CanJam NYC 2023: Headphone Heaven

Yesterday, I took a day trip to New York City and checked out CanJam 2023, a personal audio showcase touted as the foremost audio event for headphones. CanJam is actually a series of events that take place in various cities across the world, and the one in New York City is the easiest for me to attend. The two-day event, held on February 25th and 26th, took place at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

During the visit I took the opportunity to capture and create several short videos, they are featured here.

This year's show drew audio enthusiasts far and wide to experience the latest and greatest in headphone and personal audio technology. Over the course of two days, attendees listened to and compare headphones, amplifiers, DACs and other gear from top manufacturers and boutique brands. CanJam provides a unique opportunity for consumers and manufacturers to meet in person, all while enjoying the lively atmosphere of one of the world's most iconic cities.

As befits the compact nature of headphones, the show itself is compact. It all takes place in one Ballroom. But what a packed ballroom it was, every exhibitor I talked to commented on the energy and enthusiasm, and how pleased they were with the turnout. Check out this "flythrough" video I shot while there, it gives you an idea of the layout, and also of the fun/chaotic nature of the exhibits. Please note, it's unnarrated, not a produced video but hopefully it gives a sense of the happy chaos that is this show.

The show's success did create one issue, demos of the new stuff took up a lot of time because many booths had a line to listen to the latest offerings. So I largely skipped the hands-on demos and instead talked to a few exhibitors and attendees, and listened to what other attendees (press and consumers) had to say. The goal? To gain a better grasp on the pulse of personal audio.

One of the best chats was with Andrew Lissimore, co-founder and CEO of, a headphone enthusiast's shopping site that offers a 365-day return policy, check it out:

Focal has established itself as a powerful force in headphones. The company's flagship Utopia line encompasses both headphones and speakers. At the show listeners can try the latest Utopia ($5000), which Mégane Montabonel, Product Manager at Focal-JMLab, discusses here. Also covered are the Bathys wireless full-size noise cancelling headphones ($800).

Although gaming was not well represented at this show, Audeze more than made up for the lack of quantity with quality. The new Maxwell planar-magnetic gaming headset looks and feels like a premium pair of dynamic gaming headphones but possess the sonic qualities of planars. $300 MSRP.

iFi's new iDSD Diablo X is an interesting new DAC/amp because it is pushing technological boundaries by offering support for the new xMEMS microspeaker driver type which is expected to yield high-performance IEMs. iFi intends to take the lead in supporting this technology. Here's a bit more info from iFi company representative Philip Mann.

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GraceStehr's picture

Wearing this headset while playing geometry dash bloodbath helps you experience the game extremely well. Lively sound and catchy beat.