Even Pono Personnel Admit High-Res Music Files Don’t Meet the Hype

Just a short time after Neil Young’s Pono high-resolution music player has gone on sale, naysayers – and not just me – are questioning whether or not these files live up to the hype. And this time, it seems that some of the naysayers are engineers working for the company.

According to the New York Post:

“Product engineers for the shaggy rock icon’s newly released Pono digital music player have privately admitted they aren’t convinced that the high-resolution audio files it plays have any significant technical advantage over CD-quality files.”

The source goes on to say:

“”Their take is that the serious audiophile has convinced himself he has to have it,” the source added. “They’re saying, ‘We don’t necessarily believe it, but nobody’s going to buy it if we don’t do it.'””

And the Post also contacted “Lukasz Fikus, a digital-audio designer whose high-priced Lampizator components have earned a following among hard-core enthusiasts.” Mr Fikus said:

“I think Neil is barking up the wrong tree…” He said that The benefits of hi-res files may be detectable on high-dollar stereo systems, but “the difference is so miniscule that it’s not even worth talking about.”

Fikus also said:

“There are many, many factors that contribute to the final pleasure (of digital music),” Fikus adds. “The density of the media file is only one of those factors — and probably not the first priority, but almost the last.”

This is exactly what I’ve been saying for a long time, and something that even many audiophiles agree with.

By the way, if any Pono employees want to get in touch and share their thoughts, use my contact form and I promise I will respect your anonymity.

4 thoughts on “Even Pono Personnel Admit High-Res Music Files Don’t Meet the Hype

  1. Nice to see you quoting the NY Post, which most folks over here in the states consider nothing more than a tabloid rag no better than the National Enquirer. So I would take their so-called source with a grain of salt. Why don’t you post some positive articles about high-res music and Pono instead of just cherry-picking the negative ones ad-nauseum. I assume you’re a music lover.

    • So Kirk now needs to post positive articles about High-Res music and Pono because he’s a music lover?
      ??? Kirk you should write about the Sony ZX2 Walkman because you are a music lover! Write about it or you don’t love music! …:-) This kind of comments make me believe the PR behind Pono is pretty amazing.
      Pono = Love for music! Write against it and you are not a cool audiophile!

      Rudygray I actually think Pono is a decent player, ugly like hell but decent. I also enjoy the fact that lossless is having some traction because of the hype behind Pono, what I don’t enjoy is the fact that Neil says it makes music sound better because it’s High-Rez.
      There is limits to what humans actually can hear and also to the playback hardware unless you are a cat or maybe a bat…yes I’m joking. My KEFs C1 go up to 40000Hz my old cat (may he rests in peace) loved them because music sounded so much better and my cat was a music lover.
      rudygray I’m sure you bought a Pono, its a decent player but do try to hear CD quality and Hres music and “see” if you notice the difference with a blind test. I actually buy music from qobuz in CD quality and in so called master quality. I admit the only difference is the size of the file, but because the price difference is so little I go for the so called masters.
      Now if the price difference is huge, I wont advice anyone to go Hrez because besides the placebo effect the music is the same, unless it’s mastered in a different way, but thats another story.
      Give me better mastering and I’ll pay a lot more for some music.
      Informed journalists like Kirk should have their opinion, they won’t change the opinion of people like you rudygray but at least they are still free to give one. ĩ’m sure Kirk will reply to you because the guy doesn’t need bodyguards (for now lol) XD… Btw don’t take this the wrong way Rudygray I’m not making fun of you, if I was this comment would be just 1 line.

  2. Nice to see you quoting the NY Post, which most folks over here in the states consider nothing more than a tabloid rag no better than the National Enquirer. So I would take their so-called source with a grain of salt. Why don’t you post some positive articles about high-res music and Pono instead of just cherry-picking the negative ones ad-nauseum. I assume you’re a music lover.

    • So Kirk now needs to post positive articles about High-Res music and Pono because he’s a music lover?
      ??? Kirk you should write about the Sony ZX2 Walkman because you are a music lover! Write about it or you don’t love music! …:-) This kind of comments make me believe the PR behind Pono is pretty amazing.
      Pono = Love for music! Write against it and you are not a cool audiophile!

      Rudygray I actually think Pono is a decent player, ugly like hell but decent. I also enjoy the fact that lossless is having some traction because of the hype behind Pono, what I don’t enjoy is the fact that Neil says it makes music sound better because it’s High-Rez.
      There is limits to what humans actually can hear and also to the playback hardware unless you are a cat or maybe a bat…yes I’m joking. My KEFs C1 go up to 40000Hz my old cat (may he rests in peace) loved them because music sounded so much better and my cat was a music lover.
      rudygray I’m sure you bought a Pono, its a decent player but do try to hear CD quality and Hres music and “see” if you notice the difference with a blind test. I actually buy music from qobuz in CD quality and in so called master quality. I admit the only difference is the size of the file, but because the price difference is so little I go for the so called masters.
      Now if the price difference is huge, I wont advice anyone to go Hrez because besides the placebo effect the music is the same, unless it’s mastered in a different way, but thats another story.
      Give me better mastering and I’ll pay a lot more for some music.
      Informed journalists like Kirk should have their opinion, they won’t change the opinion of people like you rudygray but at least they are still free to give one. ĩ’m sure Kirk will reply to you because the guy doesn’t need bodyguards (for now lol) XD… Btw don’t take this the wrong way Rudygray I’m not making fun of you, if I was this comment would be just 1 line.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.