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The Pono Player Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by depaor, Oct 4, 2014.
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  1. yangian
    Oh, I see. It’s different.
     
  2. udesign48
    I just got my pono.

    Its dual 3.5mm balanced out sound alright. I don't find it to be very impressive yet.

    However, its firmware / OS is some of the worst I've seen.
    My player is usually stuck at 'Scanning music library..." for 30 minutes.

    Neil Young has abandoned Pono project. It no longer gets firmware upgrade.
    Its music transfer software is dead because Neil Young didn't pay $28,000 balance to the software developer.
    He ended up paying 50% but the developer made software completely inactive. No one can use it now.

    At this point, I don't encourage anyone to buy this player. If you're reading this, stay away from this player.
    Buy newer DAPs from 2018.


    Shanling M1 ($103), Ruizu A50 ($47) come with better OS than this. The software developers behind Pono OS are pathetic.
    I'm amused that they were hired for this incomplete job. Its OS is incomplete and very poorly programmed.
    Some fundamental features like screen on/off are missing.

    It takes 30 minutes+ to update firmware. 30+ minutes to scan music library even when my sd card is empty.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  3. barondla
    How big a memory card are you using? I have a sandisk 400gb card that is about half full. It takes 4.5 - 5 min to scan library. If yours is taking a half hour check that there aren't any bad files. Are you using a name brand, high speed class 10 card? Like all computer stuff it helps to leave 10% of memory empty for system use.

    The firmware can be updated to the current one without using Pono software. If the Pono is new it will take about 200 hours to break in the bag capacitor and discrete parts. To me, a dap's sound quality is more important than the gui. The PonoPlayer was designed to play music, at at the highest quality, not play with the music.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    Turdski and udesign48 like this.
  4. yangian
    It seems something wrong with your Pono. And the balanced mode is much better than the normal mode. That's my own experience.
     
    Turdski and udesign48 like this.
  5. udesign48

    Mine shipped with firmware 1.0.4.
    I tried to upgrade its firmware to 1.0.6.. the latest one.

    I dragged and dropped the firmware file to .pono folder and Pono asks if I want to update it to the new one.
    Then it's completely stuck at update screen. It doesn't progress... I waited over 30 minutes. Nothing happens.
    How long does it take to update Pono's firmware? 3 hours?

    My micro SD card has 200GB but it's completely empty. It still takes time to scan an empty card.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  6. udesign48
    Yes, it sounds alright but when compared to Onkyo DP-S1 balanced mode, it's pretty much on par.
    and I'm very troubled with Pono's buggy OS. Onkyo's OS is much faster and more intelligent.
    Pono was selling for $399 in 2014.. I can't believe it. Shanling's M1 ($103) comes with better OS than Pono OS.
    In 2014, we had every technology to create a great OS. These guys are a bunch of dummies... unqualified programmers.

    Hiby android app came out in 2014.. and it was free. Can't believe this is made in USA.
    It reminds me of obscure products from 2010.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  7. LaughMoreDaily
    I hear that about every portable music player. :wink:
     
  8. udesign48
    its "scanning music library..." screen is shocking. It looks like someone with below average intelligence created the whole OS.

    This product is incomplete or at its demo stage. Why did everyone wait 30 minutes to scan? not just sue Neil Young?

    Pono looks like an orchestrated con job made out of marketing hypes. I'm waiting 15 minutes to scan a 64GB micro SD card. This is NOT normal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  9. LaughMoreDaily
    When I saw how bad the Pono was made physically with cheap clicky buttons and an awkward weird shape, I knew whoever decided to create this device made a dummy rookie move. Portable music players have traditionally been flat for the 30+ years, so to create an odd shape that even a small hand can't hold and use with cheap clicky buttons. I almost feel sorry for the people who bought it as well... then again, I'm on love with the physical design of the player because of its artistic value. It's very memorable but maybe in the wrong way.

    I want to see a photo of a Pono in someone's front shirt pocket. I think we all need to laugh at its misfortunes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    udesign48 likes this.
  10. udesign48
    Everyone, stay away from this player and company.

    This player is dead and its software will no longer update.

    Neil Young didn't pay $28,000 balance to his software developer. Its music software is now inactive.

    Do not purchase this player. Don't waste your time.

    It's full of bugs. Everything on this player is abnormal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  11. silverfishla
    I’d actually say that this players balanced mode is a lot better than a lot of other player’s balanced mode. It’s very organic sounding and actually has enough oomph to power the big headphones. Not just loud enough, but with body. It’s just got a grreat amp section. The design of the board is great. I would have loved to see the story of Pono progress and see what Ayre could have done with a second or third iteration with better build and better UI. When Pono came out “balanced” wasn’t a “thing” everybody did. I think they had a lot to do with it’s perception as being valid, as all the arguments against it at the time was “snake oil”. “It doesn’t have a long lead, so no benefit” type comments. No to mention that the Pono store offered the largest most comprehensive catalog of downloadable music anywhere.
     
    surfratt and Turdski like this.
  12. LaughMoreDaily
    Why couldn't Neil Young or whoever helped him create the Pono go on Aliexpress look at all the portable music players and create a better one but also realizing what people are already buying. Neil Young should know by now about the minimalism movement, where people are wanting more compact lifestyles and people are now living in smaller spaces, yet he creates a portable music player for 1959. What happened to the $6.2M of funding for the Kickstarter campaign? I don't even think this money was from the record labels involved but just people who backed the player. If it wasn't for Kickstarer it would have never been created.
     
  13. silverfishla
    This is a BS comment. Pono left this player with a usable, non-buggy UI. I still use mine and have absolutely no problems loading music or navigating the UI. I have the internal memory loaded and use a 256gb card in mine. Initial scanning may take 10-15 minutes, then after that it’s fine.
     
    Turdski and geagle like this.
  14. LaughMoreDaily
    You forgot to write, "Stop reading this Headfi thread and unsubscribe."
     
    udesign48 likes this.
  15. udesign48
    Pono was an orchestrated con job. He raised $6.2 M and he couldn't pay $28,000 to his software developer? and he let the whole music transfer software die?
    It looks like Neil Young had taken some big portion of raised money for himself. $$$
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
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