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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.

Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!

    1. Creator Doug Adams about 6 hours ago

      Pono is adding members every day. Money may be tight but that isn't unheard of for a new start up company. It takes a while to get moving. There are enough people interested in hi res downloads for this to be viable. HDTracks has been in business 6 + years.

      The oem car sales will also kick in later with Tesla and Harman. If Pono truly got into trouble I could see Harman acquiring it. They have bought many other high quality companies. It would be a small investment for them.

    2. Creator Joe about 8 hours ago

      Pretty much knew this would fail when Hamm left. "Acting" may work on a stage when lip syncing. but in business a real CEO works. in this case CEO stands for Clown Operating Officer. little hope this will last most of the time i leave the Pono in the drawer and use my I phone maybe it don't sound as good to some but when you've listened to Old has been rockers like young for over 50 years the ears don't pick up the difference any how. i have no problem finding hi quality music on the internet have not spent one penny in the Pono store and no plans to do so. pono will likely burn and crash, nice idea but no traction.

    3. Creator TMH 1 day ago


      I would argue it is a pre ipod Apple.

      Better quality than the competition, but seen by the general public as overpriced, over specced and not necessary for what they want to do.

      Dont forget, before the ipod Apple was basically used by the design/arty section, and most people didn't see the need for an apple computer. They released the ipod, it got market penetration, and many people then started buying Mac computers.

      I love my pono, but i seriously doubt the companies long term future, Neil Young said they are struggling to find new capital, and if he isnt putting in his own money...............

    4. Creator Rocky Mountain Way 1 day ago

      @Jason Chau. I have shown the Pono to a lot of people but none have gone out and bought one.
      The market is quite small and with no advertising and no perceived need by the MP3 generation it will struggle to find traction.
      The music companies are making nothing out of music now yet they stick to the old formula of zones and high margins for digital music instead of allowing it to develop.
      Commerce is now global and it makes no sense to restrict supply - especially when those individual zones have no interest in providing alternative sourcing of hi res music for each local market.
      Also, with all the other formats ( LP , CD ) they have a second hand marketable value ( even if not a lot ) but Hi res music has no second hand value .
      The up side is that it is the holy grail of sound!

    5. Creator Jason Chau 2 days ago

      After having the Pono Player for almost a year, I believe it has become the 'Commodore' of the music player world - a player that true to its mission, brings true high-end digital audio to the masses at a fantastic low price (not unlike Commodore's famous motto 'We need to build computers for the masses not the classes'. Unfortunately the masses aren't quite convinced because of having been stuck with MP3 for so long.

      Or perhaps, haven't really been able to physically 'see' a Pono - because branding in todays climate is all about exposure. I believe that the reason Pono hasn't made the headways it was supposed to is because of 'political sabotage' by some members of media, who doesn't want Pono to succeed and I suspect, are being supported by competitors to Pono behind the scenes. Ask yourself the question why would the Pono Player get 5 star reviews from trusted independent review sites like and, while the likes of supposed 'respected' mass-media audiophile reviewers like David Pogue from Yahoo gave it a massive bashing? That massive discrepancy tells you there is something going on...

    6. Creator Rocky Mountain Way 6 days ago

      @Paul Gains & THM. I agree that there is a slim chance that hi res will be available to the rest of the world. Probably more chance having Pono as the new flag!
      Pono aren't saying much but they probably have to pay setup fees which are prohibitive.
      Check out the top albums- All old music or discounted albums. The market is mainly us old guys and probably not as big as we think. It would be hard to pay $NZ45 for a hi res album I already have as a CD.
      All is not lost as Pono sounds fantastic even with Cd's. The main gain is over MP3.
      Quality gear and balanced cables make the most difference.
      Avoid remastered (read compressed) albums .They always louder than the original. The best recordings (even CD's) are quieter.
      I like to crank up the volume -if my delicate ears hurt then it is not a good recording.
      Mostly that doesn't happen with my Pono - I use acoustic guitar and voice to show how good clear and Pono really is.
      Enjoy !

    7. Creator TMH 6 days ago


      I think the following article sums up the chances of that

      After years spent whining about how the iPod was killing the music industry, rock legend Neil Young pulled his albums from Apple Music and launched his own iPod killer, the Pono Player. It was a weird pyramid shaped device that specialized in high-resolution audio, sold through its own music store, which Ars Technica memorably declared a tall, refreshing drink of snake water.

      Anyone surprised to hear, then, that even as iPod sales die, Young’s Pono Player is having trouble keeping pace with it?

      In a new post on Facebook, Young says that while the company has shipped “tens of thousands” of its $400 Pono Players to fans, and despite the fact that users have purchased “hundreds of thousands” of tracks from their store, Pono just can’t scrape together money to expand in more markets.

      “Today we are trying to set up stores in multiple countries and are restricted by a lack off resources,” he wrote, claiming that Canada, Great Britain, and Germany would be the first targets. “This is our highest priority. As soon as we have the funds, those stores will open. We wish it could be faster than that.”

      The company’s also looking for a CEO to replace tech alum John Hamm, who left the company in July 2014. Young claims the “search continues” for a replacement, during which time he will continue to act as interim CEO. Something tells me it’ll be hard to get a proven leader to take over, as long as listeners can’t really tell the difference between this and regular iTunes files. What do you think?

    8. Creator Paul Gains on August 25

      It would be nice to have a progress update / time frame for the opening of the UK, Australia (including New Zealand?) Pono Music Store(s) as would really like to purchase hi res from Pono plus bonus of free upgrades (I travel between UK and NZ - in UK I can buy from HDtracks but not in NZ. In May I bought 'Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac' at 192/24 FLAC for the nice price of £4.90)

    9. Creator anthony broadstock on August 25

      @Doug Adams That of course does not apply to any of the Kickstarter backers like myself from the UK that purchased 3 Pono Players all of which will never have free upgrades because they don't have a Pono Music Store in the UK !! GREAT JOB PONO !!! about time the world got to know how you delivered false promises to everyone of your loyal customers apart from the ones on your own doorstep !!

    10. Creator Doug Adams on August 20


      Pono announces that the Pono Promise free resolution music upgrade has been extended to all US customers. Now all US customers have the same benefits that Kickstarter backers enjoy. Great job Pono. LONG LIVE PONO!

    11. Creator Doug Adams on August 17

      @TMH think you have spent more on headphones than I have. Last year I bought Sony XBA-H1 and Bowers & Wilkins C5 for less than $250. This year the Flare Audio R2Pro on KS for $325. The Grado SR60 are 20 years old! The Sennheiser HD600 are about 10 years old and cost $250 in their day.

      The Trinity Atlas with four interchangeable cables is KS priced at $155. The cables could be worth that. If they do they Pono balanced cable it will be a great deal.

    12. Creator TMH on August 17


      You must have bottomless pockets

      My Current Headphone collection is

      Sennheiser IE 800
      Shure 535
      Klipsch x10i
      Audio Technica ES9WH
      Oppo PM1

      and am waiting on Dash and Earin bluetooths on kickstarter

      I just cant justify anymore!!!

    13. Creator Doug Adams on August 16

      I have been following the Trinity Audio Kickstarter. Their first campaign was a success. They have a new campaign featuring IEMs. The interesting part is they use mmcx detachable cables. They come with 4 cables. Trinity is considering adding a Pono balanced cable to the mix. This would be one of the least expensive ways to try your PonoPlayer in balanced mode. The dynamic/balanced armature hybrid phones have me exciter.

    14. Creator TMH on August 10


      Give up, I doubt it will happen. Try HDTracks using a region blocker and paypal. Or buy the disc and rip the hi res version to your pono

      Or go to the pirate sites

      I have no issue with either approach given pono is so restrictive on access

    15. Creator anthony broadstock on August 10

      Can i suggest that Pono open a UK store as promised so we can actually buy all these great suggestions ???....getting bored of the 2 shipped albums now !!!

    16. Creator Doug Adams on August 8

      @TMH, you are right about Amused To Death. Super recording. Wow.

    17. Creator TMH on August 7

      Can I recommend Amused to Death by Roger Waters as one hell of a way to show off your pono's capabilities. An amazing album that is just made better by a hi-res version

    18. Creator Doug Adams on July 30

      The PonoPlayer is sounding mighty fine with my new Flare Audio R2Pro in ear monitor earphones. These IEMs are so small that both earpieces (without Comply tips) fit on an US dime! Being so small means you can sleep in them without fear of ear damage.

      Combine the comfort and sound quality of these IEMs with the amazing sound of the PonoPlayer and it is a top notch listening experience. Can't imagine the sound when the balanced drive cables are introduced for the Flare.

    19. Creator Doug Adams on July 23

      @Eric W glad to hear you are on track. Pono is a great company with an important mission. Wait until you hear the PonoPlayer. Give it time to break in (it is like a finely tuned race engine) and you will be amazed.

      @ido barzilay has already joined us on the Pono forums. @Eric W, hope to see you there.

    20. Creator Eric W on July 23

      @doug @ian thanks for your help. i contacted support via the pono site and was taken care of right away. thanks!

    21. Creator O'Boogie on July 22

      I can't believe there are really people who don't know to go to Why on earth would you wait this long and not contact someone at the main website? Whoa.

    22. Creator Doug Adams on July 22

      @siltech, as far as I know there are no Pono stores in Canada at this time. Believe some Canadians have been ordering PonoPlayers thru Amazon and some of the other Pono dealers. The Canadian Pono Music store is supposed to open this year.

    23. Creator Doug Adams on July 22

      @Ian, glad you stepped in. The more help the better. Knew I would eventually have to get a moderator or PonoMusic employee to help with Eric's situation. Just trying to get enough info to start the process going. Don't want to leave any Pono people behind.

      Shouldn't be too hard to get ido's headphone questions answered. Just waiting for more info or for him to join us at

      we want to help you @Eric W and @ido barzilay. Help us do that. The PonoPlayer and balanced drive are worth the effort.

    24. Creator Ian Kendrick on July 22

      @Doug Thanks for helping out with this, am not meaning to step in and take your place in this, just doing whatever I can to help. I don't check in here at all really - can't remember the last time I did.

    25. Creator Ian Kendrick on July 22

      @eric w and @ido

      I have not posted here for a long time as all of the information, dialogue and news about Pono is on the Pono community and has been for ages. It was formed a year ago, I am a moderator there.

      @eric - if you contact me there I can escalate your issue with the right people at Pono immediately. I don't know who else you have contacted, but give me the details and I will run with it for you.

      @ido - if you go to the community and go to the Knowledge Section you will find three Tech Sheets on balanced mode use and the correct cable configurations to use with the PonoPlayer for headphones and hifi systems. There is also a Balanced Mode group there.

      To send me a message there, you can use the private messaging. My user name there is the same as here, is my real name.

      I will most likely not visit here again, so I will leave it with you.



    26. Creator Siltech on July 21

      Is there a walk in Pono store in Toronto, Canada?

    27. Creator Doug Adams on July 21

      @Eric W who did you reach out to? Have you ever been on the official PonoMusic website? If not go to You are the only person I have heard of recently, that didn't get a KS PonoPlayer. I don't work for Pono, just a happy customer. If you can provide some info I will try to help.

    28. Creator Eric W on July 21

      never received my pono player. have reached out multiple times with no response. anyone else still waiting?

    29. Creator Doug Adams on July 20

      @ido barzilay the two 3.5mm connectors at the PonoPlayer end is correct. Now look at one of those connectors. There should be the shiny metal tip, followed by a very thin dark insulating ring, followed by another shiny section, another thin dark insulating ring, and finally the 3rd and last shiny section. Do your connectors look like that? 3 chrome sections and two thin black rings seperating them?

      If there is only one thin black section and two crome sections per connector DO NOT USE IN BALANCED MODE. YOU CAN DAMAGE THE PonoPlayer.

      Do these ebay cables attach to the original cables that were already on your Grados's? Like an adapter? Or did the ebay cables completely replace the original Grado cables? If this ebay cable takes a single 3.5mm connector and splits it into two 3.5mm connectors it can not be proper for balanced drive. If it is a Y adapter don't use it damage can result.

      If the cables completely replace the Grado cables, and you have the proper stereo 3.5mm connectors the only other thing I can think of is did you go into the PonoPlayer menu and activate balanced drive? This must be activated to sound and work properly.

      If you are unsure of any of this can you log on to There we can post pics of the connectors and help you.
      if you have more ?'s ask. Please try to answer the questions in this post. I will try to help you.

    30. Creator ido barzilay on July 20

      i have a modified balanced cable i bought from Ebay, it have two 3.5 mm jacks, one jack for the left and one for the right,
      i guess that if no one is talks about the stereo image , than the problem is with that cable.
      i don't really know if my cable that have separate left and right channels means that i am working on balanced mode....i guess not...

    31. Creator Doug Adams on July 20

      @ido I am lost. Do your Grado phones have interchangeable cables? Have never seen Grados that do. Has your Grados been modified to have two 3/8" (3.5mm) headphone connectors? If neither are true, you can't use balanced drive.

      If you have a single 3/8" (3.5mm) connector on your headphones you can not use balanced drive. Balanced drive requires two 3.5mm tip ring sleeve (trs) stereo connectors. Left channel plugs into the headphone jack and the other connector plugs into the PonoPlayer lineout to provide the right channel. Then you select balanced drive in the PonoPlayer menu.

      Let me know what your set up is. If your headphones have a single connector do not use balanced drive. Afaik there are no balanced Grado headphones without modification. I rewired (surgery) my Grado for balanced drive. There are tech sheets with drawings on go to the knowledge section.

    32. Creator ido barzilay on July 18

      i am using the grado ps-1000....
      on unbalanced mode i have a very wide stereo, like i am in the middle of the stage, and on balanced mode the sound is richer but it sound almost like mono... the stereo image is very tight

    33. Creator Doug Adams on July 18

      @Ido Barzilay I don't know the answer to your question. My good earphones are all unbalanced. The only balanced is a pair of self modified Grado SR60 and a pair of self modified Sennheiser IEMs. I will eventually balance the Sennheiser HD600, and Flare Audio is bringing out balanced for Pono cables. Reading on the Pono forums and head fi I don't see many, if any not liking balanced sound. Don't recall any one saying there were trade offs in balanced vs unbalanced sound. What difference in stereo image are you noticing and what phones are you using?

    34. Creator ido barzilay on July 18

      Hi all
      i am using my balanced cable for some time now, the sound it better, but the stereo image while using the pono in a non balanced mode is much better for me. i really like the stereo image in regular listening mode , but on the other hand i really like the sound of the balanced mode. is it only me that noticed that or do you all fill the stereo image is different ?

    35. Creator Doug Adams on July 17

      @Rocky Mountain Way totally agree with you about the IBE disc. Had one since they first came out. Have it ripped to the PonoPlayer, other portables and music computer. Always improves the sound.

      Just picked up Jethro Tull - Aqualung and Thick As A Brick, plus Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like A Wheel on the PonoMusic sale. Excellent.

      PonoMusic has a 6 disc (121 tracks) Creedence Clearwater Revival in 16 /44.1 resolution for less than $8! Downloading that this weekend. WOW.

      The PonoPlayer is getting along well with the new Flare Audio R2Pro IEMs. Amazing sound from such small units. Both metal bodies fit on a US dime. Enjoying music more every day.

    36. Creator Rocky Mountain Way on July 16

      @Doug. I totally agree about the balanced cables.
      I have just purchased a Cardas-Ayre Acoustics(IBE) Burn in CD from Amazon ($US20 + post) on the recommendation of the Pono forum. Should be used weekly to reduce magnetic buildup.
      Is it any better ? Well it is hard to distinguish between great & greater but I do think so.
      Here's the recommended method of installation :

      "I would recommend, to rip the CD to a an uncompressed wav file.
      In the "Action Window" in the left lower edge of the PMW screen, you choose "Rip Disc", then click on "Options" and in the follop up menu "Encoding", as "Encoder" "uncompressed wave"
      In PMW, I created a playlist "IBE" and transfered the copied tracks into it to be synchronized with the internal storage of my Pono. You can find it easily on your player then."

    37. Creator Doug Adams on July 14

      @TMH, Pono is doing fine. Neil Young is in the middle of his "Monsanto" tour so he hasn't been doing many Pono promos. At the concerts they have Pono booths set up with info and the ability to audition the player. There are also Pono T shirts for sale.

      Stores do have the PonoPlayer. There is a list of dealers on the Pono site. Just talked to someone that walked into a Fry's Electronics and bought one.

      Pono is adding more members every day. New people are constantly arriving. Go to rankings and watch the progress.

      A lot of people are also talking about Pono on Pono has two active threads. One is over 250 pages and the other over 40 pages. A lot of them are buying PonoPlayers. Even some of the detractors have bought into Pono.

      Consider that player sales are only part of the Pono ecosystem. PonoMusic is doing fine and growing. Getting stronger every day.

      Look at all the after market companies making balanced cables for the PonoPlayer. Balanced drive will probably become the new standard in high quality portable music listening.

    38. Creator TMH on July 14

      Now delivery and kickstarter are well behind us, has anyone heard how pono is going?

      I don't hear Neil trumpeting on about it, it doesn't appear in stores, and apart from one person on the forum who purchased one through Amazon I don't know anyone who bought one other than through kickstarter.

    39. Creator Doug Adams on July 2

      @Jason Chau I love the cassette Walkmans. Reminds me that I need to replace the belt on my WM10. The belt is still in the shipping box.

    40. Creator Jason Chau on July 1

      Just letting you guys know, the Sony Walkman is 36 years old today! >

    41. Creator Doug Adams on June 26

      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.

    42. Creator TMH on June 24

      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)

    43. Creator Doug Adams on June 24

      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.

    44. Creator Doug Adams on June 17

      The PonoMusic store now has Pono T shirts for sale!

    45. Creator Doug Adams on June 16

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

    46. 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.

    47. Creator O'Boogie on June 7

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

    48. Creator Doug Adams on June 6

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

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