Keep on rockin’ in the (not so) free world – Neil Young’s US$399 PonoPlayer goes on sale

7 Jan 2015

Having raised more than US$6m for the project via Kickstarter, musician Neil Young’s PonoPlayer is now available to pre-order online for a February delivery. It will be available in 80 US outlets on Monday for US$399.

Like Sony’s coincidentally just announced ZX2 Walkman, the PonoPlayer has been engineered for audiophiles, aiming to give listener a much higher-quality sound when compared with standard MP3 (Pono is actually the Hawaiian word for ‘pureness’). Additionally, the PonoMusic store also launched earlier today, offering a selection of new and classic albums in high quality formats.

As reported by The Verge, Young appeared at CES yesterday to discuss the new device: “I didn’t listen to music for the last 15 years because I hated the way it sounded and it made me pissed off and I couldn’t enjoy it any more,” the ‘Heart of Gold’ singer said at on stage. “I could only hear what was missing.”

The PonoPlayer supports playback of high-fidelity audio of up to 192kHz/24 bit resolution and includes two 3.5 mm audio output jacks.The triangular prism-shaped device also features an LCD touchscreen and its high audio quality will be provided by digital audio specialists Eyre.

Young had previously announced the PonoPlayer back in 2012 but the device suffered a series of release date push backs. Young and his partners had hoped their Kickstarter page would raise US$800,000 but ended up receiving US$6,225,354 in donations last year.

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic