Sennheiser Celebrates 20 Years in Connecticut
Tucked away deep in the woods of the Connecticut coast sits the small town of Old Lyme, which has served as the epicenter of Sennheiser’s U.S. Operations for 20 years. On Tuesday, the German microphone and headphone manufacturer commemorated this anniversary with a press conference and tour of its two-decade-old facility.
“If you sit and watch virtually any sporting event today, you’re going to see Sennheiser [products being used],” President/CEO John Falcone said at the press conference. “Whether it is the boom sets in the broadcast booth or the wireless mics on the sidelines, Sennheiser is there all the time.”
Also in attendance were Broadway sound designer Tony Meola (The Lion King, Sweet Smell of Success, Wicked) and executives of several of Sennheiser’s top customers, including Connecticut-based outfits Sonalysts Media and ESPN.
“ESPN has basically been using Sennheiser [equipment] since the beginning of time,” said Mark Elinson, audio/communications technical analyst at ESPN. “At ESPN, we need to make sure that our products will not fail, so we always hold tests and have shootouts to make sure that the right product is in the right place. Time and time again, Sennheiser wins that [competition], and that is because of the quality of the build. Yes, it costs more, but it is more than worth that quality.”
Elinson added that customer service and technical support also play a major role in ESPN’s continued use of Sennheiser gear.
“That ability to pick up the phone and get that level of support and after-sales service is what a lot of other companies don’t understand,” he said. “Without [Sennheiser’s technical support staff], ESPN would not even be on the air right now.”
Originally established in Wedemark, Germany, in 1945, Sennheiser opened business in the U.S. in 1963 and officially opened the doors on its Old Lyme facility in 1991. Since then, the company has established a major warehouse in Chicago; a manufacturing plant in Albuquerque, NM; and a research facility in Palo Alto, CA. Old Lyme continues to serve as the primary base for its U.S. marketing, sales, service, and logistics operations.
Sennheiser also touted its strong presence in Connecticut, highlighting its approximately 80 Connecticut-based employees and portfolio of local businesses. In addition, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy proclaimed Aug. 29, 2011 (the originally scheduled date for the press conference, which was postponed because of Hurricane Irene) as Sennheiser Electronic Corporation Day throughout the state.
“Audio sometimes gets the short end of the straw. If it sounds fabulous, then no one says a word. But, if it doesn’t [sound good], then that is all you ever hear about,” said Falcone. “Audio is in all our daily lives, and Sennheiser is leading the way in shaping the future of that audio.”