Southern California’s first official Head-Fi meet flying under the CanJam moniker was packed with vendors from around the world and plenty of growing camaraderie around personal audio. The once fledgling hobby is now slowly carving out its own unique identity separate from the rest of the high end. While many of the comment sections and forums surrounding headphone websites may be speckled with negativity, for the most part the kids who turn up for events like this one are overwhelmingly excited and satiated with all the top end listening stations and gear conversations to be had. Championed by Head-Fi moderators Warren Chi and Ethan Opolion, the pair did an excellent job of making the event feel like a full fledged audio show. From the collective achievement inadvertently earned by corralling so many individual entities together to the prettiest show guide this reviewer has every laid eyes on, the two day event is a excellent example of how far the growing hobby has come.
It wasn’t but a few short products cycles ago that T.H.E. show hit Los Angeles with its first big hifi show in years. The headphone presence at that show consisted of a one row of tables and a single retailer. Last weekend CanJam SoCal inhabited the second floor and terrace pavilion of the South Coast Plaza Westin in Costa Mesa with authority. CanJam even employed a few more traditional listening rooms on the third floor above the interior conference spaces. Questyle as well as bluetooth speaker manufacturer Riva gave attendees a familiar taste of the big show feel with dedicated furniture-free-hotel-room exhibits.
Opening day on Saturday started with a rush and stayed vibrant for most of the day. Some of the more popular headphones initially drew lines 10 people deep but still managed to get everyone their fix of the new hot products.
There was quite a large selection of new products and prototypes adorning the hallways at the show. We will cover the most noteworthy newcomers in our upcoming coverage so stay tuned to the site for all the juicy, gossipy details.
We even ran into InnerFidelity’s Tyll Hertsens doing his thing in the Head-Fi Member Showcase. You can check out his coverage of all the fun DIY/custom stuff that members brought with them here: http://www.innerfidelity.com/category/canjam-socal-2015