3D headphone start-up OSSIC shuts down, leaving tens of thousands of backers without refunds

3D audio headphone start-up OSSIC has announced that it has run out of money.

The company’s ‘high-end’ OSSIC X headphones were designed to deliver 3D audio in a VR environment. It raised $2.7m on Kickstarter and $3.2m on Indiegogo, with both campaigns massively overachieving their initial targets.

PSNEurope revealed that the company had also taken part in Abbey Road Studios’ Abbey Road Red – which focused on developing new music technology.

Despite all of this, OSSIC announced on 19th May that it is unable to fulfil tens of thousands of pre-orders due to running out of money.

The official statement on the company’s website reads:

“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we must inform you that OSSIC is shutting down and will be unable to deliver the remaining OSSIC X headphones.

The OSSIC X was an ambitious and expensive product to develop. With funds from the crowdfunding campaign, along with angel investment, we were able to develop the product and ship the initial units. However, the product still requires significantly more capital to ramp to full mass production, and the company is out of money.

Over the last 18 months, we have explored a myriad of financing options, but given VR’s slow start and a number of high profile hardware startup failures, we have been unable to secure the investment required to proceed.

This was obviously not our desired outcome. The team worked exceptionally hard and created a production-ready product that is a technological and performance breakthrough. To fail at the 5 yard-line is a tragedy. We are extremely sorry that we cannot deliver your product and want you to know that the team has done everything possible including investing our own savings and working without salary to exhaust all possibilities.

The OSSIC X was started as a campaign to create immersive and interactive audio. One of the biggest questions was, in a world of small earbuds and phone speakers, do people really care about good audio? Are they truly interested in the next generation of 3D audio? The success of the campaign was a resounding “YES” that has had a ripple in the audio industry.

We will forever be grateful to you and the team members, investors, and business partners who believed in us and helped give our dream a fighting chance. We were able to achieve some amazing things in an industry that was, and still is, ripe for innovation. Your voice of support throughout these past 2 years will continue to bring change to the industry, as bigger players than us refocus their efforts into better, smarter, and more immersive audio.

Thank you for all of your support, and we sincerely apologize that we could not deliver all of the headphones.”

TechCrunch reports that despite tens of thousands of pre-orders, OSSIC only built 250 pairs of headphones and only shipped a few dozen to Kickstarter backers.

Yet despite the detailed announcement, which includes a ‘more information’ section trying to clarify what went wrong, OSSIC does not mention anything about refunds to those backers.

With many understandably upset about not receiving their headphones and currently not knowing when they’ll get their refunds, a Facebook group called ‘OSSIC X Class Action Lawsuit’ has already gained 1,700+ members.

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About Laura Barnes 427 Articles
Founder/Publisher of UK musical instrument industry publication MI Focus.