Uh Oh, Neil Young’s Pono Loses to Apple iPhone in Blind Test

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Neil Young made a big splash at CES showing off his Hi-Res Audio PonoPlayer.   Harman also announced an alliance with Pono with hints that it may wind up in a car. But a blind test by Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue (who was also a long time tech reviewer for The New York Times) found that most people think the Apple iPhone sounds better.

The PonoPlayer can playback music files that use up to 20 times more data than MP3 files.

But Pogue couldn’t hear any difference; so he found 15 volunteers and did a blind test with an iPhone. The subjects listened on both good quality headphones and then earbuds. Most preferred the iPhone. You can see the results here.

The article mentions that some feel the Pono delivers “more emotion” in the music. So the debate continues on the value of Hi-Res Audio.

Source: Yahoo Tech

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  1. I question the validity of Mr Pogue’s testing procedure. He provided his test subjects with earbuds and Sony MDR7506 headphones, a $99 consumer grade headphone. Hi-definition audio should not be evaluated on low-definition speakers

  2. What I hope is that the “tester” guy had an agenda. If not that then I hope that the PONO player really does not sound as good as hyped (not good for the promotion of sound quality for sure). Maybe the PONO used was faulty…

    If a guy like Neil Young knows that the PONO player sounds like an Apple phone and promoted it as better than shame on him. he let his investors and music lovers everywhere down.

    I do however hope there is a better explanation…

    Sad story all the way around.

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