Austrian Audio’s Hi-X series could be the best professional headphone range you’ve never heard of

When it comes to headphones, it’s easy to be seduced by expensive marketing and the logo on the box, but the truth is that’s sound quality, comfort and durability that really matter. Step forward, then, Austrian Audio, as its Hi-X Professional Headphone series gives you all of these qualities and more.

Designed and made in Austria by a team that previously worked at the AKG headquarters in Vienna, the Hi-X headphones feature proprietary ‘High Excursion’ driver technology that you won’t find anywhere else. For the listener, this means clean, detailed and clear audio, along with a deep soundstage for precise placement across the stereo spectrum.

As well as being engineered for high performance, these headphones have been created with comfort in mind. The ear- and bow-pads are made of slow retention memory foam, while the wide-range headbow can be adjusted so that the Hi-Xs fit perfectly.

Austrian Audio headphones

(Image credit: Austrian Audio)

What’s more, these cans are built to last, with all critical parts being made out of metal to ensure maximum durability and stability. This is particularly important given that the Hi-Xs are built very much with professional users in mind - live and studio sound engineers, recording musicians and producers, for example. Whatever the situation, they won’t let you down, and with their low impedance of 25 Ohm, they’re just as comfortable being used with a mobile device (your phone, tablet or laptop) as they are in the studio or behind a mixing desk.

Both sets of headphones in the range - the on-ear Hi-X50 and over-ear Hi-X55 - were engineered by respected audiophile Bernhard Pinter, who says: “We didn’t want to compromise on driver performance, because this is the ‘motor’ of every pair of headphones.

“There are many drivers on the market, but these are mainly driven by high volume and low costs. Our driver is designed for high excursion in low cavities, with high sensitivity. 

“Additionally, we wanted to be in control of the entire design, and our engineers have years and years of experience in this field.”

Pinter says that the audible benefit of the High Excursion driver is “high sensitivity, a good low frequency response, and low L/R deviation,” also noting the headphones’ clear sound and rich, controlled bass - right down to the lowest frequencies. “They sound open, even if they are closed,” he concludes.

They might be relatively new to the market, but the Hi-X headphones are already making a splash, with the Hi-X55 being nominated for a NAMM Tec Award. You can find out more about both these and the Hi-X50 on the Austrian Audio website.

Austrian Audio Hi-X series features

  • Proprietary 44mm Hi-X drivers
  • Detachable cable
  • Furnished with 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter
  • Foldable construction
  • All metal hinges and bow
  • Soft slow retention memory foam

Austrian Audio Hi-X series technical specifications

  • Frequency range: 5 Hz - 28 kHz
  • THD (@ 1kHz): < 0.1%
  • Input Power: 150 mW
  • Sensitivity: 118dBspl/V
  • Impedance: 25 Ohm