First Look: Austrian Audio OC16 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
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First Look: Austrian Audio OC16 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Back in 2019, Austrian Audio launched with their first two microphones - the OC818 & OC18. Designed and built in Vienna (again) by expert engineers with many years of experience behind them. Since then, their range of microphones and headphones has grown, with some fantastic high quality audio equipment coming through.  

Austrian Audio have now brought their design and engineering prowess to a more budget friendly microphone option for musicians, recording artists and hobbyists alike - Introducing the OC16. 

The OC16 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone, built with a specially designed ceramic capsule handmade in Vienna. In this first look article, we aim to discover what makes the OC16 a fantastic microphone with a 'friendlier' price tag.

At First Glance

When you first unbox the OC16, you’re presented with an EVA foam carry case (the MSC6). Lightweight and rigid, it’s a great way to transport your OC16 and accessories safely. Inside the case, you’ll find the OC16 sitting snuggly within a healthy layer of foam. You’ll also find a regular mic clip (OCH8) and a large shockmount (OCS6) alongside it. The additional mesh pocket in the case is useful for any additional accessories you may need to pack with it.

The OC16 has a similar look to the OC818 and OC18, but with a few cosmetic differences. It has an inset mesh grille and robust grey metal chassis. The flat, low weight design makes it easy to position wherever you might need it. There’s a single switch on the front side which sets the frequency for the high pass filter. You can toggle between off, 40Hz for low end rumble and 160Hz aimed around the area you'd get a bass boost from the proximity effect.

CKR6 Capsule – “Made in Vienna, Again”

The OC16 features the CKR6 ceramic large diaphragm condenser capsule - designed, engineered and built by Austrian Audio. Each one is handmade in Vienna by an experienced team of engineers who have been making high end microphone capsules since the early 90s. You might say that the construction of the CKR6 is in some very, very safe hands! This is reflected in the reliability and sound quality of the capsule, built within very narrow tolerances, meaning every single OC16 is just a good as the next.

The capsule in the OC16 is fixed to a cardioid pattern, designed with a smooth & natural response. It’s versatile enough to use on a wide variety of sound sources, including voice, guitar, strings and even close miking drums thanks to its impressive max SPL handling of 148dB SPL.

Open Acoustic Technology

Austrian Audio’s ‘Open Acoustic Technology’ is a design ideology that seeks to “make the best capsule you can and convey the signal captured without further colouration”. In other words, a microphone design that presents the most natural sound possible. There are a number of ways in which the design of the OC16 aims to achieve this:

  • Transformerless design with best-in-class low self-noise.
  • Balanced frequency response to capture sound as it is.
  • Smoother off-axis pickup for consistent performance.
  • Built-in diffuser & absorber to significantly reduce internal reflections.
  • Floating Capsule suspended by 3 rubber shock mounts.

All of these features aim to make the microphone body as invisible to the sound as possible, as though the capsule itself were suspended in front of your sound source. The rubber mounts are extremely effective at keeping body resonance and rumbles to an absolute minimum.

An All Rounder

The OC16 is a highly versatile microphone, thanks to the features we have just set out. It’s natural pickup response makes it ideal for a number of different sound sources, such as:

  • Vocals
  • Stringed instruments
  • Wind instruments
  • Guitar – Acoustic & Electric Amplifiers
  • Percussion & Drums  
  • + Anything else you point it at!

As we said earlier, The CKR6 capsule is capable of withstanding high sound pressure levels – up to 148dB SPL - which makes it great for use on loud instrument too.

And it’s not just a great microphone for musical instruments, the OC16 is perfect for voice recording too:

  • Podcasting
  • Broadcast / Live Streaming
  • Voice Over

For anyone looking to upgrade their audio capture without breaking the bank, OC16 could be the microphone for you. As Austrian Audio put it - The OC16 = “Audio excellence on a budget”.

Austrian Audio OC16 Andertons Gear4Music Guitar, Amp & Keyboard Centre Professional Music Technology

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This new blog is presented by the team at Sound Technology Ltd, a leading distributor of musical instruments and pro audio equipment in the UK and ROI.