Be warned… Kanoa Headphones Shuts Down After One Brutal YouTube Review

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Fortune | David Z. Morris | August 27, 2017

Kanoa, a crowdfunded company promising its backers a pair of innovative wireless headphones, has announced that it will shut down without delivering products to most of them. The shutdown comes after a string of challenges, but the final nail in the coffin may have been a merciless YouTube video posted last Saturday in which a reviewer found numerous basic flaws with the product – and alleged that the company tried to bribe him for positive coverage.

Kanoa’s journey began in 2015 when it's successful crowdfunding campaign promised in-ear wireless headphones with a sharp charging case and smart features like adjustable ambient sound pass-through. According to the company’s parting message, the following year saw them encountering technical challenges and starting over from scratch.

They began to ship a few units to backers and reviewers this month, but they were apparently still not up to snuff. Technology reviewer Cody Crouch, also known as iTw4kz, received a review unit from the company, and... well, things got rough.

Crouch’s review video is like a horrific car crash — hard to watch, but impossible to turn away from. It chronicles his Sisyphean struggle to get the headphones, which were planned to retail for $300, to perform basic functions like connecting to his phone. Kanoa’s promised pass-through feature produced unlistenable feedback, and they didn’t reliably connect when Crouch had his phone in his rear pocket. The fancy charging case, stunningly, wouldn't charge the headphones while plugged in.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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