$6 Million Says People Care About Sound Quality…

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pono6million

40 Responses

    • TuneHunter

      I am also lost. You can do HiFi streaming too. What for this funny box? Is it a “vinyl” version of dead iPod.
      Dressed up streaming is the best way to go – we just have to monetize at discovery point.

      Reply
      • Michael

        You can probably stream Hi Res over strong wi-fi (like HD video streaming), but no one does it at 24 / 192 (“lossless” quality), yet. But thats likely because most people don’t have hardware that can play music back at 24 / 192 What this box does is provide the hardware required to playback 24 / 192. The audio guts in your iPhone or Macbook for example can only handle something like 16 / 44.1 (something close to CD quality).

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        • Anonymous

          Can humans appreciate anything above CD quality? Myself, I would not see the difference.

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          • mdti

            On the contrary, you probably would !
            44.1 / 24 bit is already an obvious improvement over 44.1/16bits.
            Of course, you won’t hear the difference on smartphone “speakers”, but those who actually buy CD or mp3s at higher bitrates (320 and more) rely on better speakers and do hear a clear difference.

  1. Anonymous

    “People Care About Sound Quality”

    Then why do they buy crappy interfaces and speakers…

    Reply
    • hippydog

      I’m going to go ahead and assume that the majority of people wanting the PONO player ALREADY have expensive speakers and headphones..

      Its the SOURCE they are missing, not the equipment.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        “the majority of people wanting the PONO player ALREADY have expensive speakers and headphones”

        Let’s hope you’re right. Otherwise they’re in for a nasty surprise. 🙂

        Reply
      • Paul Lanning

        High-res for today’s new pop music? Well maybe the older generation still cares about better sound quality. But most of today’s “listeners” have given ascent to low-talent artists, mutants who washed up on the shore in the aftermath of the explosive years when music–not TV–occupied the forefront of pop culture. The majority of stuff on the charts today is merely the fallout from those years, and higher res just makes it sound worse.

        Reply
    • mdti

      >>> Then why do they buy crappy interfaces and speakers…

      because a crappy seller told them it was great, and they trusted him.
      Don’t blame the buyer! nobody is actually willing to buy a crappy speaker or headphone.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        “nobody is actually willing to buy a crappy speaker or headphone”

        I am! 🙂

        I use tons of absolutely terrifying gear to hear what my music will sound like when it hits the shelves.

        Logitech speakers via any SoundBlaster card are my favorites, but MacBook speakers and Apple’s white earbuds can’t be ignored either.

        Reply
        • mdti

          ok, but in this case, YOU are the special case and you can’t relate to the majority 🙂
          The exception that confirms the rule about which people who are offered to choose between a good and a bad speaker/headphone, will be generally willing to take the best at the price they can afford.

          It is also a matter of education: you cannot realize what is better until you experience it.

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          • Anonymous

            “ok, but in this case, YOU are the special case and you can’t relate to the majority”

            Er, why do you think I have to listen to all that crap? Hm? 🙂

        • mdti

          + you do it for technical reasons, not because it is the sound you are looking for 🙂

          Reply
  2. Ejah Digi

    C’mon Paul, do you really think funding Neil Young’s Kickstarter was about fidelity? And I suppose funding Zach Braff’s new movie was all about supporting “indie film”? Hahahaha!! Nice try man!

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      But why…

      Again, better speakers and interfaces dramatically improve sound in a way you can prove. Likewise, replacing MP3s with .waw’s makes a huge difference.

      But countless A/B-tests show that very few musicians — and hardly any consumers — can tell the difference between 16/44 and 24/96, or better.

      24/96 is necessary for mixing and mastering because it enables you to manipulate sound without artifacts, but it’s not relevant for listening, critical or otherwise…

      Reply
      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        You’re describing why Pono may be based more on perception than reality (a debate worth having). But that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t interested in sound quality.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          “that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t interested in sound quality”

          They want a magical solution that makes their laptop speakers and earbuds sound great, and that’ll never happen.

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          • Paul Resnikoff
            Paul Resnikoff

            This is interesting, because I just talked to a startup that is trying to solve that exact problem. It’s Geek Wave by LH Labs, it’s not scheduled to release until later this year but that is exactly the issue they are trying to tackle (as well as the other killer, battery life).

          • Anonymous

            “I just talked to a startup that is trying to solve that exact problem”

            No doubt — magic is as popular as ever. 🙂

      • Anonymous

        I am skeptical for all the reasons you mentioned. I am wondering if the testimonials where cherry picked or just using really fancy headphones (good headphones DO make a massive difference).

        Reply
  3. GGG

    We already knew “people” care about sound quality if “people” means 20K. I can find 20K people that enjoy klezmer music, doesn’t really mean too much.

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    • Casey

      20k people with too much money to waste care about sound quality. Everyone else who cares about sound quality on mobile devices already owns a Cowon, which is an all around better device.

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      • jw

        20k people is probably enough demand to get this in retail stores, which would make 20k the tip of the iceberg.

        How on earth can you say that the Cowon is a better device? There’s just not enough info to make that claim.

        And how is this a product for people with money to waste? The original iPod was $399, & iPods have cost as much as $499 over the years, & that was always a mainstream consumer product. People are paying $300 to pre-order a Pono, & yet it’s supposed to be some sort of luxury item?

        I really don’t understand all of the flac this device is getting.

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        • GGG

          For the record, I meant to include another line that said something like “the real test will be to see if the player and/or idea catches on.” So I wasn’t exactly shitting on the player as much as I was poking fun at Paul’s headline.

          Reply
        • Casey

          Cowon has a record of being a leader in sound quality. While they do not support the larger FLAC files this does, they support far more codecs with high end hardware and an unparalleled EQ. Not to mention support for things other than music. The Pono might theoretically offer better sound quality, but in real usage it won’t make a difference and the lack of other features/support make Cowon devices better all around.

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          • jw

            So… there’s folks who don’t mind watching video on a 4″ screen, but need pristine audio? I mean if I’m getting an HD audio player, I don’t need video or apps or an Android OS… I don’t need anything my cell phone already does better. I just need HD audio playback & that’s it. Honestly, the less, the better.

            I mean the Cowon is a great product, I’m sure it’s got great hardware & great EQ. Personally, I’ve never used one. It’s sold at a very fair price. I don’t have use for the rest, but I’m sure it’s great. And I’m sure the Pono has great hardware & great EQ, too. It might have better hardware & better EQ. I don’t know & you don’t know which sounds better, but Pono certainly made an interesting choice in creating a triangular decide in order to fit specific hardware in the device. And it wins in storage comparison, & the option to play 24-bit audio is all the better. HD aside, the Pono is certainly going to be in the top class of portable audio players for 16-bit FLAC, & the attention that it is drawing to the format is going to be great for everyone, as far as availability is concerned. The Pono store will benefit all owners of Cowon players as a place to acquire Flac versions of major releases, 16-bit or 24-bit.

            I just don’t get why the disdain for the Pono. Indifference, sure. But why disdain?

          • jw

            That should read “but Pono certainly made an interesting choice in creating a triangular device in order to fit specific hardware inside.”

  4. Dry Roasted

    It’s too bad. There isn’t a Neil Young album since 1973 worth listening to in high quality.

    Reply
  5. Willis

    and millions more care about mass consumption for the sake of ‘having’ rather than ‘enjoying’ music.

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  6. Jeff Robinson

    I still can’t believe they have a name like Pono when the Sonos named system already exists. Talk about confusing the public, who’s the ‘high-end’ marketing guy that did that?

    Reply
  7. Veteran - US MUSIC INDUSTRY 1970-today

    I’m calling bullshit. Seriously. The average person – the everyday normal, run of the mill, listens to FM radio person not only doesn’t care, they don’t know they don’t care.

    Over the past three months I’ve gone to the homes of over thirty musicians – none of whom even owned a DECENT stereo system, let alone a QUALITY system. The most popular playback device I found was an iPod bar/station … the only ones who knew and cared were the engineer types.

    This is all for the elitist connoisseur, not the mass market listener.

    Reply
    • Paul Lanning

      Musicians have always spent primarily on recording equipment, not playback equipment.
      Most chart hits today are so lame that they sound better in lower resolution. There isn’t much in there to hear.

      Reply
      • Veteran - US MUSIC INDUSTRY 1970-today

        and what I’m saying is it doesn’t matter to the average person … it just doesn’t. So hi def is for a very very limited target audience. Not the mass market.

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        • Jeff Robinson

          At some point any product it becomes a ‘consumable’. There are all levels of that. This may be niche, but so what? Premium products have always come at a higher price. Wendy’s created the Triple and when released on the menu, they began selling more Doubles. Why do you think that was?

          Reply
    • hippydog

      Quote “This is all for the elitist connoisseur, not the mass market listener”

      One of my first jobs (this is when DVD’s where first coming out) was working as a salesguy at a ‘high-end’ stereo shop (car and home)..

      trust me when I say…
      The “elitist connoisseur” is where the money is 😉

      Reply

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