Canadian musician and entrepreneur Neil Young laughing maniacally all the way to the bank as his PonoPlayer Kickstarter racked over $6.2 million from 18,220 backers. Just as 4K video recording is all the rage these days, so too is high-resolution audio. The Pono-verse High-res audio is usually something only serious audiophiles dabble with; they’re fully invested in acquiring the best (often expensive) audio equipment and music files for the best listening experience.
Neil Young’s $399 Toblerone-shaped PonoPlayer is the latest portable music player peddling high-res music as a necessary upgrade. But can the average person even hear the difference?
While you control the Pono mostly with the touchscreen, you can press the circle button three times to go back to a previous track and two times to go to the next track. It’s not really intuitive, to be honest.
The PonoPlayer comes with 128GB of storage — 64GB internal and 64GB on a bundled-in microSD card. You can throw your own microSD card (up to 128GB) in the card slot if you need more storage.
To get the most out of high-res audio, you’ll need to re-buy all your music mastered in high-res at either 96kHz/24-bit or 192kHz/24-bit. The PonoMusic store sells them, but they’re not cheap. Full albums can cost around $20-25 and not all songs are available as individual tracks.
The PonoPlayer doesn’t come with headphones in the box. You’ll need to buy your own.
There are two audio jacks. One is for headphones and one is for outputting to another audio source, like a speaker or car stereo. Or, you can plug in two headphones and two people can listen at the same time.
Picture this: Canadian musician and entrepreneur Neil Young laughing maniacally all the way to the bank as his PonoPlayer Kickstarter racked over $6.2 million from 18,220 backers.
Just as 4K video recording is all the rage these days, so too is high-resolution audio. They’re both overkill — for the average person.
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