Neil Young and Pono pushing new top-quality digital music

niel young and pono digital music player tech neil 1

Lost in the shuffle of the 21st century’s transition to digitized music, is one omnipresent and obtrusive reality: MP3’s just do not offer great quality sound. The format simply doesn’t capture the nuanced and vibrant sound of studio sessions, and instead delivers music in a diluted, watered-down manner.

According to, musician Neil young is poised to offer a high-quality alternative to services like iTunes — services he thinks offer an inferior listening experience. The project has been dubbed Pono — Hawaiian for righteous — and its aim is to reproduce recordings as they sounded in the studio.

Along with Meridian Audio, the legendary songster plans to release a line of high-quality portable music players, coupled with a download service. The service will reportedly utilize a digital-to-analog conversion technology capable of producing digital music files of unprecedented quality. 

Young’s being backed in his venture by such industry giants as Warner Music Group, Sony Music, and Universal Music Group, all of whom are in the process of converting their album libraries to the new format. Warner in particular had digitized roughly 8,000 album titles into 24-bit/192kHz form before Young was even on board. The willingness of industry giants to embrace the new format suggests that Pono may truly be on track to provide a revolution in the digital music industry.

Some are saying the service may even push iTunes to improve its quality, or be pushed aside. As of yet, there have been no details on release date and/or pricing, but it’s safe to say that the high-end audio Pono purports to offer will come with a hefty price tag; not to mention you’ll need to re-buy any songs you currently own if you want to hear them in the new format. Still, it’s always nice to see manufacturer’s forego quickness and quantity in favor of quality. Stay tuned for continuing coverage.

Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

How to convert and play FLAC music files on your iPhone or iPad

The high-resolution revolution is upon us, and FLAC files are a popular way to store hi-res sound. But what if you’re an iOS user? Check out our article to find out more about FLAC files, and how to use them on Apple devices.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.
Home Theater

Don’t cash in that 401(k)! These are the best TVs you can get for under $500

These days, $500 can get you a pretty nice TV. Still, sorting through thousands of options online can be both boring and overwhelming, so we've put together a quick guide to the best TVs under $500.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in December 2018

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for December 2018 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Home Theater

What’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in December 2018

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. Follow us to find out what's new on HBO each month. December 2018 brings sci-fi hit Ready Player One and the drama Icebox.