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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 3rd May 2014
  #4591
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
...They have "simplified" their promotional material to say that each doubling of the sample rate gives an even greater improvement in sound...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Where do they say that? I'd appreciate a link. Thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Where does the picture support your claim? I don't see it.
Old 3rd May 2014
  #4592
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post
Why don't you ask one?
(I'm sure you don't think your son is "just average"...)
This is true.
Old 3rd May 2014
  #4593
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakewalk View Post
Lol, I'm actually on the side of let's wait and see what it sounds like. I was just curious as to what the average 16 year old thinks.
Ok, sorry this thread is making me crazy.
Old 3rd May 2014
  #4594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Where does the picture support your claim? I don't see it.
Where does the graphic come fro?. I see people unconnected to Pono tweeting it. I can't find it in anything connected to Pono (yet).
Regarding actual promotion and promises, this is what the Pono site says:

Quote:
It’s simple yet profound. The Pono promise is to offer you the highest quality digital music albums or songs in the world – at PonoMusic.com. This is the start, the source, of a listening experience unlike any other – powerful, emotional, satisfying. And, we’ve built a portable music player unlike any other in the world to enjoy this music wherever it takes you. But PonoMusic is more than just a high-resolution music store and music player. Pono is a grassroots movement whose mission is to bring back the soul of music, which has been left behind in the evolution of convenience. PonoMusic captures all the feeling, spirit, and emotion that the artists put in their original studio recordings.

To make this possible we’ve created an entirely new end-to-end experience, and an “ecosystem” to allow you to effortlessly manage this new world of music quality. We’ve sourced the studio master quality (digital) recordings – and we have also designed the portable PonoPlayer with a “no compromises” approach to bring that original recording back to life. Close your eyes and it feels like the music is being performed live. Right in front of you. You hear the nuances, the soft touches, the ends on the echo, the air in the ambiance, and the full texture. It’s only right that if your favorite artist makes that available, then you should hear what was created in the studio, exactly.
And…

Quote:
We want to be very clear that PonoMusic is not a new audio file format or standard. It is an end-to-end ecosystem for music lovers to get access to and enjoy their favorite music in the highest resolution possible for that song or album. The music in the PonoMusic.com store is sold and downloaded in industry standard audio file formats.
The PonoMusic Store uses FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) audio format as its standard, for compatibility, although the PonoPlayer can play most popular high-resolution music formats from other sources. PonoMusic has a quality spectrum, ranging from really good to really great, depending on the quality of the available master recordings:

• CD lossless quality recordings: 1411 kbps (44.1 kHz/16 bit) FLAC files
• High-resolution recordings: 2304 kbps (48 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files
• Higher-resolution recordings: 4608 kbps (96 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files
• Ultra-high resolution recordings: 9216 kbps (192 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files
You'll note they say CD lossless is really good and 192khz is really great. Good and great are loose, subjective descriptions of course, but they also don't mention 384khz.
And 'really good' CD quality would contradict the graphic which has CD well 'under water'.
Old 3rd May 2014
  #4595
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So in essence there are

- the 1 % of audiophiles out there who can't really hear the difference between a 320kps and a CD recording.
- the 99% of consumers who just do not realize why this discussion even started because they want an emotionally satisfying product.
- the famous musicians from the past who'd like to fill up their rent by selling the whole back catalogue again ...and again ....this time in the Pono format.

?
Old 4th May 2014
  #4596
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Where does the graphic come fro?. I see people unconnected to Pono tweeting it..
It is FROM THE VIDEO

and in the video Neil Young himself narrates this analogy

96k HE SAYS is "still underwater" and 192 you are "finally coming up for air". The Pono people are unambiguous on this point. 96k is still "compromising" audio quality and not until you get to 192 are you even breathing air.

there are frequent mentions of the underwater listening analogy throughout the video and throughout the Pono promotional material. To miss this point, or pretend this does not mean what they obviously intend it to mean is to be "closed minded" - only in favor of Pono's tactics. IMO, the tactics are unacceptable unless they can PROVE these differences are audible. Because other people studies have show they are NOT audible.

the testimonials too, seem to be framing their responses in much the same manner. Going from 192 "all the way back down" to CD is like "whoa!" Not back down to mp3, mind you, back down to CD. etc etc. .. I strongly suspect many of them were 'coached' on Pono's metaphor of the relative efficacy of each sample rate doubling.
Old 4th May 2014
  #4597
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone
Where does the picture support your claim? I don't see it.
the diagram makes it clear that when you get to 384kHz you are FLYING ON ANGEL'S WINGS. And if you had watched the video...

Now I know you don't want to 'lose' your argument, so you can pretend that this is a linear progression, you can pretend you don't understand where this diagram is leading the reader, but any neutral person would say splashing around on the surface of the water is farther away from FLYING ON ANGEL'S WINGS than splashing around on the surface of the water is from snorkeling a few feet below the surface.

In any case, the true progression of increased sample rates is the opposite. In real life, the audible differences shrink to insignificance as you double and redouble. You are welcome to prove everyone wrong whenever you have time for a public blind test of your 'abilities'.

I am not watching that damn video ever again. If you wish to stick your fingers in your ears and sing "LA LA LA" there really is nothing more that I can do about it. I am quite content in the knowledge that I have answered your "challenge" .
Old 4th May 2014
  #4598
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Where does the graphic come fro?. I see people unconnected to Pono tweeting it. I can't find it in anything connected to Pono (yet).
The picture is used in the Pono Kickstarter video; I've got a different take on what the 'infographic' says...the ratio between the format and water depth is: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; 192K at 'sea level' which is a rough ratio of 1000:200:20:1. From that perspective the 'infographic' is saying that the biggest quality improvement is between mp3 and CD...the improvement from CD up is diminishing. That's not such a bold claim. It's suggesting subtle diffferences between 96K from 192K, more between 192K and CD; and a big difference from mp3.
I appreciate people will interpret it differently but that's my take on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
You'll note they say CD lossless is really good and 192khz is really great. Good and great are loose, subjective descriptions of course, but they also don't mention 384khz.
And 'really good' CD quality would contradict the graphic which has CD well 'under water'.
Yeah - I think it's the usual marketing BS and I'm not defending that but it's not as bad as some have claimed. I take your point about CD quality contradicting the graphic...I guess some will sound better than higher-resolution and that's tallies with my own philosophy about bit and sample rates being different flavours in the musical recipe.
Old 4th May 2014
  #4599
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
I appreciate people will interpret it differently but that's my take on it.
I am not saying this to pick on you, but this is expectation bias in a nutshell. We each look at the graphic which we might say is a bit ambiguous, you interpret it one way (which supports your view) and I have a different perspective (which supports my view).
Old 4th May 2014
  #4600
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
And 'really good' CD quality would contradict the graphic which has CD well 'under water'.
In your quote I don't see where they say CD is "really good."
Old 4th May 2014
  #4601
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Ok, sorry this thread is making me crazy.
You have the power to not hit the link...
Old 4th May 2014
  #4602
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakewalk View Post
They have posted longer form individual artist testimonials pulled from the edited one. Interestingly enough, there is not a pono to be seen. Neil is playing files from some sort of tablet. The artists go into greater detail about hearing music as they heard it in the studio. Plus you can hear what tunes they are playing from the outside of the car. Interesting comments about the state of music today. Not as much talk about resolution but lots of complaints of how bad mp3s and CDs sound.
PONO
They are selling sample rate and not hardware. That's the entire point in a nutshell.

That is why many of us think it's snake oil.
Old 4th May 2014
  #4603
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
I am not saying this to pick on you, but this is expectation bias in a nutshell. We each look at the graphic which we might say is a bit ambiguous, you interpret it one way (which supports your view) and I have a different perspective (which supports my view).
Is expectation bias relevant here? The depicted ratios between water-depth and format is a fact observed rather than something to be interpreted differently by different observers...the ratio is specific. Expectation bias is not the only reason people will have different opinions.
Old 4th May 2014
  #4604
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Is expectation bias relevant here? The depicted ratios between water-depth and format is a fact observed rather than something to be interpreted differently by different observers...the ratio is specific. Expectation bias is not the only reason people will have different opinions.
The point is in the interpretation.

I think 1000 feet or 100 feet underwater both sound pretty bad... even 10 feet underwater sounds pretty bad! ANY underwater would suck.

See? I interpret it the way that makes my point, as do you. Bias is not escapable.

I meant to type confirmation bias instead of expectation bias, BTW...
Old 4th May 2014
  #4605
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
On top of that, anyone who dared to hypothesize about the sample rate (even 96khz) was treated like a moron raging against well known, well established science.
Please. People were encouraged to test it on their own, which they did. I think I can say that everyone who actually did a true a/b/x test came away surprised at their inability or at least extreme difficulty in telling the difference at real world listening levels.

Your hyperbole doesn't help your point.
Old 4th May 2014
  #4606
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
The point is in the interpretation.

I think 1000 feet or 100 feet underwater both sound pretty bad... even 10 feet underwater sounds pretty bad! ANY underwater would suck.

See? I interpret it the way that makes my point, as do you. Bias is not escapable.

I meant to type confirmation bias instead of expectation bias, BTW...
That's a different issue than the depth ratio; I didn't mention any relationship to sound quality - only the depth and format...so your argument doesn't follow.

In general, you say 'bias is not escapable' but that doesn't address the statement: Expectation bias is not the only reason people will have different opinions.


BTW, my sincere apology if you felt insulted by my earlier post; no intention to offend. You've presented a thoughtful and consistent argument for cognitive bias and I respect that even if we might disagree as to how big a factor it is in Pono's case. In my defence I did read through your 370+ posts and felt I represented well...of course we'll both be experiencing some bias in how we interpret that :-)
Old 4th May 2014
  #4607
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
You have the power to not hit the link...
No, some higher force has taken over, I'm powerless to stop.
Old 4th May 2014
  #4608
mixmixmix
Guest
QOUTE'


"So in essence there are

- the 1 % of audiophiles out there who can't really hear the difference between a 320kps and a CD recording.
- the 99% of consumers who just do not realize why this discussion even started because they want an emotionally satisfying product.
- the famous musicians from the past who'd like to fill up their rent by selling the whole back catalogue again ...and again ....this time in the Pono format.

?"

+1

To me the problem is a bunch of lies to GENERAL PUBLIC to make money out of thin air. IMO it is just the matter of time before it will be proven with ABX test, that nobody can reliably tell the difference between iPod and Pono.

And this 'Pono vs. iPod ABX test" thread will be conducted with members of GS community. I give it 2 weeks after the release of Pono to general public.

I'm sure there will be a lot less arguing.
Old 4th May 2014
  #4609
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
No, some higher force has taken over, I'm powerless to stop.
Ya know... I can get along with anyone who has a sense of humor. heh
Old 4th May 2014
  #4610
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
No, some higher force has taken over, I'm powerless to stop.
Ya know... I can get along with anyone who has a sense of humor. heh
Old 4th May 2014
  #4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
It is FROM THE VIDEO

and in the video Neil Young himself narrates this analogy

96k HE SAYS is "still underwater" and 192 you are "finally coming up for air". The Pono people are unambiguous on this point. 96k is still "compromising" audio quality and not until you get to 192 are you even breathing air.
.
The graphic is completely ridiculous then, I agree.
As I mentioned, it doesn't come up in their FAQ's.
There is a disconnect between Young, the video makers and the people who wrote the FAQ's.
To suggest 96khz is still compromised, I have to disagree with them. Hard (virtually impossible) to argue they are right.
(Regarding video, I've been watching the individual testimonial videos).
Old 4th May 2014
  #4612
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chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
Please. People were encouraged to test it on their own, which they did. I think I can say that everyone who actually did a true a/b/x test came away surprised at their inability or at least extreme difficulty in telling the difference at real world listening levels.
You know, I keep beating on the difference between 'telling the difference' and 'telling the difference every time' and it'd be nice to see the abstraction more closely approach people's normal experience with an audio device.

You are absolutely right, because humans are inconsistent and try to pull generalizations out of noisy data. We get a sense of 'hey, that's kinda flat' one time in six and it's the end of the world, suddenly the CD audio or whatever is HORRIBLY flawed and we're ready to swear we could pick it out every time, blindfolded, upside down with our heads in a bucket of Jello.

And we can't, that's established. It requires alarming efforts to bring ANY phenomena of that nature up to the 'pick it out every single time' point (I speak from experience as one who's made just such alarming efforts)

But our tendency to jump to conclusions is just as natural as the tendency to fail at perceiving the same thing the same way twice. In natural experience, we build a mental picture of the capacities of a device based on the scattershot perceptions of such a device, INCLUDING those that land well beyond what we can reproduce consistently.

This would be why a guy like Neil Young comes up with such outlandish analogies. He's literally straining to pick out only the most outlandish perceptions. He doesn't care about boring normal experience at all, he's tuned in to the magic and magic alone, making half of it up as he goes, and seizing on the moments of perception he gets with great enthusiasm. Pono throws as many of those at him as possible, being well overdesigned beyond the dreams of romanticists, so Neil is convinced that his fugitive perceptions represent a higher truth, and that the many fugitive instants of 'meh' associated with CDs or (feh!) mp3s are Original Sin. Maybe he figures that's what's killing the artform (and not 21st century capitalism and the devaluing of content).

If you intend to engage with the Pono phenomenon in any rational or useful way, you're going to have to deal with the idea that people formulate their sense of a thing through scattershot experiences and generalizing to make a mental model of what they've got. Some of you guys are insisting until you're blue in the face that people must test until they find the line of what's consistently reproducible, and then THROW OUT any perceptions that hint at crossing the line. That's putting the theory ahead of the data. Data is noisy when it's human. Seeking an invariant threshold and insisting that and that alone is reality, is a completely unsupported conclusion, as unreasonable as what Neil's doing (insisting that the most far-flung data points are not only important, but important to everybody).
Old 4th May 2014
  #4613
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
..... but any neutral person would say ........
A what? Neutral person?
Old 4th May 2014
  #4614
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
The graphic is completely ridiculous then, I agree.
As I mentioned, it doesn't come up in their FAQ's.
There is a disconnect between Young, the video makers and the people who wrote the FAQ's.
To suggest 96khz is still compromised, I have to disagree with them. Hard (virtually impossible) to argue they are right.
(Regarding video, I've been watching the individual testimonial videos).
In the context of 'normal' converters I totally agree. Only, it seems that this thing works differently and if the weird filter needs very high rates to not curtail the top end of the audible range..?

Seems weird though, because in order to play back lower rate files properly it would have to get around that anyway, like by then upsampling it first or something....in which case the 'underwater' thing would be gone......confusing.
Old 4th May 2014
  #4615
If so, what would be the point of a better music player that made 96khz not sound very good?
If the voodoo was real, I would expect CD quality to sound fantastic, 96khz to sound amazing and 192khz to be like 'flying on angels wings' as said above.
If I was to consider Pono I would expect 96khz to be fantastic…. superb. I don't wanna be forced to use 192khz.
Old 4th May 2014
  #4616
mixmixmix
Guest
Pono 2 will be 384 kHz. Launch date - October 2018. It will include free first ever 384 kHz download from Michael Buble. A Christmas song.
Old 4th May 2014
  #4617
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Yes, but what shape will it be?

Chris
Old 4th May 2014
  #4618
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Old 4th May 2014
  #4619
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
The picture is used in the Pono Kickstarter video; I've got a different take on what the 'infographic' says...the ratio between the format and water depth is: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; 192K at 'sea level' which is a rough ratio of 1000:200:20:1. From that perspective the 'infographic' is saying that the biggest quality improvement is between mp3 and CD...the improvement from CD up is diminishing. That's not such a bold claim. It's suggesting subtle diffferences between 96K from 192K, more between 192K and CD; and a big difference from mp3.
Strange interpretation. I'd think most people would agree that the graphic is saying
  • 1000:200 -> CD is 5x better than MP3
  • 200:20 -> 96k is 10x better than CD
  • 20:1 -> 192k is 20x better than 96k

In other words, like joeq said, the graphic shows increasing returns with higher sample rates. Not sure how you can think otherwise.
Old 4th May 2014
  #4620
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Ok, so I finally had to go to the site.

Well this is just one man's excited interpretation of what he is hearing. Underwater to him is the threshold where he is having issues. Water level is just reaching the point where the sound is issue free. You are making much more out of this "graphic" than it deserves. If you read what Neil is saying it puts it more into context:

Quote:
“I’m a fan of listening loud. I love to listen loud. That’s what it’s all about, really, for me. I love to hear rock ‘n’ roll really loud, and I love to hear even acoustic music really loud. Loud for whatever it is it’s being played on. I like to take whatever it is to the limit, and then listen to it right there. When I started doing that with these machines, it started to hurt, and I couldn’t do it for very long, so the part of the record-making experience that I used to enjoy became painful. That was a sign to me that something was wrong. I complained a little, and I might have bitched and moaned a little about that, too. Then time went by, and I got some better machines, but they weren’t really that much better — it didn’t change it. But I noticed when I listened to CDs in my car, the same thing happened — it hurt my ears a little bit. And then the MP3 came along, and that’s when the recording industry really went into duress.”
Exactly true, I feel Neil's pain! Vinyl/tape always makes me want to turn the music up, and CD's make me want to turn it down. Whatever it is, it's there, whether or not your oscilloscope can figure it out.
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