Sennheiser is among the most recognised audio brands in the broadcast, music, live sound and consumer electronics market sectors. Its microphones, notably the wireless, reporter's, and shotgun models, are used widely in TV production, while the headphone range caters to consumers, radio and television studios, outside broadcast trucks, and recording facilities.
The company, which is still family-owned today, was established just after the end of World War II by Dr. Fritz Sennheiser in a disbanded laboratory of the University of Hanover. He named the new venture Labor W (Lab W), the initial referring to its location, and together with seven fellow engineers began manufacturing the company’s first device, a tube voltmeter.
Microphone manufacture began in 1946 with the DM 1, followed a year later by the DM 2. The firm started to grow and by 1955 employed 250 staff working on a range of products, including measuring equipment, microphone transformers, amplifiers, miniature magnetic headphones and microphones such as the first shotgun mic and the classic MD 21. Lab W’s first wireless microphone was launched in 1957. A year later the company was renamed Sennheiser electronic, and showed the first samples of its soon to be famous MKH range of radio frequency condenser microphones in 1961. In 1968, Sennheiser introduced the world's first open headphones, the HD 414.
The seventies were marked by innovations in infra-red transmission, headworn stereo microphones and the first multi-channel RF wireless receivers. In 1982, the RF wireless classic SKM 4031-TV was launched, the microphone was to lay the foundation for the success of Sennheiser RF wireless systems in the following years.
1982 also saw another milestone development, as Jörg Sennheiser took over the management of the company from his father, Fritz, and started to establish an international network of subsidiaries from the late eighties. In 1991, Georg Neumann Berlin (see separate entry) became a part of the Sennheiser Group. The renowned evolution series microphones were launched in 1998, followed by evolution wireless in 1999. The 2000s were marked by further advances in wireless technologies, the launch of evolution wireless G3, and the HD 800 headphones. In 2010, company founder Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser passed away. Since 2013, Sennheiser has been managed by Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, the third generation of the family to run the company.
Today, key products for the broadcast and media industry include classics such as the MKH 416 shotgun mic and the MKE 2 lavalier mic, side by side with later models such as the MKH 8060 and MKH 8070 shotgun mics and the MKE 1 lavalier mic. Camera microphones range from DSLR models such as the MKE 440 stereo mic to the waterproof MKE 2 elements for the GroPro® HERO4®. Another highlight is the AMBEO VR Mic, an easy-to-use tool for 3D audio productions.
Wireless microphones remain a stronghold for Sennheiser, with AVX wireless camera microphone systems, the EK 6042 two-channel camera receiver and the Digital 6000 and Digital 9000 wireless microphone series figuring prominently in the portfolio.