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Vienna, Austria is known as the "City of Music" due to its musical legacy, as many famous classical musicians such as Beethoven and Mozart called Vienna home. Vienna Also has been an important center of musical innovation since the 16th century and in 2017, a new company called "Austrian Audio" was born and has challenged a lot of audio industry giants with their products.

So who and what is this "Austrian Audio" company and how has this company is pushing the boundaries of what condenser microphones can do and also how are they capable of designing some of the world's leading recording technology at such a fast pace? Let's find out!

It All Started From The Company You've Heard About, AKG!

AKG was founded in 1947 by two Viennese physicist Dr Rudolf Görike and engineer Ernst Pless providing technical equipment for cinemas: loudspeakers, film projectors and light meters in their early years. That all changed when AKG made the D12 microphone in 1953, achieving international fame, setting the standard for voice transmissions. Being the world's first dynamic cardioid microphone, it possessed excellent sonic qualities for that time, making its way into radio stations and recording studios from across the world. The product was improved through subsequent upgrades, spanning the famous C414 and C12 microphones.

The company then was acquired by the American company Harman International Industries in 1994 and then in 2016, it was announced that the AKG Vienna facilities (headquarters, manufacturing, and engineering) would be shut down with a transfer of brand headquarters to California, USA.

When AKG left Vienna, a group of 22 former AKG personnel from management, acoustics, electronics, test and measurement, mechanical design, RF/wireless, and software and firmware stayed behind, turning their passion and experience into the pursuit of new microphones and headphones. And they all started a company to rival AKG, called Austrian Audio!

AKG was founded in 1947 by two Viennese physicist Dr Rudolf Görike and engineer Ernst Pless providing technical equipment for cinemas: loudspeakers, film projectors and light meters in their early years. That all changed when AKG made the D12 microphone in 1953, achieving international fame, setting the standard for voice transmissions. Being the world's first dynamic cardioid microphone, it possessed excellent sonic qualities for that time, making its way into radio stations and recording studios from across the world. The product was improved through subsequent upgrades, spanning the famous C414 and C12 microphones.

The company then was acquired by the American company Harman International Industries in 1994 and then in 2016, it was announced that the AKG Vienna facilities (headquarters, manufacturing, and engineering) would be shut down with a transfer of brand headquarters to California, USA.

When AKG left Vienna, a group of 22 former AKG personnel from management, acoustics, electronics, test and measurement, mechanical design, RF/wireless, and software and firmware stayed behind, turning their passion and experience into the pursuit of new microphones and headphones. And they all started a company to rival AKG, called Austrian Audio!

Driving Things Forward....First With The Heart of The Microphone!

"The main idea behind the OC18 and OC818 was reimagining the famous CK12 capsule, but without copying it as the cost would be too high with everything being made in Austria – and there are enough clones out there already; some better, some worse!" - Christoph Frank, Austrian Audio’s Senior Acoustic Engineer.

Austrian Audio's flagship OC818 multi-pattern, dual-output condenser microphone is equipped with a world-first: optional wireless control, while its sibling, the OC18, is a cardioid pattern precision microphone. Both models feature the dual-diaphragm handcrafted Austrian Audio CKR12 ceramic capsule, which, in concert with the microphone's custom electronic circuitry, delivers excellent results when used for vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, drum overheads, strings, brass, percussion, and room capture with it's high sensitivity, low self-noise, and ability to handle everything from a whisper to extreme SPLs.

Ideal for studio, broadcast, and live applications, the OC818’s unique design and outstanding sonics, combined with new wireless control technologies offering highly optimized workflows, have garnered the OC818 5-star reviews from all over the world since its launch.

The OC818 also features a second output that allows the engineer, producer, or musician to record the rear-facing capsule independently of the forward-facing capsule. And if you record both capsules to a stereo or dual-mono track, Austrian Audio’s PolarDesigner plug-in provides unprecedented control and tailoring of polar patterns.

"The main idea behind the OC18 and OC818 was reimagining the famous CK12 capsule, but without copying it as the cost would be too high with everything being made in Austria – and there are enough clones out there already; some better, some worse!" - Christoph Frank, Austrian Audio’s Senior Acoustic Engineer.

Austrian Audio's flagship OC818 multi-pattern, dual-output condenser microphone is equipped with a world-first: optional wireless control, while its sibling, the OC18, is a cardioid pattern precision microphone. Both models feature the dual-diaphragm handcrafted Austrian Audio CKR12 ceramic capsule, which, in concert with the microphone's custom electronic circuitry, delivers excellent results when used for vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, drum overheads, strings, brass, percussion, and room capture with it's high sensitivity, low self-noise, and ability to handle everything from a whisper to extreme SPLs.

Ideal for studio, broadcast, and live applications, the OC818’s unique design and outstanding sonics, combined with new wireless control technologies offering highly optimized workflows, have garnered the OC818 5-star reviews from all over the world since its launch.

The OC818 also features a second output that allows the engineer, producer, or musician to record the rear-facing capsule independently of the forward-facing capsule. And if you record both capsules to a stereo or dual-mono track, Austrian Audio’s PolarDesigner plug-in provides unprecedented control and tailoring of polar patterns.

Not Only Just Microphones

Austrian Audio is not solely focused on microphones — the company is also responsible for patents and proprietary technologies in audio, acoustics, transducers, noise canceling and measurement tools, and in the aviation and telecom industries, which are used throughout the world across many vertical markets. In other words, there’s a whole lot more behind Austrian Audio microphones than meets the eye.

One of it is their proprietary Hi-X drivers that are used in their headphones such as the Hi-X65, Hi-X55 and Hi-X50. Developed from scratch, the all new 44mm Hi-X driver features a ring magnet system – a home-grown technology which has been incorporated into various award-winning headphones in the past by their engineers. It allows improved air-flow and the strongest magnetic field in its class. This ring magnet structure coupled with a copper-clad aluminium voice coil reduces the weight of the membrane and voice coil that sits on it allowing it to move or change direction faster providing a better impulse reaction, highly desired for contemporary as well as traditional music production.

A double acoustic wall was designed to achieve the best damping results, to support this and in-creased comfort, the form factor of the earpads has been rethought completely, giving more room for the ears without enlarging the earcups, reducing fatigue from long listening sessions.

Austrian Audio is not solely focused on microphones — the company is also responsible for patents and proprietary technologies in audio, acoustics, transducers, noise canceling and measurement tools, and in the aviation and telecom industries, which are used throughout the world across many vertical markets. In other words, there’s a whole lot more behind Austrian Audio microphones than meets the eye.

One of it is their propietery Hi-X drivers that are used in their headphones such as the Hi-X65, Hi-X55 and Hi-X50. Developed from scratch, the all new 44mm Hi-X driver features a ring magnet system – a home-grown technology which has been incorporated into various award-winning headphones in the past by their engineers. It allows improved air-flow and the strongest magnetic field in its class. This ring magnet structure coupled with a copper-clad aluminium voice coil reduces the weight of the membrane and voice coil that sits on it allowing it to move or change direction faster providing a better impulse reaction, highly desired for contemporary as well as traditional music production.

A double acoustic wall was designed to achieve the best damping results, to support this and in-creased comfort, the form factor of the earpads has been rethought completely, giving more room for the ears without enlarging the earcups, reducing fatigue from long listening sessions.

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