September 2023 editorial

The Sennheiser Audiophile Experience Center, an example that everyone should follow

[ASennheiser Audiophile Center]

Author: Lucio Cadeddu - TNT Italy
Published: September, 2023

On September 27th, a hifi brand has opened the doors to its inner sanctum for the first time! Yes, Sennheiser, a global giant in the field of headphones, is opening to the public its factory in Tullamore, Ireland, where the headphones that have received such appreciation from enthusiasts all over the world have been made for decades.

In essence, after having brought together the department that makes the transducers and the one that assembles the headphones under a single roof, Sennheiser decided to create what they called the Audiophile Experience Center (the link takes you to the official page), a place where enthusiasts can not only see how the products are made, but also listen to the different units in the catalog and the latest releases.

The visit includes transportation to and from Tullamore, Ireland, accommodation in a local hotel, a guided tour of the various production areas of the factory and a listening session. Here guests will be able to test and compare audiophile headphones, including the top-of-the-range HE 1. In order not to disturb production and workers, the center is not open for regular visits but only once a month, for a small selected group of exclusively invited guests. By joining the Sennheiser community you can win a ticket to visit the Audiophile Experience Center.

Why is this so relevant? Simple because more and more often hifi companies are bunkered down and extremely jealous of their secrets. We recently came across an amplifier to review, of which we were asked not to publish photos. Evidently the makers were hiding who knows what precious industrial secret! But no, the secret was only commercial, because the amplifier contained nothing more than a Class D board, available for purchase by anyone, on Ebay, Amazon and in many other online stores. In practice, a Pulcinella's secret. Hence, it is obvious why they didn't want the photo to be published, the buyers would have understood that the manufacturer had put a ready-made €200 card into a cabinet, reselling it for N times the price and, what's worse, boasting of proprietary and cutting-edge technical solutions.

Naturally, we vetoed it: either you let us publish the photo of the interior and clearly say what's inside, or the review doesn't come out. We will know more soon.

Hence, I can only applaud the initiative from Sennheiser which, evidently, is a brand with nothing to hide. It makes its own transducers and headphones and does not limit itself to assembling or even just re-branding products made by Chinese subcontractors at very low cost. Furthermore, I really struggle to understand this industrial secret thing: imagine Ferrari, Lamborghini etc. making their engines inaccessible to sight. The converse is true! They are very proud to show the beauty of their creations and any technical innovations they contain. To protect your innovations, simply patent them. He who has nothing to hide, does not hide! Well done, Sennheiser!

DISCLAIMER. TNT-Audio is a 100% independent magazine that neither accepts advertising from companies nor requires readers to register or pay for subscriptions. If you wish, you can support our independent reviews via a PayPal donation. After publication of reviews, the authors do not retain samples other than on long-term loan for further evaluation or comparison with later-received gear. Hence, all contents are written free of any “editorial” or “advertising” influence, and all reviews in this publication, positive or negative, reflect the independent opinions of their respective authors. TNT-Audio will publish all manufacturer responses, subject to the reviewer's right to reply in turn.

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