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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 12th March 2014
  #91
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Pono is nothing new, really. If you want hi-res digital, you can get it from HDtracks and other sources -- Pono may offer more titles, so that would be nice. But it's just more of what's already here.

The player isn't exactly revolutionary, either. Anybody wanting to play hi-res files on the go can do that now. Here's one way: Fiio X5 / X3

As far as I can tell, the only thing Pono has that sets it apart is Neil Young. I love that dude, but sorry, his product is behind the curve.

Cheers,
Eddie
Old 12th March 2014
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
for Decades Neil Young railed against digital audio - pretty much on principle. In the past, he did not qualify his objection to digital relative to sample rate or bits.

Now all of a sudden digital audio is "wonderful" if the sample rate is higher!
Well, he probably heard early CD copies on crappy consumer CD players and thought it was ****. Fast forward years later and he's listening to 192 material in a mastering suite with top quality DACs of course he's going to jump up and down. But he's an artist, not an audio engineer, so I don't really blame him for those kinds of false mental associations.

Presumably he's heard this Ponyo thing and is happy enough to be associated with it, so it probably does sound somewhat decent. Like I said, if it sounds awful then we can jump on him for being a hypocrite. But if it does turn out to give consumers a better listening experience then what's the problem really?

Quote:
But frankly I think the trend to Designer Headphones, though also a bit silly, is a more meaningful step in that direction. Who knows, someday somebody will invent a thing called a "big ass speaker", and place it in something called a "living room", and encourage the concept of "sitting down and listening to music" instead of "having it on in your car".

THAT would be a revolution.
Well, logically speaking would you be more inclined to splurge for a decent pair of headphones for listening with an Iphone, or for your fancy $400 audiophile device?
Old 12th March 2014
  #93
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the FiiO looks interesting ... 349.00 at B&H
Old 12th March 2014
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Are you under the impression that mixes and masters are squashed because of the limitation of 44.1kHz 16 bit?

96dB isn't enough?
Are mixes and masters unnecessarily squashed for Redbook issue, yes or no? The Jack Nitzsche compilation reissue I bought didn't really make me throw it into the trash bin in anger, I just imagined it?

Let's talk about reality, not some fantasy where the 96dB is actually used.
Old 12th March 2014
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camus View Post
Well, logically speaking would you be more inclined to splurge for a decent pair of headphones for listening with an Iphone, or for your fancy $400 audiophile device?
Of course. There is an interlocking set of connections and ideas that, in caring about better audio, may ultimately lead to better consumer sound. But the included snake-oil may turn off the very people most likely to care.

the best thing about it, IMO is that there will be a brief window where the hi-rez files will be purchasable but not easily found on torrents.
Old 12th March 2014
  #96
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I too am

for Decades Neil Young railed against digital audio - pretty much on principle. In the past, he did not qualify his objection to digital relative to sample rate or bits.

Now all of a sudden digital audio is "wonderful" if the sample rate is higher! even though most humans are having trouble distinguishing between an high-rate mp3 and the CD it was ripped from.

If they were manufacturing some kind of miniature super high resolution analog format, I would expect Neil Young to be behind it. But over the years the stuff he said about digital - whether it was correct or incorrect - kind of lets him out of being a sponsor for ANY digital product, IMO. That bugs me even more than the facts about our ability to appreciate the difference.

a few people have commended the device - again on principle - as being at least a "step in the right direction" toward concern for better audio reproduction, and I suppose caring about better reproduction is what really matters.

But frankly I think the trend to Designer Headphones, though also a bit silly, is a more meaningful step in that direction. Who knows, someday somebody will invent a thing called a "big ass speaker", and place it in something called a "living room", and encourage the concept of "sitting down and listening to music" instead of "having it on in your car".

THAT would be a revolution.
I love much of what Neil did as an artist in the 60s and 70s, but, you know what, I didn't vote for RR when Neil endorsed him. And I think his grasp of audio may be even worse than his grasp on US politics -- if possible.
Old 12th March 2014
  #97
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Wow....very very exciting!!!!
Old 12th March 2014
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Really? I'm not sure how many times I can explain this
You can keep quoting and replying to singular posts or you can read the rest of what I've had to say on the subject and we can stop talking past one another?

Back to work indeed. 48kHz/24bit here, major sacrilege... heh
Old 12th March 2014
  #99
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PONO... Destined for failure.
Old 12th March 2014
  #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camus View Post
Well, there's no guarantee. From my limited experience buying and listening to so-called hi-def downloads, it certainly is encouraging though. Nary a peak limited in sight and sound. Something like 'Dusty In Memphis' peaks around -12/-10 dBFS for much of the program, something that would be considered unthinkable for Redbook release, don't ask me why.
I guess I'm cynical.. I can't see any reason we wouldn't see another round of loudness wars.
Old 12th March 2014
  #101
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I listen to music on vinyl, cd, mp3 players,Youtube, AAC players and in my studio on my Focals with decent ADDA. The only time I've ever turned off music I enjoy because of sound quality is with a youtube video recorded off a vhs tape. This Pono thing is ridiculous. The world has a surfeit of portable data players. I think music is one of the few places where input can trump output.Put a good song performed well in and the playback doesn't matter so much. This would explain why cassettes and 8-track didn't kill the music industry and why millions of people enjoy low-res mp3s over earbuds every day.
Old 12th March 2014
  #102
Kenny's right about the bit depth issue. We don't have squashed mixes because producers are concerned about having the details lost in the digital noise floor. It's simply because they perceive a competitive advantage from being the (RMS) 'loudest' material in the jukebox, on the air, or in the queue.
Old 12th March 2014
  #103
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it will probably go the way of DSD / DVD-Audio for the masses ... and 5.1 music has also gone the way side for the masses ... if i could just get my 8-track to work i would be happy lol neil young will not change the world on his own ... and ask your kids or your friends kids if they give a Hoot .. probably not
Old 12th March 2014
  #104
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music + future = Yay!

These are super existing times for music. From my perspective the digital age of music is only just starting to show its massive potential. People seeeriously love music. There is a huge demand, and so the technology and artform will progress.
I think pono is the first serious attempt at getting audio quality back on the agenda. The sound of music (no pun intended) used to be a big salespoint in the music industry.

Convenience and ease of use has proven itself to be an even bigger salespoint. Now that convenience is everywhere - the big corporations will soon need the next big thing to get ahead of the competition. Why not audio quality? HTC already has a thing with beats by dre...and you can say what you will about the hardware (I'm not a big fan) but the main salespoint of Beats, from a consumers point of view, is actually sound quality - combined of course with the massive branding value Dre carries as a figurehead. My point is that audio quality as a salespoint in itself is still valid. And i think it will be even more so in the near future. Is just hasnt been combined probably with the mainstream consumer electronics - yet.
If this pono-thing can help catapult a focus on audio quality in any way, then I welcome it. Anyway I look forward to hearing what it is capable of.
Old 12th March 2014
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie TX View Post
Pono is nothing new, really...
Again: miss this at your peril: What is new is people caring. The thing is making one million dollars per day on Kickstarter. People are excited. Regular people.

No audiophile initiative has ever been cool before.

- c
Old 12th March 2014
  #106
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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.......
+1
I hear the difference when I convert my files!

This is a much needed marketing niche aiming at the Hi-Fi clientele. The same guys who shell out thousand of dollars on their speakers and amps.
For them the price is a drop in the bucket and it will ensure a pristine source. I love the idea.

Viva la Ponography!
Old 12th March 2014
  #107
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jwh1192's Avatar
and for 8000.00 you get a 4 foot piece of wire and a nifty new Flac Player ...
Old 12th March 2014
  #108
I play red book files in my car and can clearly hear the difference between 320 kbps mp3s. The only way to do this w/my head, RNS850, is w/an iPod.

I can clearly hear the difference between 16/44.1 and 24/48 in my studio. I prefer vinyl on my home stereo, except for convenience. Granted, I can play FLAC or lossless files through Sonos on my home set-up, vinyl still sounds better to me. The idea of getting vinyl quality in my car is intriguing.

I don't believe this will be a hit or be a viable long term player. Neil tried to make a deal w/Apple to deal deliver lossless files on iTunes - they wouldn't go for it. This is his response. MP3s are KILLING music and storage is cheap now. I like the idea of having a part in getting the average listener to move away from MP3s and bring back the feeling I got when listening to vinyl when I was young. PONO doesn't have a logical basis, it's hype/psychological, but if it can move the masses away from mp3s, I don't see how anyone in audio can say it's not a good thing.
Old 12th March 2014
  #109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equiv_Exchange View Post
What if all the people who buy this eventually catch on that 24/192 isn't better and then get disillusioned and think "they lied to me, I can't even hear a difference, iTunes 256 AAC really was as good as CD quality". It could hurt audio quality in the long run
I don't think that's what they expect the buyers of this product to do. They will actually never admit they can't hear a difference. They will double down. The people who can't hear the difference, well, this product isn't meant for them; they can be satisfied with low quality. They aren't really at the same level as their music heros.

Also, the shape is important because it is conspicuous. It won't be in pockets; it will be out for all to see.

Gotta get one! Where's the line?
Old 12th March 2014
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Usually, I am. But that video drove me nuts. It's like watching a David Blane or Chris Angel video where everyone acts like Shaq is really floating over a house. It's cringe worthy. So my apologies.



Is that true? Is the Pono store going to sell the files separately?



You're right. I'm giving my own dogmatic opinion here. Apologies again. I just don't think a car or the train is really where you benefit from something like this. And if it's in a home stereo, you don't need a portable unit. I don't know what trains you ride but I can't hear crap for detail with all of the noise pollution.



The unit probably does sound better than a typical iPod or iPhone. Just not enough for some of these rock icons to drool all over themselves. It's an audio device.



There is certainly a benefit of thinking that it leads us to better audio but my skeptical side says this is nothing more than a way to scam an ignorant public into buying something they don't need.

And to me, that's a major step backward.
Well, I didn't watch any of the videos. Probably a good thing as they seem to have made everyone angry.

I can only see what Silver Sonya is pointing out, that the public are throwing a million bucks a day at the idea of better sounding music. Music that is meant to be BOUGHT as well.......kind of feels nice, even if it all goes tits up. It means to me even if THIS thing fails, there is hope for SOME model of future high quality audio succeeding and also says that people are prepared to PAY for it.
Old 12th March 2014
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equiv_Exchange View Post
What if all the people who buy this eventually catch on that 24/192 isn't better and then get disillusioned and think "they lied to me, I can't even hear a difference, iTunes 256 AAC really was as good as CD quality". It could hurt audio quality in the long run
OMG....
Old 12th March 2014
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robby in WA View Post
MP3s are KILLING music. . .
Blaming delivery formats is misguided. Want music to sound better? Stop limiting the masters to ****.

We have met the enemy and he is us, etc.
Old 12th March 2014
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
OMG....
Not really face palm worthy. If people really can't hear the difference, or can and it's not worth the price, then it could indeed hurt further efforts to improve audio delivery systems.
Old 12th March 2014
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
What it's capable of? Set your Daw to 192kHz 24 bit. That's what it's capable of.
Kenny, you can't seriously be running your DAW at 16bit, surely? I don't go higher than 48kHz or max 96khz once in a while, but 16bit? Really?
Old 12th March 2014
  #115
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
Blaming delivery formats is misguided. Want music to sound better? Stop limiting the masters to ****.

We have met the enemy and he is us, etc.
Imagine listening to DSOTM for the first time on mp3.


SXSW Speech

Neil's doing some cool sheet. Check out the LincVolt too.
Old 12th March 2014
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveswisher View Post
PONO... Destined for failure.
$1.88 million in 27 hrs.
Doomed...
Old 12th March 2014
  #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
Not really face palm worthy. If people really can't hear the difference, or can and it's not worth the price, then it could indeed hurt further efforts to improve audio delivery systems.
If people can't hear the difference, they're ****ing deaf.
Old 12th March 2014
  #118
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Well, if this is snake oil then I suppose this entire forum is dedicated to snake oil...

Quote:
The PonoPlayer was designed with a “no compromises” approach to sound quality. We partnered with the engineering team at Ayre (Ayre Acoustics) to include some of their world-class audio technology in our PonoPlayer. The Ayre team describes their contribution to the PonoPlayer design as follows:

• The digital filter used in the PonoPlayer has minimal phase, and no unnatural (digital sounding) pre-ringing. All sounds made (including music) always have reflections and/or echoes after the initial sound. There is no sound in nature that has any echo or reflection before the sound, which is what conventional linear-phase digital filters do. This is one reason that digital sound has a reputation for sounding "unnatural" and harsh.

• All circuitry is zero-feedback. Feedback can only correct an error after it has occurred, which means that it can never correct for all errors. By using proprietary ultra-linear circuitry with wide bandwidth and low output impedance, there is no need for unnatural sounding feedback.

• The DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) chip being used is widely recognized in the audio and engineering community as one of the best sounding DAC chips available today.

• The output buffer used to drive the headphones is fully discrete so that all individual parameters and circuit values and parts quality can be fully optimized for the absolute finest sound quality. The output impedance is very low so that the PonoPlayer delivers perfectly flat frequency response and wide volume range using virtually any set of headphones
So yes, it appears having an improved DAC and headphone amp is apparently part of the whole marketing schtick. Having taken a gander at the rest of the website it appears 44.1/16 material will be available as well if that is the highest available "master" resolution, so I'm still not sure what all the gnashing of teeth on here is about.
Old 12th March 2014
  #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
So if I convert 44.1kHz 16 bit files to 192kHz 24 bit, am I a ponographer?
If you take Bob Clearmountain's analog tape mix of Exile On Main St. and convert it to 24/192, you're my hero.
Old 12th March 2014
  #120
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
So we'll fool them this time. As a test. And next time we'll really improve the audio because we know that they'll buy it?

They're paying based on the testimonials of their heroes. They've heard nothing.

The musicians in this video should be ashamed.
Who's fooling who? If you say 24 bit doesn't sound better my ears say you are the one fooling yourself. But you know full well it does, so what gives? I really don't get what you're on about here, other than ranting angrily at people supposedly tricking the public.....if they are smuggling in snake oil hifi bs products, sure I see that, but the actual 24bit files being snake oil, really? That's a proper McEnroe moment, man. You cannot be serious!!

Like I say, I haven't seen any video so can't comment. I don't care about any video, I already know 24 bit sounds better.
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