Defending the 3D Audio Movement In The Wake Of Ossic’s Epic Failure

The 3D audio industry took a hit over the weekend when OSSIC announced that it would not be able to fulfill their orders to the tens of thousands of investors who were promised a revolutionary set of head-tracking headphones.  OSSIC raised almost $6 million between Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and they still couldn’t deliver after 2 long years.

I spoke with their staff myself at CES, and Kedar Shashidhar explained that it builds a tailored audio profile based on the size of your head, making the 3D sound more… 3D.  My ears really couldn’t tell the difference between it and any other head-tracking headphones.  I was disappointed…  Is 3D audio just not that impressive?  Or was OSSIC an inferior product?

After tens of thousands of pre-orders, 3D audio headphones startup Ossic disappears

OSSIC was poised to show the world an unparalleled realistic audio experience, being hailed as “Oculus for the ears.”  Now, people may be wondering if 3D sound nirvana is just an enticing mirage.

Is 3D audio the “laserdisc” technology of our time (amazing tech, but no one gets into it)?  But here’s an even more important question: Do we even need OSSIC headphones in order to experience stunning 3D sound? In fact, the future is much more exciting, in that a successfully Kickstarted product from a little company called Hooke Audio allows people to create their own 3D sound content and play it back with stunning realism via their wireless headphones, called Hooke Verse.

Wait…  A successful Kickstarter campaign released a quality 3D audio product?!  We at Hooke Audio ran with the $160,000 that we raised on Kickstarter, and developed our own bluetooth codec, 2 mobile apps, a marketing campaign and actually put a product into the hands of everyone who invested!

Having the world’s most expensive speakers don’t mean anything without quality content, and the Hooke Verse allows anyone to capture sound with stunning realism.  We’ve proven that 3D audio has a true tangible future.

Why is the power of content creation so important?  Let me tell you about an audio format which “Monster Cables” developed called SuperDisc.  The goal was to make a CD audio format on steroids.  Music albums released on SuperDisc were in surround-sound and were the first audio releases to be certified by THX for high quality sound.  Here’s the problem: Less than 10 music albums were ever released in that format.  No content, no joy.

Why wait for 3D audio content to be produced for us?  And why pay for it when you can make it now?!  Video may bring memories to life, but 3D sound brings true life to our videos.  Recording a memory in 3D binaural sound with the Hooke Verse and playing it back is the closest thing to re-living the past.  Hooke Audio figured it out.  With a modest budget and a handful of people, they delivered the goods.

How I Learned To Love My Backers: Survival Tips For Beyond The Kickstarter Campaign

3D audio may get a bad rep, but not by those who make it themselves!  All you OSSIC backers out there… You deserve quality 3D audio tech.  Get the Hooke Verse and put the future in your hands.  Don’t just listen to 3D sound, create it!

For a limited time, we are offering 40% off Hooke Verse to all Ossic backers. Email us with proof of backing and we’ll send you a coupon code.

What Ossic has done to all of you is not only infuriating but highly suspicious.

As a massive proponent of the 3D audio movement and some one who has dedicated his life to this mission, I don’t want one company’s terrible business tactics mislead you from the bright future that 3D audio has.


From One Ear To Another
Joe Guarini
Contributing Editor, Hooke Audio

  • Thanks for your suggestion!

    Benefits Of Using an Audio Recorder

    1. Record Audio Directly On the Device
    2. Use a Memory Card for Extra Recording Space
    3. Use the Recorder Like an MP3 Player
    4. Control How Much Memory is Used

  • Along with many others, I was very disappointed to see Ossic go down, and to lose my investment What seemed the most exciting part of the Ossic project was the head tracking function, which might have solved the problem of identifying sound approaching from directly ahead or behind. Normally we check this with our eyes or small side to side head movements. If Ossic had resolved this issue, presumably the technology is available for others to use. I wonder whether anyone from Ossic has taken this infromation to another company ?

    As regards Hooke’s Verse, I wonder whether Bluetooth carries as much audio information to the phone / recorder as a wired connection might ?

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