Austrian Audio OD505: What is it?
Over the past couple of years Austrian Audio has impressed us with some great products and consistent attention to detail. For its latest venture the company has turned its attention to the humble handheld dynamic vocal mic.
As we know, handheld vocal mics combine low handling noise with robust construction and are ideal for stage use. However, self-noise and low sensitivity can hamper their overall fidelity. Austrian Audio’s solution is to combine a dynamic capsule design with a phantom-powered active stage, in what it calls ‘the best of two worlds’. The result is the OD505, an active dynamic mic that’s stage robust and almost as sensitive as a condenser.
Austrian Audio OD505: Performance and verdict
The mic is one of the larger handhelds we’ve tried and this is partly down to the reasonably large headstock which joins the body via three mounting arms. This means you actually have some air behind the headstock.
The capsule itself is a dual design with active front capsule and passive lower capsule and this combined with the mounting system above reduces handling noise. At the bottom of the body you’ll also find a switchable 12dB/octave high-pass (120Hz) filter, which helps reduce rumble and proximity.
Rounding things off, the mic gets a suitably large zip-up padded case complete with Austrian Audio mic clip. We guess you could view the mounted headstock design as a potential physical weakness, but the mounting arms are all part of the mic’s die-cast body and feel pretty robust. Either way, the black finish with red detail is in keeping with Austrian Audio’s branding and looks very slick.
As you would expect, with the mic powered up you get a pretty healthy output, and although at 4.4mV/Pa it’s clearly not as sensitive as a typical condenser, you’re not hunting the upper reaches of the mic pre gain to get a decent level, which is reassuring. Unsurprisingly, the handling noise is low and the supercardioid pickup pattern pretty tight. Indeed the rear rejection is also very impressive.
With handheld vocal dynamics there’s a tendency for performers to get right in on the capsule grille, so it’s always interesting to see how different mics cope with this. Although there’s a clear loss in fidelity when right on the grille, the OD505 handles this very well. In fact, the capsule has something called a 3D Pop Noise Diffuser, which does a good job of handling plosives. You’ve also got the 120Hz low cut which can be helpful.
For vocal use the mic delivers its best fidelity and minimal plosives with the 120Hz filter engaged and the performer a couple of centimetres from the grille. Used in this way the mic fidelity is pretty good, it has plenty of air and isn’t dominated by the upper mids as some vocal dynamics can be. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you using the OD505 on instruments, and although the size might not make it a first choice for drums, it delivered a pretty decent rock acoustic guitar sound.
A few handheld dynamic mics dominate the market. Austrian Audio has side-stepped these by delivering a phantom-powered dynamic mic with healthy output level and decent features and we're sure it’ll find a suitable fanbase.
MusicRadar verdict: Launching a new handheld dynamic mic is brave, but the OD505 has some nifty features that’ll help it gain the recognition it deserves.
Austrian Audio OD505: Hands-on videos
Austrian Audio OD505: Specifications
- CAPSULE: Dynamic.
- POLAR PATTERN: Supercardioid.
- POWER: 48V phantom.
- FREQUENCY RANGE: 35Hz to 16kHz.
- SENSITIVITY: 4.4mV/Pa .
- IMPEDANCE: 275ohms.
- MAX SPL: 154 dB SPL.
- LOW-CUT FILTER: 120Hz, 12dB/octave.
- DIMENSIONS: 194 x 53mm.
- WEIGHT: 340g.
- CONTACT: Austrian Audio (opens in new tab)