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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 17th March 2014
  #991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
I get that they want it to look obvious and "stand out in a crowd" but I'm worried they've gone a bit too far with the sharp-ish corners and boxy look...
Yeah - know what you mean...let's hope Toblerone don't sue
Old 17th March 2014
  #992
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noiseflaw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
I get that they want it to look obvious and "stand out in a crowd" but I'm worried they've gone a bit too far with the sharp-ish corners and boxy look...
Well Johnny Ive certainly didn't design it!

Imagine sitting down with that bulky ass thing in your back pocket. Ouch!

Or, maybe I'd be so lost in 24/192khz I'd just not feel the pain...
Old 17th March 2014
  #993
"Is that a Pono in your pocket or are you just listening to Yngwie Malmsteen again? In which case, you should see a doctor. And a psychiatrist."
Old 17th March 2014
  #994
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by noiseflaw View Post
Well Johnny Ive certainly didn't design it!
Who knows? it's totally "form over function", reminds me of the black flower vase
A.
Old 17th March 2014
  #995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
"Is that a Pono in your pocket or..."
Old 17th March 2014
  #996
Gear Addict
 
czoli's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by noiseflaw View Post
Well Johnny Ive certainly didn't design it!

Imagine sitting down with that bulky ass thing in your back pocket. Ouch!

Or, maybe I'd be so lost in 24/192khz I'd just not feel the pain...
Did you just say you got so lost in 24/192khz you started to feel the pain?
http://www.tinnitusjournal.com/image...f/v13n1a02.pdf
Old 17th March 2014
  #997
Old 17th March 2014
  #998
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.rocker View Post
What took HiFiMAN so long? I can’t say for sure, but a significant piece had to be the sheer ambitiousness and complexity of the original design brief. There was, too, the age-old problem of achieving consistency of production and, more importantly, glitch-free software/firmware performance with what is an inherently complex, multi-function product. In any event the HM-901 (which ranges in price from $999 to $1,279 in the US, depending upon the amplifier module chosen) is here now and performing smoothly at last. Was it worth the wait? I think it was and is, though like many of you I can’t help but think what sort of impact the product might have had if it had come out a year and half earlier
Old 17th March 2014
  #999
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.rocker View Post
Looks good but considerably more expensive than Pono:
Quote:
...The HM-901 can be ordered with any of four (count ‘em) different amplifier modules: a standard module ($999), an IEM module ($1,199), a Minibox module ($1,199), or a Balanced module ($1,279)...
Old 17th March 2014
  #1000
Lives for gear
An alternative that also does DSD for the same price....

FiiO
Old 17th March 2014
  #1001
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paul brown's Avatar
high end portable player

Astell&Kern!
Old 17th March 2014
  #1002
Here for the gear
 

Too many people are focusing on the merits/demerits of the Pono player. It's the razor and PonoMusic wants to sell you razor blades at $14.99 for CD quality and $24.99 for 192/24. Where are they going to get a catalog of music people care about in 192/24 between now and October? They're not. So to make a go of it, the bulk of the catalog is going to to be 44/16. CD quality. Same as 1983. All over again. For $14.99. How many are you going to buy? How many 192/24 albums are you going to buy for $24.99?

For more:

Pono and “High Resolution” Audio | Ultra High-End Audio and Home Theater Review
Old 17th March 2014
  #1003
Quote:
Originally Posted by T'Mershi Duween View Post
Well, I see artists of many different ages and types in that video. I also see some serious industry clout inherently implied that you somehow easily dismiss.

I guess all those aging boomer favorites like Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, Jack White, My Morning Jacket, etc will turn off that 15-25 year old demographic?
While I'm not sure i agree with Kenny's view of Pono completely, I think he's on the money about the stigma Pono is attracting.
I'm watching this debate on another forum and the disdain and vitriol being spewed regarding Young, Petty etc is surprising even me. That's the aspect a lot of younger people are focussing on. they don't want to be told their listening habits are wrong, especially not by 'has been' rock stars (as they see it).
The aim is to persuade young people to start buying music again, and to value that music.
Heading up that effort with a bunch of over 60's is damaging the image. And asking them to pay a premium for audio quality they don't think they need is another huge mistake.
A lot of people feel iTunes is already too expensive.
Old 18th March 2014
  #1004
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
Too many people are focusing on the merits/demerits of the Pono player. It's the razor and PonoMusic wants to sell you razor blades at $14.99 for CD quality and $24.99 for 192/24. Where are they going to get a catalog of music people care about in 192/24 between now and October? They're not. So to make a go of it, the bulk of the catalog is going to to be 44/16. CD quality. Same as 1983. All over again. For $14.99. How many are you going to buy? How many 192/24 albums are you going to buy for $24.99?
I don't think the public is going to re-buy their music at CD quality. Especially since some of them (for convenience) have actually re-bought the music they already have on CD but were too lazy to burn it.

Plus, you don't need Pono to play back music at that rate. If the iTunes store ever does offer higher resolution files, they'll want to give their users an upgrade price rather than a "buy it again" price. Something the labels would hate.
Old 18th March 2014
  #1005
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
A lot of people feel iTunes is already too expensive.
Pirates?
Old 18th March 2014
  #1006
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JulianFernandez's Avatar
 

Will be able to buy the music to listen on our studios/homes (without the player)?
Old 18th March 2014
  #1007
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianFernandez View Post
Will be able to buy the music to listen on our studios/homes (without the player)?
I can't see why not. It's in a standard non-DRM format.
Old 18th March 2014
  #1008
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noiseflaw's Avatar
 

I agree with a lot of what is said in that article.
Old 18th March 2014
  #1009
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

Lots of mixed feelings about the Pono.

Neil Young is a negative for me. Too adamantly against digital for too long. Plus the whole "saving an art form" thing is too heavy handed for me. He is either insincere (unlikely) or deluded (likely) into thinking he is the savior of all that is/was/will be good about the music business. Neither attracts me.

The other musicians, on the other hand, carry some weight with me. If Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, T-Bone Burnett, and Elvis Costello like something this much, I'll pay attention.

Knowing that the format will focus on a sample rate that is way too high is a big negative for me. Good engineering is about balancing competing interests. Overkill on any parameter is usually bad and causes problems elsewhere. We can hear just fine at 24 bit, 44.1k. I could swallow 96k, maybe. More than that is going to waste valuable storage space and/or cause other problems. Bad idea.

The cost of the player, while significant, doesn't concern me as much as the cost of the downloads. Come on, this is the 21st century. Turning back the clock to make lots of money per unit ain't going to happen, not ever, ever again. Look, I would rather buy the CD than pay twice as much for the digital download version; anything above CD quality is not worth the money to me, and I'm freaking 50 years old, and love high quality audio. Paying that much per download will be even less attractive to younger customers.

Ignoring the convenience of other delivery methods seems to me to be another big error being made here. Yeah, people buy music (or steal it) a song at a time or an album at a time. But they also listen to satellite radio and internet radio, both of which now offer customized, taste-tailored channels. I'm a 50 year old geezer, and I find myself turning to those ways of listening to music more than my CD collection or my iTunes downloads (no illegal downloads for me). They are wonderful substitutes for FM radio, and they give me a great mix of favorites and new stuff I have yet to discover. Tap into that, and you have a good idea for selling music in the future. Ignore it, and you do so at your peril.

Yet, for all that negativity, I do want better quality audio. But, I want it the way I want it, not the way Neil Young wants to sell it to me.

Conflicted, but probably not jumping on the bandwagon.
Old 18th March 2014
  #1010
Gear Addict
I'd like to bring up an issue relevant to the whole discussion of "hi-res" digital downloads. As I mentioned in a previous post, there has been controversy over whether everything marketed as hi-res is actually anything more than CD quality. How do we as consumers really know whether we're getting what we pay for? Analysis of the files gives some clues, but most will simply rely on what the package says. Which, as of now, is not guaranteed to be correct.

Here's an interesting article describing the confusion over Beck's recent release: Lies, Damn Lies, and High Resolution Downloads

In the article, mastering engineer Bob Ludwig (anybody ever heard of this guy? ) insists that the master is truly hi-res (24/96 in this case). However, it seems the original tracks weren't recorded at the same resolution. If so, the benefits of the "hi-res" master are dubious at best.

HDtracks, which is where this particular "hi-res" album is offered, says it's at the mercy of the record labels to know what's what. But given the questions over this and other titles that don't appear to be what they claim, the only way to know for sure is to analyze the files. Fortunately, many technically astute consumers have posted their findings in forums such as Computer Audiophile and SteveHoffman.tv, but they're not exhaustive and not everybody wants to bother with those nerdy boards.

If Pono wants to have any chance at success, they'll do well to offer an ironclad guarantee that all their downloads are correctly labeled. Otherwise, when people find out they're paying for falsely advertised material, Pono will be nomo.

Cheers,
Eddie
Old 18th March 2014
  #1011
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie TX View Post
I'd like to bring up an issue relevant to the whole discussion of "hi-res" digital downloads. As I mentioned in a previous post, there has been controversy over whether everything marketed as hi-res is actually anything more than CD quality. How do we as consumers really know whether we're getting what we pay for? Analysis of the files gives some clues, but most will simply rely on what the package says. Which, as of now, is not guaranteed to be correct.

Here's an interesting article describing the confusion over Beck's recent release: Lies, Damn Lies, and High Resolution Downloads

In the article, mastering engineer Bob Ludwig (anybody ever heard of this guy? ) insists that the master is truly hi-res (24/96 in this case). However, it seems the original tracks weren't recorded at the same resolution. If so, the benefits of the "hi-res" master are dubious at best.

HDtracks, which is where this particular "hi-res" album is offered, says it's at the mercy of the record labels to know what's what. But given the questions over this and other titles that don't appear to be what they claim, the only way to know for sure is to analyze the files. Fortunately, many technically astute consumers have posted their findings in forums such as Computer Audiophile and SteveHoffman.tv, but they're not exhaustive and not everybody wants to bother with those nerdy boards.

If Pono wants to have any chance at success, they'll do well to offer an ironclad guarantee that all their downloads are correctly labeled. Otherwise, when people find out they're paying for falsely advertised material, Pono will be nomo.

Cheers,
Eddie
While this is all true, you're getting into that geeky area which 99% of consumers have no interest in. This unit (idea) must be embraced by the mainstream to be successful.

People don't want to think that hard when they buy music.
Old 18th March 2014
  #1012
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doncaparker View Post
Lots of mixed feelings about the Pono.

Neil Young is a negative for me. Too adamantly against digital for too long. Plus the whole "saving an art form" thing is too heavy handed for me. He is either insincere (unlikely) or deluded (likely) into thinking he is the savior of all that is/was/will be good about the music business. Neither attracts me.

The other musicians, on the other hand, carry some weight with me. If Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, T-Bone Burnett, and Elvis Costello like something this much, I'll pay attention.

Knowing that the format will focus on a sample rate that is way too high is a big negative for me. Good engineering is about balancing competing interests. Overkill on any parameter is usually bad and causes problems elsewhere. We can hear just fine at 24 bit, 44.1k. I could swallow 96k, maybe. More than that is going to waste valuable storage space and/or cause other problems. Bad idea.

The cost of the player, while significant, doesn't concern me as much as the cost of the downloads. Come on, this is the 21st century. Turning back the clock to make lots of money per unit ain't going to happen, not ever, ever again. Look, I would rather buy the CD than pay twice as much for the digital download version; anything above CD quality is not worth the money to me, and I'm freaking 50 years old, and love high quality audio. Paying that much per download will be even less attractive to younger customers.

Ignoring the convenience of other delivery methods seems to me to be another big error being made here. Yeah, people buy music (or steal it) a song at a time or an album at a time. But they also listen to satellite radio and internet radio, both of which now offer customized, taste-tailored channels. I'm a 50 year old geezer, and I find myself turning to those ways of listening to music more than my CD collection or my iTunes downloads (no illegal downloads for me). They are wonderful substitutes for FM radio, and they give me a great mix of favorites and new stuff I have yet to discover. Tap into that, and you have a good idea for selling music in the future. Ignore it, and you do so at your peril.

Yet, for all that negativity, I do want better quality audio. But, I want it the way I want it, not the way Neil Young wants to sell it to me.

Conflicted, but probably not jumping on the bandwagon.
All great points. They're pricing themselves out of the mainstream.

For this to be anything other than niche, the consumer should not have to decide between paying more for a particular record vs saving some money and getting the iTunes version.

The price should be the same. Especially considering that many of the sales in the beginning will be people buying their older favorite records again. So it's still worth it for the labels to remaster the records. Without being pigs and wanting more to do it. Are the mastering engineers going to charge more to master the record at 192kHz?

I didn't think so.
Old 18th March 2014
  #1013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
All great points. They're pricing themselves out of the mainstream.

For this to be anything other than niche, the consumer should not have to decide between paying more for a particular record vs saving some money and getting the iTunes version.

The price should be the same. Especially considering that many of the sales in the beginning will be people buying their older favorite records again. So it's still worth it for the labels to remaster the records. Without being pigs and wanting more to do it. Are the mastering engineers going to charge more to master the record at 192kHz?

I didn't think so.
That could be an interesting business model... charging per the number of bytes produced, rather than the number of minutes worked...
Old 18th March 2014
  #1014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Check this out:

Why Neil Young's New Pono Music Player Doesn't Make Any Sense

So now there's no audible quality difference between a 16/44.1 CD and a 24/192 file? Jesus christ...how do they get to print such crap? Way to pi** on the parade with nonsense.

I am not really one for super high sample rates, but the 24bits alone compared to a CD surely is audible to even the total punter on half decent gear.......
Not if the 16 bits are used wisely, especially with pop music where there isn't much dynamic range. My guess is that most people couldn't hear the difference of a well mastered 16 bit recording from a 24 bit version even on great gear. 96 db of dynamic range is more than all but most quiet of rooms. At least at the levels I like to hear music.
Old 18th March 2014
  #1015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post

The price should be the same. Especially considering that many of the sales in the beginning will be people buying their older favorite records again.
Yep. The only way to drag people away from a store they know and trust (eg iTunes or Beatport) is to offer something 'better' for the same price or less.
Old 18th March 2014
  #1016
mixmixmix
Guest
Another money grabbing attempt form an aging rock star. He use to write and perform great songs. Not anymore. Very surprised with all the musical celebrity endorsers fake enthusiasm. Nobody needs this gadget, and everybody knows it. But why not make some money? Nothing wrong with that. From Rock'n'Roll to Lie'n'Sell. Phonies........
Old 18th March 2014
  #1017
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmixmix View Post
Nobody needs this gadget, and everybody knows it.
I would like a portable, HQ player, with lots of gig space that integrates better in my car and home hi-fi system.
They are on to something imo, but just missing the mark.
Old 18th March 2014
  #1018
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
While this is all true, you're getting into that geeky area which 99% of consumers have no interest in.
True enough. I'm going with the assumption that Pono's customer base will be mostly geeks. I don't foresee mainstream consumers spending $25 a pop for this stuff ... it seems the major labels will never learn.

Cheers,
Eddie
Old 18th March 2014
  #1019
Gear Nut
 

Here is the latest Kickstarter data on Pono as of Monday 4/17/14 10:00pm:

Backers: 12,000
Pledged: $4,024,063
Goal: $800,000
Days to go: 28

Bugs
Old 18th March 2014
  #1020
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I disagree with what you're saying.
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