Audio-Technica Menu


— A historical look back - with a view toward the future - at one of the leading innovators in transducer technology —

New York, NY 09-29-2007 123rd AES CONVENTION — From its early beginnings as a manufacturer of phonograph cartridges, Audio-Technica has expanded over the years to become a leading innovator in the design of microphones, wireless microphones, headphones, mixers and electronic products. To this day, Audio-Technica continues to advance the art and technology of electro-acoustic design with the manufacturing of products for the professional recording, broadcast, live sound, consumer audio and fixed installation audio markets.

The company began in 1962 when Mr. Hideo Matsushita founded Audio-Technica Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, and introduced a moving-magnet-type stereo phonograph cartridge that was sold to major audio manufacturers in Japan. During the 1960’s, A-T gained a reputation producing high-quality phono cartridges for some of Japan’s leading companies, including the legendary NHK broadcast organization. It was during that period that A-T received an award from the Director of the National Industrial Research Institute, part of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in Japan, for their AT1001 tone arm. The company continued to grow and became a major producer of phono cartridges, with its MM (moving magnet), proprietary VM (dual magnet), and MC (moving coil) types, becoming the cartridges of choice for leading HiFi/consumer turntable manufacturers. To meet the market demand, Audio-Technica built a new headquarters and factory in Machida, Tokyo — a facility that remains in operation today.

During the 1970’s and 1980’s, the company continued to develop critically acclaimed phono cartridges, stereo headphones, and microphones that received rave reviews and awards from leading industry organizations, journalists, and audiophiles worldwide. In 1993, Mr. Hideo Matsushita assumed the position of Chairman and Mr. Kazuo Matsushita became President of Audio-Technica Corporation, a title he holds to this day.

Audio-Technica changed the landscape of the recording industry in 1992 with the launch of its groundbreaking AT4033 Condenser Microphone. The AT4033 received numerous awards and accolades from the industry and is credited as being the first high-quality, studio-grade microphone available at a price within the reach of the growing home and project studio market. The AT4033 was the cornerstone of what was to become A-T’s renowned 40 Series line of microphone and headphone products. Today, the 40 Series represents the benchmark in studio microphones for leading producers and engineers, as well as high-profile artists in all genres of music.

During the 1990’s, wireless systems became a significant product category for Audio-Technica in the MI, live sound, and fixed installation markets. The company’s current wireless systems are the first choice for a variety of major artists and broadcast events, including the U.S. presidential debates, GRAMMY® Awards, Dove™ Awards, MTV Movie Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, VH1 Divas, Saturday Night Live, and the Olympics.

Throughout the history of Audio-Technica, the company has become a leader in transducer technology by listening and responding to the needs of the audio community. A direct result of this philosophy is the most significant development in the audio industry in recent years — Audio-Technica’s SpectraPulse™ Ultra Wideband (UWB) wireless microphone system. At InfoComm 2007, Audio-Technica rocked the audio industry by introducing SpectraPulse, the first commercial sound implementation of UWB technology, which was recently licensed for commercial use by the U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC). SpectraPulse bypasses the increasingly congested RF environment to deliver clear, intelligible audio, without the performance and set-up issues associated with conventional wireless microphones. SpectraPulse offers 14 simultaneous channels that operate flawlessly without RF competition, frequency hunting/coordination, “white space” issues, or interference.

In the live market segment, Audio-Technica introduced the groundbreaking Artist Elite line of high-performance microphones and wireless systems in 2002. One of the standouts of the line has become an industry classic—the AE2500. Featuring a revolutionary dual-element design, this kick drum mic offers both condenser and dynamic elements to capture the aggressive attack of the beater and the round tonalities of the shell. Recently, Audio-Technica expanded its live-sound offerings with the re-engineered Artist Series — adding innovative microphones to the line, while upgrading classic models for a comprehensive selection of vocal, instrument and drum mics. The new Artist Series was inspired by extensive market research and consultations with leading touring artists and FOH engineers. Satisfying their foremost concerns, these rugged all-metal microphones are engineered for consistently flawless performance, featuring response and low-distortion characteristics to faithfully reproduce the details of virtually any sound source.

For artists who are on the road performing night after night, Audio-Technica remains the microphone choice in all genres. Leading artists like Kenny Chesney, Gwen Stefani, Justin Timberlake and Metallica are just a few examples of some of the top performers who choose Audio-Technica wired and wireless microphones for the best possible sound with consistent reliability.

In 2007, Audio-Technica introduced its flagship ATH-M50 professional studio monitor headphones to the pro audio/home recording market. Embodying the company’s latest transducer technology, the ATH-M50’s feature a closed-back design and proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers with neodymium magnet systems. The ATH-M50 professional monitor headphones provide superior audio quality with maximum comfort and are ideal for critical listening applications. The ATH-M50’s have been embraced by such GRAMMY®-winning engineers/producers as George Massenburg, Frank Filipetti, Al Schmitt and Ed Cherney.

For the sound contracting/fixed installation market, with the proliferation of cell phones, wireless handheld communication devices, PDA’s, computers and other technology, the annoyance of Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) in sound systems is more prevalent than ever before. Audio-Technica addressed this issue by developing its proprietary UniGuard® RFI-shielding technology that is currently employed in their UniPoint® and contractor-exclusive Engineered Sound® microphone lines. UniGuard provides unsurpassed RFI protection with outstanding immunity to RF interference.

At the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, Audio-Technica introduced its first active noise-cancelling headphones, to great critical acclaim. The new ATH-ANC7 QuietPoint™ active noise-cancelling headphones are engineered to deliver truly superior quality audio while reducing distracting background noise by up to 85%. Miniature microphones in each earpiece monitor ambient noise (such as airplane cabin or traffic noise), while the headphones’ electronics create a noise-cancelling wave that is 180° out of phase with the surrounding noise. Receiving significant acclaim from journalists within the industry and mainstream media—including enthusiastic reviews from WIRED Magazine and David Pogue from the New York Times—ATH-ANC7 is another example of the Audio-Technica focus on innovation, a continuing source of groundbreaking products in all market segments.

Commenting on the company’s rich history, A.T.U.S. President/CEO Phil Cajka stated, “Over the past 45 years, Audio-Technica has grown and become a dominant force and a leader in transducer technology. We appreciate the dedication of our worldwide staff and the support we have received from our loyal dealers and customers throughout the years.”

Celebrating over 45 years of audio excellence worldwide, Audio-Technica is a leading innovator in transducer technology, renowned for the design and manufacture of microphones, wireless microphones, headphones, mixers, and electronics for the audio industry.

—For more information on the complete range of Audio-Technica products, contact Karen Emerson, Audio-Technica U.S., Inc., 1221 Commerce Drive, Stow, OH 44224. Tel: (330) 686-2600; Fax: (330) 688-3752; Web:

Audio-Technica is exhibiting at Booth #608 during the 123rd AES Convention in New York, NY.