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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 17th June 2014
  #4981
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteaxxxe View Post
:-)))) I knew it ... the audiofools are selling hot air once again. and all the believers will buy it. once again.
Neil Young can hear the difference.
Old 17th June 2014
  #4982
Gear Head
 

I can't understand what is it that makes people believe against all evidence... Some of them now say "well, if you can't hear the difference, it doesn't matter... those ultrasounds may affect you in some subconscious way." What makes them think that they are necessarily a positive influence? How do they know they are part of the music and not just noise? Aren't we exposed to inaudible high frequency sounds (noise) all too often, especially when surrounded by electronics? Arguing rationally doesn't seem to help, anyway...
Old 17th June 2014
  #4983
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cd.vs.mp3 View Post
I can't understand what is it that makes people believe against all evidence... Some of them now say "well, if you can't hear the difference, it doesn't matter... those ultrasounds may affect you in some subconscious way." What makes them think that they are necessarily a positive influence? How do they know they are part of the music and not just noise? Aren't we exposed to inaudible high frequency sounds (noise) all too often, especially when surrounded by electronics? Arguing rationally doesn't seem to help, anyway...
It's their money...let them waste it...I guess.
Old 20th June 2014
  #4984
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Ya know, you can always have the last word if you have the stamina to keep arguing until reasonable people decide to shut the heck up and wait (eagerly) for the thing to come out.

I'm not reasonable but I DID decide to shut up, in part because another pono-head poster literally asked me to quit feeding the trolls, in essence. I don't for a moment believe all the skeptics are trolls (I made a couple friends, or at least connections through civilized debate) but it quieted down quite legitimately and you really won't get anywhere by making dumber arguments over a line in the sand far short of what we settled on (and yes, Pono by design blows way past what we all figured was necessary, which I'm okay with: bits are cheap)

As for your evidence, anyone can make a web page, and we had a whole sub-argument over the very idea of confidence levels in blind testing. The threshold you're interested in for 'significant' differences is not 100%, but 50%. Any persistent result over 50% is evidence that now and then you can pick out a problem even with our notoriously fuzzy and distractable senses. It's like a splinter in your shoe: most of the time it's not going to bug you, but it will drive you nuts if every now and then you're annoyed by some inadequacy or loss. I'm pretty confident Pono is so far beyond what's required that it is truly a 50% threshold: no matter who is trying to find fault with it, their blind tests between reality and the quality level Pono (the format and the hardware and how it's applied) will always converge towards pure 50% just guessing, without a shred of statistical basis to indicate that sometimes you hear past the veil and spot the problem.

If you believe that is true for lossy AAC or MP3, I'd ask why are you even on a pro audio website? For sport? What is your opinion of boutique preamps versus, say, Behringer? That's a degree of degradation comparable (or perhaps less) than lossy encoding.

Pono is paid for, several times over. I honestly do look forward to it, and in fact I intend to target it as a sort of 'branded HD' format and make music designed for that and not for mp3s and casual iPodism. I love that it can serve as a banner, as well as a simple product, and the more crusaders against it (on consumer-protection grounds) the more high a profile it'll get. And that's useful after decades of continuous deterioration of recorded, distributed audio. It's like audio scurvy: the nutrients leached away so slowly that we barely noticed, and now the stuff's so dire that there's no point paying for it or caring about it, and that's the default.

Enough. Go Pono. 192K or bust!

Okay, I'm done for now
Old 20th June 2014
  #4985
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
As for your evidence, anyone can make a web page, and we had a whole sub-argument over the very idea of confidence levels in blind testing. The threshold you're interested in for 'significant' differences is not 100%, but 50%. Any persistent result over 50% is evidence that now and then you can pick out a problem even with our notoriously fuzzy and distractable senses.
Chris, if by 50% you mean, say 8 out of 16, isn't that a coin toss? I don't think anyone here can change the rules of testing. As far as I know 95% confidence is considered significant. That would be 12 out of 16 (the following in the "Confidence" section):
ABX test - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
That is built in to all ABX programs including Foobar and Apple's MFiT ABX.

On a side note, I think it's interesting that most new recent pop releases on HDTracks are 44.1k 24bit only (Michael Jackson, Black Keys, Lana Del Rey, Jack White). That might be for a number of reasons, but it makes me wonder what's going on.

Last edited by walter88; 20th June 2014 at 08:46 PM.. Reason: added rules of testing
Old 20th June 2014
  #4986
Gear Addict
 

Chris, sorry I misread your post. You did say persistent OVER 50%. Ok, that would include consistent 9 out of 16 correct being significant to you, and maybe others, I'm not sure. But the standard would be 12 out of 16 correct to be considered by science.

Last edited by walter88; 20th June 2014 at 10:11 PM.. Reason: added correct
Old 21st June 2014
  #4987
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by walter88 View Post
Chris, sorry I misread your post. You did say persistent OVER 50%. Ok, that would include consistent 9 out of 16 correct being significant to you, and maybe others, I'm not sure. But the standard would be 12 out of 16 correct to be considered by science.
I think you mean 'considered by me'. You may speak for science all you like, but nobody's compelled to listen. I don't believe science ever said 'consistent 9 out of 16' was significant, but what you can say is that if you keep it up indefinitely (infinitely) it's as good a proof of 'slight difference' as 95% confidence is of 'obvious difference'.

Namely, 'not proof, but preponderance of evidence'.

And it's completely, utterly unscientific to claim 'evidence overwhelmingly suggesting slight difference' is 'proof of no difference', but most people here are claiming no such thing: and I don't think any of us have a problem with someone saying 'for me, I ain't spending money unless it's something I notice every time'. The problem lies with extrapolating that and saying 'NOBODY may spend money on a thing unless I/they notice its merits every time'.

As for the 44.1k/24 bit releases, I think it shows that you can get away with 44.1 or 48K fairly well. We've already covered that Pono is not USING a frequency range dictated by traditional Nyquist 192K, at all. They're doing an odd sort of filter that requires either legit 192K or upsampling, and it's got striking flaws as a filter but also sounds pretty good to the ear, and gives the output slightly better word length than you'd otherwise have (which I believe is the real significance of it, as we can't hear the frequencies up there where it shows issues as a filter).
Old 8th November 2014
  #4989
I got mine last night. Pearl Jam edition loaded with VS. and Lightning Bolt. All the Kickstarter PONOs also come with There's a World, off Harvest.

I bought the deluxe version of Quadrophenia (24/96) from the Pono store, $48.69. (ouch)

The good is the hardware. It sounds incredible. Comparing Lighting Bolt (16/44 through Sonos and Cambridge Audio DAC) - there is a fairly profound difference. Much better separation between instruments, clarity, and mix decisions I didn't hear before. The design is pretty cool too, the shape is perfect to sit on the stereo and the touch screen is nice.

The bad is the software. It is horrible, clunky, not intuitive and just plain sucks. It is in beta mode for Kickstarter backers, but they have a long way to go.

Very few people will pay the prices they are asking for HD tracks; only the most hardcore audiophiles. A lot of the stuff in the store is 16/44, they don't have an HD section.

I like it and will use it, but I don't see it taking too much market share from Apple.


Old 8th November 2014
  #4990
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Profound diference, eyh? Who would have thunk.....might have to get one for christmas....bet it sounds great on all sorts of files.
Old 8th November 2014
  #4991
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robby in WA View Post
The good is the hardware. It sounds incredible. Comparing Lighting Bolt (16/44 through Sonos and Cambridge Audio DAC) - there is a fairly profound difference. Much better separation between instruments, clarity, and mix decisions I didn't hear before.
Are they the same mixes? Are they at the same level? PS: And do you have the Sonos set to lossless transfer? (As it can be set to compressed audio).

Quote:
The design is pretty cool too, the shape is perfect to sit on the stereo and the touch screen is nice.
It looks quite nice. Is it water proof?

Alistair
Old 8th November 2014
  #4992
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Are they the same mixes? Are they at the same level? PS: And do you have the Sonos set to lossless transfer? (As it can be set to compressed audio).



It looks quite nice. Is it water proof?

Alistair
Yea, same mixes, I just level matched by ear. Sonos always set lossless. Checking the resolution of the Pono file, only difference is 24 vs 16, both are at 44.1.


I usually listen to Quadrophenia on vinyl, Pono sounds as good, if not better, w/out the artifacts.
Old 8th November 2014
  #4993
I got stuck on Quadrophenia HD for about 2 months!

It's good one.
Old 9th November 2014
  #4995
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doom64's Avatar
Very cool. What are the dimensions of this thing?
Old 9th November 2014
  #4996
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A friend of mine has one and says it sounds as good, if not better than his Astell & Kern which he now regrets buying…he said the interface was weird at first but only took a minute to figure out and actually loves it now.
Old 9th November 2014
  #4997
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

How long until we get to buy something like such a DA section from this as a separate item I wonder. Sounds like something I would want to try as main output DA.
Old 9th November 2014
  #4998
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakewalk View Post
A friend of mine has one and says it sounds as good, if not better than his Astell & Kern which he now regrets buying…he said the interface was weird at first but only took a minute to figure out and actually loves it now.
The interface on the Pono player itself is fine. It's their version of iTunes combined w/Facebook - Ponomusic world, that needs a lot of work. The most obvious is to create an HD section, so you're not sifting through the albums you like checking resolutions. All Kickstarter backers get free upgrades if a higher resolution becomes available.

It's 5" long and each side of the triangle is 2".
Old 10th November 2014
  #4999
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
How long until we get to buy something like such a DA section from this as a separate item I wonder. Sounds like something I would want to try as main output DA.
Good question...does this thing have USB DAC capabilities like the FiiO does?

Old 10th November 2014
  #5000
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
How long until we get to buy something like such a DA section from this as a separate item I wonder. Sounds like something I would want to try as main output DA.
I was just scrolling trough the spec list, hoping there would be a way to use it as a DA via USB.

Chris, you know anything about building converters?
Old 14th November 2014
  #5001
Here for the gear
 

Hello all, new guy here.

I have the Fiio X1, X3 and got a test unit of the X5 through head-fi.org awhile back.

This sounds cool, not sure I'd pay $400 for a Pono though, would probably just hedge my bets on an X5 instead. The DAC in the X5 is a Burr-Brown PCM1792 which has to be better than the ESS one in the Pono, and the X5 costs $50 less.

Also interested in hearing how it stacks up with the X5.

To me, the high point of Pono is to see if they get better digital masters than what's already out there. At least they'll have a large CD-quality catalog. But $18-25 seems like a lot for that when I can get a CD new from Amazon for ~$12. That's money I could save and use for upgrading my vinyl setup.

-hogger
Old 14th November 2014
  #5002
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post
Hello all, new guy here.

I have the Fiio X1, X3 and got a test unit of the X5 through head-fi.org awhile back.

This sounds cool, not sure I'd pay $400 for a Pono though, would probably just hedge my bets on an X5 instead. The DAC in the X5 is a Burr-Brown PCM1792 which has to be better than the ESS one in the Pono, and the X5 costs $50 less.

Also interested in hearing how it stacks up with the X5.

To me, the high point of Pono is to see if they get better digital masters than what's already out there. At least they'll have a large CD-quality catalog. But $18-25 seems like a lot for that when I can get a CD new from Amazon for ~$12. That's money I could save and use for upgrading my vinyl setup.

-hogger
I don't think you understand the difference in the Pono's DA compared to 'normal' DA's with brickwall filters in them. Mov ing averages filter. Different animal altogether.
Old 6th December 2014
  #5003
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Ephi82's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
I got stuck on Quadrophenia HD for about 2 months!

It's good one.
Me too, I also love the 5.1 mix (supervised by Pete himself) which really lets you get immersed in Moon's playing.
Old 6th December 2014
  #5004
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Ephi82's Avatar
 

FWIW,

I've been reading the similar PONO threads over at the Hoffman site and lots of bickering there, too. Some of it insanely nasty.

Consensus of the user reviews is that it's a surprisingly great playback device, the hype about the DAC and the analog/headphone amp section well deserved.

Well mastered 16/44.1 recordings sound very very good, and for some, the Hi Res stuff is a revelation.

Downsides are the clunky software, the PONO store not fully open and stocked, lack of gapless playback. No digital.
Old 7th December 2014
  #5005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow
Are they the same mixes? Are they at the same level? PS: And do you have the Sonos set to lossless transfer? (As it can be set to compressed audio).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robby in WA View Post
Yea, same mixes, I just level matched by ear. Sonos always set lossless. Checking the resolution of the Pono file, only difference is 24 vs 16, both are at 44.1.


I usually listen to Quadrophenia on vinyl, Pono sounds as good, if not better, w/out the artifacts.
To make sure level differences are out of the equation you need to level match better than 0.1dB.

Do you have skill to do that by ear?

Researchers use to recommend 0.1dB but I've heard of one guy in my hometown that actually could detect a 0.1dB difference on some material. So to be very strict 0.05dB should be the goal.

What most people hear with very small level differences is not a difference in level. Things like resolution and timbre use to be subjectively affected even though these parameters are not really affected.

And then of course we have the usual stuff with expectation bias and so on.

There's a reason human perception is studied blind in the professional and scientifical world.

Also when comparing 24bit material to 16bit material you are introducing noise and possibly some distortion to the 16bit file which is not there in the 24bit file. This could be audible in some situations.
Old 7th December 2014
  #5006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
To make sure level differences are out of the equation you need to level match better than 0.1dB.

Do you have skill to do that by ear?

Researchers use to recommend 0.1dB but I've heard of one guy in my hometown that actually could detect a 0.1dB difference on some material. So to be very strict 0.05dB should be the goal.

What most people hear with very small level differences is not a difference in level. Things like resolution and timbre use to be subjectively affected even though these parameters are not really affected.

And then of course we have the usual stuff with expectation bias and so on.

There's a reason human perception is studied blind in the professional and scientifical world.

Also when comparing 24bit material to 16bit material you are introducing noise and possibly some distortion to the 16bit file which is not there in the 24bit file. This could be audible in some situations.
what are you trying to say? Do you have an opinion on Pono?
Old 7th December 2014
  #5007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cakewalk View Post
what are you trying to say? Do you have an opinion on Pono?
What I am saying is that if you understand what I wrote, you have a good chance setting up a valid test of something like the Pono or whatever (hardware, source material..). If you do not understand what I wrote, chances are you will make errors in your testing that can lead to flawed results or conclusions.

My opinion on Pono, as I have said earlier here at GS, probably a fine piece of hardware and the record labels will smile and laugh all the way to the bank if the masses swallow the ad copy material from the marketing departments.
Old 7th December 2014
  #5008
@Audiop - have you heard a Pono?
Old 7th December 2014
  #5009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
How long until we get to buy something like such a DA section from this as a separate item I wonder. Sounds like something I would want to try as main output DA.
You could always go to the source:

Ayre Acoustics QB-9

Probably not inexpensive.
Old 7th December 2014
  #5010
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwinhurwitz View Post
You could always go to the source:

Ayre Acoustics QB-9

Probably not inexpensive.
lol, yes, not entirely within reach......
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