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AKG Acoustics (originally Akustische und Kino-Geraete Gesellschaft m.b.H.) is an Austrian manufacturer of audio electronics and accessories for professional and consumer markets. The company was founded in Vienna in 1947, and was acquired by Harman International Industries in 1984. AKG Acoustics' most important product categories are microphones, headphones and wireless audio systems (such as wireless microphones).
Some of the more well known AKG microphones include the 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.
Considerable confusion exists in the nomenclature for these microphones; when an engineer claims to have used a "414" in a recording, it is nearly impossible to know which microphone is actually meant. This is compounded by the fact that the CK 12 capsule which formed the heart of the earlier microphones is no longer manufactured, having been replaced years ago by a rather different-sounding design which the company nonetheless calls by the same name. Among the current "C 414" microphone models two different capsules are used, one of which has its response specially tailored (i.e. with boosted high frequencies) for vocal recording, while the other (with generally flat overall response) is for more general-purpose use.
In 1968 AKG introduced a system of modular condenser microphones, the C 451 series, with interchangeable capsules offering different directional patterns and other characteristics. This widely-used microphone series was later superseded by the C 460 and C 480 series.
In more recent years AKG has introduced low-cost microphone models — C 1000, C 2000, C 3000 — for the project studio market. Most recently, AKG has made a line of budget-priced condenser microphones which are manufactured in China under the AKG brand-name.
Many of AKG's phantom-powered condenser microphones are designed so that they can be used with power supplies that may range from 9–52 volts. This is in contrast to the studio condenser microphones of most other manufacturers, which generally require phantom powering in the range from 44–52 volts according to the IEC standard.
AKG also manufactures a range of high-specification headphones. A notable example are the AKG K240's and have been used in music studios across the world for more than two decades. They are renowned for their tonal accuracy through the vocal ranges, and are thus a good example of studio monitoring headphones.
Other notable models include the K340 and K1000, the former being the world's first electrostatic headphones. The current flagship model for the AKG headphone line-up is the K701.
The K1000 is regarded by many to be the world's finest dynamic headphone. It is an unconventional design often referred to as earspeakers.
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