We are shaping today the audio world of tomorrow - that is the ambition that we and our company live by from day to day. This vision statement describes what we are hoping to achieve together. The foundation for this is our history, our culture of innovation and our passion for excellence.
For us, good sound is not enough. We want to achieve the perfect sound. We want to make sound come alive. Sounds can transport us to distant places, awaken sleeping emotions and even intensify our sense of taste. We do not perceive them just with our eardrums, but by way of the skin and some people can actually see sounds. In the heights of sound - Online annual report 2013. This is why we are working every day to achieve the perfect sound and opening up to our customers the whole feeling world of the audio universe.
The way to this achievement has been paved by our trailblazing ideas. Ever since electrical engineer Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser founded the company in 1945, Sennheiser has been continuously setting trends in the audio industry. Right up to the present, our innovative inspiration, curiosity and passion have made our products and services immensely successful. Wherever people care passionately about recording, transmitting or playing sound, Sennheiser will be there. This is something we are proud of.
Our headphones, microphones and all-round audio solutions, our reliable service, and our committed staff have been enthusiastically received by our customers all over the world. Whether our customers are artists, disc jockeys, pilots, scientists, sound technicians or demanding music-lovers the Sennheiser name always stands for premium products, the ultimate in sound quality and undistorted listening enjoyment. This enthusiasm is the source of our passion for excellence. This is what motivates us every day afresh to fulfil our mission of transforming tones and sounds into the perfect auditory experience.
We are proud of the fact that we are an independent family business. This is an important factor for our success. Our financial independence guarantees our freedom to act and our competitiveness, and so ensures the future of our company. So what was once ‘The W Laboratory’ in a half-timbered house in Wedemark near Hanover has grown to become a global company. Over the years we have succeeded in raising our sales revenue sustainably and continuously. In 2013 we achieved a turnover of 590.5 million euros.
Today the name of Sennheiser brings together a number of strong brands: Georg Neumann in Berlin, the world’s leading producer of studio microphones, is among them, as is the joint venture Sennheiser Communications in Denmark, where we develop and market headsets for computer applications, offices and call centres. Our range of premium products today embraces headphones, microphones, cordless microphone systems, and conference and information systems, as well as aviation and audiology products. With the aim of giving our customers the best possible service, we rely on our worldwide network of contractual partners and subsidiary companies.
Sennheiser – the name stands for the establishment and development of trends. We do not just react, we are always reinventing the future. Here our passion goes to such lengths that we are only satisfied with a solution when we see it as being perfectly adapted to the needs of the given case. So the trailblazing ideas of our developers have made Sennheiser products famous throughout the world, and repeatedly met with an enthusiastic response from audio aficionados.
Our achievements have won us numerous international awards: two innovation prizes of German industry, the ‘technical Oscar’ (the Scientific and Engineering Award), a Grammy and the most significant television prize in the USA, the Emmy Award.
On this path, Sennheiser has set many technological milestones - the first directional microphone in the fifties, the open headphone in the sixties, infrared transmission technology in the seventies and multichannel cordless transmission in the eighties. In the nineties we developed head-related surround systems, while intelligent audio information systems were the focus of our interest at the start of the new millennium - and today we continue to drive the progressive digitalisation of the audio world.
To ensure that it stays this way, we have created a unique instrument: Sennheiser Innovation AG. This is the company whose designers, market researchers, business managers and engineers study and shape the themes of the future. Today it is more important than ever to be setting the points for innovation at the earliest possible stage. We aim to detect important developments in consumer preferences right from the start, with a view to focusing our company’s thinking, products and services accordingly.
Our customers expect us to give them first-class technology, top service, comprehensive expertise and onsite support. With this end in mind, we have restructured our organisation. Three independent business units - the Consumer Division, Professional Division and Integrated Systems Division - enable us to focus on the different requirements of our customers and the market.
The Consumer Electronics Division concentrates on the headphone business for private customers, as well as audiology and telecommunication products. It is associated with important product innovations: our RS 5 was the first high-frequency radio headphone worldwide; our NoiseGard technology for travel headphones actively phases out disturbing ambient noise; our cordless MX W1 earpiece is the first cable-free stereo ear-canal phone system to work without compression or any loss of sound; and our flagship, the dynamic HD 800, has the biggest transformers ever used in headphones to date. No other headphone comes as close to the perfect sound as this.
We operate the world’s most modern headphone production line. As a result of our first-class service and market research we have developed a unique understanding for the needs of our customers, who include DJs, travellers and computer gamers as well as the elderly and those people who are hard of hearing.
Sennheiser Consumer Electronics stands for comfort, safety, constancy and quality. Our products offer lifestyle and an individual design. Our Consumer Division team works round the clock at four locations in Europe and Asia to ensure that no trend or customer preference passes us by. Our strategic goal is to shape the future of the audio industry from the first idea through to the marketing of the product. Our Professional Systems Division looks after customers in the fields of radio, aviation, studio recording, the music industry and live sound. Our professional systems are in use on Broadway in New York and at London’s legendary Abbey Road recording studios. All over the world famous artists like Pink, Seal, Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Celine Dion rely on our many years of experience. Wherever our professional customers are to be found, our specialist teams are on hand to help 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Together with our local partners, our Global Relations team supports top-class events, companies, artists, tone technicians and equipment hire companies. Our Global Application team is there to help our customers configure, program and commission their Sennheiser systems sometimes by hosting useful practical workshops. Anywhere in the world, and across all international borders. We want our customers and partners to benefit from their association with us.
Our Professional Systems division bases its activities on the discovery of cordless technology, to which Sennheiser has been actively contributing since 1957, when it launched the early Mikroport brand, the name of which is still used as a synonym for cordless audio channels today. This was followed by the first infrared music transmission in 1975 and the most successful microphone series to date, the ‘evolution wireless’. We invest above-average sums in research and development. The creativity of our designers knows no limits. An example is the development of our professional digital radio microphone system. This took us 15 years of research, in the course of which we repeatedly had the courage to reject ideas completely and start again from scratch until the sound quality finally reached perfection. Our Integrated Systems Division offers microphones, conference systems, products for the hard of hearing, PA systems and guided tour technology. We are the suppliers who offer complex audio systems in the form of a simple product. Among our customers are companies of all sizes, government institutions and non-profit organisations, schools and universities, religious establishments, the hotel and catering trade and many audio and video rental companies.
Integrated Systems is the youngest branch of the Sennheiser organisation. But it can rely on a well-established and comprehensive portfolio. Our new corporate structure allows us greater flexibility. In future we will be able to react even better and more quickly to trends on the markets and in the technology sector. Our recipe for success is as simple as it is effective – ease of operation and supreme quality form the foundation for the acknowledged reliability of Sennheiser products. The solutions of the Integrated Systems Division are based on state-of-the-art technology, and can be easily integrated with complex systems. This means we can guarantee that users will be able to count on our performance and user-friendliness, and know they are getting the best value for their money. When at all possible, our products use wireless connections and so can be put through their paces at once – and you won’t even have to read the instruction manual.
Our customers are aware that Sennheiser always offers appreciable added value compared with the products of its competitors. We are working continuously to develop new and innovative solutions to the point where we can launch them on the market and set new future trends.
Like our customers, we have a presence on all continents of the world. Sennheiser now adds up to more than 2,800 employees in over 90 countries. At our principal plant in Wedemark, Germany, our production centres live up to the highest technical standards. This is where we create microphones and cordless microphone and monitor systems, as well as producing conference and guided-tour technology, transmitter/receiver sets for aviation, and microphone and headphone capsules. Two large production centres with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities give us the best possible conditions for production. These facilities include a clean room measuring 350 square metres for the production of condenser microphone capsules, and a technical centre where we develop and test new manufacturing techniques. Our plant in Tullamore, Ireland, makes headphones, headphone capsules, audiology products, studio monitor loudspeakers and components for the Integrated Systems Division. In Albuquerque in the USA we specialise in cordless technology for microphone and monitor systems. In addition, the company supplies central logistics services for products made by our Asian partner companies. With research and development, too, our activities today know no limits. In order to maintain our technological edge, we have our own research laboratories in Germany, Denmark, California, Singapore and Switzerland.
Because we are engaged in shaping the audio world of tomorrow, we are committed to sustainability. This is what we mean by social responsibility. We encourage modern forms of cooperative work at our production sites. It is important to us that our employees should be highly motivated. We foster open, honest and proactive communications. We say what we are doing, and we do what we say. We adhere to the standards of the Code of Conduct of the Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e. V. (German Electrical and Electronics Industry), on which the business practices of our staff are based at all branches and in all corporate divisions worldwide. The same principles apply to our suppliers. We let generally accepted ethical values and principles guide our actions. Integrity, upright dealing and respect for human dignity are unquestionable and essential for us, so we expect the same of our suppliers and assist them in the realisation of these objectives. In concrete terms, this means that we take our responsibilities seriously. In all countries where we are active we observe the statutes and legal requirements that apply. Over and above this, we are subject to the rules set down in the Code of Conduct just referred to. We take into account the economic, technological, social and ecological consequences of our business decisions and actions. We contribute to the well-being and sustainable development of those locations where we are engaged.