I just spent the past weekend at an absolutely delightful event: CanJam SoCal 2015. For those asking themselves what a CanJam is, allow me to explain. One of the key organisations leading today’s modern high-performance headphone revolution is Head-Fi (www.head-fi.org) and they have attracted a huge, vibrant community of serious headphone/earphone enthusiasts. But to help sustain (and grow) the headphone movement, Head-Fi periodically organises and convenes regional meets and even sizable full on shows for headphone enthusiasts, the largest of which are collectively known as ‘CanJams’. In other words, if you are looking for a thrilling, thought-provoking, ear-opening ‘total immersion’ headphone/earphone experience, there’s really only one thing to do: get thee to a CanJam, soon.
The SoCal CanJam was held on March 28 -29, 2015 in the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California and it is hard to imagine a more picture-perfect setting for such an event. The event took up a significant amount of space on the second and third floors of the hotel, along with the entirety of a very large Terrace Pavilion exhibit space set up on the rooftop of the hotel’s second floor terrace. Picture this, then: balmy weather, sunny skies, palm trees swaying, tons of eye-popping headphone and earphone gear, and hundreds of big-hearted music/headphone enthusiasts swapping tips, audio war-stories, and good humour. ‘Sound like a recipe for a pretty good time? We thought so, too.
What follows is a three-part report that offers a thumbnail sketch of SoCal CanJam. Let me advise in advance that I did not get to every manufacturer exhibiting at the show, for which I apologise in advance. Honestly, I think I visited every one of the exhibitors, but in some cases the clusters of show goers at demonstration tables were so thick that I couldn’t get close enough to snap pictures or gather listening impressions. This meant, of course, that the event was very well attended; in fact, on opening morning of the show, a line of approximately 100+ attendees queued patiently, waiting to be let in!).