Who is Audio-Technica?

Audio-Technica stands as one of those brands that often operate just below the radar of their larger, more widely recognized competitors. Yet, their offerings consistently outshine those of rivals at similar price points. But who exactly is Audio-Technica, and how did they emerge as purveyors of excellence in the music industry?

Drawn by the profound emotional resonance he encountered at vinyl listening gatherings organized during his tenure at the Bridgestone Museum of Arts in Tokyo, Hideo Matsushita harbored a fervent desire to democratize the intimate warmth of analogue listening. In a modest Shinjuku apartment, he laid the cornerstone for Audio-Technica, embarking on the journey to craft cartridges that would bring this experience to a broader audience. His inaugural creations, the AT-1 and AT-3, garnered acclaim, catalysing the expansion of his venture. Setting up a larger headquarters in Machida, where the company continues its operations to this day, Matsushita's vision began to take shape.

Driven by unwavering ardor for the art of listening, Ausio-Technica have evolved, crafting headphones, turntables, and microphones that have earned critical acclaim. Despite the company’s growth, Audio Technica remain steadfastly committed to their origins as a family enterprise, rooted in the conviction that premium audio should be within reach for everyone. Their legacy in producing some of the world's most sought-after cartridges endures, underpinned by an enduring passion for the analogue realm.

Here are Some Key Moments in the history of Audio-Technica 

1964- Audi-Technica developed an elliptical diamond stylus which was incorporated into the AT-3X and AT-5X. These innovative new products made Audio-Technica a popular choice for audio enthusiasts.

1974 - High-quality headphones, that made use of the transducer technology behind all products, arrived when the AT-700 headphone series were released in 1974. The AT-700 series headphones were released in sequence, helping Audio-Technica to broaden reach and transition the business from predominantly manufacturing cartridges to crafting a wider range of audio equipment too.

1978 - Audio-Technica’s first series of microphones, the AT-800 series, was introduced in 1978. This affordable microphone range - which included eight models from handheld and lavalier to shotgun mics - proved particularly popular amongst musicians, paving the way for the development of future microphone series.

1986 - 1986 saw Audio-Technica’s first wireless microphone systems go on sale and, by 1989, this technology had already developed dramatically. We developed and released the 800MHz band commercial wireless system ATW8584 which opened up new possibilities in the world of professional audio as it allowed for enhanced flexibility without compromise on audio quality.

1991 - The 40 Series microphone was introduced with the launch of the AT4033 recording studio microphone in 1991 - it’s still a popular model today, though its most recent incarnation is the AT4033a. Coming in at under £1,000, it was the only studio condenser microphone in its class to dip below this price range. Legendary producer Phil Ramone consulted on the design process and was a strong advocate for the mic’s quality, which set new standards for the whole industry both in terms of price and performance.

2004 - Audio-Technica’s 20 Series was first released in 2004. Providing quality audio, reliability and durability - yet maintaining an extremely affordable price point - the 20 Series soon became one of our most popular microphone lines. The iconic AT2020 cardioid condenser microphone is engineered to capture crisp detail, while its rugged design ensures long-lasting durability - perfect for podcasters, musicians or content creators looking to step up their home studio setup.

2014 - The first gaming headsets in 2014 with the ATH-AG1 and ATH-ADG1. These headsets included audiophile technology, enabling users to immerse themselves in gaming soundscapes. Audio-Technica also employed their expertise in broadcast microphones to ensure gamers experienced clear in-game communication.

2018 - Bluetooth® technology was (and continues to be) a breakthrough technology. Recognising their customer’s passion for enjoying quality audio both at home and on their travels, they released the M50xBT, a wireless version of their flagship M50x, to the market in 2018. This combines the sound signature of their flagship M50x with the flexibility and convenience of wireless listening. 

2021 - Audio-Technica's new podcasting microphone, the AT2040, was released alongside their new Creator Pack campaign in 2021 to celebrate the rise in content creators throughout the world.

The reach of Audio-Technica's creations spans the globe, finding application in a myriad of settings. From the grand stages of live concert tours and the hushed confines of recording studios to the echoing halls of theatres, the halls of academia, and the sanctuaries of worship, their headphones, turntables, and microphone systems find purpose. Additionally, millions of music aficionados, gamers, and creators rely on their products daily, enriching their experiences with the essence of pure sound.