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3D Audio Headphone Maker OSSIC Closes, Leaving Many Kickstarter and Indiegogo Backers Empty Handed

The company only managed to ship a small number of the Innovator/Developer units before shutting down.

Crowdfunding projects can sometimes be a bit hit and miss, some never get off the ground whilst others achieve massive success. Even after reaching or surpassing a funding goal the chance of completion is never assured, with the latest to fail being the extremely popular OSSIC and its 3D audio headphones, the OSSIC X.

Having launched two crowdfunding campaigns in 2016, one on Kickstarter and one on Indiegogo, OSSIC managed to raise a considerable $2,708,472 USD and $3,224,442 respectively. 

However, that’s now all come to an end with the company confirming in a statement that it is shutting down after running out of money.

“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.”

Back in January this year OSSIC announced shipment of the first Innovator/Developer units which sold for $999 on Kickstarter, which were originally supposed to go out by the end of 2016. Only those initial units have been shipped leaving thousands of backers disappointed.

The crowdfunding money was used to fund half of the R&D and production costs – the rest came from angel investments – yet that still proved to be insufficient, with OSSIC blaming: “VR’s slow start and a number of high profile hardware startup failures,” as reason behind its failure to secure further investment and continue into consumer production. “It would take more than 2 million additional dollars to complete mass production of the remaining backlog,” OSSIC claims.

The OSSIC X headphones looked like an impressive piece of kit. Designed to auto-calibrate to the listener’s anatomy – a function that assists with the head-related transfer function (HRTF) technology incorporated in a number of virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) – OSSIC X were meant to make VR gaming even more immersive.

That’s no longer the case, check out the full OSSIC statement here. Fort the latest advancements in VR audio, keep reading VRFocus.

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