RECORDING WEEK 2022: Global audio titan AKG is celebrating its 75th year from October 2022, an incredible milestone marking three-quarters of a century at the forefront of the professional audio world.
With a decorated history that has seen the company’s market-leading microphones and headphones grace the studios and stages of some of the world’s biggest artists, including Frank Sinatra, Eric Clapton, Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones to name but a few, AKG has been a household name for professional studios and home studio enthusiasts alike for an incredible 75 years.
Founded in Vienna by Dr. Rudolf Goerike and Ernst Pless in 1947, AKG soon became one of the biggest players in the world of sound with AKG microphones for radio stations, theatres and jazz clubs.
AKG pioneered new technologies including the world’s first high-quality cardioid dynamic microphone, the D12, and its own patents in moving coil technology and the principles of mass load membranes which allowed microphones to have greater frequency ranges, while as early as 1959, AKG’s K50 became the world’s first supra-aural and open-back headphones.
Over the decades, AKG’s name and impressive reputation grew, with the iconic AKG C414 condenser microphone and K240 headphones becoming staples in recording studios the world over, and the company’s wireless systems finding their way onto huge tours with the likes of Rod Stewart, Peter Gabriel and Simply Red.
Today, AKG offers a wide variety of dynamic and condenser microphones, as well as open, semi-open and closed back headphones, all designed for professional studios, home studio enthusiasts and modern content creators.
Some picks from the current AKG catalogue include:
AKG C414 XLII and XLS condenser microphones
The legendary C414 can be found in the world’s most famous recording studios and, together with its previous iterations, this microphone has been used on thousands of hit records since its original release in 1971. It’s been on stage with artists of every musical genre and is also used by leading broadcast facilities the world over. The C414 family has been one of the most widely-used and respected studio and stage microphones in audio history.
The current C414 XLII and C414 XLS versions offer nine pickup patterns that enable the user to choose the perfect setting for every application. Both mics have three switchable bass cut filters as well as three pre-attenuation levels that allow lead vocals and solo instruments to be placed in even the densest mixes.
AKG 314 and 214 condenser microphones
Born from the success of the C414, the C314 is the newest microphone in the series and features a dual diaphragm capsule just like the C414, this time with a back–electret capsule rather than the C414’s more costly, DC–biased capsule.
The C314 has a simple control interface, with -20dB pad and 100Hz high pass filter, the most common features that one would need from a condenser microphone.
The C214 is the most affordable mic in the range, but it still features the same recognisable signature sound of the C414. It has a fixed cardioid polar pattern, but is perfect for use on vocals and acoustic instruments, especially guitars, because of its natural response and upper mid-range clarity.
The design of the C414, C314 and C214 means that, with their flat front design, they are versatile in being able to sit very close to the source, whether that is a snare drum, guitar cab or vocalist, and the impressive +153dB maximum input level meals that there is a huge amount of headroom available before the signal clips.
D12VR large-diaphragm dynamic microphone
The D12 VR is a large-diaphragm cardioid dynamic microphone, designed specifically for bass-drum miking applications, features an ultra-thin diaphragm and optimised bass chamber to enhance its low frequency performance. But the D12 VR is also a hugely versatile mic, and can be used for bass cabinets, acoustic instruments and even vocals.
Lyra USB microphone
A NAMM TEC award-winning USB microphone, Lyra combines all of AKG’s knowledge and experience in designing and building some of the world’s most iconic analogue microphones into a USB offering that is ideal for capturing professional-quality recordings on the go.
The four capsule mic array provides four versatile, user-friendly modes, and the high resolution 24-bit/192kHz converters mean that you’re always capturing ultra-HD audio. Lyra offers intuitive plug-and-play setup and operation with support for Mac and PC, as well as iOS and Android tablets and phones, making it perfect for the modern content creator.
AKG K240 MKII professional headphones
The AKG K240 MKII professional over-ear, semi-open headphones carry on the success of their predecessor—the AKG K240 Studio—and are a standard in studios, orchestras and on stages around the world. Their advanced 30 mm XXL transducers with patented Varimotion diaphragms deliver a wide dynamic range, increased sensitivity and high sound levels, while their semi-open design provides the airiness of open headphones with the powerful bass response of closed designs.
AKG K371 & 371 BT professional studio headphones
AKG K371 headphones strike the perfect balance between professional-grade quality and consumer-friendly fit, comfort and
portability. Combining cutting-edge performance, AKG’s Reference Response Curve tuning, extended frequency response and supreme comfort in a closed-back, over-the-ear, folding design, the K371 headphones are perfectly suited for life in the studio or on the go.
The K371 BT is a Bluetooth-equipped model for versatile use on the go.
AKG K872 master reference closed-back headphones and K812 superior reference open-back headphones:
The culmination of almost 70 years of expertise, the AKG K872 master reference closed-back headphones provide unprecedented accuracy and comfort in production and live sound engineering environments. Custom 53mm drivers with 1.5 Tesla magnet systems deliver exceptional headroom for precise imaging, deep low frequencies and extended dynamic range. The optimised closed-back design ensures excellent isolation during tracking, mixing and mastering sessions. The open-mesh headband and 3D-shaped slow-retention foam ear cups create a personalised fit for remarkable comfort during long sessions. Created with meticulous attention to every design element and component, the K872 delivers the pinnacle of headphone performance.
The K812 is the open back version of the K872, and offers the most pure and natural sound possible. Designed for music professionals, the K812 empowers to experience the smallest sonic details with the most accurate balance for mixing, mastering as well as music production.