Sennheiser Electronics Corp.—40 Years of Innovation

May 18, 2004 12:00 PM


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Company founder Prof. Dr.-Ing. Fritz Sennheiser and Thomas Schillinger, the first president of Sennheiser Electronic Corporation

SEC—the U.S. wing of Sennheiser—began in 1963 by Thomas Schillinger as a small independent distributor, selling MKH shotgun mics and the (still classic) MD421 dynamic to a few dealers, mostly in the film biz. Now headquartered in Old Lyme, Conn., SEC serves more than 1,500 pro and consumer dealers in the U.S. and Latin America, with lines including Sennheiser, Neumann, Turbosound, Chevin, True Audio and InnovaSon.

Under the 13-year presidency of Andrew Brakhan (1985-1998), SEC expanded its position as one of the main audio brands in the U.S. and extended distribution into Latin America. But unlike a typical “distributor,” SEC takes an active role in developing specialized products based on customer feedback. “We maintain an ongoing relationship with our customers,” explains current SEC president John Falcone. “We utilize their input as a resource, and match products and services to their specific needs.”

One such example is the only selective-distribution system on the market, the SAS 432 wireless mic antenna splitter system, which can feed 32 wireless receivers from a single pair of antennas. It's been used in award-winning Broadway productions such as The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Sunset Boulevard, but has since found use in NFL Football broadcasts and the Grammy™ Awards.

This company-wide commitment to listen, combined with top-end customer support and great products, has earned Sennheiser the distinction of being the only pro audio manufacturer to receive the “Triple Crown” of Oscar™, Emmy™ and Grammy Awards. These included a 1987 Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for the industry-standard MKH 816 shotgun mic; a 1996 Emmy for developments in RF wireless technology; and a 1999 Technical Grammy Award for Neumann.

Today, SEC faces an increasing number of uncertainties, whether it's the tough economic environment, increased competition, higher technical standards or the seemingly endless maze of wireless regulations, so the next Oscar, Emmy or Grammy will not come easily. But since 1963, Sennheiser Electronics Corporation has never done things the easy way.

For more information about Sennheiser, visit

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