Building the future means investing in it.

2023_12_15_Sennheiser by Bryan Adams_erweitert_2.jpg

A conversation about the 2023 fiscal year with Co-CEOs Dr. Andreas and Daniel Sennheiser

"We are driven by the ambition to build the future of the audio industry. To achieve that, we must invest in the future, and we have been doing that for generations."
​ ​ ​ ​ – Daniel & Andreas Sennheiser

How did the fiscal year 2023 go for the Sennheiser Group?

Daniel Sennheiser: The fiscal year 2023 was more than successful. We achieved a total revenue of 527.2 million euros. This marks our third consecutive year of growth. We are especially proud of this result because, as a family-owned company, we strive for lasting, sustainable growth.

Andreas Sennheiser: We achieved growth in all regions worldwide. The EMEA region remains our highest-revenue market and also saw the largest revenue growth – especially significant was our growth in our home market Germany. Asia continues to develop positively as well. This growth demonstrates that the region is steadily recovering from the pandemic's impact and that our professional audio products are gaining strength in markets previously dominated by consumer products. The Americas region showed stable performance, but with slower market growth. This is due to generally more cautious consumer behavior in this region.


What do you believe were the key contributing factors to the successful year?

Andreas Sennheiser: In the Business Communication sector, growth was driven primarily by the ongoing high demand for professional audio solutions for hybrid work and learning environments. Many customers invested to optimize their technical infrastructure and replaced devices that were quickly and affordably installed during the pandemic. Our products, specifically TeamConnect Ceiling and Team Connect Ceiling Medium, have experienced particularly high demand in this context.

Daniel Sennheiser: The live audio business also achieved excellent results throughout the year. It confirmed that experiencing music together is simply a fundamental human need. In 2023, many artists were on tour; there have rarely been as many concerts as there are currently. This pent-up demand for live experiences has had a positive impact on our business. Growth in the pro audio sector is primarily attributed to sales of high-quality wireless microphone systems and in-ear monitoring products. A particularly successful product in the live audio sector was the Miniature Clip Mic System, or MCM, by Neumann.

Andreas Sennheiser: It's also exciting that we generated additional revenue by exploring and expanding into new business areas, such as Sennheiser Mobility. In 2023, we successfully established partnerships, for example with the automotive brand CUPRA. The Tavascan is the first model to feature Sennheiser audio solutions as standard.

Our success has been made possible by our employees around the world. We have the best and most passionate team in the entire audio industry. It is always impressive to see what we can achieve together.


How do you see the future? What will 2024 bring?

Daniel Sennheiser: We observe that the markets are returning to normal after a strong post-COVID performance. While the first half of 2023 was significantly stronger than expected, we saw a noticeable stabilization of the markets in the second half, which we had anticipated. We expect this trend to continue into 2024. We are returning to normal growth rates, as already indicated in the second half of 2023.

Andreas Sennheiser: 2024 will continue to be a dynamic year, mainly due to external factors such as the interest rate decisions of major central banks and ongoing geopolitical conflicts. Uncertainty can trigger fears about the future, which, like shifts in demand, can impact market demand. For us, it's crucial to remain flexible in responding to these volatile market conditions.

Daniel Sennheiser: Overall, we can say that we are well-positioned for 2024 with a strong team, a solid structure, a clear focus and strategy, enabling us to navigate these uncertainties. After nearly three years of growth, we need to be prepared for increased competition and the fact that successes will have to be earned with greater effort.


Speaking of strategy: You mentioned that, as a family business, you aim for sustainable growth. What does that require?

Daniel Sennheiser: We are driven by the ambition to build the future of the audio industry. To achieve that, we must invest in the future, and we’ve been doing that for generations. Compared to other companies in our industry, we have always invested more than the average. Last year, we invested around 62 million euros. As an independent family business, we also have the freedom to invest counter-cyclically and sustainably, free from short-term quarterly considerations.

A clear focus for us has always been research and development. In this area alone, we invested about 46 million euros, which represents 8.7 percent of our revenue. We carefully select investment areas that make a tangible difference for our customers. This approach leads to projects like AMBEO Spatial Audio, which enables immersive listening from recording to playback, and Sennheiser Mobility.

Andreas Sennheiser: At the same time, we continuously invest in the digitalization and optimization of our business processes. Therefore, we have significantly expanded our teams in both research and development as well as in central IT. Additionally, we invested 13 million euros in the expansion of our two production sites in Romania and Germany.


Speaking of digitalization: How far along is Sennheiser on this journey?

Co-CEO Dr. Andreas Sennheiser ©Photos by Bryan Adams
Co-CEO Dr. Andreas Sennheiser ©Photos by Bryan Adams
"Our products will become increasingly digital and more interconnected in the future. This is not a distant vision; we are already developing digital products and business models today."
​ ​ ​ ​ – Andreas Sennheiser

Andreas Sennheiser: Last year, we invested nearly 3 million euros in a new website, backend systems, and cloud architecture – essentially in everything along the digital value chain.

Digitalization has two facets for us: customer-facing and process-driven. The customer-facing facet produces increasingly digital products. Soon, our customers will be able to purchase corresponding solutions from us, such as software or licenses for wireless systems. The procedural facet enables digital business and is also intended to contribute to significantly greater efficiency. This requires both the technical infrastructure and qualified employees.


You have also been investing significantly into your supply chain for a long time. Why is this so important to you?

Daniel Sennheiser: We have always maintained significant control over our value chain. This independence has repeatedly proven to be a strategic advantage given the ongoing global supply chain issues and volatile geopolitical landscape over the past few years. Despite a very dynamic economic environment, we remained capable of delivering products and thus were a reliable partner for our customers. This has set us apart from many other companies.

For this reason, we continuously invest in our own production sites here in Germany, in Wedemark, and in Braşov, Romania – in 2023, this was around 13 million euros. At our headquarters, we have particularly invested in modern and automated manufacturing processes. Simultaneously, we continued the expansion of our factory in Braşov, Romania; we have tripled the production space there compared to the opening year in 2019. Recently, we launched our latest product in that facility – the EM 4, a four-channel receiver from the EW-DX series. This production start marks a new milestone for manufacturing highly complex products at our Romanian facility.

In total, 419 employees manufacture Sennheiser or Neumann products in one of our own factories, with 306 at the headquarters in Wedemark and 113 at the site in Romania. They are the ones who ensure that we can fulfill the promises we make to our customers. This includes quality, product availability, and reliable distribution, ensuring that the right product reaches the right place for our customers. Most importantly, they produce products that deliver a remarkable sound experience.


You've mentioned the high value of employees to the company multiple times. For this, you've been awarded the kununu Top Company Award in Germany for the third consecutive year. What makes Sennheiser such a special employer?

Andreas Sennheiser: We foster an approachable and personal company culture that has grown through decades of strong collaboration. The team spirit and solidarity at Sennheiser are unique. We are a family business and, at the same time, a large family. We are very grateful for the fantastic team we have the privilege to work with at Sennheiser every day – a globally diverse team where everyone gives their best to create remarkable sound experiences for our customers. We were delighted to receive the kununu award. It reaffirms our commitment to creating a work atmosphere where colleagues can freely develop their individual talents and where diverse perspectives are valued.

We foster a strong culture of trust and consciously engage with New Work principles. This includes a high degree of flexibility regarding working hours and location, as far as operational requirements allow. We believe in this approach because we haven't observed the drop in employee performance that many companies fear when employees are not in the office all the time. On the contrary, we see a highly functional team comprised of individuals working in the office, from home, or even while traveling. This setup works very well for us. Additionally, this approach helps us in recruiting. We can hire talents wherever they are and want to remain. For example, we've been able to recruit colleagues from San Francisco who have been a great asset to our team. However, we also strive to create incentives for employees to come into the office – such as company sports groups and our Kindergarten "Ohrwürmchen" (Earworms). We believe that offering valuable benefits is key to nurturing our local culture, rather than implementing a fixed attendance quota.

Daniel Sennheiser: Additionally, we consciously create opportunities to meet in person and spend time together. While modern technology enables us to maintain communication and connection effectively, we recognize the importance of personal contact. Our business is a business by people for people. People want to interact with people, not with anonymous companies.


How exactly do you facilitate shared encounters and experiences for employees?

Daniel Sennheiser: Personal contact has been significantly restricted in recent years due to COVID-19. Therefore, over the past two years, we've organized local events for all employees worldwide, where teams from the EMEA, APAC, and AMERICAS regions have met. International meetings have not been possible due to regulations in individual countries. This year, however, after a long time, we finally came together with colleagues from over 40 countries. This showed us again how crucial these connections are, best nurtured through personal encounters. Not only for jointly planning the future but also for celebrating successes together.


As a medium-sized company, you are very globally oriented. What importance does diversity have for you as a company?

Co-CEO Daniel Sennheiser ©Photos by Bryan Adams
Co-CEO Daniel Sennheiser ©Photos by Bryan Adams
"Diversity is our normal state. Our team is as diverse as our customers, who are spread across the globe. We have employees in over 100 countries, and at our headquarters in Wedemark, people from over 30 countries work together."
​ ​ ​ ​ – Daniel Sennheiser

Daniel Sennheiser: The combination of an open corporate culture and our mobile working approach allows us to assemble cross-functional teams based on expertise and needs, which makes us much more efficient.

At the same time, we believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives must not merely be statements of intent; therefore, we regularly measure our progress. Additionally, with the Sennheiser Diversity Network, we have an internal community that organizes itself and drives these topics forward with us. This is also part of our culture: employees showing initiative, developing topics, and thereby bringing responsibility and empowerment to the whole team.


While you cultivate an open corporate culture at Sennheiser, we're currently witnessing growing support for extremist positions. What stance do you take in this regard?

Andreas Sennheiser: As Daniel just mentioned, we are international by conviction. Sennheiser stands for openness, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence. A coexistence that allows every individual to unfold their potential as they wish. And we will not waver on this; it is incredibly important to us. There is no place for hate and racism within our organization.

Daniel Sennheiser: We find it alarming that right-wing extremist positions and populist statements, which do not recognize these values, are becoming louder here in Germany. We have the privilege of living in a democratic rule of law. Now is the moment where it's crucial to take a stand. It's the moment where it's important to clearly oppose xenophobia and to stand together for democracy and its values – freedom and equality.


What do you want to achieve with the Sennheiser team in the coming years? What are the topics that will particularly drive the company in the coming years?

Daniel Sennheiser: Our shared goal remains to continue building the future of the audio world. That's been the case for almost 80 years, and it won't change. Together with our team, we look ahead to the future with confidence, always keeping our customers in mind. We pursue our goals with clear strategies, which we translate into innovative products – whether it's software, hardware, or a service.

Andreas Sennheiser: Across our entire team and for the years ahead, we will also continue to be driven by curiosity. We remain curious about what lies ahead – especially regarding the possibilities of artificial intelligence, digital business models, or changes in customer behavior. We are eagerly anticipating new solutions for areas where we have long been established and remain open to new paths that we have yet to discover – just as we did with Sennheiser Mobility. It will be a continuous process: diving into the unknown, discarding ideas, trying new things, learning from mistakes, evolving, and getting better. That's the path we have ahead of us with the entire team and with our customers.


Here you can find the annual report 2023.

About the Sennheiser brand

We live and breathe audio. We are driven by the passion to create audio solutions that make a difference. Building the future of audio and bringing remarkable sound experiences to our customers – this is what the Sennheiser brand has represented for more than 75 years. While professional audio solutions such as microphones, meeting solutions, streaming technologies and monitoring systems are part of the business of Sennheiser electronic SE & Co. KG, the business with consumer devices such as headphones, soundbars and speech-enhanced hearables is operated by Sonova Holding AG under the license of Sennheiser.