Sennheiser Founder Celebrates 95th Birthday

Dr. Fritz Sennheiser, founder of the German audio equipment firm that bears his name, celebrated his 95th birthday May 9.

Sennheiser started the company in June 1945 with seven employees in an abandoned laboratory at the Hanover Technical University. Initially the company made test instruments, but soon shifted to microphones. The DM 2 was the first such product to carry the Sennheiser brand. Today, the company employees more than 1,650 people and offers a wide line of professional audio products.

Sennheiser was born in Berlin and became interested in technology as a young boy.

"I built my own radio receiver in 1924 from a slide coil and crystal," Sennheiser said.

This early interest lead to Sennheiser's study of electrical engineering and eventually to the establishment of the Sennheiser line of audio products.

"We were always dissatisfied with 'state-of-the-art' and always wanted to create something new, something better," Sennheiser said. "Our main priority was to have fun in developing something. And we certainly had a lot of fun when we discovered something new. While others were busy copying our products, we already had our next inventions up our sleeve."

In 1982 at the age of 70, Sennheiser retired from active management and turned the company leadership over to his son, Jörg. He said that it took him more than two years to become accustomed to no having to make managerial decisions.

The elder Sennheiser still attends company shareholder meetings and at least once a week he may be found visiting Sennheiser offices and factories. He still travels and pursues a hobby started in his youth, the cultivation of orchids.