Everyone needs a workhorse microphone in their arsenal - one that they can reach for and rely upon no matter what the recording situation. And, if you’re looking for an all-rounder that offers the perfect price to performance ratio, you really don’t need to look any further than the Austrian Audio OC16.
Austrian Audio grew out of the ashes of the AKG headquarters in Vienna, which closed in 2017. It’s staffed by previous members of AKG’s core engineering, operations and management teams, who are keen to use their extensive experience to blend vintage and modern technology into something new.
Just like its stablemates the OC18 and OC818, the OC16 features a capsule that’s handmade in Vienna and uses Austrian Audio’s Open Acoustics Technology (this reduces acoustic problems such as unwanted reflections and standing waves within the microphone). The result is a beautifully transparent and natural sound.
This is also a mic that’s built to last. The design of the capsule is inspired by the legendary CK12, which was made out of brass, but for the OC16, just like in its more expensive siblings the OC818 and OC18, Austrian Audio has opted for a ceramic capsule that’s handmade in Vienna. This highly insulating material offers the same mass and acoustic properties as brass, but can be manufactured more consistently, resulting in fewer production errors. And with each capsule being tested and measured before it leaves the Austrian Audio factory, you can be sure of the quality.
The OC16 also features a low-cut/high-pass filter that can both eliminate the lowest interference frequencies and counteract the ‘proximity effect’ (a bass boost that occurs when the mic is positioned close to the sound source). The low weight (335g) and flat design, meanwhile, mean that it’s easy to align the mic even in hard-to-reach places.
There are other benefits, too; elastic capsule suspension (the capsule is hung inside the mic via three elastic points) reduces interference and means that there’s no need for a mic spider, so hanging the OC16 on a cable in front of a guitar amp isn’t a problem.
Relatedly, the OC16’s high sound pressure tolerance means that you can use it in front of very loud sources without encountering distortion. In fact, it can withstand sound pressure of up to a whopping 148dB SPL, so whether you’re recording brass, loud percussion or that aforementioned guitar amp you’ll get a clean signal.
And these are just a few examples. You could also use the OC16 to record acoustic guitars, pianos, wind and string instruments, vocals and pretty much anything else. It’ll cope with whatever you choose to throw at it, in other words.
That includes spoken word recordings - stick the OC16 on your desk and not only will it look great, but it’ll also deal with your podcasting, video content dubbing and online conferencing with aplomb, with high speech intelligibility and quality guaranteed. There’s no need to worry about fan noise from your computer, either, as the precise cardioid polar pattern will eliminate this and other background noise.
So yes, the OC16 is a genuine all-rounder, and at just $399/£319/€349, it comes at a very attractive price point, too. It ships in a soft case and includes an elastic microphone spider and a mic clip.
Find out more on the Austrian Audio website.