An anonymous reader writes "In the last month Sony has announced the 35th anniversary Walkman line, consisting of a handheld player (DAP), a mobile boombox, and a component-sized head unit all capable of playing high-resolution digital files up to 24bit depth/192k sampling rate. Ponomusic also launched and took in over $5 million in two weeks on Kickstarter, promising the highest-quality digital masters available and a well-spec'ed mobile player of their own.
13 years after the first iPod made CD's expendable we might finally be entering the end of the compressed mp3 era. And luckily, instead of going back to the CD standard developed in the late 1970's called "Red-book" (16bit depth/44k sampling rate), Neil Young and his pono startup are pushing 24/96 and 24/192 as the new digital audio standards.
Arguments have ignited all over the internet — listeners, iPod owners, audiophiles, programmers — all sounding off on whether they can hear a difference or not. If you can't hear HD don't buy HD! But you might surprise yourself — your ears are very adaptive. They will listen to garbage and still decode it for familiarity. But give them full fidelity and your emotional response goes through the roof."
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