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  • Is our perception of sound quality psychological after a certain point?
  • Is our perception of sound quality psychological after a certain point?
    Michael Heigl, Creative Commons (2012) ©
CASE STUDY

PonoPlayer: music for real connoisseurs

Neil Young's new HD music player, PonoPlayer, surpassed its Kickstarter goal of $800,000 just hours after launching. But can people really tell the difference in sound quality, or is it purely psychological? And how will its Toblerone shape fit in our flexible, sleek world?

Location United States

Scope
Neil Young’s new music player hit the headlines of newspapers, tech and music blogs when it managed to surpass – by more than $4million – its Kickstarter goal of $800,000, just hours after launching. [1]

But despite the generous support of fans, musicians and music connoisseurs, PonoPlayer isn’t convincing everyone. Its fundamental promise of ultra-high-quality sound is being challenged by some sound experts as ‘pointless’, who argue that regular people are simple not able to appreciate the difference. At the same time, its peculiar ‘Toblerone shape’ has sparked doubts about its overall functionality in our ...

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