I see a lot of criticism (not just here) about this device being 'too expensive', and I have a hard time seeing what thats based on. Compared to what exactly, is 300$ expensive for a 128gb DAP that plays hires music and comes with a top of the line DAC and (supposedly) quality audio components?
It is cheaper than any other hires DAP I know of. It is cheaper than iPod touch. 300$ is not exactly a lot of money for a high-quality audio device, let alone one that comes with 128gig memory and a touchscreen.
I'm not trying to sound like a fanboy here but I just don't really understand the price as a point of criticism. In fact, I was very surprised to find out that this device is offered so CHEAP, for what it is/claims to be (a high-end audioplayer).
I'm still unsure whether I want one, but that is for other concerns (how user-friendly will the UI be, will it be good enough to connect to a proper hi-fi system, how good will the headphone-amp section be, why does the battery last so short and can't be replaced, is the shape too awkward to carry in pocket, will it really be as high-fidelity as it aims to be, do I really need a portable player when my phone does a fairly good job, and finally, will enough hires-worthy material be released through Pono store to make it useful).
All of the above are concerns seem reasonable, but writing it off for being too expensive I don't get that.
I think most of the criticism here is based on their marketing hype/celeb usage.
I don't think the price is expensive... considering the DAC used and implemented with Ayre's help, the price is quite reasonable. Most of them are just pissed since they are not revealing the tech specs.
Would be nicer if they used a metal casing instead of plastic though