You might call it a startup, but these guys are not exactly the new kids on the block. Austrian Audio opened its doors on July 1st 2017 immediately after the closure of the AKG Vienna offices. Initially staffed with 22 former AKG employees from all disciplines ranging from management, acoustics, electronics, test and measurement, mechanical design, RF/wireless, and software/firmware, this amounted to over 350 years of combined pro-audio expertise on day one.
“We set out to approach product design and manufacture very differently,” says Martin Seidl, CEO. “We wanted to unleash the creativity of our engineering team and develop new products that truly add value to our customers, and create an environment where creative people can express themselves and have the confidence to always try something new.”
A fitting example is the company’s first product, launched in April 2019: the OC818 large diaphragm microphone. The microphone encapsulates a classic analogue design featuring a carefully handcrafted CKR12 ceramic capsule – designed and constructed by Austrian Audio’s team of experts in Vienna. Based on the CK12 metallic capsule, the CKR12 ensures a pristine sonic performance, due to the design and manufacturing consistency every OC818 can be paired with any other OC818, or even the OC18.
“Many would be happy to have achieved that, but we wanted to go further and simplify studio workflows,” adds Seidl. “We developed the PolarPilot remote control app for the OC818, offering up to 255 discrete polar pattern designs, 60 seconds of clipping monitoring, and the PolarDesigner – offering even frequency dependent pattern design and additional controls for post-production.
“With a nod to our manufacturing heritage, Austrian Audio is carving out a new engineering initiative, committed to building instruments that embody a purpose and sense of longevity; our respected engineering team are now free to unleash their creativity in delivering the finest in audio tools and instruments for the forward-minded and heritage-hearted engineer, recordist, musician, and producer.”
The OC818 and its sibling, the OC18 classic cardioid microphone, are receiving rave reviews all over the world.
NAMM 2020 sees the company launch its first-ever range of professional headphones – the HI-X50 and HI-X55 (on-ear and over-ear respectively). Both models are based on Austrian Audio’s proprietary ‘High Excursion’ technology that enables an outstanding linear listening experience.