Ultrasone AG is undisputedly one of those manufacturers who have been able to boast of developing and producing outstanding solutions for years. In doing so, the headphone specialist holds its own in an extremely competitive market segment. Unique technologies, the highest manufacturing quality and a great focus on sustainability and product longevity are the guarantee of success for the Bavarians, who can now celebrate their 30th birthday.
It was in 1991 that Ultrasone electroacoustics GmbH was founded by Florian König. Today, Ultrasone AG is clearly one of the specialists in the headphone sector, both in the high-end hi-fi segment and in the professional studio environment. In recent years, the headphone market has become extremely competitive, because in addition to numerous specialists, there are more and more companies that have discovered this flourishing market segment for themselves, and yes, there are also exciting products, so that the headphone segment is extremely versatile and sometimes very colourful in the truest sense of the word.
And even though Ultrasone AG doesn’t have the huge market penetration of some large companies, it is still a force to be reckoned with. Over the years, the company from Bavaria has very skilfully served a niche that is ultimately very exciting, but which cannot be won in the blink of an eye, but rather through many years of expertise, high-quality products and consistency in strategy.
Ultrasone AG’s solutions are primarily aimed at professional users, specifically in the studio sector, where all stages of the production chain are served. Here, very special features also count, such as in the upmarket hi-fi segment, which is Ultrasone AG’s second mainstay. What is comparatively new is that the company also serves the mobile sector, although here, too, it does not deviate from the virtues it has up to now upheld.
Here, as there, fast-moving fashion trends are not important, as they are in the pure consumer segment. It is not the image that is built up around a pair of headphones through assiduous marketing that is decisive, but solely their actual values. For the user with high demands, it is factors such as technical equipment for the best sound quality, manufacturing at the highest level for robustness and thus a long service life, and last but not least the value that can be experienced almost immediately.
These are precisely the strengths that Ultrasone AG can demonstrate on the basis of the corporate philosophy that has been pursued unchanged for years, and which now lead to the fact that the company can already celebrate its 30th birthday this year.
It is remarkable that Ultrasone AG exports its products to more than 50 countries around the world, yet the main factory is still located in the comparatively tranquil town of Wielenbach, on the Raucherberg estate.
Nevertheless, the company clearly sees itself as a technology-driven enterprise – after all, it holds more than 60 patents. The company can therefore claim to have played a major role in the development of headphones over the past 30 years and to have set standards time and again.
One of these outstanding technologies is the so-called Ultrasone S-Logic technology, which relies on a decentralised arrangement of the drivers to guarantee a particularly spatial, natural performance. At the same time, this technology ensures that the user’s hearing is protected, as it achieves the best possible results compared to conventional designs with significantly lower levels. The latest evolutionary stage here is the Ultrasone S-Logic EX technology with a funnel-shaped front and bottom structured transducer arrangement.
With the so-called Ultrasone ULE shielding, the company addressed the issue of shielding against electromagnetic radiation of the head when using headphones at an early stage, a technology that Ultrasone AG introduced as early as 1997 and which achieves shielding of up to 98 percent.
These are just two of many examples that show that Ultrasone AG perhaps approaches the development of headphones a little differently than some of its competitors.
And this is also evident in a model series that clearly occupies an outstanding position in the fast-moving market, namely the so-called Ultrasone Manufaktur series.
Of course, even a manufacturer focused on the premium segment can no longer produce the entire product portfolio in Germany alone, let alone by hand. However, Ultrasone AG consistently follows this principle for the aforementioned manufacture models: sustainable manufacture in Bavaria.
The starting point here is specially selected, high-quality materials. This is intended to convey a special visual and haptic impression, as well as guaranteeing the best quality and durability. In addition, attention is paid to local suppliers wherever possible, as well as to maximum environmental compatibility. Components that are inevitably subject to wear, such as the padding of the ear cup, can be replaced, as can cables.
With Ultrasone headphones from the Manufaktur range, it is no exaggeration to say that you are buying headphones that will last a lifetime.
One man who played a major role in shaping this strategy, alongside company founder Florian König, is of course Michael Willberg, the current CEO of Ultrasone AG.
Michael Willberg has been with the company for 20 years now, so he too can celebrate a remarkable anniversary this year.
The topic of sustainability, which would be particularly important today, but unfortunately often degenerates into a mere marketing slogan, has always been a major concern for Michael Willberg, as evidenced by the products Ultrasone AG manufactures. Michael Willberg is also responsible for the fact that this has been the case for years in production, which is constantly being optimised and improved in terms of environmental compatibility in cooperation with partners. A photovoltaic system for climate-neutral production is an essential part of this, as is a company fleet consisting mainly of electric vehicles.
“It’s been an incredible 30 years since my old friend Florian König founded Ultrasone elektroacoustics GmbH, and I’ve been with the company for over 20 years now. I still remember exactly how I earned my first Ultrasone HFI-100 by helping to build the units. Mine were the first non-yellow Ultrasone headphones ever and they still occupy a place of honour in the office. A lot has happened since then – but two things have never changed: The friendship between Florian and me and the passion to make the emotions of music an experience when listening to it.”Michael Willberg, CEO Ultrasone AG
The history of Ultrasone AG is rich in outstanding products, so let’s pick out at least a few.
Of course, the Ultrasone Edition Series models deserve special mention, as they have played a major role in helping the company from Lake Starnberg to build up its impeccable reputation. The Ultrasone Edition 8, for example, deserves special mention here, as does the Ultrasone Edition 15.
It should also be mentioned that Ultrasone AG has long been able to offer in-ear headphones, such as the Ultrasone Saphire from 2019 with no less than six drivers designed as a four-way system.
And that an outstanding headphone also needs an outstanding headphone amplifier is of course nothing new, but what is new is that this can now also come from Ultrasone AG, because with the Ultrasone Volcano, the company from the Raucherberg estate also has the right solution on offer.
Getting to the point
For 30 years now, the company Ultrasone AG has consistently pursued its special philosophy, which is entirely geared towards sustainability. This begins with production and ends with the products themselves. Because Ultrasone sees itself as a technology-driven company, it has set many trends over the years, but consciously refuses short-lived hype, concentrating instead on what is truly essential and enduring. The highest standards in technology, the selection of materials, and especially in the designated premium segment, production by hand in the company’s own factory. We are sure that this is a strategy with a future!