"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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'internet radio' is about as bad as it can be, audio wise. high compression (in the source audio plus post-compression even though this is NOT FM RADIO and does not NEED any more compression!) really kills internet audio.
there is a semi-common problem in modern cheap 'dollar dacs' called gibbs, where the audio will clip if the sustained volume is too close to 0db. there is not enough math precision and errors compound so that the wave can do bad things after clipping, sometimes even inverting 180 degrees! I've seen this on a few dac chips I've tested (considered using in my builds but abandoned after I saw this issue).
the only way to get those chips to work well is to digitally attenuate to, say, -2 or -3db and then send that signal to the dac chip. better chips do not have this problem but most 'single chip solutions' are of this poor design style.
its strange that 'internet radio' puts more burden on the dac chips than regular cd audio would, but its true. if you do hear clipping or strange artifacts and you have the ability to attenuate digitally (before the dac chip) give it a try and it may fix your problem.
that said, its hard to justify a bitrate higher than 88 or 96 for portable music use! home audio deserves 88/96k but portable audio? that's a pretty strange use-case. when portable, you want to have more music on your device, not less; and taking up more bit-space is working against you.
finally, my old android phone can play bit-perfect flacs just fine and I can store music on removable sd cards. some phones can use OTG usb adapters to expand storage even more. the line-out of typical phones really sucks badly, but again, some android phones can be modded (at the kernel level) to support usb audio and once you send audio thru usb, you can pick a LOT of very clean outboard dac solutions (even spdif solutions) that will blow away any onboard low-end dac chip design.