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Pono and Harman hook up to bring hi-res audio to cars

Rock legend Neil Young has announced a partnership with audio giant Harman, in order to bring the Pono Player experience to cars.

The Kickstarter-backed company aims to bring high quality digital music files to the masses with the Pono Player and the recently launched HD music store.

However, it seems Young is already looking beyond the player itself, having “discussed solutions to offer the PonoMusic catalog and supreme, lossless HD quality playback in vehicles,” with Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal.

Harman hasn’t yet announced a speaker or a device that’ll do the job, but it appears the company may get a ‘Pono certified’ stamp of approval.

In a press release, Young said: “The PonoPlayer is not for audiophiles, it’s for music lovers, who come in all shapes and sizes. We want all of them to feel the power of true HD quality sound.

“Our collaboration with HARMAN, the leader in branded car audio, is an exciting step forward in our journey to bring HD-quality music to people wherever they want to listen to it. As the company that brought us Studer, Soundcraft and Mark Levinson, HARMAN is the ideal partner for us.”

“Music is about the feeling you get when you listen to it. Up to 90 percent of a song’s nuances are lost in the digital compression process,” added Young. “I speak for many songwriters, performers, producers, engineers and fans, including myself, when I say, we all deserve better.”

Read more: Hands-on with the Pono Player

The $400 (around £263) Pono Player is one of the most popular Kickstarter projects ever, bringing in over $6m (about £4m) in funding from excited backers.

The player offers can handle super high resolution /FLAC files, which offer much greater quality far eclipsing iTunes downloads or Spotify streams.

The store went live this week, but audiophile-grade 192KHz/24bit albums certainly aren’t cheap, as we detailed in our report.

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