Our short bio: Austrian Audio GmbH is a new audio company dealing with research & development of acoustic products, mainly microphones and headphones, but also highly sophisticated measurement systems and ODM developments. We’re all professionals that have spent a major part of our lives within the audio industry, both on the professional and the lifestyle side of the business. What ties us together is the vision to improve the performance of products by listening to people who actually use them and paying attention to the details. Within the team we can look back at more than 300 years of combined audio development experience. The team – currently 22 people - almost completely consists of former employees of AKG Acoustics, who’s Vienna headquarters closed its doors June 30th 2017.

Possible topics of interest to you in which we have expertise:

• The closure of AKG • Audio Engineering • Mechanical, Acoustics, Software, Firmware, Electronic and Test & Measurement Engineering • Starting and running a business in Vienna, Austria • Life and Christmas Markets in Vienna! Bring 'em on! We're going to answer questions until the New Year and endeavor to address the technical and engineering oriented ones as a priority. Let's keep this going until 2018!

Our Proof: https://www.austrian.audio/single-post/redditAMA2017

Comments: 1011 • Responses: 30  • Date: 

linguistbeats785 karma

Käsekrainer or Leberkässemmel?

Also, what acoustic treatment would you recommend for a concrete basement with relatively low ceilings? I'm planning on converting my basement into a recording/rehearsal room, and I know Austrians know a lot about basement conversions.

AustrianAudioGmbH217 karma

You’ve aced the quiz, sir!🙌🏻

bluntgutz251 karma

There is something very strange about this AMA. OP is ignoring all the interesting questions and shit posting all others... I have to say I’m enjoying it. I’m a bit confused why a company that is planning on starting by making only research grade testing hardware is doing an AMA in this fashion- or at all. But anyways- I use AKG C414s as room mics for my tracking studio. Should we expect a drop in quality in mics made after Samsung buyout?

alnahr76 karma

Because it seems he is the PR. He replied to one of the questions saying he would forward it to the acoustics department

AustrianAudioGmbH19 karma

Exactly. I'm in the process of culling and collating the Engineering/Tech questions for the team right now. I'll post the translated replies as they come back to me.

"PR" stands for "Posting Reprobate", right?

jazzrz34 karma

Totally noticed that as well. Its like a launch AMA done for the memes.

AustrianAudioGmbH7 karma

Thanks for the Meme-ories, kind sir.

AustrianAudioGmbH8 karma

As to the what is going to happen to Harman/AKG after being acquired by Samsung: we simply have no visibility into that future. The only thing that we know for certain is that the Harman/AKG workforce was decimated.

The good news is that Austrian Audio GmbH is now utilizing its full capacities to develop compelling microphone and headphone products with the goal of producing as much of the constituent components (plus final assembly and QC) right here in Vienna. Our current product roadmap has our 1st two condenser mics projected to be made here in our facility with our own capsules that are made in-house. We're rather serious about this goal and we think that the market is there for it.

Assorted_Bits8 karma

It seemed they stopped answering questions around 5PM their time, so I hope they pick up the Q&A tomorrow morning.

AustrianAudioGmbH38 karma

Indeed. We had to stop answering as we had an evening appointment and will continue in the morning. It is just about midnight here now. The pause will give people the time to pose questions and upvote/downvote them. It looks like we may have to start with the most upvoted questions and work our way through them due to the quantity. We’ll endeavor to get to all of the technical ones as they are probably the more interesting and least-answered questions out there. The answers to many of the corporate level changes can be found on the blog on our website. There are links to articles and interviews there and we’ll post links to that stuff in the morning. Right now, it’s time for some sweet dreams about superior audio products and cocktail sausages.

P.S. the snarky responses were dashed off whilst on the train. It’s the internet. Let’s keep it fun as well.

Philip_Marlowe248 karma

The AKG K701 open-back headphones are the best I've ever owned. The mids are extremely clean and the highs very crisp. A well-produced record through those almost sounds like it's appearing before your eyes.

Can you explain what made those particular headphones kick so much ass?

AustrianAudioGmbH255 karma

Will pose this inquiry to our Acoustics team in the morning and then get back to you.

Absulute218 karma

Which is best; Skullcandy or Beats by Dre?

sidneylopsides84 karma

But that's a DSL line?

WhiskeyMadeMeDoIt63 karma

Not wet enough or enough salt.

AustrianAudioGmbH63 karma

It’s the internet. We’ll soon have more than enough salt.

MudButt2000158 karma

Are Vienna sausages in Vienna different from Vienna sausages in the states?

AustrianAudioGmbH905 karma

Yes, the ones in Vienna are made from actual food. 🤯

jcdish241 karma

Sure you guys made AKG and not AK-47S?

AustrianAudioGmbH1018 karma

We shoot impulse responses not bullets.

aiken_140 karma

What do you think tech companies entering the market (Google Home Max, Apple HomePod)? With machine learning and beamforming and such, they bring a lot of tech that has to be hard for audio companies to develop.

  1. Will those technologies materially improve sound quality at the budget / mid-tier levels?
  2. How much does a speaker/headphone company need to invest in the tech / firmware / processig side of product development (qualitatively... not looking for €’s)
  3. What’s the next significant advance we’ll see in speaker or headphone design? Is there room for innovation in electromechanical side?

PS: I’m still enjoyig my k702’s many years later, and am sad to see AKG go.

AustrianAudioGmbH22 karma

Good stuff for me to run by the real engineers on staff. I’ll do so in the morning. It could be just me (combined with the fact that it is 1AM over here) but I’d like to ask for more clarity on question #2 in your list. Are you referring to investment of time expressed as a percentage? Will discuss with the team later today.

LeChefromitaly131 karma

Are you guys hiring? I live in Vienna but I wanna learn and do a different job and I will do anything lol

AustrianAudioGmbH276 karma

Can you answer Social Media inquiries? The current guy is kind of “iffy”. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Shoot us a CV and let’s talk! Contact info on our webpage: austrian.audio

Lord_Punchings94 karma

Ha, if you guys ever need an English copy/technical documentation guy, I'm looking for an exit from Brexit...

AustrianAudioGmbH5 karma

A bit too early at the moment but it would not go unnoticed if you pinged us over a CV or some such. Contact info is on the website, good sir.

Team Compatibility Question: Do you like beer? Asking for 21 friends...

hubschraubereinsatz130 karma

What will be the first product you will release?

AustrianAudioGmbH322 karma

It will be awesome. Thanks.😎

Actually, in the development timeline, our first product will be a B2B test system that is being sold to high-end and high-volume manufacturers so that they can test equipment that they make in a modern and reliable fashion. One of the legs of our business plan is a healthy B2B component that brings our Test & Measurement expertise to the outside world.

SittingAtABar126 karma

Did Harman/Samsung decide to close AKG down, or was it just your hq? What product(s) is your new company planning on producing? Will your main focus be consumer level, like headphones, or back to pro users?

Ive got to do research now, I one day wanted to get the AKG pro drum mic kit.

Thanks for taking time to answer questions!

AustrianAudioGmbH14 karma

The AKG brand built up tremendous value over the past 70 years. The brand lives on. The AKG office and factory in Vienna was closed. A handful of years earlier, the entirety of the Consumer product line was consolidated under the control of Harman Consumer. This happened at every brand. We lost a bunch of fine folk but some are still with us at Austrian Audio.

We're working on full Consumer and Professional product lines. We plan to debut in the higher-end of those markets and then offer a broader set of options across the board. We've also got B2B and ODM business projects that have been humming along nicely for a few months at this point. There's a lot going on.

That pro drum kit is a good one and of quite good value. The d12VR is under-appreciated on the market except by those that have used them. I'm rather fond of that mic.

loinfroth65 karma

Why do K701 have such a horrible headband, you can read hundreds of complaints of the soft nubs on the headband hurting the head after 2-3 hours of listening. Did you have an ergonomics specialist on your team?

AustrianAudioGmbH208 karma

He died in a horrible Trepanning-by-headband accident.

quakenul46 karma

Is there a next big thing (like, really big) in audio in your opinion? ELI5

AustrianAudioGmbH97 karma

Miniaturization (as always, ever smaller...), integration into monolithic structures. Be sure to investigate MEMS technology. It’s everywhere and nobody even notices AND that’s how it should be. Beam-Steering and Forming Deeper integration into existing tech belongs here too.

thomacow38 karma

Are there major differences electronically in vocal amplifiers from guitar/keyboard amplifiers?

AustrianAudioGmbH79 karma

You'd have to define "major". The overall goal is quite similar but the expectations in tonal modification and/or preservation would be quite different. The feature sets could be greatly similar but voiced a bit differently. Again, the goals are largely the same and this is why, to wit, a mixing console will generally have channels that are all exactly the same and can address a multitude of sources. Yes, there could be stereo vs. mono channels on a desk and those channels could be tuned differently but the theory and approach is largely the same.

The bigger outlier here is the guitar amplifier. Achieving distortion as a part of the guitarist’s 'voice' is required in the great majority of designs. This is less true regarding other instruments.

ruinevil29 karma

Are you restricted due to the AKG patents?

AustrianAudioGmbH43 karma

As much as by any existing patent at any other company. We are developing all of our product lines from scratch with our cumulative 335 years of engineering & design experience.

randomguy11337723 karma

Will you release headphones in the future?

Do you see wired headphones that require amping as a business or is it running out due to the customers tending to Bluetooth and you dont want to invest in this area?

AustrianAudioGmbH12 karma

Yes.

They will coexist rather happily for some time although the projection is that wireless will dominate in the consumer and pro-sumer sectors.

fatematik21 karma

What kind of work and education experience is required to be employed at your company?

AustrianAudioGmbH81 karma

Judging by the previous answers to questions: very little!

In actuality, it depends upon the position, the desired skillset and (above all) the person applying for the job.

We hire and develop talent that can get the job done at a high level of excellence whilst knowing how to make the perfect Glühwein on cold Winter nights.

FaderFiend17 karma

I am an audio engineering student and a huge fan of the AKG 414 (XLS in particular). What does the future of the 414 look like? Does AKG still hold the patents for its’ design or will you all work on a new or modified product?

AustrianAudioGmbH16 karma

As that product is under the stewardship and ownership of another company, it is well outside of our planning and control. We think that there are things that could be done to make ‘Made In Austria Great Again’ regarding a large diaphragm dual diaphragm condenser mic and we have aims in that direction.

xaviorhawk13 karma

First off, I have a few pairs of AKG headphones, big fan, sorry to see them close. When it comes to consumer grade amplifiers would you still say tube is better than solid state? I have a McIntosh C 26 Solid State preamp with a MC 2125 Amp and really dig it.

AustrianAudioGmbH16 karma

I would say that it all depends upon the capabilities of the designer/engineer and the percentage of his/her design goals being met given a price point. Topology doesn’t determine the subjective ‘awesomeness’ of a design. And we must always be vigilant in remembering that the easiest person to fool is ourselves. That’s one of the great things about the scientific method: a built-in bias toward disconfirmation.

AustrianAudioGmbH11 karma

A quick note to all:

I've gone through the first 250 (ranked by upvoting) questions and answered where I've felt educated enough, comfortable or capable of doing so. I also chimed in where I could do so for the love of Lulz.

I then culled the technical and engineering questions into a document that has been forwarded to all engineering departments. I've eliminated duplicate questions or consolidated similar ones into a group. What this means is that I will collate the answers into one complete answer, from all of the engineers that reply, and then post in response to the higher upvoted questions. This also means that we may not have time to copy and paste it as a reply into all similar interrogations.

Capiche?

We aren't ignoring you personally, we're just skipping the duplicates out of necessity.

bltbltblthmm11 karma

So just to clarify, you guys are here to develop consumer products? Any chance we will see pro audio products from you guys that hail from the glory days of AKG from 60-70s? The world needs new CK12 capsules and duo dynamic capsule microphones.

AustrianAudioGmbH13 karma

Pro, Consumer, B2B and ODM. That’s the name of our game(s).

We won’t repeat the past. That’s certain. There are so many companies doing retreads, clones, incremental revisions...sheesh, not for us, dankeschön. Our 1st products will be where we think these kind of products should be regarding sound quality and feature set for this day and age.

Let me ask this: if you were to design a new handheld & high-quality dynamic mic, what would you like to see? Features & price point.

smoke87au8 karma

Do you see any value in the technology being developed by the Australian company 'Audio Pixels'? They are developing a MEMS 'speaker' that reproduces sound without any need for traditional loudspeaker componentry like coils, cones and enclosures. Does it sound like vaporware or a legitimate innovation?

http://www.audiopixels.com.au/index.cfm/audio-pixels/

AustrianAudioGmbH3 karma

I haven't looked past the first click of that address but I can state that there is a big current and future market for MEMS. There are challenges (Physics don't play, son!) presented to any given topology and implementation and MEMS certainly has some difficult challenges as required SPL and other demands increase. Linearity is another.

I'll run this past a particular engineer on our team that has deep experience in developing MEMS-Tech before I stick my neck out further on the matter. I'll post back here.

Assorted_Bits6 karma

Heya! I'm a subscriber to your YouTube-channel. I'm wondering what the idea is of your videos so far?

(p.s. Your proof-link needs a / instead of a ., like: https://www.austrian.audio/single-post/redditAMA2017, you should be able to edit it.)

double-you5 karma

Thank god. I was shaking my head at the latest in TLDs. "What does .single-post even mean?" I was asking myself.

AustrianAudioGmbH4 karma

I think that's from Tinder.

SashaFuckingGrey6 karma

Do all dacs sound the same?

AustrianAudioGmbH6 karma

If an audiophile plays test tones in the woods is there anyone to hear the sound of all the date requests that have said "No."?

orbilo2 karma

Bester bezirk in Wien? // Best district in vienna?
Edit: included question in english

AustrianAudioGmbH11 karma

All the ones that produce wine, of course!

Outside of that, it depends upon what one is looking for. Audio Excellence has a new home in the 23rd so...