All Microphones at the Best Prices 🎙

Austrian Audio OC18

Test & Review

Do you want to acquire a professional studio microphone that offers the same sensitivity in all directions? You can opt for the Austrian Audio OC18 condenser microphone. It is a bidirectional microphone with a single diaphragm and a fixed polar pattern. The Austrian Audio OC18 is designed for use in vocal recording studios, but can also serve as a livestream or podcast microphone. Discover our complete test of this microphone in this guide.

Austrian Audio OC18

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

The Austrians have long been known for manufacturing high-quality microphones . This reputation is confirmed with the microphones offered by AKG . The initial brilliance of AKG microphones nevertheless seems to have been lost over the years, and especially with the C414 model.

Austrian Audio has corrected the situation by incorporating the best qualities of the C414 into the design of the OC18 . The result is a microphone with great sound quality and several technical conveniences. The Austrian Audio OC18 can notably fulfill the functions of a podcast or livestream although it is initially designed as a studio microphone.

Austrian Audio model OC18
Picture from

History of the Austrian Audio brand

The audio industry was rocked in 2016 by the announcement that AKG's Vienna factory was being closed by Harman, its parent company. Harman hoped through this approach to relocate AKG production to Hungary or China to reduce manufacturing costs.

Harman's approach was not, however, followed by the figures of AKG's international development team. No new AKG products have been developed since this incident. Martin Seidl, a former employee of AKG's global sales department, then came up with the idea of ​​creating a new company with the former Vienna team.

With the support of a few investors, this new company was created under the name Austrian Audio. Martin Seidl embarked on this adventure with the idea of ​​safeguarding 70 years of Austrian know-how in microphone manufacturing . This includes professional dynamic microphones and condenser microphones .

It was also essential for him that the production took place in Vienna. The OC18 was developed with this in mind, knowing that it is assembled by hand in Vienna. Such an approach is quite daring knowing that major brands like Neumann with its U87 which is considered the king of microphones , Se Electronics , and Blue or DPA are relocating their factories to reduce production costs.

Austrian Audio OC18


Austrian Audio OC18 Microphone Overview

The Austrian Audio OC18 is the second microphone model designed by Austrian Audio. This is not an omnidirectional microphone like most models used in a home studio. The OC18 is a bidirectional microphone with a fixed polar pattern and a single diaphragm .

An omnidirectional microphone works like a sound pressure sensor . Its sensitivity is the same in all directions and it is not affected by proximity effect. This type of microphone is nevertheless very sensitive to surrounding sounds and feedback.

Bi-directional or figure-8 polarized microphones have a sensor sensitive to sound sources that are in front of and behind the diaphragm. They cannot pick up sounds from the sides. A microphone like the Austrian Audio OC18 is therefore suitable for any situation where you need to capture sound other than from the sides.

The OC18 was also designed as a pro condenser microphone as opposed to a dynamic microphone. Both dynamic and condenser microphones work like an inverted speaker . A condenser microphone is not, however, connected to a voice coil as is the case with a dynamic microphone. It can therefore be moved more easily. Condenser microphones come in several forms, such as a boom microphone or a lavalier microphone.

Austrian Audio OC18 with kit
Picture from

The OC18's audio interface is on the front panel and features two mechanical sliders . The first allows you to activate the pad at a level of -10 dB or – 20 dB . The second slider allows you to set the high-pass filter to frequencies of 40 Hz , 80 Hz or 160 Hz .

The Austrian Audio OC18 microphone comes in a sturdy suitcase in which all its other accessories are located. This includes a microphone spider, clip, and foam windscreen. The microphone is completely black except for a red stripe under the grille.

The metal has been worked to perfection with a weight of 335 grams and fits well in the hand. Its design is slightly flat, but also wider than an AKG C414. The other thing the Austrian Audio OC18 has in common with the AKG C414 XLS is its ability to fit in a pants pocket. The Austrian Audio OC18's spider feels higher quality than AKG's pedantic H85. All important parts, such as the fixing screws and the bracket, are made of robust metal.

It should be noted that the Austrian Audio OC18 can also be inserted into an AKG microphone stand and vice versa. The microphone clip can be conveniently locked with a button. You can therefore do without a screwdriver to install it. The windshield supplied with the Austrian Audio OC18 also has a remarkable thickness compared to an AKG windshield.

Austrian Audio OC18


You can do without the spider provided you have good support and stable ground. The suspension of the capsules inside the basket has in fact been specifically designed for this purpose.

Also note that you will need 48 volt phantom power to operate this microphone. The Austrian Audio OC18 microphone actually integrates active electronic circuits for its operation. Phantom power consists of distributing a direct current flow from a preamp or mixer to the microphone through the latter's cable. You can also deliver this flow of electrical current to the OC18 using an external power supply .

Austrian Audio OC18: technical performance

The Austrian Audio OC18 has a constant output voltage of 13 mV/Pa , like its big brother, the OC818 . This doesn't seem very high for a large diaphragm . An AKG C414 XLII can notably deliver within 23 mV/Pa . The lower sensitivity forces the Austrian Audio OC18 microphone to broadcast even very strong signals without distortion. This corresponds to 148 dB without pad and 158 dB with pad . Self-noise is pleasantly low at 9 dB SPL (A) and impedance is 275 ohms .

Austrian Audio OC18 microphone
Picture from

Austrian Audio has specified a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz for the OC18. This microphone can also be used at temperatures between 0 and 55 degrees Celsius . The maximum power consumption at 48 volts is 2.2 mA , which is very low. This feature is very advantageous when using the Austrian Audio OC18 with mobile applications.

The first stage of the pad reduces the voltage applied to the capsule. The Austrian Audio OC18 microphone can thus reproduce up to 158 dB of bandwidth without distortion . The second stage attenuates the output by 10 dB , and up to -20 dB if you send the signal into an overly sensitive mixer.

The Austrian Audio OC18 CKR6 capsule hand-built and appears identical in construction to the OC818's CKR12 The OC18 only offers a single directivity , which means that the CKR6 capsule has only one diaphragm at the front . Manufacturing tolerances between the two microphones are less than 0.5 dB . Stereo matching is thus not necessary. The OC18 can thus be combined with the OC818 or other types of microphones to make stereo recordings .

The level curve shows that the frequency response remains basic at low frequencies from 40 Hz to 3 kHz . A significant increase of 4 dB can be noted between 3 kHz and 6 kH . The range from 7 kHz to 10 kHz results in a dip in sound levels. This can be beneficial for capturing different types of vocals and softening harsh tones on acoustic instruments. The curve also rises slightly at higher frequencies of 10 kHz .

Austrian Audio OC18


In addition, you can also discover our complete test on the Blue Bluebird SL . It is a condenser microphone that is equipped with multifunctional switches. This condenser microphone also includes a handmade capsule which has a fine gold-sputtered membrane.

Austrian Audio OC18: great sound quality

The capsule is the key element to the sound quality of any microphone. On this point, Martin Seidl wanted to develop an improved version of the AKG CK12 capsule for the Austrian Audio OC18. The sound of the old AKG microphones was a priori of high quality. This, however, results from the use of brass , which offers high conductivity for electric current.

The problem with this material is that it often causes discharges and short circuits between the membrane and the plate, especially in the event of humidity. Brass was also too expensive a material for creating microphone capsules.

The Austrian Audio development team wanted to create a capsule that was easy to manufacture and precise to adjust . The capsule also had to be less susceptible to failure during operation. It was then that the designers at Austrian Audio discovered a ceramic material for the design of the capsule ring .

Austrian Audio OC18 in studio
Picture from

With this discovery, they were able to attach a thick membrane gold-sprayed Mylar with only 3 small screws instead of 15. The distance measurement could also be controlled by laser . The ceramic also offered high mass, which was important when decoupling the capsule. A patent has been filed by the brand for this innovative function.

After a year, the capsule prototypes were ready for use. The double-diaphragm version of this capsule was named CKR12 . The other version of the capsule, called CKR6 , has a single diaphragm, because only cardioid directivity is required . This is the version found in the Austrian Audio OC18 microphone.

The OC18 is quite large in its dimensions, which is necessary to accommodate its high-quality preamps and transducers . The latter also make their presence felt when the OC18 traces the fine textures of the electrical signal with precision.

The air band is very little restricted, as you would expect from the size of the diaphragm. The highs are often clear, but remain very natural and not very agitated. You don't have to worry about biting sounds when using this vocal mic. The sharpness is fast and wide although it is quite reduced. The microphone also delivers a rich vibrancy that is suitable for a variety of voices and uses .

The sound of this microphone is truly noble. This can be heard on the higher spectral components of a mixer and the strumming sounds of an acoustic guitar. You can even feel the nobility of the sound with the smoky vibrations of modern cymbals.

Austrian Audio OC18


The sound of Austrian Audio OC18 is never very harsh, because this microphone picks up signals with a very secure base . The distance allows you to control the bass very precisely on a sound card or mixer. The signal remains detailed and profiled, even at low frequencies. It does not tend to fray, even when the microphone captures too much of the overall signal.

The three high-pass filters manage sound pressure well. They keep the passband phase almost intact up to the cutoff frequency. The filters of this professional microphone also protect your recordings from handling noise or electrostatic interference.

It is nevertheless recommended to use a pop filter with this studio microphone. This addition is especially necessary for vocal recordings with close or centered sound recording . A pop filter helps you capture the signal without suffering from background noise or electrostatic interference from your recording studio.

Most microphones capture sound waves best when used axially. The fact that a large diaphragm microphone like the OC18 has directional sensitivity is therefore not self-evident. You can indeed reduce the number of microphones in your studio, and especially for mixing from multiple points of view. Also note that the sound remains full in front of the microphones even when the signals far exceed 45 to 315 degrees .

Guitar recording with Austrian Audio OC18
Picture from

Another review guide : Warm Audio WA-8000 Microphone . Discover in this guide our complete test of this condenser microphone, as well as our opinion and some demos of use of this microphone.

Technical characteristics of the Austrian Audio OC18

  • Microphone type: large diaphragm condenser microphone
  • Style: studio microphone
  • Directivity: cardioid
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Microphone sensitivity: 13 mV/Pa
  • Output impedance: 275 Ohms (balanced)
  • Rated load impedance: 1 kOhm
  • Maximum sound pressure: 148 dB/158 dB with pad
  • Noise: less than 10 dB SPL
  • Signal/Noise Ratio: greater than 84 dB
  • Power requirements: 48 Volt phantom power
  • High pass filter: 40, 80 and 160 Hz
  • Dimensions: 157 x 63 x 35 mm
Austrian Audio OC18 packaging
Picture from
Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4,4 /5

Value for money

4,8 /5

Global mark

4,6 /5

Our opinion on the Austrian Audio OC18 microphone

The Austrian Audio OC18 is overall a very versatile professional microphone in its functions. Its omnidirectional design combined with condenser technology makes it the ideal choice for those looking to purchase a studio microphone.

This condenser microphone is a fine example of Austrian know-how in audio equipment. It certainly doesn't have the USB connectivity or Bluetooth functionality of a Blue Yeti or other more modern USB microphone. The Austrian Audio OC18 nevertheless surpasses models like the Blue yeti or the Rode nt USB in the nobility of the sound it can produce for recordings.

Noise is low, as stated in the specifications, but remains spectrally balanced. It does not present any gross structure. This means that further processing with EQ and compressors can be done with significant hits without the quality suffering.

The OC18 also delivers performance very close to that of the Austrian Audio OC818, Austrian Audio's flagship model, at a good price-quality ratio. The only notable advantage that the OC818 has over the OC18 is the ability to be set to four different polar patterns. This includes omnidirectional tuning, a cardioid pattern, and customizable polarization to suit your preferences.

You can use the Austrian Audio OC18 to capture sound between two drum toms or the voices of two people singing a duet. The fact that this microphone is bidirectional does not also prevent it from being used for recording a podcast. It can also be used for interviews and provides more satisfying sound than a small gooseneck microphone.

Condenser or condenser microphones also have a wider frequency response than dynamic mics. This makes the OC 18 the right type of microphone for recording acoustic instruments or a jazz singer's vocals.

Austrian Audio OC18


Austrian Audio OC18 Demo

Special offer at Austrian 🔥

Austrian Audio OC18


❤️ Discover other Condenser Microphone Tests: