The history of Beyerdynamic, which dates back more than 90 years, is full of acoustic highlights. In 1966, The Beatles went on tour with versions of the E1000 ribbon microphone designed specially for them. Other famous bands and performers such as Abba, Bob Dylan and Udo Lindenberg enthralled audiences for decades using professional beyerdynamic audio technology. To this day, stars and young artists from all over the world rely on products from Heilbronn, including names such as American blues guitarist and singer Joe Bonamassa, exceptional Irish musician Wallis Bird, jazz percussionist Wolfgang Haffner from Germany and Iron Maiden legend Nicko McBrain.
But it’s not just the stage and professional technology that attracts the big names. References from the conference business division read like a who’s-who of renowned institutions and conference centres. Wherever people come together to confer, coordinate or to be heard, Beyerdynamic is there too. Customers in Germany include the German Bundestag, Deutsche Bank, the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the German Federal Ministry of Economics.
Numerous city halls and administrative buildings are equipped with conference technology from Heilbronn including the Swedish government in Stockholm, the Hungarian Ministry of Defence and the Parliament of Cameroon. Furthermore, Beyerdynamic systems are used in buildings of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in Paris and by the University of Moscow. One of the grandest locations is probably the Sagrada Família by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona. The church, built in the Catalan modernist style, poses particular acoustic challenges due to its immense vaults of up to 75 metres high – almost made for Beyerdynamic audio systems.
It all started with the talkie: electrical engineer Eugen Beyer started his own company in Berlin in 1924 to build cinema speakers. Conventional gramophones at that time only satisfied moderate acoustic requirements and the audio pioneer saw an opportunity to make the emerging sound film a phonetically memorable experience as well. His “Elektrotechnische Fabrik Eugen Beyer” laid the foundations for a world leading manufacturer of headphones, microphones and conference systems – and for today’s Beyerdynamic GmbH & Co. KG.
The company grew successfully from the start as sound played an increasingly important role in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. Official radio broadcasting had begun and inexpensive receivers made radios affordable for many. But it didn’t stop at speakers for long: the forefather of all Beyerdynamic headphones, the DT48, emerged in 1937. As the first dynamic headphone (the DT classification stands for “Dynamic Telephone“), it has accompanied generations of sound engineers and reporters. The DT48 series was produced almost unchanged until 2013 and was one of the longest available products in the history of consumer electronics. The first dynamic microphone for studio use, the M19, followed in 1939 as the counterpart for recording and represented a milestone in electro-acoustics. The chain of transmission was complete and has remained so to this day: millions of clients depend on high quality Beyerdynamic products for recording and reproducing audio signals.
Eugen Beyer rebuilt his factory in Heilbronn after the war. The company founder died in 1959, and was succeeded by his son Fred Beyer. Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Luckhardt leads the company as sole managing director from 2003-2015. beyerdynamic GmbH & Co. KG is still a family company: three descendants of the company founder, the two daughters and a granddaughter retain 100% of the shares.
The family company has grown into a global player. Branches in USA, India and Singapore give Beyerdynamic direct access to important international markets. The audio specialist is represented in more than 100 countries through a network of partners. But the products are still manufactured in Heilbronn: the company’s in-house service and logistics centre delivers products all over the world directly from its headquarters.
Today the name Beyerdynamic is synonymous with a wide range of high quality and professional audio products. Two business divisions generate an annual turnover of approximately 50 million euro: Audio Systesms and Headphones. Audio Systems includes conference systems, installation microphones, interpreting desks and tour guide systems that are found in conference centres all over the world, furnishes recording studios, supplies microphones and headphones for on-stage use, or live radio and TV transmissions, and headsets for other professional uses. The Headphones division portfolio includes high-end headphones, headphone amplifiers, gaming headsets and compact in-ear models. So discerning music listeners can enjoy premium stereo sound at any time, whether at home or on the move.
Across the entire portfolio, Beyerdynamic products are characterised by the company’s desire to innovate and continuously develop technology. And this desire is just as strong today as it was in the days of company founder Eugen Beyer, more than 90 years ago.
Research & Development
Research and development is at the heart of the company. More than ten per cent of personnel are employed in this field. Graduate engineers, design engineers, designers and other creative minds innovatively contribute to the success of the company. We have them to thank for the important technologies that have propelled Beyerdynamic to being one of the leading audio specialists in recent years.
Thus Revoluto technology has afforded conference participants more freedom of movement: its patented microphone array technology offers a much larger voice range. The speaker has no annoying gooseneck microphone and can concentrate on the topic and audience. The Scudio technology by Beyerdynamic eliminates sound problems that are caused by mobile radio devices. A special shield on the microphone head guarantees flawless transmission, even in full conference halls with countless smartphones. Interpreters who work heavily with headphones for professional reasons appreciate Ear-Patron. The patented hearing protection technology prevents damage to hearing caused by excessive acoustic irradiation. The digital patron saint of interpreter systems indicates the amount of noise that the user has already been exposed to and issues a warning of acoustic stress in the workplace.
But sound quality, which has always been a core skill of the company, regularly benefits from the innovative spirit of developers: Headzone, the mobile headphone system for surround sound breaks through the boundaries of physics with apparent ease. It allows natural 5.1 reproduction via stereo headphones – without a speaker installation in the room. With the exclusive Teslatechnology, beyerdynamic stereo headphones achieve high efficiency and finely differentiated sound at the same time. The combination of a very delicate voice coil and a strong magnetic drive isn’t named after the visionary inventor, physicist and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) for nothing.
All products and key technologies are developed in Germany at the company headquarters in Heilbronn. Instead of outsourcing design assignments or purchasing finished solutions from third-party manufacturers abroad, beyerdynamic retains the know-how of its personnel in-house.
Made-to-Measure from Germany
The “Made in Germany” quality promise applies to product development and manufacture of the vast majority of the products: the designs of beyerdynamic engineers and designers in Heilbronn are then built by approximately 180 highly qualified employees in Germany – mostly by hand.
The high degree of manual production allows particularly high quality standards. This also makes the manufacturing process flexible. Therefore small series and custom designs can always be accommodated. Whether headphones or conferences system, for domestic or international delivery: producing bespoke customer designs is a speciality of the company – a strength that audio specialists take advantage of, for example, with Beyerdynamic MANUFAKTUR. The unique online shop has been applying the concept of tailor-made production to audio products since 2005. MANUFAKTUR customers can configure and order their personal headphones or headsets online. A few days later the customer receives their bespoke product in the post.
With products such as the CUSTOM ONE PRO, the Heilbronn-based audio specialist focuses on people and their individual preferences. Interchangeable parts mean that the headphones can be modified at any time, even after purchase. The sound can also be customised during operation using “Sound Sliders” on the casing that adjust the acoustic tuning as desired.
Last but not least, Beyerdynamic demonstrated its ability to flexibly react to customers’ wishes with the world’s first crowd-sourcing design competition for headphones. In 2013, the company appealed to music fans to design their personal CUSTOM ONE PRO online and let the online community vote on thousands of designs. The most popular designs were then built in Heilbronn as “special editions” of the headphones.
- Headphones – hifi headphones, in ear headphones, mobile headphones, headphones for studio and stage, headphone amplifiers, accessories;
- Headsets – aviation headsets, gaming and multimedia headsets, intercom and broadcast headsets, accessories;
- Microphones – microphones for stage and studio application, microphones for vocals and instruments, microphones for film and broadcasting, presentation, accessories;
- Conference Systems and Technology – voting systems, tour guide systems, installed sound and wireless microphones, tele and video conferencing, headphones and headsets for broadcast, commentators and interpreters, multimedia systems, conference and recording software, mixers, amplifiers and accessories.
Possibly the highest efficiency handcrafted headphones to ever make it in headphone history are the Beyerdynamic Tesla series. The completely redesigned transducers for which this technology stands are distinguished by their very strong magnetic drive and phenomenally transparent sound.