Neil Young’s PonoPlayer: The Emperor Has No Clothes

David Pogue on Pono:

You’ve got to admit it: The argument for the Pono Player sure is appealing — that we don’t know what we’ve been missing in our music.

Unfortunately, it isn’t true.

He did a blind test with 15 volunteers. And they didn’t hear a difference.

So I wrote to Pono — and heard back from Neil Young himself.

“Of approximately 100 top-seed artists who compared Pono to low resolution MP3s,” he wrote, “all of them heard and felt the Pono difference, rewarding to the human senses, and is what Pono thinks you deserve to hear.”

Aha — there’s a key phrase in there: low-resolution MP3s.

[…]

Clearly, if Pono’s testing involved a remastered, high-resolution audio file going head-to-head with an original, crummy MP3 of the same song, you’d hear a difference.

[…]

My advice: If you want a better, richer, better balanced, less tiring, more comfortable listening experience, you don’t have to spend $400 on a new player and throw away your existing music collection.

Just spend a couple of hundred bucks on a nice pair of headphones.

Thank you David.

BTW, I think that Neil Young is a charlatan. Just saying…

via Neil Young's PonoPlayer: The Emperor Has No Clothes.

2 thoughts on “Neil Young’s PonoPlayer: The Emperor Has No Clothes

  1. I’m a Neil fan and he has been weird about digital from the get-go. I think it subconsciously gives him some reason to explain the mediocre output of the 1980s, and his kind of aborted electronic (not very digital, mind you) transition Trans. This was predicated by spending a lot of time with his son in some intensive therapy throughout the decade. That is not an excuse for this crazy Pono thing but perhaps a context. And the albums he withheld from CD for a long time were really not “audiophile” masterpieces but masterpieces they were – On the Beach, American Stars and Bars, and the somewhat lesser Reactor.

  2. I’m a Neil fan and he has been weird about digital from the get-go. I think it subconsciously gives him some reason to explain the mediocre output of the 1980s, and his kind of aborted electronic (not very digital, mind you) transition Trans. This was predicated by spending a lot of time with his son in some intensive therapy throughout the decade. That is not an excuse for this crazy Pono thing but perhaps a context. And the albums he withheld from CD for a long time were really not “audiophile” masterpieces but masterpieces they were – On the Beach, American Stars and Bars, and the somewhat lesser Reactor.

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