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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 13th April 2014
  #3001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ephi82 View Post
Great! We are actually closer in our thinking than I thought.

You aren't George Massenburg by any chance?
If I hear my thoughts correctly George Massenburg just called and requested Beethoven’s next “pop hit symphony”. He will record it for us for free if we can at least start it. He requested all 3000 replies on this thread all go out and “make some hit music” since our world depends upon it. To the old guys walking around in gold or platinum plated diapers in their kitchens, he’s letting you off the hook. At least for now until we hit 5000 replies. I’m temporarily excused I have to go work on bass, drum, keyboard and guitar tracks before the sun sets. Maybe I’ll get to vocals late next week if I stop looking at this thread. “This is the thread that never ends, it goes on and on my friends. Some people started reading it not knowing what it was, and they’ll continue reading it forever just because…” (Please repeat to infinity and beyond, buzz lightyear)
Old 13th April 2014
  #3002
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
these are hardly the people whose ears I wish to entrust the future of delivery formats to
Sure.
I was just addressing the comment that these Pono lovers had likely never heard vinyl. IMO, probably most of them have. That's all I was saying.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3003
S21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
if you have read many of my posts in the thread I am one of the "Scoffers." Nevertheless, it seems pretty clear Apple is getting on the bandwagon.

Until I hear a difference that matters to me with my eyes closed, I will be using my discretionary income to purchase more songs at "regular" quality!
:-) amen brother
Old 13th April 2014
  #3004
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In case anyone wants some material to do your own a/b/x test, I found these:

https://archive.org/details/NineInch...Slip24bit96khz

Something familiar to many of us...
Old 13th April 2014
  #3005
S21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ephi82 View Post
You seem very cavalier in dismissing my (and several other's points) that a playback system, with high quality DACs, a robust and well made analog output stage and great phones, won't sound appreciably better than an IPOD with $10 earbuds, especially if playing a recording that was done with care.
Absolutely. Good material. Decent headphones and an amp that will drive them. Eq to correct for the defects in headphone response. A better DAC.

Somewhere well after that we get to digital resolution. Until the more significant issues are resolved there is no point in touching the less significant issues.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3006
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I dont get it
Does this thing sound better than apple lossless on my iphone?
Old 13th April 2014
  #3007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel View Post
I dont get it
Does this thing sound better than apple lossless on my iphone?
I would expect it to sound better. Better like if you played apple lossless through a battery powered outboard dac & amp.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3008
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Not sure if this has been mentioned yet in the thread:
http://www.macrumors.com/2014/04/10/...sic-downloads/

How hard would it be for Apple to then upgrade a couple of 99c components in the audio DAC of their future iphone models and all but eliminate the sound quality difference between it and the Pono? Game over Pono?

Not too hard, I'd say. And that would be a good thing to come out of the Pono's existence.

Assuming that happened, we're back in the same spot, where the quality is dictated solely by the recording/mixing/mastering, the latter of which I'd suggest that generally has the most potential to upgrade sound quality in the recordings we hear.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3009
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd33 View Post
Not sure if this has been mentioned yet in the thread:
http://www.macrumors.com/2014/04/10/...sic-downloads/
.
At least twice..... But never mind.
The question is, does anyone really care, other than a minority of gadget geeks, musicians/recordists and serious music fans.
Higher sample rate music has been available on several sites for years, Beatport for example.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
At least twice..... But never mind.
The question is, does anyone really care, other than a minority of gadget geeks, musicians/recordists and serious music fans.
Higher sample rate music has been available on several sites for years, Beatport for example.
I think they do. One available album on Pono not available elsewhere and that provides a richer more emotional listening experience than CD and far greater than MP3, will hook that user to the Pono service. Having the right price on it will probably be key. Personally though I'll keep an eye on their music catalogue, if it is much better than Qobuz it is going to be challenging not to transfer from Qobuz to Pono. What will be too expensive for me is to use all three, Spotify, Qobuz and Pono. For me, if Pono becomes something good, it will likely replace my other players, streaming being the only thing that would keep me from not abandoning my Qobuz subscription. If the Pono catalogue will be at the size of Spotify at around 20 million songs, Spotify will not have any sales arguments left in my case. For example, I have a list of albums I currently own even in the physical CD format, that I really want to be able to easily consume anywhere at any time. One example being all the Heritage Singers albums that are available on Spotify in bad sound quality but not available on Qobuz.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3011
You can upload any of your CD's to any HQ player, including Pono.
I can't see Pono competing with Spotify. Spotify is free with ads? And super cheap even when paid for.
People have been told organic tastes better by all the opinion formers in the press. They've also been told processed food is impacting negatively on their health. And which is mass consumed - organic or processed food?
Old 13th April 2014
  #3012
S21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd33 View Post
Not sure if this has been mentioned yet in the thread:
http://www.macrumors.com/2014/04/10/...sic-downloads/

How hard would it be for Apple to then upgrade a couple of 99c components in the audio DAC of their future iphone models and all but eliminate the sound quality difference between it and the Pono? Game over Pono?

Not too hard, I'd say. And that would be a good thing to come out of the Pono's existence.

Assuming that happened, we're back in the same spot, where the quality is dictated solely by the recording/mixing/mastering, the latter of which I'd suggest that generally has the most potential to upgrade sound quality in the recordings we hear.
The apple DAC is fine considering the quality of the headphone amp. The headphone amp is fine considering the power constraints (people want a zillions hours of playback from a tiny battery.) Not much point improving either unless more power can be brought to the design table too.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S21 View Post
The apple DAC is fine considering the quality of the headphone amp. The headphone amp is fine considering the power constraints (people want a zillions hours of playback from a tiny battery.) Not much point improving either unless more power can be brought to the design table too.
Power constraints and size constraints. These are a huge deal for Apple. There's no way they're going to make any iPhone XBOX HUEG just to get a bump in audio quality, so Pono will have a significant advantage because they're willing to go all-out to the other extreme and have a big Toblerone of sound.

I think Bob Ohlsson could confirm this is a big deal: I'm sure I've seen him sounding off on the damage done to otherwise useful digital audio by grossly underdesigned analog stages, and the power supplies for these analog stages. He's right, that's a real weak point in consumer-facing designs. The sonic penalty isn't even something like 'more attenuated highs', it's a general lack of guts and impact and character throughout. Audio hardware built with very inadequate power supply and coupling sounds LAME and weak.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teofunk View Post
Yeah, you were totally right: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinyl_revival

US #2 vinyl 2012: Abbey Road by The Beatles
UK #2 vinyl 2012: Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie

I suppose I've to stop living in the past and jump on this vinyl craze while I still can.
you know it's mostly fourteen year olds that buy these albums, they appreciate real music when they hear it, they don't care if its old as long as it is still fresh.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3015
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filter ringing is a pain, any high end converter designer will have some secret sauce recipe to deal with the problem, pre echo obviously, but post as well. at it's core it remains linked to the data output through decimation. human hearing manhandles some of these quaint principles upon which pcm rests. may it someday rip.

and still nobody has discussed clocking? another subject worthy of at least fifty more pages.............

out
Old 13th April 2014
  #3016
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I dont know
I use airplay with my iphone and the airport express goes digitally to a pretty nice dac (hilo) when at the studio.

When on the bus on cans i can hear the difference to mp3s and my apple lossless collection. Im totally fine with having everything in one device thats no as clumsy ad a toblerone.

Im sure apple will catch up more sooner than later.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3017
S21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Power constraints and size constraints. These are a huge deal for Apple. There's no way they're going to make any iPhone XBOX HUEG just to get a bump in audio quality, so Pono will have a significant advantage because they're willing to go all-out to the other extreme and have a big Toblerone of sound.

I think Bob Ohlsson could confirm this is a big deal: I'm sure I've seen him sounding off on the damage done to otherwise useful digital audio by grossly underdesigned analog stages, and the power supplies for these analog stages. He's right, that's a real weak point in consumer-facing designs. The sonic penalty isn't even something like 'more attenuated highs', it's a general lack of guts and impact and character throughout. Audio hardware built with very inadequate power supply and coupling sounds LAME and weak.
I use an ipad mini as a player to get access to a parametric eq. A rackmounted DAC and headphone amp in a roadcase plugged into the mains. Headphones that cost more than any other component. Sounds fabulous but at 15kg not very practical on the bus eh? :-)

For a while I carried an ipod touch then an ipod nano with a battery powered headphone amp taped to the back of it. Slightly more practical but still a kludge. FWIW, the nano sounded better than the touch.

Maybe I'm in the pono market segment! :-)
Old 13th April 2014
  #3018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Toblerone of sound.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3019
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Perhaps they made Pono the shape of a Toblerone because it's some really good Chocolate.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
vinyl has a very distinct sound, though. And it has all kinds of noise and artifacts of a specific type not present in any digital, much less high resolution digital

the syllogism seems to be:
"I like vinyl"
"I like this"
"Therefore this sounds like vinyl"


these are hardly the people whose ears I wish to entrust the future of delivery formats to

I said it before, I think a big chunk of this "sounds like vinyl" ridiculousness is just a face-saving way to cave in to digital and skip the HASSLE of vinyl.
Yeah, exactly..

And whatever chrisso says, I find it extremely suspicious that all those young PONO listeners compared it to vinyl.

I find anybody who finds vinyl to be the peak of hi-fi suspicious as well.

----

Chrisso: How am I "twisting the thruth" if I just copy-paste the #2 UK and #2 US records from Wikipedia? I just find it funny that Beatles and David Bowie are on top 3 in 2012..
Old 13th April 2014
  #3021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teofunk View Post
I find it extremely suspicious that all those young PONO listeners compared it to vinyl.

I find anybody who finds vinyl to be the peak of hi-fi suspicious as well.

----
Agreed. Trust me, I really enjoy the sound of vinyl but it's just a different sound all together. I would say a lot of new records that are basically 100% digital and then end up on vinyl sound very similar to digital music but that just shows you can't inject analog into a digital work at the end and have it sound much different.
Old 13th April 2014
  #3022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teofunk View Post

I find anybody who finds vinyl to be the peak of hi-fi suspicious as well.

Suspicious?
Old 14th April 2014
  #3023
Gear Nut
 

Have NOT read this thread, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
I have to ask, if 44.1 is no better or worse than 192, and it's a scientific fact, why does any audio equipment manufacturer make equipment that goes over 44.1, whether it's to record or playback audio?
...isn't it because even though you can't hear frequencies above like 22kHz, there nevertheless are sounds above 22kHz, and if your gear can hear that (even if you can't) and your sample rate is only 44kHz then those high sounds will cause aliasing below 22kHz and degrade what you do hear? This is why anti-aliasing filters are used, but they're not perfect. I think.
Old 14th April 2014
  #3024
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I find it very odd so many people are adamant that they came up with a digital audio recording scheme in the late 1970's that throughout the rest of time will have no possibility of being improved on. Weird.
Old 14th April 2014
  #3025
People are saying some really strange things in here!
Old 14th April 2014
  #3026
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
I find it very odd so many people are adamant that they came up with a digital audio recording scheme in the late 1970's that throughout the rest of time will have no possibility of being improved on. Weird.
Who said that?!?

Nobody from my memory.

There have been lots of improvements along the way. Over sampling for example.
Old 14th April 2014
  #3027
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Headsets which measure brainwaves will easily reveal how Pono affects its users.

http://www.necomimi.com
Old 14th April 2014
  #3028
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I'm satisfied with high MP3 bitrate quality music. It's convenient, portable, quick to transfer etc., plus it sounds pretty hi-fi to me, especially compared to my old cassette tapes. No complaints here.

The quest for better quality is fine, but it's not something that concerns me much. I'm pretty happy with a good $15 meal for example, I don't need the $100 a plate experience. In fact sometimes a $3.50 box of cereal and milk hits the spot more than anything else. The other thing is that I don't necessarily dislike lower quality audio. Pops and scratches on vinyl can be nice, tape hiss and wow abnormalities can add a certain ambient experience, low bitrate MP3's in small doses can be interesting. The whole audio purity pursuit is kind of like trying to go 0-60 in under 2.5 seconds. Sure it's a rush to go that fast, but I've already got all I need with my 0-60 in 8 seconds commuter car. Once in a great while it's even fun to take a ride on the old horse and buggy.

So YAY! for Pono, but I'm already happy with what I have. Now the LOUDNESS wars on the other hand, well.... I hope Bob Katz is right and the war is over. That's the real revolution I'm waiting for.
Old 14th April 2014
  #3029
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
Who said that?!?

Nobody from my memory.

There have been lots of improvements along the way. Over sampling for example.
I'm talking about 44.1/16
Old 14th April 2014
  #3030
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
I'm talking about 44.1/16
Well, an improvement means something that makes an audible difference. We would all love that... right?

44/16 comes from sound understanding of how humans hear sound, so unless we grow new hearing appendages or we discover some new sciences about how we perceive higher frequencies another way...
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