While plenty of headphones offer surround sound, they don’t really emulate 3D space around you. For example, as soon as you move your head, the sound moves with you, instead of staying relative as it would in an actual space.
The Ossic X claim to be the world’s first true 3D headphones, capable of recreating sound the same way you hear it in the real world. If the reaction to the Kickstarter campaign is any indication, plenty of people are very excited about what this could mean for the future of audio.
Ossic says that 3D sound isn’t as simple as using a multi-driver array — like the eight drivers used in the Ossic X — you need to take relative space and even the shape of the listener’s ears into account. The Ossic X automatically calibrate themselves to your head and torso as soon as you put them on, enabling more accurate sound placement.
The real difference comes when you move your head. Instead of the sound moving with you, as with most headphones, the sound stays put — turn your head to hear something behind you, and suddenly it’s coming from in front of your face, at least as far as your ears are concerned.
This positional sound makes the Ossic X a great fit for a few key areas. This can make for an excellent music experience, as if you sitting in the middle while the band plays around you, but can also make the headphones a drop-in replacement for a home theater system when you’re watching a movie. Ossic also says this positional audio is a huge step forward for gamers, especially when hearing when someone is behind you or in front of you is the (virtual) difference between life and death.
If that sounds exciting to you, you’re not alone. Ossic launched the campaign for the Ossic X on Tuesday, and met its $100,000 funding goal in just over two hours. At the time of this writing, the campaign has raised nearly $500,000 in funding, and that’s with 55 days left in the campaign.
The Ossic X will eventually retail for $400, but by backing the Kickstarter, backers can pick them up at a much lower price. The Kickstarter Special lets you grab a pair for $250, but a limited edition early bird special is still available, knocking the price down to $220. If you want to throw down $1,000, the Exclusive Innovator/Developer package is available, offering an early, hand-built Ossic X development kit with beta software in August 2016, as well as one of the earliest production models in November 2016.
The campaign comes to an end on April 21, giving potential backers plenty of time to hop on board, but those early bird specials likely won’t last for long. If the Ossic X sound like something you want to be a part of, you can find out more via the campaign page on Kickstarter.