Neil Young’s Pono Hi-Res Digital Music Player Kickstarter


03.12.14 UPDATE: Well, that was fast. Neil Young’s Pono startup, which wants to build a high-resolution digital music player by the same name, shot past its $800,000 funding goal on day one of its Kickstarter campaign. Pono launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the production of its player Tuesday morning, and at 10pm, it already had raised more than $925,000.  (via Gigaom)



DIRECT LINK to Kickstarter campaign:

Long-Awaited Product Features Full Ecosystem, Major Label Agreements, and Access to Studio Masters To Deliver Transformative Listening Experience

March 11, 2014 – (Santa Monica, CA.) – PonoMusic, a revolutionary movement conceived and founded by Neil Young with a mission to restore the soul of music, announced today that it is officially moving out of the R&D phase and is “open for business” with the launch of its Kickstarter campaign for the PonoPlayer.

The Kickstarter campaign features testimonials from some of the most notable musicians, including Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and Norah Jones, discussing their experience with the PonoPlayer.

PonoMusic is a full system that includes both an online music store,, and a playback device, the PonoPlayer. ThePonoPlayer offers a digital music listening experience that transcends the limitations of a multi-function smart phone. The company’s goal is to bring the highest quality digital music to discerning consumers by returning to the original studio masters to capture music the way its creators intended – with the emotion, detail, and power intact.

“It’s about the music, real music.  We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does that. We couldn’t be more excited – not for ourselves, but for those that are moved by what music means in their lives,” said Neil Young, founder and chairman of PonoMusic.

The PonoPlayer is a purpose-built, portable, high-resolution digital-music player that has been engineered in a “no-compromise” fashion, to allow consumers to experience studio master-quality digital music at the highest audio fidelity possible. It can be used with earbuds or headphones, home stereo systems, the Sonos Connect, and in most cars. The PonoPlayer brings forth the true emotion and detail of the music, the way the artist recorded it. It features a convenient and simple LCD touch screen interface that is totally intuitive. The audio technology in the PonoPlayer was developed in conjunction with the engineering team at Ayre Acoustics, a leader in digital audio technology in Boulder, Colorado.

The Pono desktop media management application allows customers to download, manage and sync their music., an essential part of the ecosystem, will offer the highest-resolution digital music from both major labels and prominent independent labels

“Our goal is to offer the highest quality digital music available from all the major labels and build the world’s best sounding, easy-to-use portable music player.  We’ve achieved our goal and we are excited to launch our Kickstarter campaign to invite music lovers everywhere to join the PonoMusic community and reserve a PonoPlayer for their own enjoyment,” said John Hamm, CEO of PonoMusic.

PonoMusic and Ayre Acoustics have collaborated to achieve a lofty goal – to make the power and majesty of music available to everybody. “We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this project and will always be grateful to Neil Young for changing the landscape of recorded music,” said Charlie Hansen, CEO of Ayre Acoustics.

The PonoPlayer has 128GB of memory and can store from about 200 to 800 high-resolution digital-music songs, depending on the resolution and length of the original recording. Additional memory cards can be used to store and play different playlists and additional collections of music. The PonoPlayer will be sold at for $399 MSRP and is available for pre-order at a discount on our Kickstarter.

General inquiries:

[email protected]

So, Audiogoners, what do you think now? Does this campaign change anyone’s mind from the last time we talked about Pono? Will you contribute?

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