A New Quality Audio Format For Car Too

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A new audio player system that uses FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) but is also compatible with current digital music, has achieved a successful pre-launch and could make waves in the car.

Pono Music, started by musician Neil Young, offers uncompromised audio quality and is burning up Kickstarter, where it has already raised over $2 million, about triple its original goal.

Pono Music involves a PonoPlay slick portable audio player that may plug into a car or home stereo (with cable).

There is also a PonoMusic web site for downloading music that is supported by all leading music labels.

The system uses lossless audio for sound that has 6 times more musical information than an MP3.  The music depends on the quality of the original recording. So if the music you select was originally recorded in ultra high-resolution (192kHz/24 bit versus typical CD quality of 44.1kHz/16 bit) then Pono will give you about 30 times more data than a typical MP3.

Pono Music makes a great case why it’s time to stop settling for easy, convenient MP3s and to start using better sounding music.  If you—meaning someone in the car stereo industry—watches the first 2 minutes of the video on Kickstarter, you will probably want the player.

PonoPlayers are available on Kickstarter for $300 and will ship to early buyers in October.    The player has a screen and just 3 buttons.  It uses 64GB of internal memory and a removable 64GB microSD card included (128GB total), holding about 100 to 500 albums.  A player should cost around $399 when offered commercially beyond Kickstarter.

Source: Kickstarter   (Thanks Larry)

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  1. At the very least it’s positive to see a high end portable player on the market that is NOT a telephone or tied to a walled operating eco-system or single codec.

  2. I respect Neil Young, saw Buffalo Springfield back in ’67. I respect all the talented musicians on the Pono video. I respect Audiogon promoting 96 and 192 audio formats since this past summer. What I don’t know is what headphones, earbuds, or speakers (for that matter amplification) they are recommending. Heaven Help us if they are using Beats by dre?

    1. Also, attempting to access the pono web site, a virus warning pops up (McAfee), anyone confirm safety? I imagine they are being deluged with inquiries, has Bluetooth applications been confirmed to support the bandwidth requirements?

  3. Barry said it Succinctly. I see a resurgence in the Sound Quality sector of Car Audio, and am breathing more easily because of it. Any product that promotes
    SQ is a positive thing, and having a quality player that supports FLAC and is compatible with others is wonderful! Having Neil Young promoting this is a positive thing as well… My only concern would be… how will it come to market? Will it be rampant all over the internet at pathetic margins, or will it be marketing in a conscious and deliberate way to keep it profitable?

  4. I think this is a VERY positive development on several levels. If sales go well, then we can finally end the discussion about whether consumers care about sound quality. And once these get into the market, how will it influence people who use mp3 for all their music? Will they step up, or will they care? This really will be interesting to watch and could open many sales and marketing opportunities in the car audio equipment sector.

  5. BRAVO ! ! !

    I contend that ALL SPECIALTY RETAILERS who are in the business of selling audio to consumers should become EXPERT at presenting and DEMONSTRATING the value of a superior listening experience. There is PROFIT (and higher ticket), IDENTITY (being the leader in new cool stuff) and PREDICTABILITY (consumers enjoy learning about new and will return for more), in this undertaking.

    Ray Windsor
    German Maestro

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