Established in 1962, Audio-Technica Corporation is a worldwide group of companies devoted to the design, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of problem-solving audio equipment. Initially known for state-of-the-art phonograph cartridges, A-T now creates high-performance microphones, headphones, wireless systems, conference systems, mixers, and electronic products for home and professional use. It is the reputation and dedication of and its innovation and precession that has resulted in Audio-Technica being the number one headphone brand by volume in Japan for ten years running.
In an interaction with Jayanta Ghosh, Editor- in-Chief, DeviceNext, Robin Ghose, Business Development Manager (Professional And Consumer), Audio-Technica India shares how in India A-T is now spreading its reach across the country and more about its consumer & prosumer products.
How Audio-Technica revolutionized the premium audio segment in India.
Since its inception, the focus at Audio-Technica has been innovation and quality with the sole intent of offering every person who enjoys music an exceptional experience.
Over the years, Audio-Technica has brought to market headphones that deliver the highest level of sound quality. Focusing on original technology, we have been able to bring to market a wide range of products. Today, we believe we have an offering to suit the taste of almost every customer.
Some of the technological innovations from the house of Audio-Technica include the use of polymer vibration plates in our first headphones in the early 70s to pure digital drive headphones, push-pull and hybrid multidrive systems recently introduced. These complemented by the use of meticulously curated materials like titanium, wood, leather and composites, which are selected not only for their aesthetics but also for their performance, define our products. Listening to our Wood Series headphones in both Stripped Ebony and Japanese Cherry Wood or to the Titanium ATH-IEX1 in-ear, the consumer will experience the smooth, natural frequency response – the Audio-Technica signature.
The value proposition of innovation and quality has made Audio-Technica the top selling headphone brand in Japan. Audio-Technica intends to bring that exact same experience to the Indian customer ad we are sure it will help us establish a position of dominance in the premium audio segment.
What are the latest product lines, launched in India in various categories?
The last year has been a bit subdued with new launches due to the pandemic and other factors affecting our planned product rollouts. We did however launch a few special editions of our top selling AT2020 and AT2020 USB+ microphones. We also had several new installation microphones including miniature condenser boundary microphones and the next generation of the ever-popular ES945 and ES947 boundary microphones.
During the pandemic the demand for premium audio headsets increased as people realized the usage after long playtime, your comments.
I can corroborate this fact as we have seen a marked increase in our sales of premium headphones during this time.
Work from home, learn from home coupled with shared spaces mandated people use headsets for an extended duration, bringing the need for comfort & quality to the fore. As the usage of headsets increased, so did the realization of the importance of versatility of the equipment. They could now use the same equipment to consume media and to collaborate and create.
Tell us more about A-T’s professional series segment in India,
Our professional series offers a range of Microphones and Headphones both in the wired and wireless category. We offer a wide range of microphones to fit almost every professional requirement, be it, Music performances, Conferencing, Studio and Broadcast, podcasting, content capture as well as computer-based and mobile communications. On the headphone end, the Professional range of headphones include Studio Monitoring Headphones, In-Ear Monitors for stage performers, DJ Headphones and Broadcast Headphones.
Audio-Technica has always been a leader in technology going back to the early days with the invention of the miniature condenser to the first Dante microphone.
Our association with some of the largest sporting and music events in the world has offered us a unique platform to develop and test innovative technology and distinctive products. Take for example microphones to capture sound under ice sheets or microphones used in extremely high temperature environments to capture the sound of high revolution engines in motorsport.
In our installed sound segment we have an increasing number of products that use networked audio transmission technologies such as Dante Audio in addition to digital wireless transmission using our own patented Audio-Technica codec. We have new products coming soon which run with Audio-Technica’s own algorithms on a custom DSP platform which will greatly enhance the functionality of our transducers.
Professionals world over use and endorse Audio-Technica because of its quality and technological lead.
What is the current channel strategy for Audio-Technica for India market, what is the current channel network in PAN India?
With our Indian master distributor, Alphatec Audio Video, we have a well-established network for our professional products across various segments. They are available through over 800 retail stores and system integrators across the country. For our consumer products we currently operate primarily through online channels and a few exclusive brick and mortar stores, but plans are in place to change this and aggressively expand of this network across channels.
Plans for 2021 year ahead, expansion and product launch.
2021 is promises to be an interesting year for Audio-Technica in India. We have many exciting launches planned around the festival time 9 between August-January).
One big addition to the India line-up is going to be the much looked forward to and asked for addition of TURNTABLES and accessories.
With regards to the distribution network our focus on the professional side is to optimize our existing network, move into new territories with a focus on enhanced coverage of smaller cities and towns. On the consumer side aggressive expansion of the network across retail formats
Audio-Technica has been a brand that has found global favour with discerning consumers and professionals. With the launches and additions as well as our distribution strategy, we aim to bring the quality and technology promise that is enjoyed the world over to our Indian consumers to showcase our quality, performance and accessibility.