The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 4th February 2015
  #5131
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
Thanks for the comment, it inspired me to look up actual audio specs for Android:

***
FLAC:
Mono/Stereo (no multichannel). Sample rates up to 48 kHz (but up to 44.1 kHz is recommended on devices with 44.1 kHz output, as the 48 to 44.1 kHz downsampler does not include a low-pass filter). 16-bit recommended; no dither applied for 24-bit.
***


That means that Android would always downsample to 44k, and reduce the bit depth to 16bit.

If anyone has information that this does not apply for Android on Pono, or that Pono uses some tech to work around it, please link to it. Genuinely curious.

Downsampling on the device would be another explanation for the test results, and possibly for the poor battery life.


Now you're just getting silly

What _I_ heard is that they forked AndroidOS to handle the 192k, 24 bit files. I didn't know AndroidOS made no provision for sample rates over 48k, but if that's true then you've just explained the version discrepancy at a stroke. Does this not also imply that all the phones and Android-based devices out there are hobbled by an operating system run by the same people (Google) who've limited all YouTube audio, even for 60fps 1080p streaming, to 128k joint stereo?

Genuinely amused wow. If you expect people to believe Ponos downsample to 16/44 and nobody noticed, you've got some major cojones!
Old 4th February 2015
  #5132
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post


Now you're just getting silly

What _I_ heard is that they forked AndroidOS to handle the 192k, 24 bit files. I didn't know AndroidOS made no provision for sample rates over 48k, but if that's true then you've just explained the version discrepancy at a stroke. Does this not also imply that all the phones and Android-based devices out there are hobbled by an operating system run by the same people (Google) who've limited all YouTube audio, even for 60fps 1080p streaming, to 128k joint stereo?

Genuinely amused wow. If you expect people to believe Ponos downsample to 16/44 and nobody noticed, you've got some major cojones!
So, link please.

Assuming that something is not so is not proof. Give me some real technical data that contradict what I'm saying.
(I believe the meager technical details on the Pono site - basics like frequency response and SNR are not listed - say just as much as detailed specs..)

And: why not put your money where your mouth is and buy a Pono player. Then report back about the audio quality, the speed, the user interface, the usability when you take it out of the house etc.



I believe the minimum requirement for releasing a great product is to have a person behind it who is genuinely enthusiastic about it. I don't see that happening here, Neil Young has often be quite vocal about his hate for digital audio, and he does not come across as a guy who keeps buying the latest gadgets and compare the audio quality, out of genuine enthusiasm.

The Pono seems like a half hearted attempt for a new product. Not 'the absolutely best we can do', but 'maybe one aspect (sound) is not as bad as the rest of the industry'.
Old 4th February 2015
  #5133
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakewalk View Post
All things considered this reads like a positive review ...

The title of the Arstechnica review is:
"Pono Player review: A tall, refreshing drink of snake oil".


From the verdict in the review:
"As most audio-obsessed geeks will tell you, research and tests about high-res audio tend to make Neil Young and his Kool-Aid salesmen sound like fools. In many cases, higher-rate sampling can make audio sound worse.
...
We're not interested in re-buying our entire music libraries yet again to cash in on some very unsound assertions about audio sampling."



You may be right, considering the bad press that Pono gets this may be as positive as it gets..
Old 4th February 2015
  #5134
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
The title of the Arstechnica review is:
"Pono Player review: A tall, refreshing drink of snake oil".


From the verdict in the review:
"As most audio-obsessed geeks will tell you, research and tests about high-res audio tend to make Neil Young and his Kool-Aid salesmen sound like fools. In many cases, higher-rate sampling can make audio sound worse.
...
We're not interested in re-buying our entire music libraries yet again to cash in on some very unsound assertions about audio sampling."



You may be right, considering the bad press that Pono gets this may be as positive as it gets..
And yet, click bait hyperbole aside, the final conclusion is actually positive. Even the bad isn't that bad...

We could see a Pono Player 2.0 being a killer device, honestly, especially since the iPod Classic has exited the space. Perhaps now there's significant room for $300-ish high-end dedicated music players. Worry less about being particularly portable, we say, and add features like wireless audio transfer (so we can leave a Pono plugged into a home stereo), a suction grip for placing on surfaces like car dashboards, a slightly bigger screen, and a damned hold button, and we just might throw this overpriced bottle of wine into our messenger bags after all.

The good

Quality pre-amp and DAC do the heavy lifting in making music output sound quite good, whether using highest-res audio files or merely high-enough res.
Adequate default capacity of 128GB, expandable to 196GB as needed.
Fine weight and size for handheld use.

The bad

No amount of testing made 192kHz/24-bit FLAC audio sound noticeably better than high-quality MP3s.
Sluggish touchscreen is made worse by interface's tiny, tappable details.
The eight-hour battery life doesn't quite outpace an old iPod Classic.
How do you feel about banana yellow?
Old 4th February 2015
  #5135
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
The title of the Arstechnica review is:
"Pono Player review: A tall, refreshing drink of snake oil".


From the verdict in the review:
"As most audio-obsessed geeks will tell you, research and tests about high-res audio tend to make Neil Young and his Kool-Aid salesmen sound like fools. In many cases, higher-rate sampling can make audio sound worse.
...
We're not interested in re-buying our entire music libraries yet again to cash in on some very unsound assertions about audio sampling."



You may be right, considering the bad press that Pono gets this may be as positive as it gets..
Nah.

https://twitter.com/jimmyfallon/stat...24673876930560

This is probably as positive as it gets: the equivalent of Johnny Carson endorsing it. Silly people thinking it's him being paid off to say it: ye gods, what will it take to convince you people? Is it apparently IMPOSSIBLE to flat-out contradict you guys and your mp3 mongering? I'll also note that Fallon is known for being able to do scary-good impressions: the man has an ear, I could not mimic performers as he does. That guy can LISTEN and pick up on amazing details. You can't do what he does if you can't hear critically.

Who are you gonna believe, the comments section (which may themselves be paid off to buzzkill) or Jimmy Fallon, who hosts the freaking Tonight Show and does not need anything from Neil Young and some little startup hawking toblerones? If he didn't like it, they would not get on the show. Fallon ain't hurtin' for money.
Old 4th February 2015
  #5136
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakewalk View Post
We could see a Pono Player 2.0 being a killer device, honestly, especially since the iPod Classic has exited the space.
So they could imagine a device that's a lot better than the crap that is shipping now.

I can imagine a better device as well. An iPod touch with a better DAC and support for 24bit/96k. I'd buy that in a heartbeat...
Old 4th February 2015
  #5137
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
mp3 mongering
Hm, less than 20% of my music library are mp3s.


Advertising is a really good replacement for double blind tests, or any solid technical data. Like, totally more real.
Old 5th February 2015
  #5138
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
You know, if you're not measuring the right things or not fully representing people's experience in your technical representation and testing, you're going to run into these discrepancies, and it isn't scientific to just argue blindly without examining axioms.

Consider the degree to which this is successful and the range of people endorsing it in spite of everything decades of 'SCIENCE!' could do to argue that everything being made at every price point now is adequate. (think about it: if mp3 is adequate, CD is doubly adequate and every bit of consumer equipment in existence is at least capable of delivering electricity to those specs)

If the specs say we're supposed to be happy with literally everything out there at every price point, but this thing maims the performance of a lot of consumer junk (interestingly, iPhones are known to be unusually good for consumer junk: so, oddly, was the original Playstation used as a CD player) then the testing model has been flawed all this time and is failing to represent reality.
Old 5th February 2015
  #5139
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Consider the degree to which this is successful
Wow, here's the next assumption. Why do you think it's successful? Have you seen any actual sales numbers? Looks like not a single person who posts here actually owns one.

'Successful' would also mean that the ones who bought it during the Kickstarter campaign are actually happy with the device. I've only seen anecdotal reports, not a single really positive one.


The 6.4 million from Kickstarter may look like a large number when viewed out of context, it's actually less than Apple makes in revenue every 11 minutes.


Regarding endorsements, it may be worth repeating that Young tricked the endorsers by playing low resolution files, and having them compare them with CD resolution or better.
Don't know about you, but I've never made any purchase decision based on advertising.
Old 5th February 2015
  #5140
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
Wow, here's the next assumption. Why do you think it's successful? Have you seen any actual sales numbers? Looks like not a single person who posts here actually owns one.

'Successful' would also mean that the ones who bought it during the Kickstarter campaign are actually happy with the device. I've only seen anecdotal reports, not a single really positive one.


The 6.4 million from Kickstarter may look like a large number when viewed out of context, it's actually less than Apple makes in revenue every 11 minutes.


Regarding endorsements, it may be worth repeating that Young tricked the endorsers by playing low resolution files, and having them compare them with CD resolution or better.
Don't know about you, but I've never made any purchase decision based on advertising.
talk about assumptions. why do you say Neil "tricked" endorsers? How do you know he didn't say what he was actually playing?
Old 5th February 2015
  #5141
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakewalk View Post
talk about assumptions. why do you say Neil "tricked" endorsers? How do you know he didn't say what he was actually playing?
'Tricked' means he played them low resolution files, instead of what's commercially available on iTunes or Amazon. So he intentionally created files that are of a lower quality than his actual competition.

If you have any information that he actually told the musicians that what they hear is significantly worse that what's actually on the market, I stand corrected.



An honest comparison would have been a compressed AAC track from iTunes vs. one of his 192k files - level matched, and using the exact same master.

Last edited by stratology; 5th February 2015 at 03:25 PM..
Old 5th February 2015
  #5142
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Nah.

https://twitter.com/jimmyfallon/stat...24673876930560

This is probably as positive as it gets: the equivalent of Johnny Carson endorsing it. Silly people thinking it's him being paid off to say it: ye gods, what will it take to convince you people? Is it apparently IMPOSSIBLE to flat-out contradict you guys and your mp3 mongering? I'll also note that Fallon is known for being able to do scary-good impressions: the man has an ear, I could not mimic performers as he does. That guy can LISTEN and pick up on amazing details. You can't do what he does if you can't hear critically.

Who are you gonna believe, the comments section (which may themselves be paid off to buzzkill) or Jimmy Fallon, who hosts the freaking Tonight Show and does not need anything from Neil Young and some little startup hawking toblerones? If he didn't like it, they would not get on the show. Fallon ain't hurtin' for money.

?? He just completed a duet with neil young on the show--Fallon does a great imitation. It seems perfectly likely that part of the deal for getting neil young on your show would be endorsing pono. I mean, that hardly seems like a stretch. Fallon may indeed think the pono sounds way better, but even so, I'm not going to buy it because jimmy Fallon says so. I'd be much much more willing to listen to you than to Fallon. But I'm not hearing the benefits of higher resolution, even when I do abx tests. I suppose I should just do what Sting says.
Old 5th February 2015
  #5143
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
An honest comparison would have been a compressed AAC track from iTunes vs. one of his 192k files - level matched, and using the exact same master.
Would that even be an honest comparison anyway? The benefits of anything that isn't lossy compared to anything that is are obvious, you get that for free, but it wouldn't even show that 192 was better. The fact that it's lossless means that it will be better, 192 or not.

We already have lossless audio.

Chris
Old 5th February 2015
  #5144
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris93 View Post
Would that even be an honest comparison anyway? The benefits of anything that isn't lossy compared to anything that is are obvious, you get that for free, but it wouldn't even show that 192 was better. The fact that it's lossless means that it will be better, 192 or not.

We already have lossless audio.

Chris
You're right, it would have been a more honest comparison.
If he's genuine about his product, why go down this road (low res mp3s) in the first place?
Old 5th February 2015
  #5145
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
You're right, it would have been a more honest comparison.
If he's genuine about his product, why go down this road (low res mp3s) in the first place?
Also, it's extremely likely that low quality mp3 stuff is also subject to the CD loudness war. If he plays commonly available mass-market mp3 versus a special high-resolution mix/mastering, it's very likely that the mp3 will play louder, perhaps much louder. That will be obviously different, but in a way that consistently advantages the mp3, unjustly.

There are even audio software vendors who routinely set their stuff up to do this, and it works just as well for them: they corner the market based on that 1 or 2 db bump.

Might this be the cause for David Pogue's results in his amateur hour, radio-shack-switcher test? Or did he match the devices by playing mp3s through both? I wasn't there, all I know is people popped up here all vindictive because some untrained listeners preferred an iPod or iPhone over the Pono. There is a possible explanation.

Still saying that Jimmy Fallon does not need Neil Young on his show. Maybe if it was in 1970 he would. In 2015, it's partly motivated by genuine and legitimate interest in Young's Pono concept. If anything, the performance of Pono helped get NEIL on the show, where otherwise he would not be that relevant to Fallon's target audience.
Old 5th February 2015
  #5146
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
'Tricked' means he played them low resolution files, instead of what's commercially available on iTunes or Amazon. So he intentionally created files that are of a lower quality than his actual competition.

If you have any information that he actually told the musicians that what they hear is significantly worse that what's actually on the market, I stand corrected.



An honest comparison would have been a compressed AAC track from iTunes vs. one of his 192k files - level matched, and using the exact same master.
you and I both do not know what he told them. Why the hysterics? it is as if you have an agenda of some sort...
Old 5th February 2015
  #5147
Lives for gear
Hate to quibble, but Fallon has been doing neil young impressions for a long time. You can find him singing "whip my hair back and forth" in 2010, well before pono, and I heard an interview with fallon where he talked about doing it in college. The idea that fallon invited neil young on the show because of his enthusiasm for pono strains credulity AND chronology.
Old 6th February 2015
  #5148
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakewalk View Post
you and I both do not know what he told them. Why the hysterics? it is as if you have an agenda of some sort...
Nah, this is just about the quote from Neil Young that David Pogue received when the Pono didn't test as good as he expected. So it's not my explanation, it's Neil Young's.


A portable player that sounds significantly better than anything on the market is a great idea, by hyping it ('everybody can hear the difference') Neil Young set high expectations.

When reality does not live up to the hype, some go into plain denial ('this can't be true, the testers are deaf', 'low resolution displays are actually better than high resolution', 'vintage Android is like vintage wine', 'the next version of the device will be an iPod killer', 'user interfaces that respond to touch as designed are for kids with ADD, give us some sloooow scrolling') [yes, I'm exaggerating - a little],
others try to find an explanation why it does not live up to the hype.

David Pogue was doing the latter, and I quoted him, because I respect the guy (his Missing Manual series books are fantastic, very well written...)
Old 6th February 2015
  #5149
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

I wish Neil would call me, I have an idea that would revolutionize hi-fidelity portable music listening more than anything done in a long time, with any type of music player. I've had this idea for 20 plus years, just never had enough money to present it to potential investors properly. And still surprised that nobody has done it.
Old 6th February 2015
  #5150
Old 7th February 2015
  #5151
Lives for gear
 
doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
So, link please.

Assuming that something is not so is not proof. Give me some real technical data that contradict what I'm saying.
(I believe the meager technical details on the Pono site - basics like frequency response and SNR are not listed - say just as much as detailed specs..)
Here is your real technical data. The invoice is in your inbox:

Supported Media Formats | Android Developers

Quote:
Core Media Formats
The table below describes the media format support built into the Android platform. Note that any given mobile device may provide support for additional formats or file types not listed in the table.
Bold text my own.

You can edit your post that says Android 2.3 is limited to 24/44.1 now.

The reason for using Android 2.3 may be found in this article from December 31, 2014: Android 2.3 Gingerbread—Four years later, the OS just won’t die | Ars Technica

Android 2.3 is like the Windows XP of operating systems, it appears. Many try to kill it but the fact is it is a solid operating system (in terms of minimum specs and stability) and many are still using it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
Regarding endorsements, it may be worth repeating that Young tricked the endorsers by playing low resolution files, and having them compare them with CD resolution or better.
The Neil Young email said low resolution MP3 files. But Young's definition of low res may be in the context of 24/192 being high res (in Young's mind) and ANY mp3 file being low res (again, in Neil Young's mind). Until someone confirms the exact format that was used during the promo video testing we're all just speculating. If in fact MP3s at 160 kbps or lower were used then I do believe fraud was committed by Young and crew.

I do agree that having people listen to MP3 files instead of iTunes quality AAC files (I believe they are 256 kbps these days?) is a trick, as @stratology pointed out in another post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
There are even audio software vendors who routinely set their stuff up to do this, and it works just as well for them: they corner the market based on that 1 or 2 db bump.

Might this be the cause for David Pogue's results in his amateur hour, radio-shack-switcher test? Or did he match the devices by playing mp3s through both? I wasn't there, all I know is people popped up here all vindictive because some untrained listeners preferred an iPod or iPhone over the Pono. There is a possible explanation.
David Pogue has posted an article in response to the backlash: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/the-ponop...040409129.html

Quote:
"Your test was invalid because even the tiniest volume difference can make music sound better."

I was aware of this. In fact, in my own rehearsing for the test, I discovered that even though I had bought the same three songs — same albums, same recordings — from the Pono store and the iTunes store, they played back at different volumes!

In the end, I therefore had to make volume adjustments on each player before each song played. “Saturday in the Park” required two volume clicks down on the Pono; “There’s a World” required one click up on the iPhone; and so on.

I arrived at these settings by ear, mind you — I made the volume levels identical manually. If there’s a more automated way to do it, I’m open to suggestion.
That says it right there. He did not use the same tracks. One was from the iTunes store and the other from the Pono store. As many of you may know, different masters are often used on high res audio sites. Even if they are level matched, level matching a hypercompressed track to one that isn't hypercompressed will still result in the hypercompressed one sounding louder and different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
I wish Neil would call me, I have an idea that would revolutionize hi-fidelity portable music listening more than anything done in a long time, with any type of music player. I've had this idea for 20 plus years, just never had enough money to present it to potential investors properly. And still surprised that nobody has done it.
Get in touch with them. Here are three ways:

1501 Mariposa St, Suite 312
San Francisco, CA 94107
United States

Phone: 800-611-0580
Fax: 415-638-6133
Old 7th February 2015
  #5152
Gear Maniac
 

I'm not sure why this thread is so long, but this music player is incredibly meh. There are much better options out there. Are some of you really so delusional that you can't see past this products marketing?
Old 7th February 2015
  #5153
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
David Pogue has posted an article in response to the backlash: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/the-ponop...040409129.html
All in all, a good response methinks.

Alistair
Old 7th February 2015
  #5154
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Here is your real technical data. The invoice is in your inbox:

Supported Media Formats | Android Developers



Bold text my own.

You can edit your post that says Android 2.3 is limited to 24/44.1 now.

The reason for using Android 2.3 may be found in this article from December 31, 2014: Android 2.3 Gingerbread—Four years later, the OS just won’t die | Ars Technica

Android 2.3 is like the Windows XP of operating systems, it appears. Many try to kill it but the fact is it is a solid operating system (in terms of minimum specs and stability) and many are still using it.



The Neil Young email said low resolution MP3 files. But Young's definition of low res may be in the context of 24/192 being high res (in Young's mind) and ANY mp3 file being low res (again, in Neil Young's mind). Until someone confirms the exact format that was used during the promo video testing we're all just speculating. If in fact MP3s at 160 kbps or lower were used then I do believe fraud was committed by Young and crew.

I do agree that having people listen to MP3 files instead of iTunes quality AAC files (I believe they are 256 kbps these days?) is a trick, as @stratology pointed out in another post.



David Pogue has posted an article in response to the backlash: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/the-ponop...040409129.html



That says it right there. He did not use the same tracks. One was from the iTunes store and the other from the Pono store. As many of you may know, different masters are often used on high res audio sites. Even if they are level matched, level matching a hypercompressed track to one that isn't hypercompressed will still result in the hypercompressed one sounding louder and different.



Get in touch with them. Here are three ways:

1501 Mariposa St, Suite 312
San Francisco, CA 94107
United States

Phone: 800-611-0580
Fax: 415-638-6133
Great, thanks I'll try it.
Old 7th February 2015
  #5155
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Here is your real technical data. The invoice is in your inbox:

Supported Media Formats | Android Developers



Bold text my own.

You can edit your post that says Android 2.3 is limited to 24/44.1 now.

That's the same page I linked to. Scroll down to the FLAC section, that's what I quoted from, that's the one that talks about downsampling.
So FLAC is listed, it's not an additional media format that you have to add.


Again, I believe it's entirely possible that there is some tech that allows the files to be played back without downsampling or bit reduction, but I have not seen any indication that this is actually the case. So a link to some actual hard info that specifically refers to the software of the Pono would still be appreciated.



Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Android 2.3 is like the Windows XP of operating systems, it appears. Many try to kill it but the fact is it is a solid operating system (in terms of minimum specs and stability) and many are still using it.

Are you seriously saying that a comparison to XP is a good thing?

Android 2 had serious performance issues, which were addressed in 'Project Butter':
"Google Project Butter was launched to address Android users’ most common complaints related to response lags and poor performance as well as choppy responsiveness.
The results of Google Project Butter initially debuted in Android 4.1 .."




Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
The Neil Young email said low resolution MP3 files. But Young's definition of low res may be in the context of 24/192 being high res (in Young's mind) and ANY mp3 file being low res (again, in Neil Young's mind). Until someone confirms the exact format that was used during the promo video testing we're all just speculating. If in fact MP3s at 160 kbps or lower were used then I do believe fraud was committed by Young and crew.

I do agree that having people listen to MP3 files instead of iTunes quality AAC files (I believe they are 256 kbps these days?) is a trick, as @stratology pointed out in another post.
You're saying that Neil Young may not understand what 'low resolution' actually means. You may be right, I wouldn't be terribly surprised it that's the case.



Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
David Pogue has posted an article in response to the backlash: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/the-ponop...040409129.html

That says it right there. He did not use the same tracks. One was from the iTunes store and the other from the Pono store. As many of you may know, different masters are often used on high res audio sites. Even if they are level matched, level matching a hypercompressed track to one that isn't hypercompressed will still result in the hypercompressed one sounding louder and different.
Yeah, no actual measurable level matching.
The way I understand Pogue is that he tried to test if the hype, that the differences are so huge that anyone can hear them, even with cheap earphones, is true.
But a better double blind test would definitely be a good idea.




I think the Pono is a device that lacks a clear identity.

If it wants to be a portable player, it has to compete with iPods and iPhones in terms of size and usability (and sound in real world applications). I don't think it's trying or succeeding to do that.

If it wants to be a player that's used at home, with the main differentiating factor being a good DAC, it has to compete with audio interfaces in the same price range (that use good converters), like the smaller Apogee and RME interfaces.
These would be the next candidates for double blind tests.
Old 7th February 2015
  #5156
Lives for gear
 
doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
That's the same page I linked to. Scroll down to the FLAC section, that's what I quoted from, that's the one that talks about downsampling.
So FLAC is listed, it's not an additional media format that you have to add.
I quoted and bolded this sentence in my reply for a reason. I'll quote it again:

Quote:
Note that any given mobile device may provide support for additional formats or file types not listed in the table.
Any given mobile device, aka the Pono Player, may provide support for additional formats. Formats meaning sample rates/bit depths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
Again, I believe it's entirely possible that there is some tech that allows the files to be played back without downsampling or bit reduction, but I have not seen any indication that this is actually the case. So a link to some actual hard info that specifically refers to the software of the Pono would still be appreciated.
Watch this video:



and read the white sheet here: http://www.esstech.com/PDF/ES9018-2M...8%20130619.pdf

96 kHz audio within Android 2.3 is certainly possible: http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index...._PortingGuides

We could put this to rest by getting someone to record line out from the Pono with a genuine high res file into an A/D converter set to 24/192. Make some 90 to 96 kHz test tones and let 'er rip. That's the test David Pogue or Ars Technica should have done. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
Are you seriously saying that a comparison to XP is a good thing?
Sure. These are Windows XP's requirements:

Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) processor or faster (300 MHz is recommended)
At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)
At least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk

Compare those specs to Windows 8's requirements. What is the point of having a powerful system if the OS is going to eat up a good portion of the hardware? Windows 10 will only impress me if it requires half the resources of Windows 7. That will be progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
You're saying that Neil Young may not understand what 'low resolution' actually means. You may be right, I wouldn't be terribly surprised it that's the case.
Yes, especially when he and/or his team considers CD quality to be underwater listening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
I think the Pono is a device that lacks a clear identity.

If it wants to be a portable player, it has to compete with iPods and iPhones in terms of size and usability (and sound in real world applications). I don't think it's trying or succeeding to do that.

If it wants to be a player that's used at home, with the main differentiating factor being a good DAC, it has to compete with audio interfaces in the same price range (that use good converters), like the smaller Apogee and RME interfaces.
These would be the next candidates for double blind tests.
Agreed. Pono has many things going against it, the biggest thing being price. You can get an iPhone 5 for $400 brand new now. A device that can play back music or a device that can make phone calls, browse the internet, play games, take photos, take video, record audio. Most people will go with the later.

Then there's the cost of the music itself. $2.00 per song vs. $1.00 on iTunes or FREE if you stream music from legit places or YouTube, etc. I mean, they are selling old albums on the Pono store that are 16-bit/44.1 for way more than you can get a copy of the CD for at Amazon or what have you. If they don't think people price shop then they are fools.
Old 8th February 2015
  #5157
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
...
Watch this video:
...
The video and the pdf are about hardware and hardware specs. What I was referring to was the default behaviour of FLAC on Android, regardless of hardware capabilities. Of course it may be possible to work around Android's defaults, but there is no documentation that states that this is actually happening.


Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Sure. These are Windows XP's requirements:
An OS that is 15 years out of date obviously has requirements for the vintage hardware from back in the day.
XP was a piece of junk, so I don't think the reference is doing Pono any favours. If you design a new device, there is no need to use either outdated low spec hardware, or the software to run on it. Why not go for the best? Especially with obvious things like GUI performance, where the improvements are well documented.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Pono has many things going against it, the biggest thing being price. You can get an iPhone 5 for $400 brand new now. A device that can play back music or a device that can make phone calls, browse the internet, play games, take photos, take video, record audio. Most people will go with the later.

Then there's the cost of the music itself. $2.00 per song vs. $1.00 on iTunes or FREE if you stream music from legit places or YouTube, etc. I mean, they are selling old albums on the Pono store that are 16-bit/44.1 for way more than you can get a copy of the CD for at Amazon or what have you. If they don't think people price shop then they are fools.
We agree on this one. I would not mind re-purchasing some music, even for a slightly higher price, if there is a significant improvement in sound. If there's a small improvement that is not noticeable with non-audiophile gear, why bother.
Old 8th February 2015
  #5158
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoundationsAudio View Post
I'm not sure why this thread is so long, but this music player is incredibly meh. There are much better options out there. Are some of you really so delusional that you can't see past this products marketing?
"Meh" is not a word in the English language. It is also not very descriptive. I have PONO and its sound is outstanding. It is even, non trebley, and non harsh, has little digititus sound, and is very modern and has good electronics. It costs $399. Maybe those who don't pay for music or recording find this price of entry beyond their means. Do you own the player?
Old 8th February 2015
  #5159
Lives for gear
 
doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
"Meh" is not a word in the English language. It is also not very descriptive. I have PONO and its sound is outstanding. It is even, non trebley, and non harsh, has little digititus sound, and is very modern and has good electronics. It costs $399. Maybe those who don't pay for music or recording find this price of entry beyond their means. Do you own the player?
Since you own a Pono can you help us get to the bottom of whether this device actually outputs a 192 kHz signal or not? Assuming you have a 24/192 converter. If not, anything above 48 kHz would be helpful.

I've attached FLAC files for the test inside a zip container. Just send them line out into your converters. If there's a signal, it's legit. If there isn't a signal, something is either wrong with the Pono or with your converter. :-)
Attached Files
File Type: zip pono_test_files.zip (4.26 MB, 4 views)
Old 8th February 2015
  #5160
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Since you own a Pono can you help us get to the bottom of whether this device actually outputs a 192 kHz signal or not? Assuming you have a 24/192 converter. If not, anything above 48 kHz would be helpful.

I've attached FLAC files for the test inside a zip container. Just send them line out into your converters. If there's a signal, it's legit. If there isn't a signal, something is either wrong with the Pono or with your converter. :-)
I'd add this caveat: if it's averaging, you'll be able to get frequencies over 20K but less than 96K out of it (at a 192K sampling rate) but everything above 30K or so will be attenuated, kind of like 'warm' sounding analog gear. I don't think you're going to get analytical playback of supersonic content like 50K test tones, and I don't think you're supposed to. You can't hear them and one of the few things Monty was right about is that accurate production of drastically supersonic content stresses everything in the playback chain.

It's just that there are good and bad ways of dealing with this, and an infinite-slope brickwall filter with pre-ring at just outside the ear's main passband is a terrible way.

If you get tones out of it but they're not as strong as audio-band tones, it suggests Pono's doing the averaging thing and as a whole system it is offering a much better way of dealing with the problem of supersonic energy (averaging is a really good-sounding rolloff, with exemplary time domain behavior and some frequency quirks that make it a pathologically weird 'lowpass filter'. The frequency quirks closely parallel interference from acoustic reflections off physical surfaces, which is why we can hear through them so easily: we evolved to do so, our hardware decodes it.

If Plush doesn't run your tones by the time my Pono arrives, I will do it. Then if it doesn't roll off (but still play) the extreme supersonic tones, which it will, I swear I'll bug them until they firmware update it to do what I said. You guys (some of you) are liable to crow that it's broken and not actually playing 192K content as promised, but anyone familiar with High End digital will know this is a better way to do the filter, and there are other advantages to word length from doing it that 'quirky' way. It's absolutely brilliant.

I could probably tell you where to look for 'nodes' in the response where there's a steep notch (that is well out of human hearing range). Try a test signal of white noise and it ought to produce an interesting roll-off with some funny cancellation notches, but a gentle and natural transition band. Heck, introduce one acoustic surface and re-mic the noise and the 'pathological' filter behavior would LITERALLY be shown to be a natural transition band…
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump