CanJam SoCal 2019 – What To Expect

One thing the headphone community has always done well is meets. From manufacturers who generously bring gear and fund the larger affairs, to show organizers and most importantly, the attendees, every meet I’ve been to has been friendly, fun and informative.

While online debate can get heated, I’ve always found the in-person meets quite lovely.

As I travel to Canjam Socal 2019 though, the informative part really sticks out to me. I hope it doesn’t seem too self-important, but the headphone community, in terms of technical and sonic understanding and engagement of DACs and equipment, headphones and accessories does a pretty decent job for an audio community.

While the two-channel old guard are grappling with issues of stagnancy and a fast moving digital world, the headphone community is still riding the tails of an explosive, exciting birth and legitimization.

Head-fi has been a huge part of making that online and in-person community happen. We’d be in a very different place without head-fi meets, CanJams and the various forums.

Again, while two channel shows go through uncertain transformations, I anticipate this year’s Canjam will be its usual excellent self. As we move forward into the next decade, the CanJams of the past few years may be somewhat overshadowed by the informal, friendly DIY attitude that permeated early meets, but I find myself just as excited to see how and where the industry is moving now that its grown up a bit, DIY folks have become full fledged companies and storied older companies have joined the market.

These are exciting times, and I hope the community retains the personable feel, dedicated organizers and good manufacturer relationships that have helped build CanJams, tour programs and head-fi blogs into such an engaging community.

Irvine Marriott, Orange County, California – home to CanJam SoCal 2019.

Speaking of dedicated organizers, I’m immensely grateful to Jude and the crew at Head-Fi for putting together these shows, and would urge you to check out the Head-Fi TV episode Head-Fi TV episode to see what’s new at this Canjam - there are some very cool announcements, many of which I’ll be covering for you all in the next few days of show reports.

Of particular note is the talk on Saturday from 4 p.m. -5 p.m. entitled “The Convergence of Two Channel and Personal Audio” which will have a panel consisting of Rob Watts of Chord Electronics, EveAnna Manley of Manley Laboratories, Andy Regan of MrSpeakers, Jason Stoddard of Schiit Audio, Robert Greene of The Absolute Sound, and Jason Lord of The Source AV. These are some seriously heavy-hitters in the technical know-how and personality department so I look forward to dropping into that panel.

Also on Saturday from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Dr. Sean Olive will be talking about his seven-year project to describe a target frequency response curve for headphones. If you haven’t been to this talk, it’s always fantastic and informative, and if you have, Dr. Olive almost always has some update or new insight into the topic of listener profiles.

There’s plenty more I could say, but its best just to watch the Head-Fi TV preview and to keep your eyes on this space in the next few days for the forthcoming show coverage!