https://www.yahoo.com/tech/it-was-one-o ... MusicREDEF
I’m 51 and a former professional musician. I know how to listen. But when I bought Pono’s expensive remastered songs and compared them with the identical songs on my phone, I couldn’t hear any difference whatsoever.
I got worried. Is the Pono story a modern-day “Emperor’s New Clothes” fable? Were those famous rock stars just imagining things?
There was only one way to find out: conduct a blind trial, using identical songs on identical headphones, comparing the Pono with a standard audio player — an iPhone. So that’s what I did.
How does it sound? I found 15 volunteers, ages 17 through 55. Each subject put on nice headphones — Sony MDR 7506 — and listened to three songs of different styles (“Saturday in the Park” by Chicago, “Raised on Robbery” by Joni Mitchell, and “There’s a World” by Mr. Pono himself, Neil Young). I bought these songs twice: once from the Pono store, in high resolution, and once from the iTunes store.
Each subject then listened to the same songs again, using standard Apple earbuds.
I connected both the Pono Player and an iPhone to an A/B switch; I instructed my test subjects to flip back and forth between the two at will.
The results surprised even me. Whether wearing earbuds or expensive headphones, my test subjects usually thought that the iPhone playback sounded better than the Pono Player.