Part of complete coverage on
Sennheiser: Audio still booming despite Europe's age of austerity
September 27, 2012 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
- Sennheiser is famed for designing bespoke audio equipment for the music industry
- It is focused on quality -- and sells products including Swarovski crystal-encrusted headphones
- Sennheiser's chief executive doesn't expect Greece to exit the euro -- but the company has a "war chest" to buffer the risk
(CNN) -- Europe might be in an age of austerity but demand remains for luxury products -- including Swarovski crystal-encrusted headphones.
Jorg Sennheiser, chief executive of family-run audio giant Sennheiser, told CNN consumers remain willing to pay a premium for such hi-tech finery, despite Europe's financial crisis.
"If our customers wants Swarovski crystals on it they can have it, they can have it on the microphones or headphones," he said.
The drive for "individualization of the product" is unbroken, Sennheiser added. "People are willing to pay extra to have a very special, unique product of their own."
Sennheiser, based in the district of Wedemark, Germany, is famed for designing bespoke audio equipment for the music industry, and caters for high-profile stars including British DJ Fatboy Slim and indie-rock band Florence + The Machine.
The buoyancy of luxury goods comes even as companies such as Sennheiser are forced to prepare for a worst-case outcome of the euro crisis.
Sennheiser said he doesn't expect Greece to exit the euro -- but despite that, the company has established a "war chest" to buffer against a possible break-up of the 17-country currency bloc.
While many luxury brands are eyeing emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Russia, Sennheiser says developed markets still offer opportunities for growth. "If money is scarce, people have a tendency to concentrate on high quality products... so we enjoy rather good business," he said.
Sennheiser will remain focused on quality over quantity, snubbing the temptation to churn out "cheap plastic junk" in attempt to drive mass markets, the chief executive said.
"If [consumers] want to buy a cheap product, after a certain period, a month or so, you have to throw it away, so you have to throw your money away," Sennheiser added.
CNN's Oliver Joy contributed to this report
Part of complete coverage on
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
Marketplace Europe visits Latvia to see how the Baltic country has made its transition to the Euro from the Lat.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
CNN's Nina Dos Santos visits Latvia to speak to the country's outgoing Prime Minister and the prospects for the eurozone's 18th member.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1640 GMT (0040 HKT)
Malta is the gateway to Europe and on the frontline of the immigration flows. Isa Soares reports from a detention center on the Mediterranean island.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
CNN's Isa Soares speaks with people on the streets of Valletta who say their country can't cope with more migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
Malta cannot afford to continue supporting migrants from war-torn countries in its over-crowded detention camps, the country's foreign minister has told CNN.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2123 GMT (0523 HKT)
Slow recoveries, bailouts, and youth unemployment. Richard Quest speaks to Europe's top CEOs about the issues of 2013.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2114 GMT (0514 HKT)
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to economist Bob Parker about defining moments of 2013 and about what to expect in 2014.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Estonia is setting the pace for other European nations with a thriving economy and its tech industry, according to the Baltic nation's leader.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
The Baltic nation of Estonia is developing its oil shale energy reserves in a bid to become energy self-sufficient.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Europe must stop being nationalistic if it wants to help a lost generation of workers, the regional boss of U.S. conglomerate General Electric says.
November 14, 2013 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Peer at the windows and you'll spot big colorful chairs, plastic plants and a huge bed, but this is no department store.
November 19, 2013 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
There once was a time, many years ago, when the sounds of bagpipes struck fear into the stomachs of Englishmen.
November 11, 2013 -- Updated 1116 GMT (1916 HKT)
Greece is on the way to economic recovery as investor faith returns to the recession-ridden eurozone nation, an executive at Greece's largest bank has told CNN.
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Could Greece's famous spice help the country's farmers through a four-year long economic crisis.
November 1, 2013 -- Updated 1307 GMT (2107 HKT)
One of the masterminds behind the euro says Europe would have suffered a far worse fate if the single currency had never been created.
October 31, 2013 -- Updated 1741 GMT (0141 HKT)
Nina Dos Santos visits the Dutch city where the European treaty carrying the city's name came into force 20 years ago.
October 25, 2013 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
As Spain continues its drive to slash budgets and cut spending, one of the nation's favorite pastimes is under threat as ministers look for ways to boost productivity.
October 24, 2013 -- Updated 1617 GMT (0017 HKT)
The high commissioner of Brand Spain talks about getting the country back on its fee and attracting business.
Today's five most popular stories