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.
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.