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.
With a nod to its manufacturing heritage, all drivers – the very heart of the headphones – are designed and engineered by Austrian Audio.
“When it was time to create our first family of professional headphones, we were determined to exceed the high targets we set ourselves and create something very special,” states Martin Seidl, CEO. “Much like our coveted OC818 and OC18 microphones, the core comes from a proven Viennese team sharing a passion for excellence. We will always ensure that we deliver an absolutely pristine sonic performance. Another key thing that we have learned over the decades is that headphones need to be as comfortable as they are reliable and excellent-sounding. We’ve designed a fresh take on an ultra-adjustable and wide-range head-bow for maximum comfort during the longest sessions, for the biggest engineers to the smallest bedroom producers. We are very proud to be showcasing these products as part of Austrian Audio's first ever participation at a US tradeshow.”
The on-ear, supra-aural HI-X50s are specifically designed for those requiring a portable and compact option, whereas the HI-X55 circum-aurals provide over-the-ear comfort. Both feature Austrian Audio’s exclusive 44mm HI-X driver.
“Our engineers have designed larger drivers in the past, but our science, measurements and listening tests have shown that 44mm is the best size for this design,” explains Philipp Schuster, Product Manager. “It ensures optimal performance in the Hi-X by moving a lot of air, and eliminates ‘wobbling’ of the diaphragm. It’s all about controlled sound – 44mm is optimal for the professional Hi-X series."
Austrian Audio’s ring magnet system – which has been incorporated into various award-winning headphones in the past – is present in the new headphone line, further enhanced with all-new design updates featuring the latest materials, improved air-flow and the strongest magnetic field from the manufacturer yet. The ring magnet structure couples with a copper-clad aluminum voice coil to reduce the moving mass for a better impulse reaction. Austrian Audio’s three-ply membrane increases the stiffness and reduces undesired resonances, bolstered further by a double acoustic wall designed to achieve the best damping results.
Austrian Audio knows a thing or two about ruggedness and reliability: All critical strength components are made of metal to protect the headphones, while both models present a 25Ohm impedance. Not forgetting the earpads, allowing more room for listeners’ ears without an increase in earcup size. And Austrian Audio incorporated the often-requested convenience of easy user-replaceable earpads, even extending to a replaceable bowpad should that be necessary. A detachable cable is also included, and each headphone comes with a 3.5mm (1/8 inch) to 6.3mm (1/4 inch) adapter.