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OSSIC X is the world's first headphone that instantly calibrates to your anatomy for the most accurate and immersive 3D audio.
OSSIC X is the world's first headphone that instantly calibrates to your anatomy for the most accurate and immersive 3D audio.
OSSIC X is the world's first headphone that instantly calibrates to your anatomy for the most accurate and immersive 3D audio.
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10,263 backers pledged $2,708,472 to help bring this project to life.

A Very Sad Goodbye.

44 likes

Hello Backers,

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 great 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.

Sincerely,

- OSSIC Team

--------- 

More information: 

What was accomplished on the project and how were the crowdfunding funds used?

After spending over 2 years working on the Research and Development of the OSSIC X we were able to complete the development of the hardware and initial versions of the software. 

The headphone went through 5 proof-of-concept level builds, 4 engineering/factory builds, and 1 pilot production build—where we completed 250 units and delivered the first ones to those backers on Kickstarter who pledged for the innovator edition reward.

It took, at times, 20 people with expertise in software, electrical, firmware, mechanical, acoustical, signal processing, and sound engineering, as well as UI/UX, industrial design, and program management to develop and ship those units.

The crowdfunding money we received played a huge role in allowing us to get as far and accomplish as much we did – funding half of the R&D and production costs needed to bring the product to life.

Why was this so expensive to develop?

Inventing something new while also developing complex hardware is expensive. The addition of stretch-goals to add mobile support increased the software scope from two operating systems to five, added an incredibly powerful 32-core processor onboard the headphones for processing, and required us to enter into substantial business development with mobile manufacturers to support multi-channel connectivity. It ultimately doubled the size of our development. 

The unknowns that come from grounds-up development with so many new features ultimately stacked up to create delays and cost overruns.

What made this project so exciting, and ultimately ended up being its Achilles heel, was the complexity and scope. This project was complex because it had 3 large categories of development, all with new and unique elements: 1.) Hardware, 2.) Software, and 3.) Audio Ecosystem.

Hardware new/unique/different features: A typical headphone would only have 2 playback transducers, but the X has 8 playback transducers, 6 microphones, and multiple sensors. In addition to the complexity of more elements, head-tracking was a new feature, yet the trackers on the market were too slow. Thus we needed to upgrade mid-stream to achieve smooth tracking.

The software was complex because it required new algorithms to dynamically incorporate sensor information and beamform across the playback transducers. Additionally, with the stretch goals, we needed to support 5 different platforms: embedded-DSP, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android for both UI and custom signal processing. A typical headphone has no software at all. The initial headphone units successfully incorporated custom algorithms and played back over Windows, macOS, and 3.5mm platforms. The iOS and Android app were created and were were on track to be finalized after working through the UI/UX with Beta backers on Windows and macOS.

Additionally, the audio ecosystem itself is complex as 3D audio continues to rapidly changing/developing. VR, gaming, film, and music workflows are different, with tools and formats varying across sectors, and VR/AR workflows were still being defined as we developed. 3D audio information is present in much of the media, but remained inaccessible to the user. Our goal was to ensure compatibility with as many devices as possible, and to give the best experience required ecosystem development and exploration of developer tools. To that end, developer tools including a VST plugin and FMOD Plugin were created, and released in beta to select developers.

How have other companies crowdfunding complex hardware projects succeeded? 

Most crowdfunded companies working on similar complex hardware such as Oculus, and Doppler labs have raised >$10 Million in other investment before delivering on their projects. 

As another reference, Creative labs claims to have spent over $100M working on 3D audio. http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/creative-brings-3d-sound-to-headphones-after-us100m-rd

Why can’t you ship the remaining units?

We were not able to secure additional funding, and are out of money. It would take more than 2 million additional dollars to complete mass production of the remaining backlog.

What about other investment?

OSSIC raised substantial Seed Investment from sources other than crowdfunding. Crowdfunding represented about half of total funding.

Initial investment traction was strong, but the slower than expected adoption of VR and the failure of several high-profile crowdfunded hardware companies made it challenging for us to raise subsequent financing.

We explored over 150 investor partnerships in total. While we had some we thought were going to come together, ultimately they did not materialize.

What about StartEngine?

In February of this year, OSSIC launched a crowdfunded equity campaign on the StartEngine platform, hoping it could raise the initial funds to start mass production, and be a catalyst for broader investment. While we secured $130k in commitments, it was not enough interest for us to be able to move forward into production and so we ended the campaign without taking the funds.

What about OSSIC the company?

The company is shutting down effective immediately. We have a very dedicated team up folks who have remained for the last 6 months, working for free, doing anything they could to try and make the company succeed. Through their efforts we were at least able to ship the innovator units.

Can’t someone else build the product?

We engaged with many larger companies who had interest in our technology, but ultimately none of them had both the appetite and ability to make the required investment to bring the product to market.

Ricken Eriksen, bhagvan, and 42 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Dario D'Aversa on

      While I'm very frustrated by the news that you're shutting down, having lost more than 350 CAD $, I would have to say I'm not surprised -- in fact, my regret is not having asked for a refund months ago when I saw you guys were a joke.

      1. You made it look like you were in prototype stage the entire campaign, having "ugly but working" prototypes, videos where you show people & they're acting like they're blown away, yet you claim all your money got dry on R&D. How can you burn ALL that money on R&D if you kept showing us a product that was almost done?!

      2. I knew you were wasting money when you kept showing yourselves going to trade shows, events, etc. You're still in R&D yet you're wasting all kinds of capital "showing off" something that doesn't exist. You just went out there to have a good time with people's money.

      3. Simply put, the lack of updates. It was so obvious you guys had NOTHING good to share with us since you got the money, that I had a feeling you were probably smoking it all away.

      4. Instead of letting people know of your hardships, you just go silent and all of a sudden announce you're shutting down. Cute story about how you've been working without salaries, but I'm not buying it. If you were passionate about your project, you would have reached out. But instead you were quiet until it died. Proves you never cared.

      Oh, well. It is what it is ... once again I get F***ED over by Kickstarter. I'm pretty much done with this site. I understand the risk, but there's just too many lies. This product looked almost completed even during the funding period, and then we're told months/years later that "R&D is expensive". What a bunch of thieves.

    2. Christopher Summers on

      Shit happens, we get that.

      But your communication sucked. You led people on thinking this was still on track, but in reality you were shutting down.

      Look, I get this sort of thing does happen. But lying to your investors doesn’t only affect us, it’ll affect every other company who tries to crowd fund their projects as well.

      You do owe all of us our money, or at least a portion of it. You owe us for the shipping cost you collected as well.

      And Kickstarter owes us to makes sure you lot never get a chance to use this platform for fundraising ever again.

    3. Missing avatar

      Alex Lamoury on

      @ Dave Rogers everything you just said!! When they asked for extra investment, before anything had been delivered, anywhere.....I thought of my Nigerian uncle to whom I owe £10k to cover his sunshiney persona... He’s quite persuasive... 😤

    4. Grant Bullock
      Superbacker
      on

      This is truly disappointing, another Kickstarter campaign shuts down and all the backers are left with a product and their money. I understand things don't go always as planned, but to lead individuals who supported your campaign on while knowing you can't provide a product and don't plan on returning their money is not only criminal, but a waist of our time. I plan file a claim against this campaign and I urge fellow backers to do the same.

    5. Missing avatar

      Marc Diaz on

      Complete and utter BULLSHIT !
      This WILL be my LAST.
      i will not Deal with product not being delivered, Kickstarter should be ashamed at themselves for not protecting Backers from these shady companies..
      I AM DONE !
      Thanks for nothing Kickstarter !

    6. Matthew Ben-Shabat on

      I waited 2 years and was told I would get these headphones. I want my money back now!!!

    7. Ualaa on

      This is actually my first Kickstarter to not deliver, out of a dozen across Kickstarter and Indigogo.

      Unfortunately, neither is a store, but rather an investment into a potential product and at a discount to what it eventually retails for. Not everything on KS/I actually delivers, which is a shame as Ossic looked to be special.

      Thanks for the potential product. Shitty that it ultimately wasn’t possible to produce.

    8. Missing avatar

      LEVI ANTHONY on

      Thank you for all the misleading information up to this point. Thank you for underestimating the scale of the project you decided to take on. Thank you for fooling us and blowing our hard-earned money. Thank you for yet another disappointment in my life. Par for the course, I suppose. A lesson I can never seem to learn is that I shouldn't ever get excited for anything because I will only be let down by morons like you all.

    9. Vinicius Dallacqua on

      Well, as all of the others....it's time to pay back.

    10. Joseph James Pentz on

      Filed complaint with Kickstarter and as many others said - a class action lawsuit may be the next steps. $269.00 down the drain.

    11. Missing avatar

      Alex Lamoury on

      Poor show OSSIC. You’re open already!! So disappointed. Almost gutted. 😤

    12. Dave Rogers on

      If this wasn't a scam from the get-go, I hope you guys feel bad about all those Abbey Road sessions, trade shows appearances, etc. which all adds up to a great deal of money when apparently your runway is so low given how the technology you had developed to that point was so immature not ONE technology company will partner or take over the project. And that has nothing to do with Kickstarter hardware projects failing in the past, you have to think we're all a bunch of idiots to believe that line; you get funding based on the viability of and consumer market for your product and clearly there's a market here (just look at all us suckers you bilked), you guys instead just spent the money making videos showing people "blown away" at something that apparently never existed and paying for studio time at some famous studio and lodging for 1/3rd of the team half a world away (many times) when the product you were working on was apparently not even close to production as you made out all along. If you were honest in the beginning nobody would've taken that gamble. This isn't an angel investment program where a risky project fails but ultimately is a write off for investors and they can invest in the next project; you ripped off actual people who didn't have the ability to vet your finances, your team, your production plan, or even test your product for themselves before investing. We took your word that it was ready for production. You lied.

      Ultimately you're not just ripping all of us off, you're ripping off all the people who have REAL products they can produce via the Kickstarter platform but won't get the funding because people like you scammed the community for millions with false promises and outright lies. Kickstarter needs to add each of your team members to a black list or at least be upfront with any future projects they may be a part of so the community has more transparency with potential scam artists. They also need to hold funding on anything that reaches $1m until the company can show them a viable product, in hand, not just made up marketing materials. Until then, no doubt many of us will never return.

    13. Adam Kinniburgh on

      $2,000,000 to complete production
      OR
      $2,708,472 in refunds via an ugly lawsuit

      I know what my preference would be!

    14. John Capaul on

      I'd better get my money back. Years of promises and updates without any indication that things were headed down this road? Nope, that doesn't fly. You lied, plain and simple. Refund, NOW.

    15. Missing avatar

      Alex Lamoury on

      This is not over. We will find these folks. It’s clear now that they are scammers. I know a guy who knows a guy... TBC... 😤

    16. Danyel Bernadiner
      Superbacker
      on

      I can understand that being a new startup things can go out of control, BUT it doesn't mean that you shouldn't be honest with your backers. I mean you knew that you are on the way to bankruptcy and you should tell us about that months ago. Bye 300$. Ang know the world is round, thats not the way you should do business. Trust me carma will find each one of you someday. Bye and not goodbye.

    17. Missing avatar

      Joe Meucci on

      At an absolute minimum, shouldn’t the shipping cost for the pledge be refunded? Based on how the payment structure was set up, shipping was not free, and separate from the pledge amount...

    18. Missing avatar

      Karl on

      Kickstart delete!

    19. Missing avatar

      Alex Lamoury on

      You did produce some dev. units?! I saw that you claimed to have done so. Or is that a lie also?! Has this all been a ruse/lie/con?! Disappointed!? FFS. I’m fucked right off b/c my pal said you would do exactly this!! To the word. How many folks invested while you were already boxing up/knew?! Shame on you guys. Poor fucking show. I have your names.

    20. Alex Lincoln on

      Such an absolute disappointment. You have been stringing us along for 2 years, at any time you could have been open and upfront with financial difficulties in delivering the 'promised' product. You know you saw this coming early enough in development, that moves could have been made otherwise to still deliver something, even if it wasn't the full package. Either that, or you planned to scam from the beginning. The fact that you are linking how much Creative Labs and other companies invested into this type of tech is a poor excuse. This only goes to show you had unrealistic expectations in cost for your product or had terrible business practice in a fantasy scenario that you could deliver on, which you failed to do. No product deliver for anyone, no refund, no honest updates, and way past original promised deadlines.....YOU are a major contributer to people losing faith in independent companies and their attempt to create something new and innovative. Just remember, regardless of what hardships you went through, in the end, you have nothing to show for it, as you didn't deliver on any of your promises or updates. YOU are a reason people will not invest their own money into a future endeavor, because without securities in place, A company like yours with so much hype and promise, can still dupe us and run with it all.

    21. Lars on

      Oh *fuuuuuck* you.

      Fuck you.

    22. Luis García on

      Not surprised. If someone still had some hope, now it's time to accept we threw away our money

    23. Missing avatar

      Brent on

      Thieves and scumbags

    24. ellisa cameron on

      This is wrong and so disappointing on all levels. You took the money, and for YEARS have led us all to believe this was a viable project. We paid for your miscalculations, not for a product that could not be built. Reparations are supposed to made, exhausting all possible solutions to repay backers, I see nothing. Zero attempts by you. Do you feel any accountability? I'd hope you could at least sell off the remaining units or parts and offer some sort of restitution to all of us. And yeah,,,,I'd like to see people using the units you shipped.

    25. Raul ST on

      Motherfucking motherfuckers! You stole our money and you motherfuckers changed the date everytime and we still trusted you and now you tell you’re out of money motherfuckers I hope you die in hell and you will never be forgiven. I being a student am a jobless person and I still bought it but you motherfuckers cheated on us. What a slump of motherfuckers you all are. I hope god will punish you for the troubles you caused to the backers, fuck you scammers. Motherfuckers word cant describe how pissed off the backers are. Only if we could sue you motherfuckers. Promises after promises and yet nothing. Fuck you

    26. Missing avatar

      Joshua Nova on

      Bye-bye $240 and years of anticipation! Big hit on a teacher’s budget.

    27. Missing avatar

      Muzzammil on

      Should've asked for a refund last year. You may want to shut down the pre order your ossic X now link.

    28. Missing avatar

      Daniel on

      Terribly managed finances, poor spending in marketing best form of marketing would have been releasing a product for back to spread word of mouth. Honestly if we, the backers would invest more just to get the expected units, I wouldn't trust ossic management to spend it wisely. Long live audeze.

    29. Cody Lay on

      What about one last hoorah on shark tank? I know many seem to be responding with extreme negativity but I hope this doesn’t represent the average investor.

    30. Matthew van Andel on

      Yeah, I’m pissed, because this came out of nowhere. I was slightly concerned that we hadn’t got an update since later February, but with beta units in peoples hands and all the positive press and glowing updates this is completely out of left field. What about our investments? $300 is no small chunk of change and now the money is gone AND we don’t get any units - not even betas? And no hint that things were so dire?

    31. Simon Walters on

      Glib marketing speel yet again. Lies and excuses. Last Kickstarter I'll ever back.

    32. Missing avatar

      Brian on

      Makes me a bit more glad I bought a pair of Sennheiser 650's and a Schiit Stack to drive them while waiting on this project... Was looking forward to the 3d tracking audio though...

    33. Radley Young on

      I BETTER BE GETTING MY FUCKING MONEY BACK

    34. David Morgan on

      I've seen a number of smaller Kickstarters that actually delivered on their promises, and were more honest and upfront with their customers. Getting a message like this so far down the line with no advance warning is a farce. Not to mention, you've left out entirely the matter of refunds. With so many people clearly asking for them and for good reason, it's clear that you are deliberately avoiding the issue, to not even address it. I, too, want a refund, because this company (or former company) is clearly dishonest, deceitful, and malicious.

    35. Missing avatar

      LP on

      This is going to be a really tough pill to swallow for many people. But, it will hopefully be a realization on exactly what KS is: a form of investing where you don’t actually get any ROI.

      The real problem here was the total fabrication of communication. You don’t just suddenly go bankrupt. You try to secure other financing for months. You’ve known this for a long time, but failed to say a word. That is the real crime here.

      To all the people who want to sue/class action, spare me. Even if you sue them and win, what money do you expect to get? They are broke!

    36. Craig Steele on

      Total fucking horse shit you guys. I am able to handle the loss of my 200 bucks but seriously.

    37. Missing avatar

      Gregg Wilkins on

      As other people have already commented on, this is really unacceptable. Updates on how things are going so well and expected ship dates and then this bullxit! I have totally lost faith in Kickstarter and I'm feeling like all the backers money of this project went into the development of a product that the company can now sell to someone else and make even more money. I really felt we had an honest team and the Abbey Road Studio supposed support was even more exciting...so much for that. Why was there no mention of the financial issues when all the other PR was so smiley face? I really hope the Karma of this falls back on OSSIC in accordance with their actions!

    38. Missing avatar

      Jeremy Wadsworth on

      OSSIC, can you please open source everything?

    39. Missing avatar

      Kushal Patel on

      So if they haven't fulfilled the obligation to the backers, can we get a refund from Kickstarter? Clearly they violated the rules/terms of use of Kick Starter

    40. Tony Baker on

      $2.7MM wow that’s a lot of dough you guys blew through. Smells like a lot of BS and mismanagement. Takes a lot of effort to blow that kind of wad!

    41. Moshe Bixenshpaner on

      Guys, I've created a Facebook group called OSSIC X Class Action Lawsuit.
      Feel free to join and we'll negotiate the terms with the OSSIC X guys together as a large group with an actual lawsuit on the table.

    42. Missing avatar

      keerthi chandan jillepally on

      No more, Done with this kickstarter and indegogo. These campaigns are just to cheat us. People doesn't live for their words.

    43. Missing avatar

      Mark blades on

      Well that’s me and #kickstarter finished too...ripped off....sucks

    44. Adam Kinniburgh on

      I'm strangely unsurprised by this, and much harder times ahead for OSSIC as the terms they entered into with us backers by using Kickstarter gave them a clear legal obligation to deliver the project or refund the investment, as is the case with all projects.

    45. Missing avatar

      Joel Monteiro on

      I don’t believe in it for a single second. Why making so many promises about the delivery to reach to this point? Why not being honest in January (where you all knew the fate of these headphones and the company) and admitting the real financial troubles?

      Perhaps you (all members involved in the project) could be more humble and get a lower salary pay with the priority to have this project delivered instead of getting our money in our large pockets to simply say: sorry, we can’t deliver you what we promise.

      I consider all of this a scam. I don’t believe there were units delivered (if there was... probably to their friends and family members?).

      I’m a rookie with Kickstarter. This was my first one because I truly believed on this project, to just find out that I was truly wrong.

      Disappointed is not enough to express my feelings right now. I am really annoyed with 2 years of lies. I can only think how I would spend that money in something real and way more useful!

      Disappointed.
      Bye bye future kickstart projects!

    46. Missing avatar

      plouf98 on

      Fucking bastards, you took all the money, paid your wages and bonuses and now you are coming telling us that we will get nothing....really fucking bastards... Your names will be reminded as fucking losers...

    47. Demithyle the Exalted on

      Calling bullshit here chaps - if you knew how expensive it was to develop new technology, why did you set the funding goal so low? You knew from the start your promises were undeliverable without so little money yet you took it anyway.
      Prepare to get your asses sued off because people won't let this one go.
      Want to save your face? Forfeit your promisory notes and start issuing refunds.

    48. Billy Hoe on

      These fucking cunts!