Working from home? Switch to the DIGITAL edition of FRONT of HOUSE. CLICK HERE to signup now!
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content

Austrian Audio OD505 Active Dynamic Microphone

Steve Savanyu • November 2021Road Tests • November 3, 2021

The Austrian Audio OD505

Austrian Audio has taken a unique design approach to the live-sound vocal workhorse with the introduction of the OD505 Active Dynamic Vocal microphone. Built on a robust — yet stylish — structure, the OD505 combines the onstage toughness of a dynamic microphone with the tonal quality and consistent sound of a studio condenser.

Unlike a conventional dynamic microphone with its single moving coil capsule, the OD505 uses two independent capsules. The active dynamic front capsule, along with its built-in preamp, offers similar sensitivity to a condenser microphone, while the passive lower capsule is polarity-rotated to sense and eliminate unwanted handling noise. Additionally, a rubber bushing supports the front capsule for further mechanical isolation. Because the OD505 has active circuitry, it requires 48 VDC phantom power to operate.

The OD505’s polar response

The OD505 offers a supercardioid pickup pattern with good off-axis rejection. It has a frequency response of 35 Hz to 16 kHz while a desirable rise around 3k adds presence and articulation. The active circuitry results in a sensitivity of 4.4 mV/Pa (-47 dBV) with a max SPL of 154 dB SPL. The output impedance is 275 ohms with a load impedance greater than 1k-ohm.

The microphone features Austrian Audio’s innovative “Open Acoustics Technology” system. Reducing the number of contact points between the capsule and housing allows sound to enter from all sides. This helps to eliminate unwanted reflections and resonances caused by the housing without coloring the sound. Additionally, a proprietary 3D Pop Noise Diffuser — specially designed for the OD505 — effectively reduces plosive impacts.

A switchable second-order high-pass filter is provided to roll off low frequencies below 120 Hz to minimize the pickup of mechanical noise and further make the OD505 immune to rough handling on stage. Engaging the filter also helps reduce proximity effect when the microphone is used close up.

The microphone’s die-cast metal body has a satin black finish with a red accent below the headcase and a small Austrian Audio logo badge. The OD505 is well balanced and comfortable to hold even for singers with small hands. The low-cut switch is recessed, requiring a pointed tool to set it, while a standard XLR-M type connector provides a balanced audio output with pin 2 positive.

The microphone includes a rugged adjustable stand clamp, 5/8” x 27-thread to 3/8” thread adapter and a foam padded carry case.

The mic includes this foam-lined carry case

Going Through the Paces…

I had a small P.A. rig setup in my shop so I could talk out the OD505. The first thing I realized is that you need to have P48 phantom power engaged for the mic to work. (I figured as it was a dynamic, it might still work without phantom power, albeit with a lower output, but no…) After engaging P48 on the mixer, I set the input trim control. Due to the OD505’s hot outputs, I could set the channel’s trim control lower and still have good solid signal with plenty of headroom. Using my dulcet-toned speaking voice, I compared the OD505 to a couple other dynamic mics I had on hand. Right away, I noticed smoother low-end response on my voice and less proximity effect when I worked the microphone close.

Handling noise was less than my other handheld dynamic mics. One issue with dynamic mics is the mechanical noise created when the user shoves the mic into a stand clip. Austrian Audio beveled the front end of the clip to minimize this issue. Regarding stand clips, I like that the OD505 has a thumbscrew knob to tighten the swivel, which saves me from having to find a coin to tighten a loose one at a gig.

Engaging the HP filter flattens the low-end and eliminates almost all the proximity effect. I used the microphone this way for a female vocalist. Her voice sounded clear and open, even as she worked the mic up close. I also observed, with my deep speaking voice, having the filter engaged offered more articulation and clarity without the big boom.

By design, dynamic microphones can handle an almost unlimited amount of SPL without overloading. Condenser mics with their active circuitry have a max SPL rating, indicating the amount of signal the mic can take before the circuitry overloads. As the OD505 is active, it has a max SPL rating of 154 dB. I found that no matter how loud I screamed into the mic, it did not overload. (I did, however greatly annoy the neighbors while performing this test…)

The OD505 uses a unique arrangement of front and rear capsules

In the Cups

As the OD505 has that open area beneath the capsule, I wondered what would happen if I cupped the mic. Although the manual states not to cover the grille with your hand, I had to try this.

I first cupped the open area below the capsule, holding the mic like a nervous, first-time on-stage singer. I noticed no perceptible change in the sound or level. (I was also watching the channel’s real-time frequency analyzer display on the console.)

Next, I did my best rapper impersonation and completely cupped the capsule. Because of Austrian Audio’s “Open Acoustics Technology,” the microphone maintained its directionality, and again, I noticed no perceptible change in the sound.

Accidents Do Happen…

A hallmark of a good dynamic microphone is how rugged it is. Stories abound about people running over dynamic mics with their vehicles, using them to pound nails, and worse. I didn’t pound any nails or drive across the mic with my van, but I did accidentally tip over the mic stand holding the mic. (Common on a live stage when some klutz inadvertently trips over a mic cable.) Other than a loud noise in the speakers, the OD505 survived with no ill effects.

The Verdict…

Austrian Audio has raised the bar on dynamic vocal microphones with the OD505. With its state-of-the-art dual capsule design, active circuitry, integral low-cut filter and Open Acoustics Technology, the OD505 is a contender for the serious vocalist. The microphone’s open, natural sound was easy to integrate into a live sound application with minimal EQ required to highlight a vocalist’s strengths. Its rugged construction and contemporary styling look good on stage and on camera.

I have always said that a microphone is the vocalist’s instrument and should, like a familiar guitar, sound fantastic while being comfortable to play. Austrian Audio achieves that goal with the OD505.

The OD505 frequency response

 

At a Glance

For Vocalists, the Best of Both Worlds

Austrian Audio’s OD505 active dynamic microphone offers vocal performers the best of both worlds, as active circuitry and an innovative design approach combine the advantages of a dynamic microphone with the sonic refinements of a condenser model.

Austrian Audio OD505

PROS

  • Active circuitry offers consistent output
  • Minimal proximity effect
  • Low handling noise
  • Cupping mic does not affect sound or polar pattern

CONS

  • Uncommon for dynamic mics to require phantom power
  • I prefer zipper pouch over large case

FEATURES

  • 3D Pop Noise Diffuser minimizes plosives
  • Comparable to a condenser mic in terms of sensitivity
  • Supercardioid polar pattern enhances off-axis rejection
  • Active Dynamic technology keeps sound consistent
  • Engineered to stand up to rugged environments

STATS

  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Supply Voltage: 48 VDC phantom
  • Sensitivity: 4.4 mV/Pa
  • Max. SPL: 154 dB
  • Low Cut Filter/Type: 120 Hz (2nd order)
  • Impedance: 275 ohms
  • Pricing: $299/street

Manufacturer: Austrian Audio

More Info: www.austrian.audio

Steve Savanyu operates Buford T. Hedgehog Productions in Hudson/Macedonia, OH.

 

The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!