Music Television

Seiun Players lets you listen to a tune in hi-res audio

MP3 players and smartphones ushered in a whole new era of convenience for music lovers wanting to take their tunes with them wherever they go. But sound quality has been traded in for portable convenience because of the compression that’s done to the music.

Seiun Players are sleek high-resolution audio and, in the case of two models, 4K video players that its makers say offer much superior audio quality to rival devices on the market. Three models are being fielded: Seiun (pronounced Say-yune), Seiun Pro and Seiun Pro X. All three can play uncompressed hi-res PCM audio up to at least 192 KHz/24-bit and can upscale music that’s not hi-res to that same rate, according to the Indiegogo campaign.

While the entry-level model features only a 1.04-inch display and isn’t designed for video playback, the Pro and Pro X each have a 5.5-inch touch display and are built on the Android OS, adding access to hi-fi streaming services including Tidal and Deezer via the Google Play Store. The Pro and Pro X can play uncompressed hi-res PCM audio up to 384 KHz/32-bit. While Seiun Pro features a 720p-resolution screen and 32 GB of onboard storage, the Pro X offers 1080p resolution and 64 GB storage. The Pro and Pro X also each offer video output of up to 4K resolution, according to the campaign.

Music News

Oh no, Pono! Hi-res player struggles to expand market

Neil Young’s high-resolution audio player Pono opened the eyes — and ears — of the consumer electronics industry to the promise of portable audio that featured audio fidelity superior to that of a CD. With a campaign that included a barrage of music legends offering their endorsement, the project attracted more than $6 million on Kickstarter. But even campaigns that attract millions of dollars can find that crowdfunded largesse can get them only so far, particularly after suffering a healthy dose of anti-hype for the $400 gadget.

Now, according to a Facebook post by Pono guiding light Neil Young in which he notes the company’s primary business partners, the company is facing challenges as it attempts “doing what only one giant corporation has been able to do before” (presumably Apple in integrating iPod and iTunes).” He continues, “Today we are trying to set up stores in multiple countries and are restricted by a lack off resources. This is our highest priority. As soon as we have the funds, those stores will open.”

Young, who opens the post by calling Pono a labor of love, notes that the effort has only one venture capital investor behind it (although some musicians are investors) and that the company is currently without a CEO. However, he notes that Pono has already fared better than many successfully funded Kickstarter projects. Indeed, a return to crowdfunding campaigns may be in the offing as Young reveals that Pono is moving into headphones and speakers as well as “more exciting breakthrough products.”