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Pono, Geek Wave: Racing to Audiophiles Like You
July 30, 2014

Have you heard the latest in high-def. music players? Yeah, most of us have heard of them, but not actually heard them yet.

But we want to. Really, truly. Especially after all the rave reviews coming from the music royalty and random ‘youth market’ who have.

Typical to marketing, however, is that which system really is the ‘future of sound’ depends on which crowdfunding promo you watch.

Ayre’s PonoMusic leapt through the gate first with Neil Young riding their Pono pony around to the likes of Elvis Costello, Eddie Veder, Rick Rubin, Reggie Watts, Norah Jones, Dave Matthews, Gillian Welch, Tom Petty, Flea, T Bone Burnett, and Jack Johnson (see Pono for full laundry list).

“[Compared to an mp3] the sound, the feeling and the energy of it was richer, fuller, warmer, fatter and yummier.” -Sarah McLachlan

“It’s giving people the opportunity to hear what we’re hearing in the studio.” -Kid Rock

White Caddy and stunning endorsements aside, to hitch onto the optimum audio experience from Pono’s $400 system, you’ll need to stick with FLAC-formatted sound files. Don’t want to bother? Don’t: the player claims to play admirably well with ALAC, mp3, WAV, AIFF, and AAC files.geek wave indiegogo

But quietly gaining ground from the rear, dark horse Geek Wave has appeared from Light Harmonic’s audionerd tribe with promises of even better portable performance than Pono. Geek Wave’s music player also works great with any audio file format, has more + expandable memory, includes a user-friendly interface like Pono’s (if not better), has a juicy 2-year replaceable battery that recharges your smartphone… and a bunch of other clever bells and whistles. (Steep Sticker Price: $400-$1300.)

Pono raised over $6.22 million toward their Kickstarter goal of $800,000, and will beat Geek Wave to market this October. (Geek Wave quickly raised more than $1.32 million of their $38,000 IndieGoGo goal.)

So tell us: have you had a chance to test drive either of these beauties? Or do you know of an even better audio player making its way out of the R&D shadows?

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