Rumors are flying that Apple is about to include 24-bit audio in it’s new iOS products, both from the software end of things and hardware – updating the Lightning cable for faster interconnects when HD Audio is being used with external devices, and designing some new earbuds to capitalize on the higher quality source.
This isn’t immediately tied to their rumored acquisition of Beats Music, but it certainly affects the same markets.
Reading through internet opinion it’s heartening to see many applauding a focus on sound quality. But the usual suspects are pushing xiph.org’s “science” saying <= 16/44 is all you need. I sense a shift that those people are being grouped with the claimants of “1080p is useless”.
Arguing against higher digital resolution is arguing against a reality that will always pass you up. We are still learning about sound and hearing and these bad assumptions of the past will fall into disuse as time marches on.
Other interamus’ claimed that “the 10 people that bought a pono must be upset”. Actually, no, this validates Pono’s cause, and if iOS products can play 24-bit files the market for HD audio will open wide.
Pono will always sound better than an iPhone or iTouch, because there’s several more parts of the signal chain that pono goes upmarket on, and Apple goes general purpose.