AKG Acoustics

AKG Acoustics GmbH
Industry Manufacturer, Acoustics
Founded 1947
Founder Dr. Rudolf Görike and engineer Ernst Pless
Headquarters Vienna, Austria
Products Microphones, Headphones, Digital WiFi Systems
Number of employees
about 170
Parent Harman International Industries (since 1994)
Website www.akg.com
The AKG C214 condenser microphone

AKG Acoustics (originally Akustische und Kino-Geräte Gesellschaft m.b.H., English: Acoustic and Cinema Equipment) is an Austrian manufacturer of microphones, headphones, wireless audio systems and related accessories for professional and consumer markets.


The company operates in Austria, and was founded in Vienna in 1947 by two Viennese: physicist Dr. Rudolf Görike and engineer Ernst Pless.[1]

Originally, its main business was to provide technical equipment for cinemas: loudspeakers, film projectors and light meters.[2] The business slowly expanded and AKG started selling car horns, door intercoms, carbon capsules for telephones, headsets and cushion speakers. The first AKG microphone was used by radio stations, theaters, jazz clubs and cabarets.

About this time, the company developed its first patents, the moving coil technology and the principle of mass load membranes, allowing its products to have extended frequency ranges.[3]

With the creation of the D12 microphone in 1953, AKG achieved international fame, setting the standard for voice transmissions. Being the world's first dynamic cardioid microphone, it possessed excellent sonic qualities for that time, making its way into radio stations and recording studios from across the world.[4][5] The product was improved through subsequent upgrades, spanning the famous C414 and C12 microphones.

In 1984, AKG became a public company, listed on the Vienna stock exchange. As a blue chip company, it was one of the most traded stocks.[6]

The company was acquired by the American company Harman International Industries in 1994.[5] By this time, AKG's United States subsidiary had been established (in Los Angeles in 1985). AKG Acoustics USA, still headquartered in the San Fernando Valley, also houses regional offices for Crown Audio, another Harman Industries subsidiary.

In 2010, the company received the prestigious Technical Grammy award.[7]

In 2016 it was announced that the AKG Vienna facility will be shut down in 2017. [8]



Among its professional products especially noteworthy is the first C 12 (introduced in 1953) and its successors and alternate versions, which include the Telefunken Ela M 250 and M 251 (1960), the C 24 stereo microphone, the C 412, and over a dozen different models which have carried the designation "C 414" in various forms. Those microphones are equipped with the famous CK12 large diaphragm capsule designed by AKG´s engineer Konrad Wolf. The CK12 was a milestone in transducer technology and the first to offer constant frequency response and sensitivity for all polar patterns (omni to figure eight).

AKG microphones have been used for shooting Hans Hass's movie Adventures in the Red Sea and were installed on the MIR space station. They are also mentioned by Dan Brown in his novels The Da Vinci Code and Deception Point.[17]

Some microphone models include:


AKG Stereo headphones K-66

AKG also manufactures a range of high-specification headphones.

The K50 model, introduced in 1959 were the world's first supra-aural and open-back headphones.

The K1000 was the flagship model, but is no longer being produced. It was an open back dynamic headphone.

The current flagship model for the AKG headphone line-up is the K812.

The K702 features a removable cord and is black, the K701 is white. The Q701 also has a detachable cable and comes in three color variants: white, black, and a lime green. All three models are still in production. The K701s have been largely used by professional musicians and technicians in recording studios.

Many top recording studios use AKG K240 headphones as a solution for best general use for both monitor and playback.[21] They received particular notoriety from their prominent display in Eddie Murphy's 1985 music video for "Party All the Time" (which features the K240 Monitor).

Another notable, yet short-lived model was the K280 Parabolic – a multi-driver headphone which focused compression waves to a central point in the earcup.

As well as studio headphones, AKG also manufactures a range of Hi-Fi headphones and earphones for domestic use.

See also


  1. 1 2 Tulga Beyerle; Karin Hirschberger (1 January 2006). A Century of Austrian Design: 1900-2005. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 181–. ISBN 978-3-0346-0889-3.
  2. "History". AKG by Harmans. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  3. http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/akg_acoustics_celebrates_65th_company_anniversary/ Retrieved April 2, 2014
  4. http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct12/articles/akg-d12vr.htm Retrieved April 2, 2014
  5. 1 2 Tina Grant (2004). International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. ISBN 978-1-55862-507-5.
  6. http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/akg_acoustics_celebrates_65th_company_anniversary/ Retrieved on April 2, 2014
  7. http://www.tvtechnology.com/audio-etc./0193/akg-to-receive--technical-grammy-award/256921 Retrieved on April 2, 2014
  8. http://mobil.derstandard.at/2000045063046/Kopfhoerer-AKG-Werk-in-Wien-schliesst
  9. 1 2 "History of AKG Acoustics GmbH – FundingUniverse". fundinguniverse.com.
  10. 1 2 3 4 AKG history milestones Last accessed March 30, 2007
  11. AKG press release
  12. http://www.newstin.co.uk/tag/uk/166676972
  13. kamakshi. "Harman AKG comes out with a Quincy Jones Signature Line of headphones". Luxurylaunches.
  14. "Page Not Found". akg.com.
  15. "Tiësto Collaborates With Audio Manufacturer AKG For A New Range Of Headphones - Magnetic Magazine". Magnetic Magazine.
  16. AKG notable events
  17. Brian Kehew; Kevin Ryan (2006). Recording the Beatles. Curvebender Publishing. pp. 180–181. ISBN 978-0-9785200-0-7.
  18. "C12VR on AKG'S website". akg.com.
  19. "Harman-Harman International Opens New Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut". harman.com.
  20. "Best Studio Headphones for Professionals and Beginners". scanzoom.com. Retrieved May 20, 2015.

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