Last year’s CanJam drew one of the largest crowds of headphone enthusiasts and audio geeks to New York City for the opportunity to listen and toy with some of the world’s best-in-class cans. This year’s headphone extravaganza (CanJam NYC 2018) is highly-anticipated and is expected to be bigger and better than last year. Here’s why:
[Updated] CanJam NYC 2018 New Headphones, Exhibitors, Predictions
CanJam NYC 2018 – New Releases
Focal Listen Professional and Focal Clear Professional were available for demo at CanJam 2018. These headphones were announced in late January with many of us wondering whether these headphones got facelifts or whether the sound has been tweaked. I just got back from CanJam NYC and I asked this golden question. So, is there in fact an audible difference? Well, yes and no. The Focal Clear Professional merely has a new look and has retained the exact same sound signature. It also includes a case and a number of durable coiled cables.The Listen Professional, on the other hand, also exhibits the black and burgundy color scheme and has been fine-tuned to deliver more accurate sound with an extended bass response. I listened to them just to make sure and yeah, these headphones live up to the promises of the Focal rep.
AKG N5005 Piano Black is a newly unveiled high-resolution IEMs equipped with Bluetooth technology, sound filters, and 5 drivers. The durable, high-gloss ceramic housings holds four balanced armatures and a single dynamic driver. In addition, these buds ship with four interchangeable tuning filters: bass, reference, mid-high, and high. It ships along with three detachable cables, including a 2.5mm cable, a 3.5mm cable, and a Bluetooth cable that supports an 8-hour battery life. At $1000 retail, the N5005 replaces the K3003i.
iFi will be in attendance and they are bringing what is sure to be a popular item later this year. iFi xDSD is a portable Bluetooth unit that improves upon the design and features of Nano iDSD Black Label, iOne, and Nano iCan. In terms of design, iFi xDSD sits easily in the palm of your hand. It is lighter, flatter, and more like the shape of a cellphone making it easy to handle along with your mobile phone. It connects to your device via S/PDIF or USB and when it comes to sound users have the option of playing back their files employing the Listen or Measure Filter. Though, we advise, unless you have a device to measure playback, stick with the Listen filter. xDSD is also Xbass and 3D sound capable. The unit can be used either wireless or in wired mode. The LED dial on the top illuminates blue when wireless and green when wired. During playback the LED dial changes colors to indicate the frequency level (kind of like Chord Mojo). Expect xDSD to hit the market late Spring and retail for around $400.
MrSpeakers known for their compact planar magnetic headphones, is set to unveil a new electrostatic headphone called Mr Speakers VOCE. The headphone is comprised of machined aluminum, features 88mm diaphragms for extended low frequency output and 2.4 micron drivers optimized for stability and resolution. In terms of sound, Head-Fi reports it squares up fairly against Stax delivering an overall neutral tone. Head to CanJam for your chance to demo it and place your pre-order for the $3000 headphone.
Campfire Audio Cascade will be on exhibition. This new release from Campfire is an exciting one because this is the first over-ear headphone from the Portland, Oregon-based company. It is designed as a commuter headphone comprised of a durable aluminium and stainless steel shell and comfortable sheepskin earpads. The 42mm Beryllium drivers are said to provide “excellent high-frequency extension; cymbals sparkle and expand on a wide soundstage. Mids are clear and uncolored. The bass response is special; rich in texture and well defined. All qualities you won’t find in a typical closed back design.” This will be your chance to demo Cascade along with Polaris, Andromeda, Orion, Vega, Dorado, Lyra II, and Jupiter. WooHoo!
64 Audio tia Fourte will be on display at CanJam. This $3600 IEM is designed with three balanced armatures with exposed diaphragms and a single electromagnetic driver that makes for a full, rich, and detailed sound signature. 64 Audio is also expected to demo the universal U12t, custom a12t, and universal tia Trio.
Sennheiser HE-1 Electrostatic Headphone, as well as the new HD 660 S and HD 820 which is a closed-back addition to the open-back HD family, will be on display. P.S. opportunities to demo the HE-1 are by appointment only with limited availability on a first-come first-register basis. REGISTER HERE.
FiiO will be demoing their latest amplifier the FiiO Q5. This DAC-amp combo is Bluetooth-equipped, MFi and Hi-Res certified, and equipped to support various outs: 3.5mm coaxial, optical, line-in combo connector, and USB for computer, iPhone, and WM-PORT Sony Walkman player. It uses two of AKM’s AK4490EN DAC chips and supports up to 384kHz/32 bit sampling rates as well as native DSD up to DSD256. This powerful little number is $349.99.
Dekoni will be bringing a ton of their universal ear pads that can be used on a number of different brands so if you’re in need of some new cushions, you may want to bring your cans. You can also find the list on their website. They’ll also be demoing their new headphone the Dekoni Audio Blue which looks a lot like Fostex T50RPs and that’s because they are a special edition collaboration with Fostex. It features Dekoni’s ear pads and has been fine tuned to provide a smoother bass response.
Abyss will bring their new edition headphone the Abyss AB-1266 Phi to CanJam NYC. This headphone is is lined with black foam aluminum to retain premium sound quality, protect the driver, and still allow the music to breath.
Sonoma Acoustics Model One is an electromagnetic system that comprises of both a DAC-amp and a headphone for $5000. The system was designed to provide users with an easy and efficient set-up for electromagnetic headphones.
Audeze will be on hand to demo the Audeze iSine LX open-back planar magnetic earphones. Also, the highly sought after Audeze LCD-2C Classic will be present. This headphone is a rehash of the LCD-2. As of now, it is only available via Audeze, so if you want to try them out, CanJam NYC 2018 is your chance.
*Head over to HeadFi TV to learn more about other new headphones*
CanJam NYC 2018 – Special Discounts [Updated]
Trade shows are an amazing time to check out new products, but it’s also a great time to shop around. Many of your favorite items will see a special drop in price just for the occasion. The catch, you gotta be there! Well, at least for most of the super savings. You’ll have to make your way down to the New York Marriott Marquis. If you’re wondering what you’re in for, our inside sources let us know JBL and AKG will see major discounts. The AKG 3003i, originally listed at $999 will take a significant drop. We can’t give you numbers, but expect a discount greater than 50% off. There will also be a considerable decrease in the list price of AKG N90 Quincy Jones Limited Edition Headphones (list price of $1500) will see a markdown of about 30 plus percent. Major! In addition, JBL’s E Series will see about 10% off. Be sure to check back as these are the discounts we currently know of. We will update this article as soon as we know of more.
CanJam NYC 2018 – New Forms of Fan Interactions
A huge part of industry trade shows is the fan and potential if not already established customer experience at each booth. In the realm of headphones and audio gear this usually involves sitting at a table and sampling various headphones with various DACs, players, etc. But this year, according to an inside source, Final Audio is going to create a truly interactive fun experience for fans. First of all, the Japanese audio company is hosting a giveaway! DETAILS ON HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY ARE HERE! Simply register your email at their booth and your entered to win either F4100, F7200, or Sonorous III. Three winners will be chosen. Good luck!They’ll be exhibiting their TANE Earphone Assembly Kit. It allows users to build their own Final Audio earbud and tune it to their liking. I mean, does it get any better than that?
CanJam NYC 2018 – No Super Bowl vs. Super Sound Dilemma
CanJam won’t have to go head-to-head with one of the biggest sporting events of the year. CanJam 2017 was scheduled the same day as the Super Bowl which meant people would have to make the tough decision of leaving the comfort of their warm home or watch party with free-flowing alcohol to venture into Times Square’s Marriott Marquis to reach headphone heaven. Tough dilemma, amiright? 2018’s exhibition show will take place February 17-18. The Super Bowl is February 4. Crisis averted.
CanJam NYC 2018 – New Exhibitors
This comes as no surprise. A popular, multi-regional audio show is sure to have newcomers. It’s easy to assume that these new exhibitors would be new to the headphone market. In fact, there are some newcomers to the exhibition floor that are top-tier in the market.
DUNU is making their way to CanJam NYC 2018 for the first time. The Chinese in-ear monitor company has launched a number of different buds (both balanced armatures and dynamic drivers) with tough, polished exteriors. Their IEMs range from single driver to triple driver units and even a hybrid quad consisting of two balanced armature drivers and two dynamic drivers. I’m sure any number of these models will be available for demo during the two-day extravaganza.
Lenbrook will be making an appearance at CanJam NYC 2018. For those who may be unaware, Lenbrook is the parent company behind PSB, NAD, and Bluesound. That means it should be fair for us to expect a chance to sample the latest releases from each of these brands, such as NAD’s VISO HP70 Active Noise Cancelling Headphone or PSB’s M4U 8 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphone. Regardless, an appearance by the international audio giant is bound to have some cool perks for this audiophile trade show.
Klipsch will be making their mark at CanJam NYC 2018 for the first time. With the launch of their semi-open audiophile grade headphone Heritage HP-3 with (optional) companion amplifier, it makes sense for the reference-style maker of premium speakers to make an appearance. If you’ve been waiting to try these out, I’m assuming there is a good chance you’ll be able to do so at CanJam NYC 2018. Best of all, this headphone has an impedance of 12 ohms making it easy for you demo with your smartphone.
Hello Beyerdynamic! I’m so stoked to see their name on the list. This leads me to believe they are going to have some goodies to test. At CES 2017 (January), the German company unveiled Beyerdynamic Xelento, a pristine and pretty looking piece of ear candy worth a grand. Beyerdynamic is attending CES this year and I’m hoping for another sweet unveil at that show in Vegas which would mean there’s a good chance we will get a chance to interact with their new good in February.
Westone will also be making an appearance this year. I’m rather excited to see what they’ll have for us. If my memory serves me correctly, the Colorado-based company didn’t unveil anything new at CanJam or CES last year. They did release a revamped version of their UM1 monitor in May, but that was about it. Ooh the anticipation is almost too much!
British audio company RHA just popped up on the exhibitor list. I’ve never heard any of their high-quality and specially designed products and am dying to give some of their fine-tuned IEMs a go. Make sure to look out for them if you’re hitting the trade show.
There will also be brands you’ve never heard of, like Stereo Pravda, which was founded in 2002 by Russian audio journalist Misha Kucherenko. He actually designs the brand’s high-end IEMs himself. These look like something I definitely want to try. The slender and thin earbud housings look like they deliver sound directly to your eardrum, which means you probably don’t have to play these buds at terribly loud levels to hear the details in your music. Looking forward to this exhibitor.
*HiFiMAN is not a new exhibitor, but they’re confirmed to demo Sundara headphones during CanJam NYC 2018. This is exciting news for those who haven’t tried the smooth sounding can with a nice, wide soundstage. Read our review on Sundara here. P.S. If you’re already in the NYC area you can head over to Audio46 to try them out now.
CanJam NYC 2018 – Innovative Sponsors
The 2018 sponsor list, so far, includes Sennheiser, Meze Audio, Hi-Fi+, and Headphone Guru. Through the grapevine, we’ve also heard Audio46 will be exhibiting on behalf of Harman (JBL, AKG), Dunu, and Final Audio. This makes me excited because these guys know their stuff. If you aren’t familiar with Audio46, it is a local headphone superstore where the staff allow you to demo and buy headphones that range from simple Skullcandy buds to premium open-backs, like the new Focal Clear. Also, their stock is pretty much always up to date. Anyway, they’ll be representing these brands, showcasing their products, and best of all, offering super savings on some products. Yippee!
*We will be updating this article regularly with info on new releases, exhibitors, and more.