CES 2015: Neil Young’s Pono is going to bring high-quality audio to your car

Last year Neil Young’s Pono player make a ridiculous amount of money on Kickstarter, proving that there are a lot of people in the world who care about great quality music. Now in an interview with GigaOm at CES, Neil Young himself announced that Pono has plans to certify third party devices.

To be certified a company’s audio products must meet Pono’s audio quality standards, and when they do they will receive a Pono seal of approval that lets people know it’s “music in it’s purest form”. It won’t be free, but Young claims that the certification process isn’t very expensive.

Pono has already got its first partner line-up as well: audio company Harman, who will be collaborating with Pono to bring high-quality audio to car stereos. We don’t have any specifics about what this might involve, but Harman CEO has confirmed that it is in discussions on how to best bring Pono’s lossless audio and music catalogue into cars.

Young also confirmed that Pono will go on sale on Monday for $399 (£263). No word on a UK specific price or launch, but audiophiles out there will be glad to know they can get their hands on a high quality music player that doesn’t cosy nearly £1,000.

This week we’re bringing you all the latest news, videos and gossip from CES 2015 in Las Vegas. Check out the CES 2015 page to keep up to date and subscribe to our YouTube channel to see hands-on news with our editor Holly Brockwell from the show floor.

Tom Pritchard


  • this could be really big. no one that has played my ponoplayer yet thinks it’s a scam or “only for xyz”. loving music and being moved by music is for everyone, and while the cloud and mp3 gave us convenience, they hurt us quality-wise. they are like the transister radios of the day, good for portability but not sonically.

    24bit digital audio played through ponoplayer sounds as good as anything i’ve ever heard. everyone deserves it, and if it’s just a checkbox on a new car order form, that will help people hear the difference for themselves.

    i did a longform review of ponoplayer here:


    plugged into all manner of vintage crap audio.

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