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I have put my PonoPlayer up for sale in the classifieds if anyone is interested
I still use my Pono player in balanced mode into a Onix amp. It is my music source so I don't take it outside. I was comparing the sound of the Pono with my outdoor player, an Opus1s both in balanced mode. I have all the cables. Frankly the Pono sounds better and still works as designed. It has a weird shape and a primitive UI but hey, if I remember correctly Pono was trying to improve the music experience for a generation brought up on iTunes quality music through cell phones. They concentrated on music quality and that was it. I don't know if they succeeded but the press Mr. Young got at the time did increase peoples knowledge about music recording and playback quality. Now to my point. Has anyone here ever found a DAP of equal or better quality than a Pono at a similar price, say $400. I'm sure there are many good players in $1000 + range but that is for the aficionados and not the great unwashed.
Funny you should ask about a better sounding dap than a Pono. The March Stereophile magazine arrived a few days ago. Editor John Atkinson is reviewing the Shure KSE1200SYS electrostatic IEMs at $1999.00. And he says " I used both my PonoPlayer-still the best-sounding portable player I've tried-and the unbalanced outputs of my PS Audio DirectStream DAC... "
Not only is the Pono better sounding than any other $400 DAP, it probably gives the ultra expensive ones a run. Buy a few extra used ones while you can.
I use balanced mode with MD 6XX. Such a beautiful sound. Plenty of power to drive 6XX.
@barondlaI saw that review, was going to post about it as well. Still use mind (I have 2); I also have a Pioneer xdp-300r. It's not better sounding (the Pono has a more, organic, rich sound), but, with 2 sd card slots, is more convenient to use. But I still regularly come back to the Pono.
I think its true. I have not found a player that is that musical and engaging. But i havent heard too many DAPs.
What Player is also that musical and engaging? Anyboy an idea? (returned Shanling M5s, its a very nice player but too soft sounding for my taste.)
I am using my Pono Player on an almost daily basis for over four years now and I still enjoy the sound very much! As I don't experienced any error (dysfunctional internal memory, stuck on scanning) I bought a second one as a backup player some time ago.
Today I upgraded my sd-card to an Kingston 512GB, which works flawless with the Pono Player.
Is the battery ok?
Thankfully battery can be replaced easily. There are how to posts on Pono's web community.
Yes and no. It still works, but I get approximately 3h playtime out. So I'm going to replace the battery eventually.
Oh, really. What a blessing it is! Is it easier for you to find out the post? Thanks!
I bookmarked this: http://mikebeauchamp.com/2014/12/pono-player-teardown/
It has all the relevant informations:
"This battery is a 3.78V 2950mAh Lithium-Ion battery made by McNair New Power Co. in China. This appears to be a standard 18650 size battery. The pono player uses Texas Instruments’ TPS65921B1 power management and USB chip to regulate the voltages, manage charging and do USB stuff."
Believe me, it's not as easy as that video made it out to be. The case has a seam but it is glued with heat gun glue, end to end. The battery has an integrated harness and is really tough to dissemble. I trashed my first Pono trying but it was dead anyway. I use my second one indoors so battery life isn't an issue, I plug it in when using.
I bought a second one and it's battery is not much better than my original one. I use a battery pack to power my first one because the internal battery doesn't last long. Especially on balanced mode. I too do not use it as a portable device.