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Pono's mission is to provide the best possible listening experience of your favorite digital music.
Pono's mission is to provide the best possible listening experience of your favorite digital music.
18,220 backers pledged $6,225,354 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Creator Doug Adams 3 days ago

      TMH, my guess would be the IEMs were already designed and prototyped. Flare just needed extra funding to ramp up production. They had the advantage of already being an established pro audio company. Pono had to start the company from scratch. I don't consider either method as " un Kickstarter ". There was a bigger delay for Pono but they were very close to hitting their target date. My PonoPlayer was in the second KS wave and arrived 3 weeks earlier than the Pono estimate. There are a lot more parts in the PonoPlayer vs. the IEMs. Pono also had to deal with software and the music store. A daunting task. Both companies did a great job.

      Can't wait to hear the Flare with the PonoPlayer.

    2. Creator TMH 5 days ago

      Wow Doug, that was quick.

      Do you think this is one of those projects that was well developed and kickstarter was the final marketing leg, or do you think it was a bonafide "kickstart" program?

      I find the latter have a long lead time and are always delayed (like Pono)

    3. Creator Doug Adams 6 days ago

      Flare Audio just started shipping the Kickstarter IEMS. Can't wait to hear these on my PonoPlayer. Should be incredible. Time to get the playlist ready and decide what the first song will be.

    4. Creator Doug Adams on June 17

      The PonoMusic store now has Pono T shirts for sale!

    5. Creator Doug Adams on June 16

      WOW! PonoMusic just activated 24bit resolution search in the store. Happy days.

    6. Creator Doug Adams on June 14

      Love the new PonoMusic album of the week promotion. Just downloaded Natalie Merchant Tigerlily in 24/96 resolution for less than $14. I spent years looking for an affordable copy of this on SACD. Now PonoMusic puts a high res version on sale. Thank you Pono.

    7. Creator O'Boogie on June 7

      Looking forward to hearing about how it sounds, @Doug!

    8. Creator Doug Adams on June 6

      Can't wait to get the Flare Audio R2Pro IEMs connected to the PonoPlayer. Should sound great.

    9. Creator TMH on May 24

      Rocky

      My balanced cables for the Oppos arrived form Surfcables in rapid time

      I finally get the pono thing now. The difference the balanced cables made is extraordinary

    10. Creator Doug Adams on May 19

      @The Fly!!! check out the Cardas A8 balanced IEMs for Pono. Due to ship soon.

    11. Creator TravisStyle on May 19

      The incredible future of digital high resolution audio question is ...

      https://bitcoin.org/en/developer-reference

      Locks the audio file INSIDE the coin HRA_Bit_Coin transactions / sharing / micropayment royalties

      Who will be the first to Q.E.D's this marriage ?

      Aloha ;)

    12. Creator Doug Adams on May 16

      @ido barzilay, I installed the firmware update and Revealer last night. I find the amount of difference varies with tune and headphones used. MP3 doesn't sound like 24 bit. The headphones I thought were more revealing makes this less apparent than the IEMs. Have to listen more to sort it out. It is surprising and fascinating.

    13. Creator Jason Chau on May 15

      Hey guys, looks like we're being spoiled for choice. Here's another headphone, this time a wireless earbud called Hearnotes just starting their campaign now -
      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hearnotes/hearnotes-premium-wirefree-earbuds-the-universal-e…

    14. Creator ido barzilay on May 14

      any one tried the new pono reviealer ?
      i don't know if it is not working...but mp3 sounds just the same as 194/24 format...

    15. Creator Jason Chau on May 12

      Hey guys have you checked this out yet? Looks like another great headphone is coming our way albeit Bluetooth...
      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1861630723/take-control-of-your-sleep-with-kokoon-eeg-headpho

    16. Creator Matt Smith on May 8

      Speaking of cables for balanced mode, can anyone recommend a source for something that goes from Pono's 3.5mm jacks to universal 2-pin IEM connectors? I tried Surfcables but they do not have anything.

    17. Creator TMH on May 8

      Thanks too Rocky, just ordered a pair for my Oppo PM1's, been hounding the distributor here but they have been no help

      US$100+US$18 to Asutralia

    18. Creator Siltech on May 8

      Thanks Rocky

    19. Creator Rocky Mountain Way on May 7

      @Siltech. Surfcables.com. $US70 + freight ($US18 for me to NZ ).
      Just received my 2nd pair !

    20. Creator Siltech on May 7

      Can anyone recommend a XLR pair to Mini 3.5mm cable for Pono. I want this cable for use in Balanced mode, to my preamp. Thanks

    21. Creator Siltech on May 7

      Ebay

    22. Creator O'Boogie on May 5

      Good to know that some things never, ever change.

    23. Creator Rocky Mountain Way on May 5

      Jerry - I disagree. The Pono with flash gear really does sound fantastic. When I bought my Hegel amp I looked at the Hegel DAC - it has to run off your computer. Seemed a bit Mickey Mouse. The Pono is a much better option.
      Balanced cables make the most difference.

    24. Creator Jerry on May 4

      Maybe they can't sell other places due to patent issues

      Sure seems like a dud product

    25. Creator TMH on May 4

      Sorry Rockymountainway, guess i didn't read your post closely

      They wont sell players to anyone outside the US? Jesus, they must be closer to shutting it all down than i thought!

    26. Creator Rocky Mountain Way on May 4

      My comments are about the Player , not the music.
      It's just another commodity like cables, CD's, iphones or anything else you want to buy on the internet.

    27. Creator TMH on May 3

      @RockyMountainWay

      The restriction on selling to US Card holders only is driven by the record companies, who sell territorial rights to distributors, so they can price gouge in different jurisdictions (aint that right Australians)

      This is not Pono's decision. Sure they can work with the rights holders to sell in these different jurisdictions (the way Apple has with the Itunes store), and i am sure this was their original intention, but my view is (and i have absolutely no evidence to back this up) they have been so underwhelmed by sales in the largest market in the world, that they havent bothered, as demand elsewhere will be even less (agree with Jason that the demand in asia per capita would likely be higher, but on a volume basis not as high)

      I think you were very lucky not to have invested in the Pono crowdfunder business too.

    28. Creator Rocky Mountain Way on May 3

      @ Jason Chau. I know how you feel. I too have spent a lot in equipment upgrades.
      My disbelief is why the store will only sell Pono players to US Credit card holders.
      The player is where I see the future. You can tell by the most downloaded music that the market is mainly middle aged. Young people are not and won't buy in.
      In the early days I looked into the Crowdfunder offer ( before it was announced US citizens only).
      I had already decided to pass once I got the prospectus - I had a vision of buying early Google type shares and making a killing but the Crowdfunder was a lot more restricted - Couldn't on sell, money back and possible dividend only when they decided - more a loan and not company shares.
      If I was one of those that had bought in I would be p****d that only a small portion of the total market was being supplied.

    29. Creator Jason Chau on April 30

      Hi guys - been busy away working and just reading some of the comments here. Can't believe that the Pono Store is still not open in other parts of the world like the UK and Asia - because there are a lot of audiophiles in these parts of the world believe me, and they probably would spend just as much on music related stuff as US based fans. I had a friend of mine who after my introduction to him of my Pono (who subsequently got blown away by its sound) is anxiously waiting to get one in the UK - but he can't until the store opens over there. :(

      Likewise with Asia which has a growing HQ DAP music lovers market and folks with a certain level of expendable income. I can't say for others but I myself spend (on average) an incredible amount per year on content whether it's movies or music - and most is original physical media. Just for listening stuff on the Pono this year excluding the cost of the unit I spent about US$700 on SACDs, Blurays and related gear ie. headphones/cables, a good portion of which was shipping cost (since some content I can't get where I am). Having to wait for the Pono Store to open up in our part of the world is frustrating. If it had opened up, the money I spent on the shipping could have gone towards a few more DSD quality albums...

    30. Creator Doug Adams on April 28

      @TravisStyle, that is the album. Record Store Day has become a success and really helped independent record stores. It does seem a shame that they can't work out the logistics better. There were about six customers in the store. Two were there because of RSD and couldn't buy the product. If I understood the owner correctly, he couldn't turn around and re order. RSD needs to come up with some type of rain check system. What good does it do to entice people into independent stores, and then send them home empty handed? Duh.

    31. Creator James Griffiths on April 27

      "TMH on March 31
      James
      Where did you hear that the ponostore wont open in Australia? Doesn't surprise me but would be interested to know where you heard it.
      Personally, i think the pono music store is a joke. For Neil to railroad against CDs for so long, and then have most of the store sell overpriced CD quality files is outrageous. The lack of international stores is not their fault, but down to the stupid record companies, so is it any wonder the popularity of the pono files on the torrent sites are so high.
      I would not be surprised if the whole thing winds down over the next 12 months. The player is great sounding (albeit a shitty screen and UI) but i cant see it surviving this niche market when HD tracks has such a better offering

      James Griffiths on March 30
      As previously noted my Ponoplayer was a dud and failed after three charges. Took two months to secure a replacement. I paid for the return shipping from Australia to US on the agreement to reimburse and guess what? Pono can't do that cause they can't send payments to paypal credit card or any other method. Oh, and despite assurances during the kickstarter program, seems the pono store will never be available in Australia. Very poor. I wonder if Neil Young is aware of the rubbish service provided by this organisation?"

      Follow on -

      Well, To continue this sorry tale. I posted a similar comment to the above on the Pono Community page (which appears to be very heavily curated) and received a message which appeared to be sent by or on behalf of Neil Young explaining and apologizing for my troubles. I appreciated that. I was put in touch with a gentleman called Phil who I understand to be a senior executive with Pono (VP Product Development & Operations) . Phil assured me , and has assured me again since I followed him up a few weeks ago, that a refund for my shipping outlay had been sent. Its been about a month since I first heard that and no money has been delivered yet..and its been over three months since I first asked for it....but I hold out hope.

      More relevantly Phil has told me that there is no immediate plan to allow Australia, or anywhere outside USA, and possibly Canada and UK, to use the pono store. That was certainly not my impression from the Kickstarter pre launch hype and it was an operative representation in my ordering not one but two of the silly things. Despite all the glowing, possibly planted, reports of the Pono being a superior player , even without high end content, it seems like an ugly, crippled ipod to me none the less.

      Ah, what do they say? "A fool and his money are soon parted."

    32. Creator Doug Adams on April 23

      @Link a lot of stuff was already sold! Did pick up Mastodon - Atlanta picture disc. Recorded at 45rpm. Amazing art work. Haven't decided if I will open it or not. The store was busy. Owner said they order stuff and they only send some of it. He said it was better this year. I wanted the Bert Jansch disc. They didn't have it. Another customer wanted Atreu. Didn't have that. They need to get more supply.

    33. Creator TMH on April 19

      There are other resources for high-res music. They are working on it. It isn't like they can snap their fingers and make it so. It is taking longer than they expected. There's not much they can do about it except to continue to work on it.

      That may be the case O'Boogie, and i don't blame Pono, it clearly is the fault of the record companies

      But i can tell you there is nowhere coming form Australia you can buy this hi-rez music. I would eb happy to pay for it. But in the absence of that I have to look for other sources. And those arent in the best interests of anybody.

    34. Creator Link on April 19

      What did you get Doug?

    35. Creator Doug Adams on April 18

      Just returned from Record Store Day. It was crowded. That is a good thing. It was a good day.

    36. Creator Doug Adams on April 18

      @mbcatcb, there are lots of places to buy hi res music. HDTracks, eOnkyo, Technics Tracks, Qubuz, Pro Studio Masters, Acoustic Sounds, Native DSD Downloads. Probably others I don't know about. Being in the US allows access to somemof the sites but not all. None of the sites are worldwide.

    37. Creator O'Boogie on April 17

      There are other resources for high-res music. They are working on it. It isn't like they can snap their fingers and make it so. It is taking longer than they expected. There's not much they can do about it except to continue to work on it.

    38. Creator mbcatcb on April 17

      I really wish that you had written on the original post that if you were not an American there was no point in buying pono because you won't be able to purchase high-resolution music. You owe every international backer an apology and a commitment that opening international stores will be a priority. I feel absolutely let down, at the moment you're right on par with iTunes.

    39. Creator Siltech on April 17

      Cool

    40. Creator O'Boogie on April 16

      Yes?

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