singapore, USA and Switzerland.
The hi-fi giant started from inauspicious beginnings in Germany. In 1945, Fritz Sennheiser founded Laboratorium Wennebostel, named after a village near the company headquarters. Fritz and seven engineers from the University of Hannover initially worked on creating microphones, with the first model, the DM1 developed in 1946, and the later DM2 in 1947. By 1955, the company had grown to 250 employees and released the first noise compensated microphone in the same year. In 1958, the company rebranded as Sennheiser electronic and ten years later they released the world's first open headphones, an invention which revolutionized the audio industry as the design produced a more natural sound which was popular with users.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Sennheiser started working with Lufthansa on aviation headsets, a vertical market which is still a big part of the business. Wireless headphones started being produced around the same time and in the early 1990s they diversified into studio microphones, with the acquisition of Georg Neumann GmbH. In 1993, the company became a private limited company and is now known formally as Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG. 1996 saw the company win an Emmy Award for their work on radio frequency wireless technology, which helped consolidate their position as a leading brand in the audio and communications device field. Their reputation has attracted endorsements by top music industry players, who like the company not just because of their great technology but the build quality and aesthetics of the equipment.
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