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At 42 years of age, Hideo Matsushita, the founder of Audio-Technica and current chairman of the board left his position leading the Bridgestone Museum of Art in Tokyo where he staged a number of successful LP listening concerts.

The year was 1962. A revolution in sound technology was on the brink of taking place that would have made Thomas Edison both proud and envious.

When Mr Matsushita first opened the doors, in what he described as a onestorey ’barracks’ in Tokyo’s Shinjuku-ku, Audio-Technica’s first home, he may or may not have been aware of the incredible opportunities that lay ahead all around the world. That the bourgeoning youth culture of the time would, in many ways, eventually become key to the development and success of Audio-Technica for its cartridges, headphones and  microphones.

From the humble beginnings of my father some 47 years ago, Audio-Technica grew to become a leading manufacturer of phonograph cartridges, producing at one stage half the world’s cartridges. It was an era when such cartridges were a symbol of technological expertise for audio manufacturers – as cartridges were essential for reproducing sounds from analogue records. At this time, we were also a leading producer of tone arms which were used to support the cartridges.

We started to develop headphones in the early 1970s, when the demand for the components was so rapid that it grew on a daily basis. This was an important symbiosis, and we were proud of being able to produce high quality headphones using our precision technology. As both headphones and cartridges are both audio transducers, our aim was not only to make the world’s best cartridges, but also the best headphones. In 1974, three models of the inaugural AT-700 series were born. These models represent the origin of our headphones, which has led us to today’s headphone range you see on this website. Since the introduction of our first headphone 35 years ago, Audio-Technica headphones have developed consistently and continuously to compete with the world’s best, in terms of design, technical achievement and quality.

Kazuo Matsushita

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