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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 7th December 2014
  #5011
Not a big fan of blind A/B testing shootouts. I like to hear things in context over time. I've spent some time with it now and it's convinced me to upgrade the conversion and computer in my studio, so I can record at 88/96 w/ease. Hi-Rez is the future IMHO. I use the PONO for reference mixes.
Old 7th December 2014
  #5012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robby in WA View Post
Not a big fan of blind A/B testing shootouts. I like to hear things in context over time. I've spent some time with it now and it's convinced me to upgrade the conversion and computer in my studio, so I can record at 88/96 w/ease. Hi-Rez is the future IMHO. I use the PONO for reference mixes.
How would you describe the difference when listening back to say 16/44.1 and 24/96 on the Pono? Does CD quality sound nicer too?

Have you tried the different formats and if so what does it feel like is the 'definitely worth it' cutoff? All the way up at 24/96 or even 192?
Old 7th December 2014
  #5013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
@Audiop - have you heard a Pono?
Nope.
Old 8th December 2014
  #5014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robby in WA View Post
Not a big fan of blind A/B testing shootouts. I like to hear things in context over time.
Nothing wrong with that. One does not have to exclude the other though.
Old 8th December 2014
  #5015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
How would you describe the difference when listening back to say 16/44.1 and 24/96 on the Pono? Does CD quality sound nicer too?

Have you tried the different formats and if so what does it feel like is the 'definitely worth it' cutoff? All the way up at 24/96 or even 192?
The DAC on the PONO is way better then an iPod classic and I'd say it sounds a little more musical that my Cambridge Audio.

I've never been that into hi-end conversion. Kind of felt it was a waste of money all things being equal. The DAC on the Pono has caused me to rethink that. I plan on doing all future projects at 24/88 or 24/96.
Old 8th December 2014
  #5016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robby in WA View Post
The DAC on the PONO is way better then an iPod classic and I'd say it sounds a little more musical that my Cambridge Audio.

I've never been that into hi-end conversion. Kind of felt it was a waste of money all things being equal. The DAC on the Pono has caused me to rethink that. I plan on doing all future projects at 24/88 or 24/96.
Me too. I've worked out with a little experimentation that I can go from an old Apogee Rosetta (at 48K, stereo only) to a current Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 (much worse, but 96K capable) and it's different but not worse IF the output's been averaged, and only then. (at least not much worse and way more capable as far as flexibility, in ways that help my recordings)

I bought the Scarlett (for now) and am selling off the Apogee. I'm committed to 24/96 (not real interested in 192K though). And before I step up to a decent four-channel-or-more ADC… I'm picking up a Pono, and then I'll be able to show people my music as I intended it.

The one really good converter I have is a Lavry DAC, so I don't actually need to patch through the Pono to monitor. Worse case scenario is I use my freebie Average to monitor through the moving average with the Lavry playing at 96K. And I'd rather just hear the true audio stream even if it's slightly less pretty, it'll make me work harder. But I've listened to that monitoring chain, and like I said, it brought the cheap Focusrite within striking distance of the old Apogee Rosetta, sorta-kinda.
Old 8th December 2014
  #5017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robby in WA View Post
The DAC on the PONO is way better then an iPod classic and I'd say it sounds a little more musical that my Cambridge Audio.

I've never been that into hi-end conversion. Kind of felt it was a waste of money all things being equal. The DAC on the Pono has caused me to rethink that. I plan on doing all future projects at 24/88 or 24/96.
Interesting, thank you.
Old 9th December 2014
  #5018
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What's this about Pono Music selling customer info to a marketing company?
Old 10th January 2015
  #5019
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So someone brought a Pono in yesterday and I briefly heard it up my Amphions. Interesting.

Not quite what I expected on first impressions, but still alluring. First impressions were a little brighter than I expected. Was expecting for that moving averages filter to be the opposite, really. Sort of a tiny feel of as if someone had put something like a Photoshop sharpener on the audio. Not entirely relaxed and natural. Or maybe it is, only one has to get used to it and once used to it there will be no going back, not sure. A bit like watching HD tv for the first time. A bit unsettling to start.

In a weird way there is a sort of relaxed bit of extra 'air' around the actual bits on the recording it feels like. As if the sounds on the record itself are possibly a tiny bit strident yet super detailed and spacious/involving, but around this there is a little puff of air that you never thought was on those records before.

All these impressions regardless of rates. I listened to 16/44.1 stuff all the way to 24/192. All show these attributes, maybe to somewhat varying degrees, not too sure yet, was a quick listen.

Interesting indeed. Must revisit soon. Might have to get one of these. I get a feeling it will turn out addictive.
Old 10th January 2015
  #5020
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

You could easily be hearing mixing or mastering "air" eq that is softened by typical converters.
Old 10th January 2015
  #5021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
You could easily be hearing mixing or mastering "air" eq that is softened by typical converters.
Did occur to me as a possibility as well. Just wasn't sure how to evaluate it yet, and that air seems pretty uniform across lots of records, from the 70's to now.

Makes 16/44.1 sound quite different than a CD. Wonder if these type of converters will spread into other places, like studios, perhaps as DA to mix out of.
Old 10th January 2015
  #5022
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
In a weird way there is a sort of relaxed bit of extra 'air' around the actual bits on the recording it feels like. As if the sounds on the record itself are possibly a tiny bit strident yet super detailed and spacious/involving, but around this there is a little puff of air that you never thought was on those records before.
That sounds a bit like shallow low-pass + distortion. That fits.

Alistair
Old 10th January 2015
  #5023
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
You could easily be hearing mixing or mastering "air" eq that is softened by typical converters.
"Softened" putting it nicely. heh

To my ear, the air around the notes/instruments is one of the main things that is lost with compromised digital reproduction. And it is not part of typical measurements that people use to claim that CD standard digital can reproduce the complete range of audio in the human hearing spectrum. I don't think that this air can be truly measured, yet there are differences that definitely can be heard.
Old 10th January 2015
  #5024
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
I don't think that this air can be truly measured, yet there are differences that definitely can be heard.
We can't hear most of what we can measure that's a given but the opposite...
A.
Old 13th January 2015
  #5025
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
"Softened" putting it nicely. heh

To my ear, the air around the notes/instruments is one of the main things that is lost with compromised digital reproduction. And it is not part of typical measurements that people use to claim that CD standard digital can reproduce the complete range of audio in the human hearing spectrum. I don't think that this air can be truly measured, yet there are differences that definitely can be heard.
This is the kind of comment that makes me skeptical of the whole pono thing
Old 13th January 2015
  #5026
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
This is the kind of comment that makes me skeptical of the whole pono thing
You're not the only one.
Engineers at Neil Young’s company admit doubts on music player | New York Post

http://www.cnet.com/news/the-ponopla...-up-with-that/

Last edited by David Spearritt; 13th January 2015 at 05:28 AM..
Old 13th January 2015
  #5027
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Garbage article. No citations, so for all we know it's made up.
Old 13th January 2015
  #5028
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
This is the kind of comment that makes me skeptical of the whole pono thing
No it isn't. Your skepticism is merely leading you to search out comments to pick on.

Last edited by Sounds Great; 13th January 2015 at 06:54 AM..
Old 13th January 2015
  #5029
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
No it isn't. Your skepticism is merely leading you to search out comments to pick on.
I didn't search for your comment--I just read the thread and there it was. The idea that we can hear something but can't measure it is preposterous--if pono can produce this elusive something then you can be sure it was measured and known. Unless pono is magic
Old 13th January 2015
  #5030
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And of course the best seller is Neil Young's Harvest. For people who bought the lp, the cassette, the cd, the remastered cd box set, and the reissued virgin vinyl. They can now buy the same wine in yet another bottle. I made a post predicting that way back on page one or so.
Old 13th January 2015
  #5031
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
I didn't search for your comment--I just read the thread and there it was. The idea that we can hear something but can't measure it is preposterous--if pono can produce this elusive something then you can be sure it was measured and known. Unless pono is magic
There are only so many parameters to measure today. And just because a box measures the same doesn't tend to mean it sounds the same, so one could argue there are things happening that we can tell by ear but haven't got useful ways of measuring .....yet....... just saying.
Old 13th January 2015
  #5032
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
And of course the best seller is Neil Young's Harvest. For people who bought the lp, the cassette, the cd, the remastered cd box set, and the reissued virgin vinyl. They can now buy the same wine in yet another bottle. I made a post predicting that way back on page one or so.
Of course a large motivation of all those artists is to re-sell their back catalogue, but we've been over all that and plenty, haven't we?

The player makes a new sound. With 16/44.1 files, too. Doesn't sound under water. So you don't actually need to buy the high rate files.

To me the two things of interest here are as ever a) the different to normal DA in the player and b) this venture putting a spotlight on audio quality for the masses per se.

The DA sounds pretty damned good and the spotlight thing is occurring, so what's not to like? Both good things.
Old 13th January 2015
  #5033
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Of course a large motivation of all those artists is to re-sell their back catalogue, but we've been over all that and plenty, haven't we?

The player makes a new sound. With 16/44.1 files, too. Doesn't sound under water. So you don't actually need to buy the high rate files.

To me the two things of interest here are as ever a) the different to normal DA in the player and b) this venture putting a spotlight on audio quality for the masses per se.

The DA sounds pretty damned good and the spotlight thing is occurring, so what's not to like? Both good things.
Focusing on the delivery of high quality audio is good, I just have not seen any evidence--nor heard any evidence--that hi resolution files are better. Neither the science nor my own ears detect this difference. But I may just have bad ears. Lots of years standing next to the drummer.

It sounds like these are just being remastered to have more "air" in the top, but I agree with you that a public discourse about ho to make digital files sound better is a good thing. But the target should be compression/limiting, not resolution. No amount of resolulution can make a file that's been slammed sound good
Old 13th January 2015
  #5034
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
There are only so many parameters to measure today. And just because a box measures the same doesn't tend to mean it sounds the same, so one could argue there are things happening that we can tell by ear but haven't got useful ways of measuring .....yet....... just saying.
Karloff, seriously? You are arguing that there is some extra dimension we can't measure? This does seem to be an argument that some people make--science can't measure the....thing... that people hear. What could this undetectable yet audible thing be?

We can detect frequencies beyond what we can see. We can measure vibrations below the threshold of perception, we have clocks that are more accurate than the stars themselves. Hearing has been the subject of scientific study for 200 years. What do you think is being missed? I'm not being snarky, I'd actually like to know. I've heard the "sense high frequencies with your eyeballs" argument, but that's not going to work with headphones. I've heard the "hair on the arm" argument, but again, headphones. I guess we are into high frequency vibration of the skull? But of course, those things are both detectable and measurable. We are actually talking about some thing that exist which our ears can hear but we can't detect with "science?" We are in the realm of magical thinking then.
Old 13th January 2015
  #5035
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
Focusing on the delivery of high quality audio is good, I just have not seen any evidence--nor heard any evidence--that hi resolution files are better. Neither the science nor my own ears detect this difference. But I may just have bad ears. Lots of years standing next to the drummer.

It sounds like these are just being remastered to have more "air" in the top, but I agree with you that a public discourse about ho to make digital files sound better is a good thing. But the target should be compression/limiting, not resolution. No amount of resolulution can make a file that's been slammed sound good
What the naysayers are missing, or refusing to acknowledge, is that the pono makes any file played thru it sound better. Whether it is the amp, the dac, or a combination of components, it is a premium player that sounds better than an ipod. In fact, it sounds as good, if not better than players costing 4-5 times as much. The fact that they used hi res to market it seems to be the bug up the butt of some folks...
Old 13th January 2015
  #5036
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Plush's Avatar
I have PONO. It sounds good. I've been recording and listening in high res since 1995, so accurate extended bandwidth listening is not new to me. PONO is just playing back the files accurately. I don't think it's adding anything.

On the subject of testing--it has been known for many decades that we cannot measure some things we hear. How do you measure pleasant-ness or sweetness of sound for example?

In the cited article about "engineers" within the PONO organization having "doubts," the know nothing author with an agenda goes on to quote Monty. This ended any degree of credibility in the writing for me since Monty is an anti hi-res (everything's cool with 16 bit) crusader and he is a kook.

So much disinformation here.
Old 13th January 2015
  #5037
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael cleary View Post
What the naysayers are missing, or refusing to acknowledge, is that the pono makes any file played thru it sound better. Whether it is the amp, the dac, or a combination of components, it is a premium player that sounds better than an ipod. In fact, it sounds as good, if not better than players costing 4-5 times as much. The fact that they used hi res to market it seems to be the bug up the butt of some folks...
I've read a couple reviews of it, and they have not all said it sounds "better." What's meant by better anyway? More high end? If it sounds better because it was remastered, that has zip to do with the player itself and everything to do with the remastering. The hi res thing bothers people because it seems like snake oil.

If you think it sounds better, great! Enjoy!
Old 13th January 2015
  #5038
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
I've read a couple reviews of it, and they have not all said it sounds "better." What's meant by better anyway? More high end? If it sounds better because it was remastered, that has zip to do with the player itself and everything to do with the remastering. The hi res thing bothers people because it seems like snake oil.

If you think it sounds better, great! Enjoy!
If you had read my post you would have seen it also makes 16/44.1 files sound 'better'. The DA having a moving averages filter instead of the normal brick wall filter seems to indeed cause a different sound. And NOT just to hi rez stuff.

About magical thinking; why do amps that measure the same not sound the same? Basically, if you think we have arrived at 'we can measure anything and everything that 'is', think again. Nothing magical about it. Science is not complete, but evolving.
Old 13th January 2015
  #5039
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
If you had read my post you would have seen it also makes 16/44.1 files sound 'better'. The DA having a moving averages filter instead of the normal brick wall filter seems to indeed cause a different sound. And NOT just to hi rez stuff.

About magical thinking; why do amps that measure the same not sound the same? Basically, if you think we have arrived at 'we can measure anything and everything that 'is', think again. Nothing magical about it. Science is not complete, but evolving.
???? If amps sound different they they don't "measure the same." Sound is a physical thing--it's subject to the laws of physics: it's not fairy dust. If two amps sound different then the difference is measurable--our ears measure it, we have measuring equipment that is far more sensitive, orders of magnitude more sensitive--than our ears. If there is a difference in sound, the difference is measurable.

Your only alternative to this is to argue that there is some kind of unknown physics which can't be measured, or some quality of pressure waves in air that can't be measured. Again I ask what that could possibly be?
Old 13th January 2015
  #5040
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
???? If amps sound different they they don't "measure the same." Sound is a physical thing--it's subject to the laws of physics: it's not fairy dust. If two amps sound different then the difference is measurable--our ears measure it, we have measuring equipment that is far more sensitive, orders of magnitude more sensitive--than our ears. If there is a difference in sound, the difference is measurable.

Your only alternative to this is to argue that there is some kind of unknown physics which can't be measured, or some quality of pressure waves in air that can't be measured. Again I ask what that could possibly be?
I am not about to argue with you. Especially as you are asking me what the unknown is....... wouldn't be the unknown if I knew. Believe what you choose.
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