Koenig was born in Königsberg (Province of Prussia), and studied at the University of Königsberg in his native town.
About 1852 he went to Paris and in 1858 he started business on his own account. He called himself a "maker of musical instruments," but the instrument for which his name is best known is the tuning fork. Koenig's work speedily gained a high reputation among physicists for accuracy and general excellence. From this business Koenig derived his livelihood for the rest of his life. One of his last catalogs had 262 different items.