To mark the launch of Sennheiser Electronic’s Momentum True Wireless earphones line, we met with Daniel Sennheiser, CEO of Sennheiser Electronic. In 2008, he joined the family business. (Sennheiser’s previous stints include positions at Pixelpark, Ogilvy Interactive and Procter & Gamble.) A few years later, he was appointed as President of Strategy and Finance of Sennheiser Electronic and in 2013, Daniel and his brother Andreas were made CEOs of the company. The brand, which was founded in Germany in 1945 by his grandfather, Fritz Sennheiser, specialises in the production of high-end audio products such as microphones, headphones and wireless headsets. In the industry, Sennheiser are best-known for their innovative and high-quality headphones.
Sennheiser is in its third generation. It’s 73 years old and it’s still a family company. My grandfather started it after the second world war. He was a scientist so he really didn’t want to become an entrepreneur but he thought he had to survive so he built a product out of the knowledge that he had. That’s still the backbone of what we do today. We have a lot of engineers and science. We are three generations of understanding how sound and audio work and that’s all in the products. We have a lot of innovation and patents over the years. For example, [we launched] the first wireless microphone in 1958 and the first Hi-Fi headphone HD 414 in 1968. But also things like the HE 1 and lately, the Ambeo, which is a spatial 3D audio for the future.
It’s special. It’s a privilege and there’s also a pressure at the same time but I enjoy it. Especially now because I run the company with my brother and that’s a real privilege. He’s an engineer and I’m a designer. We have very different backgrounds but we have the same value system.
We really think about innovation and the science of sound. We really want to understand and transform that understanding into meaningful experiences because that’s what really makes us tick. Whether it’s on the professional side to create the best recording tools or the best microphones that you can buy or on the playback side with headphones and speakers. It’s always about creating a meaningful experience and memories for people.
Asia is particular in the sense that there’s a huge high-end community here that’s really interested in the latest and greatest products. They’re very much interested in our excellence in materials and our excellence in quality. Our HD 820 is our latest high-end [headphones] model that’s closed. Usually, high-end headphones have to be open but this one is closed and technically speaking, there’s a special glass here that allows you to see the driver but also that diffuses the audio inside so for the first time, there’s a closed high-end product. What’s also selling well are the portable headphones – all the headphones that are wireless. We’re just launching the small Momentum True Wireless which is under the Momentum line and we expect that to be a real best-seller, as well.
Someone who already has a certain experience – they know and care about sound.
It’s the first time I’ve heard this but I like it. It’s cool. We’re trying to showcase the technology and what we’re doing. For example, the HD800 has a very iconic design and the 820 is no different. Like on a high-end car you see the engine, here you want to see the driver. Our virtual reality microphone also looks like a really cool gadget but it has to perform. It’s not about just creating a show-off product. It’s about first and foremost the performance. We’re proud of how we do it not only on the outside but in the way we build it inside. Our products are engineered and manufactured in Germany so we’re really proud of every little detail inside.
This was really fun because it was students who introduced us designers to each other. When the designers from Dior and the designers from Sennheiser proposed this, both companies agreed that this would be a good idea. We did it and it was a great success because two companies that fit each other really well with the value system and target audience came together.
We collaborate a lot with our customers so we work a lot with all the big singers-songwriters. When brand collaborations happen, like with Dior, it was very natural. We really focus on our customers more.