Whether they are experienced at home or in the car, Burmester Audiosysteme’s products are always music to the ears
Back in the late 1970s, German bass player Dieter Burmester got fed up with his continually malfunctioning preamp, and decided the best solution was to make one of his own. Dieter was something of a perfectionist, but he knew exactly what he was doing: as well as being a gifted musician, he had an electrical engineering degree, and had already founded an engineering consultancy specialising in technology for medical measuring instruments. So, he turned his skills to music. The preamp he designed and built in 1977 turned out to be more reliable than anything else available, and soon gained a reputation for its build and sound quality. Its success allowed Dieter to form Burmester Audiosysteme, which is now renowned among audiophiles as one of the world’s most accomplished audio companies, maintaining its late founder’s commitment to exceptional sound.
Burmester Audiosysteme designs and builds audio components that are at the peak of engineering performance and musical communication. The equipment offers unparalleled longevity and reliability, and as such is truly sustainable, with outstanding long-term value. With this laser focus on delivering value and excellence, the brand is renowned as one of the pioneers of high-end audio, as well as one of the last fully independent, traditional companies in the world of international audio.
“Tradition can be seen as a strict set of rules and regulations that maintain the status quo, but tradition, of course, is much more than that,” says Dina. “For us, tradition means consistency in values but never stagnation of expression. This is how we succeed in creating products that still work within the limits of what is possible and yet push at the boundaries of the impossible. Tradition is also inherent in our manufacturing process, with every piece handcrafted in Berlin to the exacting standards expected of engineering at this level. This is then rounded off with extensive and comprehensive quality control to ensure longevity and reliability beyond that of our industry peers.”
For Burmester Audiosysteme, tradition encompasses an understanding of the need for constant innovation and re-evaluation, forever challenging the limits of what is possible in the pursuit of optimum performance. Prior to assembly, the engineers select only those components that meet tightly defined tolerances. At the end of the manufacturing process, each component is thoroughly measured using more than 300 computer-assisted measurements. A component only enters the final test phase if the measurements show no deviation over a seven-day period. In addition, a device still has to pass a Burmester hearing test before shipping. Factory upgrades and repairs are subject to the same strict quality controls as new components. “We develop and produce the best-sounding, finest-built high-end components with a sustainable approach to manufacturing,” says Dina.
“All aspects of our properties reflect the history, culture and sensibilities of their destinations”
“We offer a high level of integration for the home when it comes to aesthetics and usability, always considering and implementing new technologies for our products as long as they improve both sonic performance and customer experience.
Such diligence and attention to detail has resulted in award-winning products that are distributed in 50 countries across five continents. Burmester Audiosysteme’s home audio range has four product lines – Signature, Reference, Top and Classic – with components ranging from £5,000 to £250,000. A complete top-end system can cost in excess of £500,000. As you would expect for such a luxurious centrepiece to the home, they look every bit as astonishing as they sound. “We offer a high level of integration for the home when it comes to aesthetics and usability, always considering and implementing new technologies for our products. Their design reflects the sonic performance of each component, striving to find the symbiosis between technical requirements and an attractive yet confident visual design,” explains Dina. It is also about improving the experience for customers, many of whom have said that these are not so much audio systems as “works of art with musical properties”.
Cutting-edge innovations include the 808, the world’s first modular preamp, which was originally introduced in 1980 and is now in its fifth generation; and the 916, the world’s first belt-drive CD player, launched in 1991. The 111 Musiccenter is another game-changer for the digital music age: combining a music server, CD player, CD ripper, DAC and analogue preamplifier, the 111 delivers a groundbreaking variety of functions, ensuring that Burmester Audiosysteme has remained at the forefront of audio technology even as people continue to change the way they listen to music. Other flagship products include the 909 power amp, and the BC350 – Burmester’s first true reference loudspeaker, featuring a host of unique and innovative technologies.
Since 2005, some of the company’s most impressive accomplishments have been achieved in the world of automobile audio, and the company remains an audio partner of choice for luxury car manufacturers. In 2013, Burmester Audiosysteme introduced the first high-end 3D sound system for a top-of-the-line model, followed by the first high-end 4D sound system in 2020, which introduced sound reproduction via seat “exciters”.
“Our goal is also to maintain optimum sound quality and innovation in our automotive sound systems and, overall, to develop individual solutions to offer a wide range of products for both the home and the automobile to the highest standards of build and musical enjoyment,” says Dina. “Listening to Burmester equipment isn’t merely notes and noise but total cultural and emotional enrichment – experiencing music with every fibre of the body.”