Innosonix GmbH - 15 year anniversary!


To mark this occasion we sat down with the founders and joint CEOs Markus and Steffen Bätz.

Innosonix was founded in 2009 by Markus and Steffen with an inspiration to design and develop future-orientated audio technology that meets the challenges of today’s ever more demanding and complex environments. The company is based in Ahorn, Germany, where its products are manufactured and from where they are exported around the world through its network of distributors.

Innosonix has its roots in a multi-generational family business, but not in electronics. The present-day factory is on the site of a historic woodworking facility where the Bätz’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents manufactured bespoke furniture, which evolved into an industrial wood processing business. As the familiar scent of sawdust has given way to the tang of soldering stations, one thing remains constant - a steadfast commitment to quality. Just as every joint and finish was once scrutinised for perfection, now every circuit board, component, and assembly undergoes rigorous inspection and testing.

Deeply interested in audio even from the age of eight, Markus wanted to study sound engineering alongside lessons in music theory and playing musical instruments. “However, I was rejected by the university a few days before registration ended for electronics engineering, so I decided to enter the audio industry from the ‘other side’, and along the way, I got involved a lot in live sound,” he says. “It was the best idea ever! So every weekend I was mixing shows, and doing monitors, and in doing that I met up with KS Audio in Germany who were making some great-sounding speaker systems. I worked with them for a while, helping to develop the signal processing for the amplifiers, and, eventually, I founded an audio research company, based on driving amplifiers with our signal processing technology.”

The future direction of the fledgling Innosonix company was guided by a collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen, a multi-faceted scientific research organisation that had a specific need for amplifiers with way more than the commonly available number of output channels, asked Markus for a 40-channel model. He delivered… and that was the genesis of the Innosonix multi-channel design ethos. Moving back to the Ahorn woodworking facility in 2012, he and Steffen along with a software engineer friend set the stage for a full-scale amplifier manufacturing operation.

Over the last decade Innosonix has brought to market a range of high-performance amplifiers that not only exceed the performance requirements for the vast majority of fixed audio installations but do so with the highest channel count per rack space. The first product in the MAXX series was the MA32, a ground-breaking amplifier designed for professional use offering up to 32 channels of amplification both in the form of a low-powered model “LP” and higher-powered model “D”, and featuring, uniquely for the time, load monitoring, hardware diagnostics, industry-standard input options, onboard DSP, very high power efficiency and a comprehensive software suite.

Product offerings have now expanded to encompass a range of power amplifiers in a variety of output channel configurations with industry-leading power efficiency and power-to-space ratios. The company’s flagship amplifier, the MA32/D2 provides up to 32 assignable channels of Class D output stages and, features comprehensive load monitoring, industry-standard AES3, MADI, AES67, and Dante input options, and powerful onboard DSP including limiting, IIR and FIR filters, delay and speaker presets.

The amplifiers help systems integrators and end users benefit from the ability to power numerous loudspeakers across multiple zones from a single central location, occupying a minimum of precious rack space. The MAXX series turns in industry-leading efficiency statistics, with very low idle power draw even when running and negligible power consumption when in auto-standby mode.

Since the beginning, the company has adhered to a slightly unconventional, and even holistic, manufacturing approach. Rather than having components and sub-assemblies sourced and made under license in vast Far Eastern factories, where it is difficult to maintain adequate control over quality and deliveries, Markus and Steffen prefer to oversee all manufacturing processes in-house as a way of ensuring that quality is ‘baked in’ to every product and assuring the end user of longevity in the field.

Through their advanced features, Innosonix’s award-winning amplifiers address the challenges of a wide range of professional audio applications, including marine environments, theme parks, residential properties, hotels and resorts, shopping centres, restaurants and cafés, theatres, museums, science and research establishments, and houses of worship.

The benefits of the industry’s highest channel density are realised most keenly in applications that require sending amplifier power to multiple loudspeakers across many zones.

The design team is deeply involved in every new product right from concept to the production line, with an understanding of electrical and mechanical fundamentals along the way. There is no ‘hand-off’ to another department; it functions more like a custom shop, and that allows the design engineers to boast that they ‘know every part personally’. In one sense the hardware and software platforms in an Innosonix amplifier are both uniquely linked but at the same time independent, and that allows the hardware base of a much older product to be brought up to current standards through firmware upgrades.

The confidence with which Markus, Steffen, and the whole team place in the end product has inspired them to extend the manufacturing warranty to six years. “In reality, we never really specified a fixed warranty term at the beginning. If we had a product returned due to a failure of some kind we repaired it for the customer without charge, no questions asked. Our philosophy is that customers expect a high-value product to keep on working, and if it fails we take responsibility for that. Right now, we are simply formalising what is just normal practice for us to support our products in the form of a six-year warranty, which we believe is a new benchmark in the industry.”

Since COVID, the company has enjoyed strong growth in distribution around the world, resulting in a robust year-on-year increase in sales. These efforts and ongoing product innovations have resulted in industry recognition of the most flattering kind - picking up a Best Product award at the industry’s leading trade show ISE in Barcelona in February.

To coincide with this year’s milestone, Innosonix will launch a new website in the summer, designed to offer more complete product information, detailed case studies, technical support including firmware updates, and more intuitive navigation.

The next decade will see more of what Innosonix sees as their core competencies: refining the art of multi-channel amplification with ever more sophisticated software support because that is what Markus and Steffen know best.

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