3D headphones start-up disappears and backers lose their money

A 3D audio headphones start-up which received thousands of backers supporting its new product has shut down, leaving almost 10,000 people without refunds. 

Ossic, which had developed ‘high-end’ headphones to deliver 3D audio in a VR environment, had raised $2.7m on Kickstarter and $3.2m on Indiegogo before announcing the news on Saturday (May 19). 

The San Diego-based company, which launched in 2014, cited the ‘slow start’ of VR as a reason why it wasn’t able to deliver the remained Ossic X headphones, saying it would need an extra $2m to do so. 

The company had previously participated in a project at Abbey Road Studios, Abbey Road Red, which focused on developing music technology in partnership with the iconic London studio. 

Staff are said to have worked for free and invested their own savings to try and prevent the company from shutting down.

TechCrunch reports a group of more than 1,200 Facebook users have now joined a page threatening a class action lawsuit against the team.

A statement on its Kickstarter page 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.”