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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. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams 5 days ago

      Rocky Mountain Way congrats on the new PonoPlayer! Never hurts to have extras. I have 2 and a third might be a possibility.

      Still wouldn't be surprised to see a new PonoPlayer one day under the Ayre name.

    2. Siltech 6 days ago

      I think Mag Lev is considering given us a better tonearm and cartridge for no extra money. Below is a part I copied and pasted here from Mags last update.

      From Mag--As you all know, we have mechanisms connected to our tonearm, but are seriously considering of giving you guys a better quality tonearm to begin with as well as a better cartridge. The specifics are yet to be determined with our suppliers.

    3. Siltech 6 days ago

      Rockster cool.
      Can't wait for the Mag Lev turntable.

    4. Rocky Mountain Way 7 days ago

      Siltech - Win Win!
      My new black Pono is now all loaded and ready to go. I have just ordered some more balanced cables from They are in limited supply so I thought I would just future proof my options as they won't be making any more.
      It looks like our MagLev turntable will have the option of an arm and cartridge upgrade - Perfect.
      I have just scored an original LP of 'Get yer ya-ya's out' - the CD was a compressed remaster & sounded terrible so the LP is the only way to go for this one.

    5. Siltech on June 20

      I just bought another new black Pono player. This one I'm going to use in my new BMW X1. I bought the last one the store had, and my cost was only $262 USD.
      I'm still using my limited edition Pono player on home unit in XLR balanced mode. Siltech

    6. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on June 7

      Congrats @Rocky Mountain Way. There are so many counterfeit cards!!! I keep getting ads for a place offering a 512GB mSD card for only $59.95. But wait I also get w free 64GB card. What a crock. Be careful everyone.

    7. Rocky Mountain Way on June 2

      The Micro SD problem solved! 4 counterfeit disks ! What fooled me was that the computer read it as high capacity when it wasn't there.
      I used a SanDisk Extreme Pro which was really fast to load.
      Thanks for all your help.

    8. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on May 28

      @TMH. Firewalled? is it a P2P? can you default for d/l only?
      these weren't even my concerns, initially. was mainly put off by the unsecured site for c/c transaction to pay for premium d/l speed. but an unsecured P2P site is far worse. I'd say you have been very lucky. so far.

    9. The Fly !!! on May 28

      I wonder how much of the 6 million went up Neil Young's nose?

    10. Missing avatar

      TMH on May 28

      Herb Hesse. Agree it is not secure. I just make sure it is firewalled. But I can tell you all the stuff I have got is virus free and awesome. Yes, it appears to good to be true (and if you don't pay to be a member of datashare it can take a long time to download the rat files) but so far I have had no problems

    11. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on May 26

      also as recommended by user @ TMH in an earlier post IS NOT A SECURE SITE. Buyer Beware. Just Say'n. If it looks too good to be true.......

    12. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on May 26

      btw - you should NOT have to format/re-format newer (larger) micro sd cards. +32 gb are all exfat by default.

    13. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on May 26

      @Rocky Mountain Way: you did not mention the flava (manufacturer of the micro sd card?) If they are Sandisk they are warrantied, FOR LIFE. as Doug mentioned there are ALOT of counterfeits out there, so be prepared to jump thru hoops @ Sandisk to verify. BUT, I can tell you from experience they stand behind their product. I've had 2 separate 200 gb card fails. similar scenarios. turnaround time is approx 3wks, depending on how quickly you/they respond. biggest P.I.T.A. (to me) was re-loading cards. good luck.

    14. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on May 24

      @Rocky Mountain Way, wow. Never had any problems side loading. I'm no computer expert. Have a few ideas.
      1. Have you formatted the mSD card with the official SD Association format tool? There are security features that must be retained for the card to work properly.

      2. Have you tried doing the sideload in smaller than 50gb steps? I usually do an album at a time.
      3. Did the cards ever work properly? There are a lot of fake hi capacity cards. Counterfeits are every where.

      4. You aren't using PonoMusic World, PonoMusic Vault, or any other proprietary program for side loading ?

      I just did a new 64gb card. Wanted one for super sound quality so all albums were hi res and in WAV. Used W7 i5 Dell laptop. Used a mSD card adapter into SD slot. Some albums came from laptop's internal hard drive. Most from external hard drives. Took less than 4 hours to make card. Could have been a little quicker if I weren't futzing around to make sure I didn't have same song on PonoPlayer's internal memory. I always leave 10% memory blank. It is supoosed to help computer and Pono work properly.

      If none of this works try the Pono community . Also Computer Audiophile or AudioAsylum forums.

      Let us know what works,

    15. Rocky Mountain Way on May 20

      I am having real issues side loading my FLAC files onto a MicroSD card. I thought it was a Pono issue but the same happens without Pono.
      I have 2 computers Mac OSX 10.11.6 & Windows 7.
      128GB Micro SD Card - Format exFAT.
      I adjusted both computer settings so that they never sleep.
      MAC: Files on USB Stick . Insert Micro SD via adaptor & Copy & paste 50GB file - takes 12 hours.
      Then I immediately copy & paste file to desktop from SD File. 50GB.
      The SD file only has 30GB of data - All the albums are there but for 2/3 of them opening the album shows there are no songs. I have tried copying and pasting missing songs from 1 album and it worked. Then I remove the SD card from the computer and re-insert. Now there is 10GB of data and it will not allow me to copy & paste any more songs. Reinserting the SD card again and it is on longer recognised by the computer.
      PC: Same as the Mac. I have tried cmd & chkdsk d/f but no joy. Recovery software is to recover the data to a different device, not the same one. The PC recognised the SD card in the drive but access is now denied.
      I can reformat the disk .All the data is now lost. Repeat the process and same result. I have tried numerous cards ( 64 GB & 128GB )and 2 computers.
      I am now totally lost . Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    16. TravisStyle on May 11

      @Neil Young, I like $ money ;) if you have a moment you may want to search eBay under "Pono player" you will arrive on listings with no buyers / when you do a deeper search on "items sold" you will find the Pono player selling for pennies on the dollar ... Seems to me you have still have some inventory of Pono players ( psssst ya know releasing the OS will only boost the Pono Player VALUE$ since releasing the OS will immediately create a entirely New Market of tinkering programming coders hungry to best each other faster than shit through a goose ;) Ju$t $saying ...

    17. TravisStyle on May 11

      @Doug Adams - wonder full of info comment Mahalo for your take on open OS. After posting it was apparent to me than this "StreamingHigh" is almost the paradigm of early "Transistor Radios" everyone had to have one & everyone did just that !!! This Pono Player has limitations - I'll grant you that hands down - interesting to read your comments here since all your comments would advance ( should open OS release gifted to every one ) & yes the Pono is headed in the right direction to become the Classic Neil Young paperweight / door-stop !!! I can not help but think "the time is now" to release the OS if for no other reason than Neil's support of the community "he" started here Aloha ;)

    18. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on May 11

      @TravisStyle you are probably correct about a portable being the streaming solution. Don't see how providing the PonoPlayer OS helps. The Pono has no wi fi or Bluetooth receiver built in. It might be possible to hook something through the USB, but I think that requires the Pono to have a renderer built in. Don't think it has one.

      Playing with the OS might bring us all kind of new features. But they have to be things the unit is physically able to do. All the OS updates in the world can't turn a laptop into a farm tractor.

      I would love to add lower volume settings and the ability to play from a portable external hard drive to the Pono. Volume settings are possible according to Charles Hansen. Think we need a renderer for hard drive playback. Would also love a very precise EQ for fixing headphone faults. + - half a db at 20 - 40khz. No idea if the Sabre dac chip can do EQ. The Pono analog section can't.

    19. TravisStyle on May 7

      So in answer to "Why release to Pono Player OS NOW?" I am of the opinion the ONLY viable "cash flow to the MAX" delivery system to deliver High Rez Streaming & the one to beat will be FREAKING PORTABLE PLAYER ! ! !

      Study Chapter 5 & 6; Oh and outline the subtext in Chapter 7 because there will be a Quiz next week! No I am not telling you the day of the QUIZ ! Just be ready for it !!!

    20. TravisStyle on May 7

      Pono Community Aloha from Kona HI ;)

      Would it be "short-sighted" to hold onto the Pono Player OS? Ya know this is a really good question & thinking about where Mr NY is heading "downstream" from the original kickstarter offering here; can't help but think Mr NY found kickstarter to be the viable new venture capital tool he had been seeking for years and as the Pono Player is a "proven platform" now or at the very least and viable test bed when looking for better ways to deliver on his newest venture; down-streaming... why isn't the Pono Player still in (pardon the pun) PLAY? OK so will the OS remain locked in some old Nike shoebox with old stinky socks and busted laces which Mr NY will simply throw away along with his Pono Player dream?

      I believe when it comes to the "unique" delivery of his latest streaming dream (it ain't wet yet) which he seems just as dedicated to now as he was when he launched the kickstarter Pono Music Player here and not offering the Pono Player OS as simply some super-ego-interrupt-us or passing over the golden opportunity now to make available his Pono OS to the collective open source community & inviting a good hacking of the Pono Player to the MAX as yet another "test-bed" platform; the better play !

      Now here is where it gets interesting, at least the potential looks interesting enough to call for the Pono Player OS release;

      (1) Adaptive Bluetooth technology (plug-in) has a wider bandwidth than a few years back.

      (2) The Pono Player is already setup to process the high-razz REZ.

      (3) The streaming REZ pie-up-in-da-sky promise to deliver in real time; ya think? - however without a viable test-bed platform [ well da thing won't really get the traction necessary to catch on & generate the cash flow to do any better than Pono Music did... ]

      In my heart you know I am right Mr NY. A word of hindsight advice here from the guy who gave his entire company to his employees after they dedicated themselves to making him a success "STACK THE ODDS IN YOUR FAVOR" from Bob's Red Mill ! Aloha

    21. TravisStyle on May 6

      Jerry ... You're a class act dude or dude-et Aloha

    22. Jerry on May 6


      open source would bring life to the Pono and if the Clown Executive Officer Young cared about Pono he would put the code out now. But bottom line is that putting out the code does not get him any money and that is all he care about its never been about the music its only been how can an old washed up musician that nobody cares for anymore get more money.

      i still have several of the original PJB-100's that Compaq computer introduced it had several limitations that open sourcing worked out limited to mp3's at320kbbit rate and software that needs xp to use

      but it still plays and sounds good and easier to use that the pono doorstop

    23. TravisStyle on May 5

      Think pono community... Neil should welcome & invite the original Neil Young Pono Player gaining some new updated reputation of "HackenPono" contribution to the open source community. What has he got to loose here ? So I ask you ? Has the OS or "source code" to power the pono player been released yet?

      Steal it if you have to only "Release The Kracken" Release the Code pono

      Long Live Pono
      ( in whatever "who knew?" form that new life may take ;)

    24. TravisStyle on May 5

      Not my accomplishment ( all of those future coders ideas ) hell this thing could be completely unknown if only ? Just saying GitHub Aloha

    25. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on May 5

      @TravisStyle, so you get the codes. What do you hope to accomplish?

      Charles Hansen said more volume settings could be added on the lower end of the scale. That would be nice for IEM users.

    26. TravisStyle on May 2

      Mr Young, you have butt ... Excuse me let me start this over again... You have but one very wonderful inspired option ( if this has already been done than Emile Latella ) kindly drop off the source code so the open community's band of future pono lovers can redesign the pono's software as open source ( ops did I do that moment ? Or gosh someone stole the code !!! Or I know I put that code stuff some software Aloha folks it's been downhill from the very first days we all met here on slick-starter ... Yours truly the humble Travis ;)

    27. Rocky Mountain Way on April 24

      Download the Chrome extension Hola VPN . It tells Hdtracks that you are from the US and they are happy to take your money. As posted by Doug previously NY Hi Res is available to us all from the NY website much cheaper.

    28. Missing avatar

      TMH on April 23


      I get all that, Ever since i got my ponos I have downloaded all my music from other sites, because being in Australia NO-ONE sells me hi-res music, whether i want to pay or not, and they wonder why piracy flourishers..............

      Service may appear available, but it wont last (and i would say will fall off a cliff now Time of Death has been called)

      Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with my ponos as a player, but they wont last forever, I commented below i saw three in a japanese store last week and the owner said they had been there for years wiht no interest. This is a Beta VCR now.

      I will keep it going, but there are equally good players out there (and product of the year doesn't necessarily mean that much). I have used Astell and Kern and their sound is just as good, and my friends sony was amazing. Even my oppo HA2 Dac/Amp that attaches to my phone is awesome, and all of them are easier to use than the pono. I do love the toblerone shape and see through electronics though.

      This site is worth checking out for those geo-blocked from the hi-res stores

    29. Siltech on April 22

      You can download from many sites, transfer to micro sd card to play on Pono. Now as Doug mentioned, service appears available, if needed. It may be a little annoying getting the music on the Pono player, but the sonics are 2nd to none. Voted and named "Product Of The Year" by Stereophile. I love Sony but doubt the sonics will be anywhere Pono player. Pono and Ayre together, make Sonic Bliss, and all the nayers no it. If your not happy and think Sony is sonically better, then why not sell your player.



    30. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on April 22

      Pono downloading still lives! From Phil Baker on the official Pono community:

      Phil Baker (PonoMusic)
      Just wanted to add a couple of comments based on some of the responses. The Xstream service includes the ability to buy hi-res downloads. And service for players continues to be available by contacting me at Thanks.

    31. Missing avatar

      TMH on April 22

      I have nothing against him for closing it all down, as some of us have said for a while it has been dead for quite some time (some may say DOA), but it is not apples fault, and his hypocrisy in jumping back into the iTunes Store and other Low res formats is breathtaking

      Apple didn't invent MP3s as suggested above. And Pono/omniPhone was so insignificant to apples operation to suggest they bought it just to eliminate the competition is crazy. They bought the tech out of insolvency as that is what tech companies do

      There is probably more credence in what the Jriver guy said, that NY trying to put lipstick on the pig. And it used to really piss me off having to reinstall the pono software every few months, but clearly that was a very strategic move on jRivers part so bravo

      I will continue to use my ponos until they die, and will buy something better. My friend just bought the new Sony player. Great machine, balanced out, solid amplification, user friendly UI and great sound. Pono was a stepping stone

    32. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 21

      tommy, tommy?

    33. Siltech on April 21

      Jerry Jerry

    34. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 21

      No PoNo For You! @siltech

    35. Siltech on April 21

      Take care Herb Hesse, or should I say JERRYYYYYYY

    36. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 21

      @sitech - uh, Fire$ale? happens all day long in Biz. Buy Low (can't get much lower than Bankrupt) sell High. You do know that is how Apple got what they got, right? by gobbling up Fire$ales......Evil Empire yes, But also wicked Mgmnt skills.
      Neil is a hippie musician. Not a businessman. sounds like PoNo was on a path to destruction all along, all by it's lonesome?

    37. Siltech on April 21

      If they went bankrupt, then why would Apple buy the assets. The logical reason, was to destroy Pono site, and protect there own. Trump and Siltech

    38. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 21

      according to Jim H (JRiver):

      Neil is leaving out parts of the story. Omnifone went bankrupt and only then did Apple buy the assets. I suspect this happened because Pono (Ivanhoe) didn't pay their bills. We always had trouble collecting for our work, and they still owe us $28,000. They may have only paid JRiver at all because the player timed out if they didn't.

      Neil is an idealist, but he is not a business person. In business, you make the calculations first, operate carefully, and pay your bills. It was irresponsible of him to continue to try to build a streaming service when he still owed people money for the past work they had done.

      Admit your mistakes, Neil, and move on. Blaming the problems on the music business is something Trump might do, but it's not something Neil Young should be doing. The music business isn't a boys choir, but they didn't cause the failure of Pono.

    39. Siltech on April 21

      We need Warren Buffett support, to take Apple down. Still, Long Live Pono. Siltech

    40. Siltech on April 21

      It shouldn't be legal for Apple to buy and close it down. Tell the World,!APPLE SUCKS. It's disgusting, what they did. It's only about Money, with Apple. I wish there was someone to take that company done. WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND. Siltech

    41. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 21

      @ Rocky Mountain Way, et al. guess that guy was spot on all along?
      Sad News, Indeed.

    42. Rocky Mountain Way on April 20

      Doug- Thanks for the post. We all knew this was coming but nothing will change for me. I have just received my new backup Pono and I am playing it in. They will become a collector's item!
      It is unclear but I presume they will stop production. Hence the backup purchase.
      Long term if the battery fails there are clips on You Tube as to how to replace it.
      I can't see a streaming source from iPad or Phone sounding better than Pono.
      As I suspected - it was Apple who closed down Omniphone - so if anyone is grumpy it should be with them - inventor of the MP3 & the great leap backwards.
      P.S. Thanks Neil. I have played more music in the last 3 years than ever before.

    43. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 20

      R. I. P. PoNo
      03~11~14 - 04~20~14

      N.Y. statement: No More Than Pretty Black "WORDS" On A White Background. No PoNo Store. No PoNo Promise. No "Version 2". No Shit!
      "I've been living the dream we had, for me it's not over".

    44. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on April 20

      Post by Neil Young from PonoMusic site.

      Neil Young (PonoMusic)
      Neil Young (PonoMusic)
      It’s time to talk about Pono and the initiative we all started. As you know, together we’ve been fighting a battle to bring high quality music back to the world that’s become used to mediocre, hollowed-out files. The cause seemed to be a win-win for everyone. The artists would allow their fans to hear what they hear in the studios, and the music lovers would hear the music the best it could be. This cause has been something I’ve written and talked about for over 20 years. I cared and I assumed that most of the world would care.

      It’s been almost five years since we kicked off the campaign at SXSW to offer a player and download content that could fulfill my dream of bringing to you a music experience unlike any other for the cost. Thanks to our supporters on Kickstarter, the follow-on customers and some very good friends that supported the effort, we delivered on that promise. Our player won best digital portable product of the year from Stereophile Magazine, and we offered some of the best high resolution content to be found anywhere. We sold tens of thousands of players, every unit that we made. Thanks for that!

      But, despite that success, I was not satisfied. I had to put up with lots of criticism for the high cost of music delivered in the way all music should be provided, at full resolution and not hollowed out. I had no control over the pricing, but I was the one that felt the criticism, because I was the face of it. And I pretty much agreed with the criticism. Music should not be priced this way.

      Last year when Omnifone, our download store partner, was bought and shut down with no notice by Apple, we began work with another company to build the same download store. But the more we worked on it, the more we realized how difficult it would be to recreate what we had and how costly it was to run it: to deliver the Pono promise, meaning you’d never have to buy the same album again if was released at a higher quality; the ability to access just high res music, and not the same performances at lower quality, and the ability to do special sales. Each of these features was expensive to implement.

      I also realized that just bringing back the store was not enough. While there was a dedicated audience, I could not in good conscience continue to justify the higher costs. When it comes to high res, the record industry is still broken. The industry was such that even when I wanted to remaster some of the great performances from my artist friends at high res, Pono had to pay thousands of dollars for each recording, with little expectation of getting the money back. Record companies believe they should charge a premium for high res recordings and conversely, I believe all music should cost the same, regardless of the technology used.

      As you might imagine, I found it difficult to raise more money for this model: delivering quality music at a premium price to a limited audience that felt they were being taken advantage of with the high costs.

      So now, sadly with Pono gone, for more than eight months I’ve been working with our small team to look for alternatives. Finding a way to deliver the quality music without the expense and to bring it to a larger audience has been our goal.

      That effort has led to a technology developed by Orastream, a small company in Singapore that we’ve been working with. Together we created Xstream, the next generation of streaming, an adaptive streaming service that changes with available bandwidth. It is absolutely amazing because it is capable of complete high resolution playback. Unlike all other streaming services that are limited to playing at a single low or moderate resolution, Xstream plays at the highest quality your network condition allows at that moment and adapts as the network conditions change. It’s a single high resolution bit-perfect file that essentially compresses as needed to never stop playing. As a result, it always sounds better than the other streaming services and it never stops or buffers like other higher res services. When you play it at home with WiFi it can play all established low and high resolutions, including the highest, and thousands more levels of resolution in between. When you are in your car with poor cellular it might play better than an existing low res service, but at a location where robust wifi is available Xstream supports high resolution listening. Xstream is one file, streaming for all with 15,000 seamlessly changing levels of playback quality.

      So, this is what we’ve been working on. But one of my conditions is that it should not have a premium price. I’ve insisted that there be no premium price for this service. Pono tried that with downloads and it’s not a good model for customers. And I’ve told the labels it’s not a good model for them to charge a premium for music the way it was meant to be heard. I firmly believe that music is in trouble because you can’t hear it the way it is created unless you pay a premium. No one gets to hear the real deal, so the magic of music is compromised by limited technology.

      Good sounding music is not a premium. All songs should cost the same, regardless of digital resolution. Let the people decide what they want to listen to without charging them more for true quality. That way quality is not an elitist thing. If high resolution costs more, listeners will just choose the cheaper option and never hear the quality. Record companies will ultimately lose more money by not exposing the true beauty of their music to the masses. Remember, all music is created to sound great and the record labels are the one’s deciding to not offer that at the normal price. The magic of music should be presented by the stewards of that music at a normal price. Let listeners decide on the quality they want to purchase without pricing constraints.

      I’ve been meeting with and speaking with the labels, potential partners such as the carriers, and other potential investors. For many it’s a difficult sell. There are already streaming services, some doing well and others not. While there’s nothing as good as Xstream, or as flexible and adaptive, it’s still proven a difficult sell for companies to invest in.

      So, in my experience, today’s broken music industry continues to make major mistakes, but we are still trying. Bringing back the magic of great sound matters to the music of the world.

      Thank you all very much for supporting Pono and quality audio. Thanks to everyone who is or was associated with Pono, especially the customers who supported us. Thanks to Charlie Hansen and Ayre Acoustics for the great PonoPlayer. It has been a labor of love. I want you to know that I’m still trying to make the case for bringing you the best music possible, at a reasonable price, the same message we brought to you five years ago. I don’t know whether we will succeed, but it’s still as important to us as it ever was.

      Thankfully, for those of my audience who care and want to hear all the music, every recording I have ever released will soon be available in Xstream high resolution quality at my complete online archive. Check it out. We will be announcing it very soon.

      Neil Young

    45. Link on April 17

      I like your optimism Doug but the Pono is quite clearly dead. It was a flawed player from the beginning in hindsight.

    46. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on April 16

      The battery is a flaw seen in all DAPs. For what these DAPs cost, it should be interchangeable. Haven't studied every machine out there, but not appear to have interchangeable battery. Considering the price of some of these units, that is crazy! Some units like Apple, won't work without at least a partially charged battery. Even if they are plugged into external battery or ac wall power. Not sure if the PonoPlayer will or not. Mine both work fine.

      Unfortunately I don't know of a fix for the memory problem. Except sending it in for repair.

    47. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 16

      Re: battery failure. I would not worry about that too much. you could always use an external mini usb power pack. I'd be more concerned about the internal memory failing. Then yer screwed. happened to me about a year in on an LE model. PoNo service was Johnny-On-The-Spot, w/ top notch service, quick responses to tickets and a working Tel #. No longer the case and it will get worse as replacement stock gets depleted. Haven't seen a player advertised on Fry's fer awhile now. Just checked Amazon. 1 black player in stock, Yellow players are a wish list or third party sellers. Not a good sign, UNLESS you are an eternal optimist and believe they are working on a PoNo version 2. And it will be delivered by the tooth fairy.

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