"Pono, the Neil Young-endorsed Kickstarter project, is drawing more and more pledges. Now past the $2 million mark (with an expected goal of $800K), this project aims to create a audiophile friendly FLAC player along with its ecosystem (and by that they mean their own music store and syncing application).
The device itself features 2 audio outputs, one 'specially designed for headphones' and the other 'specifically designed for listening on your home audio system'. The player is controlled by an LCD touchscreen, and its triangular 'Toblerone' shape makes it easy to hold it upright with one hand or to lay it flat on surfaces. The player, which has 64GB of internal memory, comes together with a 64GB microSD card.
The board and its components, as well as a 'pre-prototype' model, are pictured in the project's Kickstarter page.
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So they picked that toblerone shape to add "large audio components"? All I see is 4 elkos that might qualify. So what do they do? My guess is that it looks similar to the frequency splitters known from big speakers and thus being "high fidelity stuffs".
Voltage drop of lithium polymer batteries should be easy to counteract with way smaller caps. after all their maximum current draw is insane. And since there is a battery available AC-DC filtering is not a huge consideration, either.
The shape makes it horrible to carry around in your pocket - however it's nice to put it on a shelf. Too bad that the output is on the side so it won't exactly look good being on a shelf and used at the same time.
Suggestion to the digital audio player folks: add support for external DACs - like for example bluetooth... oh wait.
Okay so what the high-end audio folks need is a very good bluetooth DAC to add to their stereo equipment. Should someone step up and kickstart that - make sure that it behaves well with multiple bluetooth devices attaching to it. Throw in some tubes for their linearity and warmth of sound or something and you should have quite the kickstartable thingie.
Make a cheap one with multiple BT inputs for me,too.
Maybe someone that can do something about it is reading this: Put the connectors on the other side! Then you can plug it into a basestation with the cables disappearing. Then at least it doesn't look shitty on your stereo rack.
BT has a standard called apt-X and it does an ok job but its still pretty far from a wired hifi connection. I tried liking my apt-x transmitter/receiver pair but it was not very good. the signal was not very strong, it would lose connections all the time and there is still compression that you can hear.
its much better than the standard BT audio, but has a long way to go before it is up to wired audio quality.
If this product is intended for the "high fidelity" crowd, why not give a cable digital output (toslink or coax) as well? They probably has a DAC already.
A digital input would probably make more sense for the tube crowd. The one person I know that I'd consider audiophile is pretty much who I'm thinking of here. A "this millenium input" is what's missing to his setup.