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by Nausheen Shaikh February 06, 2016

The German audio giant, Sennheiser was first established in the weeks following the end of the Second World War and have been delivering exemplary audio ever since.

Here, we take a look at how Sennheiser - and its outstanding product range - developed over time from these humble beginnings.


The early days

Sennheiser came into existence just a few weeks after the end of World War II. The 32 year old Fritz Sennheiser, along with a small group of seven engineers at University of Hannover's laboratory in Germany worked on what would be the company's first product - a voltmeter.

The very next year, the laboratory produced something Sennheiser would actually be know for - a microphone. Over the next few years, the lab worked on miniaturisation, creating the DM3 'invisible' microphone in 1949 and a set of magnetic, miniature headphones in the early 1950s.

Ten years after their first voltmeter, the seven member group had grown to over 250. They now produced a considerably larger range, comprising microphones, headphones, mixers and geophysical equipment. In 1958, they renamed themselves and became 'Sennheiser Electronic'.

In the 1960s, after Fritz Sennheiser was named an honorary professor by the Hanover Technical University, the company went on and created a number of innovative designs that included a stereo microphone, an answering machine for Telefunken and the world's first baby monitor, known as the 'Babysitter'.

 Sennheiser Hd414

When Sennheiser hit Big

Sennheiser was the first to introduce open back headphones in the market in 1968. The HD414 headphones sold more than 10 million, and continue to remain the world's best selling headphones of all time. It was around the turn of the decade that Sennheiser became a household name, becoming recognizable to anyone with even a passing interest in electronics or sound.

By 1980, Sennheiser were supplying headsets to the German airline Lufthansa. However, their foray into providing for the corporate world had in no way reduced their ability or desire to innovate. While wireless headphones are generally considered to be a modern phenomenon, Sennheiser has actually been working on them since the early 1980s; roughly around the same time that management passed onto Fritz's son, Jorg.

After receiving an honour at the 59th Academy Awards for the MKH 816 shotgun microphone, the company expanded throughout Europe. By the mid-1990s, Sennheiser was operating in France, the UK, Ireland, Asia, and the USA.

It was during this time that the company released some of their most influential headphones. The Orpheus headphones were released in 1991, and came with a tube amplifier for added volume and sound quality. In 1993, they released the world's first digital, infrared headphones (IS 850 system).


Modern day

The RF wireless headphones produced by Sennheiser in 1995 won them an Emmy Award, marking a real change in the industry. RF wireless technology came to the microphone industry in the following decade. Even then, Sennheiser wireless headphones were leading the pack.

The company's success has since led them around the world. At the time of Fritz Sennheiser's death in 2010 he had been awarded with many of the industry's most prestigious accolades. The company had spread its wings far beyond Europe, with outposts in China, Japan, and Russia.

Today, the Sennheiser name is one of the largest in the sound industry. Both for entry level, affordable in-ear headphones and audiophile quality over-ear headphones, Sennheiser are considered one of the most eminent manufacturers.


Experience Sennheiser's Master Sound here!

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Nausheen Shaikh
Nausheen Shaikh

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