Portable MiniDisc Recorders

General Information for Portable MD Recorders

Sony portable MD recorders have the following general characteristics: Sharp portable MD recorders have the following general characteristics: Aiwa portable MD recorders have the following general characteristics:
Aiwa AM-NX9portable NetMD downloader
Intro: 4/2003
In: USB. Out: headphones



User Manual: AM-NX9

*See Notes
Sony MZ-N1
Aiwa AM-NX1
Sony MZ-E10
Photos: AVWatch
Aiwa AM-NX1portable NetMD downloader
Intro: 3/2003
Street: ¥ 30,000
In: USB. Out: headphones80.3 x 74.2 x 17.9mm, 85g (w/batt)


  • 64X NetMD downloading (LP4 mode).
  • ATRAC DSP Type-S (however, unit's ATRAC chip is not used for LP mode encoding).
  • No audio input jacks! Records only from PC.
  • Kanji capable backlit LCD remote.
  • "Virtual Sound" DSP digital sound equalizer
  • E.A.S.S. GP anti-shock system recovers disc data readout within 0.3 seconds by quickly refocusing, repositioning the optical pickup, and rereading missed data.

Notes: *Note hidden mic and line-in jacks in photo, apparently the rear-case from another unit was used for these publicity photos.


Included Accessories: Backlit LCD remote, Charging stand, AC adapter, NiMH cell, SonicStage V1.5 CD, AA cell case, carrying pouch, USB cable

Specs: Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW into 16 ohms


User Manual: AM-NX1

Battery LifePlayRecharge
NiMH31/38/45 hr3.5 hr
AA x 147/57/69 hr
Both80/95/114 hr
Aiwa AM-F80
Aiwa AM-F75
Aiwa AM-F72
Aiwa AM-C80
portable MD recorder
Intro: 10/1999
IN: mic/line/optical (3 in one connector). OUT: headphone/line. DC IN: 4.5V (AC adaptor), 1.5V (external AA cell)78.8 x 86.8 x 18.8mm, 163g w/batt.

Features: Digital and analog synchro start, backlit LCD on body and remote, body keys are not illuminated (as they were on the AM-F70). Jog dial for volume control as well as track selection, editing and titling. Titling may be done while playing or recording, but not with the remote. Up to 100 titling characters per track. Remote displays 10 characters, main unit LCD shows 8 characters. Divide rehearsal mode. 25 track program play mode. Microphone sensitivity low/high selector. Double speed playback mode (mono and stereo). Japanese model (at least) comes with one-point stereo mic.

Variants: The AM-C80 is apparently an AA dry-cell powered variant of the AM-F80 that comes with a car cassette adapter. The AM-F75 is a cost reduced version of the AM-F80 that drops the backlight and the remote's LCD. The AM-F72 is a further cost-reduced unit that drops the remote altogether.


  • Japan-Direct posts clear snapshots of Aiwa's AM-F80.
  • John Beal's bench measurements of the unit, showing that max SNR through the headphone output is 55dB. However the unit was able to record a signal with 92dB dynamic range and 81dB SNR (measured by playing the disc back through the digital output of a Sony MDS-JB930)

User Comments: Contrary to what I have read in some comparisons, the number of titling characters for a track is not 50, but 100. The 2X playback mode works in stereo too. What the unit does is simply play every other sample, resulting in 2x the speed, but no pitch shifting. To activate the mode, you hold the play button for 2sec (works on the remote too). The remote displays 10 characters, the main unit only 8. Nowhere in the manual is "line-out" mentioned and how to use it (it's somehow combined with the headphone jack). The included headphones have a weird rubbery 'ear-coupling' arrangement. If you get them in far enough, they have incredible bass response. Unfortunately I think it's ear-shape dependent, and I don't seem to fit the mould. The jog-wheel doesn't click, so picking characters isn't as easy as it could be. Also when adjusting the volume, the steps are a bit too large (only 20 steps in total, as opposed to 30 volume steps for Sony machines). However because of the analogue-feel of the jog wheel, you can turn-up or turn-down the volume as quickly as you want -- impossible with the digital button-type volume controls in other units. Response time from 'off' to 'play' is about 5 sec. Same as for MZ-R55. In fact the whole unit feels a lot like the MZ-R55, except that it has heaps more features, and 3-4 times the battery life. Overall, this may not be the smallest unit in the world, the MZ-R90 has a few milimeters advantage, but in terms of usability and features, this one wins hands down.
-George Michalski


User Manual: AM-F80

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon11.5 hr5 hr2 hr
AA x 1
Both20 hr7.5 hr
Aiwa AM-F65
Aiwa AM-F70
Portable MD recorder
Intro: 12/1998
MSRP ¥42,000
IN: line/optical, mic. OUT: line/headphone77.6 x 19.3 x 97mm, 187g (w/rechargeable cell)


  • Backlit 10 character LCD on remote as well as backlit LCD and control buttons on body.
  • Large style jog dial for inputting disc and track titles (up to 50 characters).
  • High speed (2x) playback mode for mono or stereo recordings with no pitch change.
  • Title search function allows another track to be selected by name while unit is playing.
  • Divide function has rehearsal mode (as MD decks do) that repeatedly plays 3 second segment at divide point, allowing divide point to be moved with AMS knob or << and >> keys (edit point step size is 60ms).
  • Synchro start recording from digital and analog sources.
  • Repeat 1, all, shuffle and 25 track program play mode.
  • 40 second shock memory, sampling rate converter.
  • 1 bit DAC/ADC.
  • Date and time stamp recording.
  • Time mark function can automatically make a track mark every 5 minutes.
  • Bass boost.
  • 3 step battery life indicator on main body as well as remote.
  • Included accessories: LCD remote, stereo headphone, one point microphone, AC adapter (AC-D401 [AC-D401U in US]), LiIon cell, Dry cell case (for AAx3), Carrying pouch, Neck strap.
  • Color: gold.
  • US, UK (& European?) units omit neck strap and one point microphone, US units replace earbuds with 'swoops' (HP-M038), which are behind-the-head street-style headphones.

Variants: The Aiwa AM-F65 has been released in Europe, it is nearly identical to the AM-F70 but has no backlight on the main unit's LCD panel, has no LCD panel on remote, and comes without dry cell case (for AAx3).


  • When you're in titling mode, hit the shift button (also the search button) right above the jog dial to choose between the uppercase, lowercase, and symbol character sets. -Ian McFarlane
  • Record-pause (and hence record mode) can be activated from the remote. To activate from stop mode, hold down the MODE button on the remote for at least 2 seconds, then press the PLAY/PAUSE button. The recorder will then be in record-pause, to commence recording, push the PLAY/PAUSE button again. Also while in pause mode you can use the MODE button to access the recording options (record level, auto track marks, etc) as normal. -Brian Youn


Specs: Freq. resp: 20-20kHz +/-1dB @ 10KOhm. Headphone amp: 10mw + 10mw


User Manual: AM-F65 Electronic Shopping Mall

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon10 hr4 hr2 hr
AA x 325 hr10 hr
Both40 hr16 hr
Aiwa AM-F5
Aiwa AM-F7
Portable MD recorder
Intro: 12/1997
MSRP ¥45,000 (initial production 8000 units/mo)
in: mic, line, digital. out: line, headphones. DC in: 4.5v97x21.6x77.6mm, 189g (main unit only), 216g w/batt


  • Jog dial on the main body and remote, allowing easy character entry and disc operation (the volume knob doubles as the jog dial on the remote).
  • Divide rehearsal mode (allows fine tuning of divide point with jog dial).
  • Provides syncho recording from digital and analog sources.
  • Sampling rate converter.
  • Stereo/mono recording.
  • Normal and 2X speed playback.
  • Time mark function makes track marks every 5 minutes.
  • Date and time stamp recording.
  • Program (25 tracks), repeat, random, play modes.
  • Resume function (restarts play from stopped place).
  • 3 position battery level indicator.
  • Auto and manual recording level controls, manual recording level can be changed while recording is underway.
  • Silver color.
  • One point stereo mic included.
  • Separate L/R recording level meters.
  • AM-F5 remote does not contain LCD.
  • ATRAC 4.2 (according to Aiwa Germany).
  • Differences from Sony MZ-R50: 10 second (Aiwa) vs. 40 second (Sony) shock memory. Sony button layouts are simpler. Sony has LCD remote. Aiwa allows manual recording levels to be changed without pausing the machine. Aiwa has recording level meters for both channels. Different batteries. Aiwa has smaller appearance. Both machines use clamshell (not slot in) disc loading.

Variants: AM-F7 model is nearly identical to AM-F5. It adds a backlit remote (plus firmware changes to drive it) and a few bug fixes.

Links: Nic Boyde's page for the unit. Aiwa Germany's page for the unit. Aiwa's English announcement for their AM-F7 MD portable Doug Rice shows how he made a Remote Control Timer for an Aiwa AM-F5.


User Manual: AM-F5

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon7 hr4 hr2 hr
AA x 319 hr10 hr
Both26 hr15.5 hr
Aiwa AM-F3portable recorder
Intro: 1/1996 (?)
msrp: Y58,000
in: optical/line, mic. out: line, hdphn/remote.109.3 x 81.8 x 26.5mm 290g w/rechargeable attached

Features: Stereo/mono recording, 1bit d/a a/d. Backlit panel and buttons (buttons backlit on AC adapter only), Empty, Mid, Full battery level indicator. Optical, Line, Mic input done with one jack and a line/mic switch. Line/Headphone output similarly done with 1 jack and a switch. Six mode "DSP" (parametric equalizer with flat, rock, pop, jazz, bassboost, and `live' settings). Display has 4 modes: 1) track no./elapsed track time, 2) track no./remaining track time, 3) remaining no. of tracks/remaining disc time. 4) date and time stamp info (though in this mode time does not increment). Display repeatedly scrolls current track name. Four track marking modes: 1) copy marks present in digital input signal, 2) make a mark every 5 minutes (appropriate for meetings and lectures), 3) manual mode (push button to mark), 4) make a mark after 3 seconds of silence. Double speed playback. Auto start/pause mode (sound activated) records only while sound is present on mic inputs (may be set to high or low sensitivity and is also affected by mic input gain setting). Character input for titling, which can be done from the main unit or from the remote, in which case the volume knob is used(!) to select the characters. Up to 50 letters, numbers, symbols, or kana may be entered per track. Writes recording date and time on each track. Manual/Auto recording level adjust (level can be manually adjusted and switched between auto and manual modes during recording). Play modes: repeat 1, repeat all, random play (operates properly, will not repeat tracks), program play, index search function (entire disc's song names are scrolled in display, pressing 'enter' as one scrolls past causes song to play). Settable preferences: enable/disable ear guard function, enable/disable resume function, enable/disable LCD backlight (when disabled, backlight can be turned on for 3 seconds with DISP button), set LCD contrast. Recharge time: 2 hr=90%, 5 hr=Full. Rechargeable cell: LIP-12. Unique "clip on" attachment of LIP-12 rechargeable or 2 AA drycell case to side of unit. Playback: 2 AA only: 4 hr, Rechargeable only: 6 hr. Record: 2 AA only: 1 hr, Rechargeable only: 3.5 hr
Comments from German Stereo Magazine 10/96: Excellent manufacturing fit and finish. Integrated DSP. Works well as dictaphone. Manual recording level adjustable (2*12 segments !!). No sample rate converter. Usable for jogging (the other tested devices were not (Sharp, Sony?)). 6 Hour playback with rechargeable batteries. Recommend electret micro with high amplitude for best performance (input is noisy relative to DAT units). DA/AD worse than in home decks, but acceptable. ATRAC 3.0 (matches quality of converters), which sounds ok (improvement of ATRAC3.5 was a lower noise floor only). Evaluation: very good **

Mis-features: Cannot simultaneously charge battery and operate on AC adapter. In pause mode the fast foward/rewind function is unavailable, only track skip. Unit only records in append mode, cannot overwrite existing tracks.

Links: Bala Swaminathan's review of the Aiwa AM-F3, Aiwa's Japanese page for the unit.


User Manual: AM-F3

Aiwa AM-F1portable recorder
Intro: 12/1993 (? est.)
in: optical/line, mic. out: optical/line/hdphn/remote.85x105x30

Features: ATRAC 2. Double speed playback, mono recording, back lit display, illuminated buttons, many index modes. Play modes: repeat 1, all, shuffle, random. Volume control on unit is digital, on remote is dial. "DSL" bass boost (3 levels). Editing: combine, divide, renumber, erase, erase all. Editing example: 1) Position unit to required point or track. 2) Select "edit", then toggle with "edit" to select function. To move use |<< or >>| to change the track number, then enter >>|. Text entry uses volume + and -. Edit positioning to within 1 second acuracy. -20dB Mic atten switch. Playback time: Li 2.5, ext. AA 2.5, both 6.5 hours. Recording: Li 2, ext. AA 2, both 4.5 hours. Dim: 1.5" x 4.5" x 5.5" -Ian Ogilvy


Aiwa AMD-100portable recorder
Intro: 12/1992 (?)
msrp: $600
street: $250?
In: optical, line, mic (1.38mv min:0.55mv). Out: optical, line, hdphn (5mwx2 max, load 16 ohms)4 1/2" x 1 5/8" x 5 1/2" 1.1lbs


  • Aiwa clone of Sony MZ-1.
  • ATRAC 1.
  • Track divide, combine, swap and erase.
  • Battery level indicator.
  • 24 Character title display.
  • Disc and track labeling.
  • Date and time stamp recording.
  • 21-selector program memory.
  • 4-way repeat play (one/all/shuffle/program).
  • Resume play function.
  • Clock display.
  • Automatic and manual gain control (can switch between these two modes while recording, or change the manual gain while recording).
  • -20dB mic attenuator switch.
  • 3 level bass boost.
  • Backlit display.
  • Resume mode.
  • AC adapter, rechargeable battery supplied.


Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
Rechargable BP-MZ1 (NiCd)1.25 hr1 hr1-1.5 hr
Goldstar MD-R2portable recorder
Intro: 12/1993 (est. possibly never produced)


Features: ?


Notes: Mystery machine. Reportedly Goldstar OEM of the Sony MZ-1 or MZ-R2. If you can confirm this, or know anything further about this unit, please let me know.


JVC XM-R700portable MD recorder
Intro: 2/2001

IN: optical, line, microphone
OUT: headphones
81.7 x 19.5 x 88.9 mm, 190g (155g w/o batt)

Features: Rotating knob on side of unit for easy scrolling and function selection. MDLP compatible. 40-second anti-shock protection (160 seconds in LP4 mode), digital sync-recording, backlit remote, 7-level bass/treble adjust, DACB (digital active clear bass) bass boost (a boost circuit that is controlled according to the detected output level, to ensure low distortion, even at high volumes).



Specifications: Headphone amp: 3mW+3mW at 10% THD, 16 ohms

User Manual: XM-R700

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)PlayRecordRecharge
LiIon3 hr
AA x 3
Both55/67/75 hr22/31/41 hr
JVC XM-R70Portable MD recorder
Intro: 7/1999
IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: headphones. DC IN (?)VWHD: 81.7x88.9x19.5mm, 155g (186g w/batt.)

Features: Jog-dial on side of unit for character entry and editing. During character input, 9 characters surrounding the selected character are displayed, easing input. During playback the track number, track time, and title are displayed simultaneously. LCD on main body is 10 x 2 characters. 20 bit ADC and DAC. 24 bit calculation ATRAC. 40 second shock memory. Digital and analog syncho recording. Manual recording level control only, level can be adjusted during recording. "Active Clear Bass" (ACB). Gumstick LiIon. Will not recharge and play simultaneously (hit STOP to start recharging). Backlit LCD equipped remote. Accessories: Car power adapter CA-R551, cassette adapter: CK-101.

PC Connecting Kit: JVC's "MD Controller Software" allows connection of the XM-R70 to JVC's MP-C101 (Windows CE machine). JVC's MP-C101 page states: 7. MD Controller: JVC XM-R70 can be connected with AC-XR1 connecting kit. Disk name and track names can be entered from the keyboard in Roman letters, kanji and kana. Track order can be changed and tracks can be deleted by pen touch while looking at the track names. MD labels can be printed (JVC video printer required). The page includes a detailed screenshot.



Tips: The Ambico model P-2000 camera case is the perfect size for the JVC XM-R70 recorder (even with external battery pack attached) and it has another compartment that fits about 4 MD's (in their cases) comfortably. It even comes with a detachable carrying strap. The case was $6.96 at Wal-Mart. -Brad Choi

Specs: Headphone 5mW+5mW (into 16 ohms). Input impedance: Line: 47k ohms. Minimum imput signal level: Line: 100mV, Mic 1.3mV.

User Manuals: XM-R70, XM-R70 courtesy Chris Gerrist

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon BN-R369 (3.6V)10 hr5 hr2 hr
AA x 325 hr12 hr
Both38 hr18 hr
Some Euro Models (?) - Not HollandPlayRecordRecharge
LiIon BN-R3610 (3.6V)9 hr5 hr
Both30 hr
JVC XM-R2portable recorder
Intro: 2/1997
?83.6x34.5x119mm 330g w/Ni-MH bat.

Features: Titling and editing functions are performed with a stylus and touch sensitive screen. 50ms divide point resolution. PDA like display shows full title of current track or partial titles of current track and next 3 tracks. Touching the name of the desired track starts that track playing. Wired remote uses normal 1/8" minijack. Button labels in English, but silk screened icons on display panel are Japanese.

Misfeatures: Stopping in mid-track followed by play resumes at head of track.



Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH4 hr2.5 hr3 hr
AA x 4
Both12.5 hr5.5 hr
Panasonic SL-MR10
Panasonic SL-MR10
portable recorder
Intro: 8/1995
msrp: $698, JPY 69,800
in: optical/line, mic. out: hdphn.84.7x31.1x109.5mm, 300g w/bat.

Features: 12 character LCD on main unit. Track/disc titling. Track erase, move, join, divide, all erase. Recording: agc, st/mono. Play: repeat, random, program. LCD remote with track, time, operating mode and battery level display. Selectable "SLC" (sound leakage circuit) modifies sound to avoid disturbing others nearby. Bass boost.



User Manual: J/E

Battery LifePlayRecord
LiIon3.5 hr3 hr
AA x 4
Both8 hr
JVC XM-D1Quasi-portable recorder
Intro: 12/1993 (US)
MSRP $1300/¥98,000
street ¥39,800
Optical (toslink) in & out, Line in & out, Mic in, headphone out.20 x 14 x 6 cm

Features: ATRAC 1. AC power or Ni-Cad [JVC camcorder] battery operation. Large (3-3.5"), tiltable, backlit, 16 character EL display (reportedly quite bright). Slot-in disc loading. 12 button keypad and jog wheel on main unit (for AMS). Allows up to 32 character title input. Timer Play/Record (set start and stop times). Manual and automatic mic level recording. Dual L/R dB meters on display. Small 24 button wireless remote has simple playback, record and synchro-record functions (no record editing or track titling). Date and Time stamp recording (though clock must be reset on battery changes). Program, random, and 15 second intro (called ``Music Scan'' nowadays) play mode. Body color: dark gray. Battery life on 6V NiCad battery: playback 100min, record: 80min. Optional car battery cord: JVC AP-V7.

User comments: Too large to be considered a portable, even though it is a portable/home/car unit.


Panasonic SJ-MR50portable MDLP recorder w/builtin mic & speaker
Intro: 10/2004
Street: ¥ 24,000
In: line/optical, mic. Out: headphones. DC IN: (?)80.9w x 88.3h x 23.4d mm, 115g (142g w/batt)


  • Built-in monaural speaker and stereo microphone.
  • World's smallest and lightest MD recorder with built-in speaker and mic.
  • Digital speed control allows -50%-+100% adjustment of playback rate with no change in pitch.
  • Large 2-line LCD on main unit (no LCD on remote).
  • "Voice operation system" will start and stop recording in response to presence of sound.
  • A-B repeat function.
  • Finally -- an MD unit reappears with important functions available from buttons on the front panel as opposed to being buried in sub-menus. Front panel buttons appear to be Stop, Pause, Play, Record, Volume, FF/RW, Record Mode, Playback mode, Playback speed (+/-), A-B repeat


Accessories: 6-key remote, AC adapter, rechargeable battery case, carrying case, stereo in-ear phones, NiMH cell, dry-cell adapter case

Specs: Headphone amp: 5mW+5mw, Speaker amp: 120mW. Freq. Resp: 20-20kHz (+0/-6dB)


Battery life SP/LP2/LP4
NiMH26/35/40 hr13/18/23 hr4 hr
AA x 143/60/70 hr14/22/32 hr
Both74/94/113 hr34/48/56 hr
Battery life SP/LP2/LP4
NiMH9.5/10/11 hr9.5/15/19 hr4 hr
AA x 113/14.5/15.5 hr11/17/26 hr
Both26/27/29 hr25/40/53 hr
Panasonic SJ-MR270Portable NetMD Recorder
Intro: 02/2004
In: line/optical, mic. Out: headphones. Data: USB. DC IN: 1.2V (battery), 1.5V (alkaline AA cell), 5.0V (AC adapter)77.8w x 74.8h x 13.9d mm, 86g (113g w/batt), Speakers: 41.0 x 89.4 x 95.4mm


  • NetMD downloading with Beat Jam software.
  • World record breaking 130 hour battery life (as of 1/14/2004).
  • Large style 3-Line LCD on main body displays 2 lines of Kanji/Hiragana.
  • Kanji displaying LCD remote with ability to control recording.
  • H.D.E.S. (Panasonic's "special" SP-mode ATRAC tweak)
  • Has a CD 1-track recording mode, enters pause mode after recording one track.
  • Jog dial.
  • X-Bass.
  • Docking cradle with separate speakers.


Specs: Headphone amp: 2.8mW+2.8mW, Speaker amp: 900mW+900mW, JEITA, 20-20kHz +0/-6dB. Line in: 33Kohm, Mic in: 600 ohm, Headphone out: 50 ohm


User Manual: SJ-MR270

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
AA x 142/59/70 hr9/16/21 hr
NiMH25/34/38 hr13/17/21 hr3.5 hr
Both76/94/130 hr33/46/55 hr
Panasonic SJ-MR240portable MDLP recorder
Intro: 02/2004
In: line/optical, mic. Out: headphones. DC IN: 1.2V (battery), 1.5V (alkaline AA cell), 5.0V (AC adapter)77.8w x 71.9h x 13.9d mm, 85g (112g w/batt)


  • World record breaking 130 hour battery life (as of 1/14/2004).
  • Large style 3-Line LCD on main body displays 2 lines of Kanji/Hiragana.
  • Kanji displaying LCD remote with ability to control recording.
  • Jog dial.
  • Stereo mic included.
  • X-Bass.
  • Docking cradle.
  • Differences from SJ-MR270:
    • Non-NetMD
    • No H.D.E.S
    • No one-track recording


Specs: Headphone amp: 2.8mW+2.8mW, JEITA, 20-20kHz +0/-6dB. Line in: 33Kohm, Mic in: 600 ohm, Headphone out: 50 ohm


User Manual: SJ-MR240

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
AA x 142/58/70 hr9/16/21 hr
NiMH25/34/38 hr13/17/21 hr3.5 hr
Both76/94/130 hr33/46/55 hr
Panasonic SJ-MR230Portable MDLP recorder w/speakers
Intro: 10/2002
Street: JPY35,000 (est.)
IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: headphones. DC IN: 1.2V (NiMH), 1.5V (AA), 4.5V (AC adaptor)incl. protrusions: pro80.4w x 74.6h x 20.1d mm, excl. protrusions: 78.2w x 71.6h x 17.9d mm, 94g (121g w/batt)

Features: Longest playing MD recorder as of 9/2002. Unit appears to be a non-NetMD little brother to the SJ-MR250 with improved battery life (and reduced 3.0mW headphone power [cf. 3.5mW headphone amp of SJ-MR250]). Includes charging cradle and small, separate titanium cone speakers. 10-key titling keypad in charging cradle for track and disk name input as well as MD editing (group, divide, etc.). One finger LCD remote, adjustable recording level for digital, line and mic inputs. Panasonic's "H.D.E.S" audio compression. Handy "1 track recording" feature that pauses unit after recording one CD track. Auto time-mark recording. Kanji and kana display on LCD remote and main unit (but no Kanji/kana titling is possible). Synchro-recording from audio sources (digital and analog?). 4-step battery charge indicator on main body and remote. S-XBS 2-step bass boost. Intro-scan playback. "Train-mode" feature to cut high frequencies on playback to avoid disturbing others nearby. One-track/all-track repeat, random play modes. Battery can be recharged without needing to be empty first. Available in silver, blue and red.


Included Accessories: LCD remote, AC adapter, stereo "inside-phones", attachable AA cell case, carrying pouch, USB cable, NiMH rechargeable cell, "multi-cradle" with speakers

Specs: Headphone amp: 3mW+3mW, Speaker amp: 900mW+900mW, 100VAC, Freq. Resp. 20-20kHz +0/-8dB


Service Manual: SJ-MR230

Battery Life
NiMH27/35/42 hr13/18/23 hr3.5 hr
AA x 142/59/70 hr 8/13/21 hr
Both77/100/117 hr35/50/62 hr
Photo: Japan Direct
Photo: Minidisco
Photos: AV Watch
Panasonic SJ-MR250Portable NetMD recorder w/speakers
Intro: 7/2002
Street: ¥40,000
IN: microphone, line/optical
OUT: headphones, DC IN: 1.2v (NiMH), 1.5v (Alkaline), 4.5v (AC adapter)
78.2 x 17.9 x 71.6mm (80.4 x 74.6 x 20.1mm max ext.), 97g (124g w/batt)

Features: Panasonic's first NetMD portable. MDLP and group functions. The unit includes docking stand and small (3cm diameter titanium cone) neodymium magnet "full range" speakers (a concept introduced on the Panasonic SJ-MJ50). Docking stand ("multi-cradle") incorporates NetMD PC connection, charging function (unit can be used while charging), and titling/editing keypad (titling interface based upon cellphone alpha input procedure). Capable of displaying kanji titles on LCDs of main body and remote. Remote features "one finger" control, 4 step battery level display. Divide rehearsal mode in 60ms steps. CD one-track record (record track and pause), recording level control, synchro-record, 2-step S-XBS (bass boost) and auto track-mark (3/5/10? minute) functions. Sampling rate convertor. Play modes: repeat 1/all, shuffle. Panasonic's "H.D.E.S" audio compression. Ships with BeatJam (Justsystem Inc) OpenMG compliant software for audio downloading and control of the portable.


Included Accessories: LCD remote, AC adapter, stereo "inside-phones", attachable AA cell case, carrying pouch, USB cable, NiMH rechargeable cell, "multi-cradle" with speakers, NetMD software

Specs: Headphone amp: 3.5mW + 3.5mW, Speaker amp: 900mW+900mW, 100VAC.


User Manual: J/E

Battery Life
NiMH25/33/40 hr13/17/21 hr3.5 hr
AA x 139/50/63 hr 8/13/16 hr
Both70/90/110 hr35/46/56 hr
Photos: Hyperjack
Panasonic SJ-MR220Portable MDLP recorder
Intro: 7/2001

IN: line/optical, mic, OUT: headphone, DC IN: 1.2v (NiMH), 1.5v (Alkaline), 1.8v (AC Adapter)78.2 x 71.6 x 16.0mm, 88g (body only), 115g (w/batt)

Features: Portable MDLP recorder. World's smallest, thinnest and lightest as of 6/2001. "Smart operation pad" (touchpad) for control and titling functions. First recorder with group function support. Divide rehearsal mode in 60ms steps. Backlit remote. 12 character 2 line display on main unit. "One time record" function pauses unit after recording one CD track. Titling possible during playback. Auto-time-mark places track marks every 3, 5 or 10 minutes. Panasonic's "H.D.E.S" audio compression. Apparently has two fixed recording levels: "high" and "low" (or perhaps AGC, with two sensitivity settings). Available in silver, blue and white


Included Accessories: LCD remote, stereo "inside phones", AC adapter, gum-pack NiMH rechargeable cell, AA Alkaline cell external case, rechargeable cell case, carrying pouch

Specs: Headphone amp: 3.5mW+3.5mW, Frequency response: 20-20kHz (+0/-8(!)dB)


User Manuals: SJ-MR220, J/E

Service Manual: SJ-MR220

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)PlayRecordRecharge
NiMH25/33/38 hr12.5/17/21 hr3.5hr
AA x 142/54/62 hr19/26/34 hr
Both69/87/100 hr34/45/55 hr
Photo: AVLand UK
Pub Computer Times (Singapore)
Photo: TVPen.com
Photo: MDMan.net
Panasonic SJ-MR200portable MD recorder
Intro: 8/2000
IN: microphone, line/optical.
OUT: headphone
DC IN: 1.2V (NiMH), 1.5V (AA), 1.8V (AC adapter)
78.2x71.6x16.8mm, 94g [120g w/batt]

Features: Unit is world's smallest and lightest portable MD recorder (as of July 2000). Divide rehearsal mode in 60ms steps. Compatible with Panasonic's "MD Network" to interface with other audio devices. 40 second anti-skip shock protection, tone quality switch (S-XBS/train position), two line display and "Smart Operation Pad" (provides soft-touch buttonpads for the usual portable MD button functions and for titling). Panasonic's "H.D.E.S" audio compression.


Specs: Headphone amp: 3.5mW+3.5mW at 22 ohms. 20-20kHz +0/-6dB


User Manual: SJ-MR200

Service Manual: SJ-MR200

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH15 hr7 hr3 hr
AA x 121 hr3 hr
Both38 hr15 hr
Photos: Japan Direct
Panasonic SJ-MR100Portable MD Recorder
Intro: 6/1999
MSRP ¥46,000
IN: line/optical, mic. OUT: headphone. DC in: 1.8VWHD: 84x77x18.9mm, (84.9x78.3x20.5mm max outer dim), 136g body only (161g w/batt)

Features: World's smallest and lightest MD recorder as of June, 1999. Unit incorporates .25um rule LSI and newly developed one beam optical pickup (world's thinnest: 6.6mm). Text display on main body is 2 X 12 characters. Edge mounted jog dial with integral push button for labelling and track selection (while playing a track, other track names may be examined and a new track selected). Can title while playing a track (though machine updates TOC and leaves unit at start of disc after every track title operation). Special "one track record" function puts unit into rec-pause mode after a CD track finishes. Divide rehearsal mode with 60ms adjustment step (like the Aiwa AM-F70 and home decks). Backlit remote. 40 second shock memory. Synchro-recording, sampling rate converter. Time Mark mode (automatic track marks at 3 or 5 minute intervals). Battery charges only when unit is stopped. No AGC(?), recording level control limited to "high/low" sensitivity switch (manual states that High sensitivity is for recording from portable products, and Low sensitivity is for recording from hi-fi products or boomboxes).


Specs: Freq. Resp: 20-20kHz +0/-8dB, Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW into 14 Ohms. Line input: impedance: 47kOhms, level: High sens: 178mV, Low sens: 500mv. Mic input: impedance: 600 Ohms, level: 0.4mV. Power sources: Rechargeable: 1.2V, AA cell: 1.5V, AC adapter: 1.8V. AC power consumption at power off: 1.6W.


User Manual: SJ-MR100

Service Manual: SJ-MR100

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH 1400mAh10 hr6 hr3 hr
AA x 114 hr2.5 hr
Both25 hr12 hr
Sanyo MDG-R3
Fisher MDG-R3
Portable MD recorder
Intro: 6/1999
IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: headphone (+ others?)4 1/8" x 3 3/8" x 1"

Features: 80 second shock memory. Can be coupled to a PC for computer based titling, editing and music download. If you have further photos or details for this machine, please let us know.

Links: An E/Town article about MD at CES '99 mentions this unit.


Battery LifePlay
8 hr
Sharp MD-DR77portable MD recorder
Intro: 4/2004
Est. ¥30,000
In: optical, line, mic. Out: line, headphones78.9w x 18.0h x 71.9d mm, 101g (131g w/batt), DC IN: 1.2V (NiMH), 1.5V (AA), 4.5V (Car adapter), 5.0V (AC adapter)


  • One-bit digital amp w/4-pole headphone plug.
  • Backlit-LCD remote.
  • Recording-start button on remote (!)
  • Recording level control can be set automatically (for analog sources) or manually (for analog and digital sources).
  • Syncro-start recording from analog and digital sources.
  • Playback speed control.
  • "Favorite-track playback" remembers up to 10 favorite tracks on up to 9 disks.
  • Group mode support.
  • High/Low microphone input sensitivity selector.
  • Charge-stand.
  • Character-stamp
  • Timer alarm (avoid missing your train stop).
  • Available in silver, blue and black.

Markets: Japan


Included Accessories: LCD remote, Headphones, NiMH cell (with case), AC adapter, external AA case, charging stand, carrying pouch

Specs: Headphone amp: 8mW+8mW (@32k ohm), Line: 125mV (@10k ohm, -12dB), Freq resp. 20-20kHz +/- 3dB


Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH28/40/49 hr10.5/15/21 hrFull: 5.5hr, 80%: 3.5 hr
AA x 149/70/83 hr13/22/33 hr
Both80/112/135 hr25/40/57 hr
Sharp IM-DR80
Sharp IM-DR580
Kenwood DMC-S9NET
portable NetMD recorder with dock
Intro: 9/2003
est. ¥37,000
Body: In: mic. Out: headphones. Docking Station: In: line/optical, Out: line, speaker. Data USB. DC IN: 1.2V, 1.5V80.1w x 16.6h x 72.6d mm, 95g (120g w/batt)

Features: Prototype shown at IFA Berlin 2003.

  • High(er) speed NetMD downloading: SP: 4X, LP2: 25X, LP4: 50X
  • Small docking station with LCD, power, line in/out, optical in and USB connections (no LCD on MD unit).
  • Auto (microphone recording) and manual analog recording level control. Digital recording level control.
  • Group mode support.
  • Timer alarm (avoid missing your train stop).
  • CD synchro recording.
  • Character-stamp (copy track titles from original to copied MD).
  • One-bit digital amp with 4 pole headphone connector.
  • Backlit Kanji-capable LCD remote.
  • Available in silver, black, and red.

Variants: Unit is dubbed IM-DR80 in Japan and IM-DR580 in Europe. Kenwood sells the unit as the DMC-S9NET.


Specs: Headphone amp: 8mW+8mW @ 32ohms, line: 125mV @ 10k ohms

Accessories: Backlit LCD remote, headphones, NiMH battery and case, multi-voltage (100V-240V) AC adapter, "Multi-link station" (docking stand), external AA cell case, carrying pouch, USB cable, manuals, BeatJam software CD and manuals

Optional Accessories: HP-MD33 headphones (9mm diameter, in-the-ear type, 3 silicon gum earpiece sizes (S, M, L), ¥3800), HP-MD90 headphones (16mm diameter, adjustable angle, aluminum, over-the-ear type, ¥3300)


User Manuals: IM-DR80, IM-DR580

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH27/36/42 hr8/12/15 hrfull: 5.5 hr, 90%: 3.5 hr
Alkaline AA x 148/67/75 hr8/15/20.5 hr
Both80/103/122 hr20/30.5/40 hr
IM-DR410 (1280x1051)
IM-DR420 (1280x1114)
Sharp IM-DR400
Sharp IM-DR410
Sharp IM-DR420
portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 09/2003
Street: IM-DR410: €210, IM-DR420: € 230
In: line/optical, (IM-DR420 only: mic). Out: headphones. Data: USB, DC IN: 1.2V, 1.5V, 3V83w x 28h x 76d mm, 140g w/batt, 117g w/o batt


  • A first for Sharp: Automatic (with settable low/high range) and manual recording level control (IM-DR420 only)
  • NetMD downloading at 50x realtime
  • 1-bit digital amp
  • Group mode support
  • Play modes: all, shuffle, all-repeat, shuffle-repeat
  • Digital X-Bass
  • Auto time-mark (3, 5, and 10 minute intervals)
  • Line synchro-start recording (microphone synchro-start recording [i.e. voice activated recording] on IM-DR420)


  • IM-DR400 is non-remote base model.
  • IM-DR410 is apparently identical to IM-DR400 but comes with carrying pouch and optical cable.
  • IM-DR420 differs from DR400 and DR410, adding microphone input (with auto and manual recording level function) and non-LCD remote.

Included Accessories: Both units: 4-pole earphones, 4-pole to 3 pole conversion cable, AC adapter, carrying pouch, optical cable, analog cable (1/8" stereo to RCA x 2), CD-ROM, USB cable. IM-DR420 only: non-LCD remote, NiMH battery (AA formfactor), NiMH case


Specs: Headphone amp: 8mW+8mW, 0.2% THD. Disc RPM: 400-1800 playback, 400-2700 recording


User Manuals: IM-DR400, IM-DR400 Quickstart, IM-DR410, IM-DR410 Quickstart, IM-DR420, IM-DR420 Quickstart, Software Preinstall, BeatJam

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
AA formfactor
33/44/51 hr8/13/18 hrfull: 5.4hr, 90%: 3.4 hr
Alkaline AA x 144/62/75 hr4/7/11 hr
Sharp MD-MT270
Sharp MD-MT290
portable MDLP recorder
Intro: 2/2003
Street: £100
In: line/optical, (mic: MT-MD290 only). Out: headphones, DC IN: 1.5V-5.0V83 x 28 x 77mm, 107g (body only), 134g w/battery


  • MDLP support
  • 3-step X-Bass.
  • In common with all modern Sharp portable recorders:
    • Synchro recording for digital and analog (LINE/MIC) sources.
    • Character Stamp (Sharp feature since MD-MS200 that provides quick title text transfer from original to newly recorded disc)
    • Recording level control may be adjusted while recording is underway.
    • No automatic recording level setting.

Variants: MD-MT270 has no remote or microphone input, MD-MT290 has a non-LCD remote and microphone input.


Included Accessories: Earphones, AC adapter, RCA cable. Europe: optical cable

Specs: Headphone amp: 10mW+10mW RMS @ 32 ohms (0.2%THD), Line out: 250mV (-12dB), Freq. Resp: 20-20kHz +/-3dB


Battery LifePlayRecord
NiMH cell25/29/34 hr10/13/17 hr
AA x 133/44/52 hr8/11/16 hr
Photo: Minidisco
Photo: DSWorld.co.kr
Photos: Mike Sloan
Photos: Tina Ryan
Sharp MD-DR7
Sharp MD-DR470
Sharp MD-DR480
portable MD recorder
Intro: 12/2002
In: mic, line, optical. Out: headphones/line, DC IN: 1.2VDC-5.0VDC78.9 x 17.8 x 71.9mm, 140g (w/batt), 115g (body only)


  • Trace-back recording (formerly only available on MD decks) stores 5, 10 or 30 (user selectable) seconds of audio in memory while in REC-PAUSE state; when the user presses REC, recording actually begins 5, 10 or 30 seconds prior to the button press.
  • Record breaking battery life: 120 hour playback, 64 hour recording.
  • World's first MD recorder with 1-bit digital amplifier (uses 4 conductor headphone plug and jack).
  • MDLP support (but not NetMD).
  • "Favorite Playback" allows selection of up to 10 favorite tracks that are played when in Favorite Playback mode. These tracks are remembered for up to 9 different MDs in the recorder's memory.
  • Playback Speed control in 5 steps: -30%, -20%, 10%, +5%, +15%
  • First Sharp recorder with Treble control. Bass boost functions as it did on previous units, but treble adjustment is now available (in 5 steps: -2, -1, 0, +1, +2) after bass setting is selected.
  • Equipped with a charging stand.
  • Alarm timer from 1 to 99 minutes (to avoid missing train stops).
  • New group mode function starts a new group when group button is pressed during mic recording.
  • Backlit LCD remote.
  • Microphone sensitvity setting (HIGH/LOW) incorporated into recording level control.
  • Available in Silver, blue and pink.
  • In common with all modern Sharp portable recorders:
    • Synchro recording for digital and analog (LINE/MIC) sources.
    • Character Stamp (Sharp feature since MD-MS200 that provides quick title text transfer from original to newly recorded disc)
    • Recording level control may be adjusted while recording is underway.
    • No automatic recording level setting.

Variants: Unit is badged "MD-DR480" in Singapore (Asia?). Euro variant is sold without charging cradle as the MD-DR470. Discussion of variants



Accessories: Backlit LCD remote, Headphone, NiMH battery, AC adaptor (auto-sensing 110-240AC in Asia), externally attachable AA drycell case, Charge stand, Manual. In Europe: optical cable (TOSlink to 3.5mm), analog cable (RCA to 3.5mm), carrying case. MD-DR480 (Asia): additonal ear buds (as well as headphones), AD-USB1 analog PC-Link (USB->analog) adapter, optical cable (TOSlink to 3.5mm), analog cable (RCA to 3.5mm) 4-Pole ->3-Pole conversion cable.


  • Output: Headphone: 8mW+8mW (32 ohms, RMS), Line 250mV (10Kohms)
  • Input sensitivity: MIC H: 0.25mV (10kohms), MIC L: 2.5mV (10kohms), LINE: 100mV (20kohms).

User Manual: MD-DR7

Battery Life
Remote LCD off, VOL 15
AD-N55BT (1400mAh)
27/35/42 hr10.5/15/22 hrFull: 5.5 hr, 90%: 3.5 hr
AA x 141/59/71 hr13/22/38 hr
Both72/100/120 hr28/43/64 hr
MD-MT200 Accessories
Sharp MD-MT170
Sharp MD-MT180
Sharp MD-MT190
Sharp MD-MT200
portable (budget) MD recorders
Intro: 1/2002
MT170: £130
IN: line/optical, mic (MT190/200 only), OUT: headphones, DC IN: 1.5V-5V76w x 83d x 22.9h mm, 146g w/batt

Features: MDLP modes, 3-mode digital X-bass system, Digital rec-level control. Flat case (no battery bulge), MD-MT170/180 has no remote or microphone input

Variants: MD-MT170 and MD-MT180 appear identical in function. MD-MT190 and MD-MT200 come with non-LCD remote. MD-MT200 has Dolby surround DSP mode

Accessories: Headphones, AC adapter, PC Link kit (USB->analog for MT180, USB->optical for MT190&MT200)

Optional Accessories: Attachable AA cell battery case: AD-M18BC, Car adapter: AD-CA20X


Specs: Headphone amp: 10mW+10mW RMS @32Ohms (0.2%THD), Line output 250mV @10KOhms Disc RPM: 400-1350, Freq. Resp.: 20-20kHz +/-3dB, Line input sensitivity: 100mV (20KOhms)


User Manuals: MD-MT180, MD-MT190

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
11/13/15 hr7/9.5/12.5 hr3.5 hr (90%), 5.5 hr (Full)
AAx115.5/19/22 hr6/19/22 hr
Both27/32/38 hr15.5/23/30 hr
(Snapshots courtesy Japan-Direct)
Spyflash from IFA 2001
Sharp IM-MT880
Sharp IM-MT899
portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 12/2001
open price
IN: analog, optical digital
OUT: analog
71.9D x 78.9W x 15.7H mm, 105g (130g w/ batt)

Features: MDLP Group mode, connectable to a computer via USB cable. Supports the OpenMG digital music copyright standard. (High-speed copying to unit in SP mode not allowed). Unit comes with OpenMG Jukebox Ver.2.2, which allows conversion of MP3, WMA, and WAV file formats to ATRAC3. Seven LEDs indicate the status of the transfer of audio files. Two-line LCD remote display. Track scan mode plays the first five seconds of each music track. Sound-activated microphone recording mode. 40 seconds shock protection (160 seconds in MDLP 4X). Unit is charged when placed in included stand.

Variants: This unit is likely to be badged the MD-MT899 in Europe.

User Tips: After installing the software that came with the unit, and discovering that some of the buttons were in Japanese, I stumbled on a solution. I first uninstalled the Sharp version of OpenMG and all the associated drivers. I then downloaded the Sony version of OpenMG from the OpenMG website and installed it. It's important that you only install the OpenMG software, and not the Sony drivers. I then reran the install from the Sharp CD. The Sharp install attempted to install OpenMG, but discovered that one was already on the system, and left it alone. It went ahead installed the rest of the software, including the MT880 driver. I now have a fully English version of OpenMG that works with my Sharp MD. (BTW-the Japanese button on the player says 'shuffle'). -Mick Gardina



Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output.

User Manual: IM-MT880

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)PlayRecordRecharge
NiMH9.5/11/12.5 hr6/8.5/10 hr3 hr
AA x 114/17.5/19.5 hr6/9.5/12.5 hr
Both24/29.5/33 hr14.5/20.5/26 hr
MD-MT770 vs. MZ-R909 thickness
Photos: Japan-Direct
Photo: MDMan.net (1024x768)
Photo taken at IFA Berlin
Sharp MD-MT770
Sharp MD-MT888
Portable MD recorder
Intro: 8/2001
MSRP: ``Open''
IN: mic, line, optical, DC 1.5-2V
OUT: headphone
71.9Dx78.9Wx15.7H mm, 128g w/batt, 103g body only

Features: World's smallest portable as of Aug. 2001. MDLP capable, 2-line LCD, full editing and titling from remote. Unique group mode functions: "group move" moves track to new group, "group top move" makes entire group the first group on the disc, "group erase" removes all tracks within a group, "group booking" creates a group and places newly recorded tracks there, "group arrange" moves tracks not in any group to the end of the disc so that even machines that don't support group function will play the tracks in the same order.(?) Three color blinking LED signalling system indicates recording type (SP/LP2/LP4), state of charge, and operating mode. Optional AD-PCR3 connecting kit features USB to digital optical link as well as control of editing and titling from PC. High speed (2X) playback of monaural (SP) recordings, digital/line/mic-synchro start, auto time-mark (3/5/10 minute interval), character stamp, one-touch eject, digital and analog recording level control (no AGC).

Variants: Unit badged the MD-MT888 in Europe

Included Accessories: LCD remote control, AA dry cell case, headphone, charge stand, NiMH rechargeable cell (with case), carrying case, AC adaptor, connecting cord, Manual.

Notes: Display on main unit does not show disc or track names, only the track number, hence titling can only be done from remote.



Specs: Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW into 32 ohms, line: 250mV into 10K ohms.

User Manual: MD-MT888

Battery Life
NiMH13.5/16/18.5 hr8/11/14 hr90%: 3 hr, full: 5 hr
AA x 120/25/29 hr9/14/19.5 hr
Both35/42.5/49 hr19/27.5/36.5 hr
Sharp MD-MT88
Sharp MD-MT99
MDLP recorder
Intro: 5/2001
IN: line/optical, mic
OUT: headphone
81.1w x 19.9h x 92.4d mm, 172g w/battery (MT99), 147g w/o battery (MT88)

Features: MDLP recorder. The MD-MT88 and MD-MT99 appear to be the same basic unit except for slight differences in front panel button shapes. The MT-88 does not come with remote control or rechargeable battery.

Links: Sharp UK's MT-88 and MT-99 pages.

Accesories: Rechargeable battery: AD-N70BT, Car adaptor: AD-CA20X, Cassette adaptor: AD-CT14, MD to MD edit cable: AD-M5AC, Tie-Pin microphone: MC-TP2


User Manuals: MD-MT88, MD-MT99

Battery Life (all times LP4)PlayRecordRecharge
17.5 hr13.5 hr?
AA x 120 hr7 hr
MD-MT90 (1050x997)
Sharp MD-MT80
Sharp MD-MT90
portable MD recorder
Intro: 3/2001
IN: line/optical, microphone
OUT: headphones
81.1 (W)x 19.9 (H)x 92.4 (D)mm, 172g w/ batt

Features: Unit is not MDLP compatible. 3-level bass boost. 40 second anti-shock protection, character stamp feature, clamshell design, synchronized recording for digital, analog, and microphone. MD-MT90 comes with non-LCD remote, MD-MT80 comes sans remote.

Links: Sharp UK's official English page for the MD-MT90. Sharp UK has an MD-MT80H page MD21 posts French information on the MD-MT90. An official Sharp press release talks about the upcoming release of the MD-MT877 (an MT77 variant) and the MD-MT90.


User Manuals: MD-MT90, MD-MT80

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH12 hr7 hr3.5 hr
AA x 112 hr3 hr
Kenwood DMC-M7R
(Courtesy IGN)
Photo: Youn
Sharp MD-MT77
Sharp MD-MT877
Kenwood DMC-M7R
portable MD recorder
Intro: 11/2000
IN: optical/line, microphone
OUT: line/headphones
78.7D x 71.9W x 16.8H mm, 131g w/batt (Kenwood DMC-M7R: 72.7 x 17.0 x 79.3, 137g)

Features: MDLP capable. Smallest portable MD recorder in the world as of October 2000. Battery "memory effect" is reduced by automatic discharging circuitry in the charge stand. Can interface with a computer via USB connection kit (AD-PCR2), allowing track and title management and automatic label printing of a MiniDisc's contents, as well as an audio connection. "Scan" feature plays the first five seconds of each track. Two-line 12-character LCD display, digital recording level control, X-BASS boost, 40-second shock protection (provides 160 second protection in LP4 mode), hand strap. Microphone-synchronized recording function only records when sound is heard. Mono mode recordings can be played back at 2x speed. Track ``auto-mark'' function can be set to mark a track at regular intervals (3,5,10 minutes?). "Name Stamp" function allows easy copying of character information from one disc to another.

Variants: US (and Euro?) model badged the MD-MT877.



Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output, 20 bit D/A converter, 1.2V NiMH, 1.5V AA, 5V adapter. Disc spins at about 400-1,350 rpm.
(battery times shown show SP/LP2/LP4)

User Manuals: MD-MT77, Update

Service Manual: MD-MT77

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH12/13.5/15 hr6.5/9/11.5 hr3.5 hr
AA x 116/19.5/22 hr6/10/13 hr
Both29/33/40 hr15/22/30 hr
Sharp MD-MT66
Sharp MD-MT866
portable MD recorder
Intro: 9/2000
IN: optical/line in, microphone
OUT: headphones/line out
78.9D x 72.0W x 19.5H mm, 137g w/batt

Features: Utilizes a charge stand for recharging Nickel Hyrdogen battery. 40 second anti-shock protection, adjustable digital input signal level, "microphone synchronized recording" (where the unit only records to MD when it detects audible sound with the microphone), synchro-recording function, shuffle and repeat modes, double-speed mono playback, voice-activated recorder for conferencing.

Variants: Sharp's Korean page for the MD-MT866 (the MT866 is the Korean model number of the MT66 model, unit reportedly has ability to title with Korean characters).



Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output, 5.0 VAC. 32kHz, 48kHz sampling rate converter.

User Manual: MD-MT866

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH12 hr6.5 hr3.5 hr
AA x 118 hr6 hr
Both30 hr15.5 hr
MD-SR60 (1716x1674)
Sharp MD-SR50
Sharp MD-MT50
Sharp MD-SR60
Sharp MD-SR70
Sharp MD-SR75
portable MD recorder
Intro: 2/2000
IN: mic, optical/line. OUT: headphone/line.99.9 x 22.9 x 77.9mm, 191g w/batt

Features: Recorder operates on either a single alkaline or rechargeable AA cell. No LCD on remote. Available in silver or blue.

Variants: MD-SR50: no remote MD-SR60: non-LCD remote (same unit as SR70?) MD-SR70: non-LCD remote MD-SR75: backlit LCD remote


User comments: The SR60 appears to exhibit behavior similar to the Sharp MD-MS702 when recording from the mic input, in that a short silence will be recorded when the recording level is adjusted between position 20 and 21 on the 30-point level scale. This pause occurs when both increasing and decreasing the recording level past this point. -J. Kwon

Links: Sharp's Japanese page (also available in English) and press release for this unit. Sharp's specs for the SR50/70/75 (they're all basically the same unit with variations in their accessories). Superfi (UK) has pictures of Sharp's MD-SR50 and MD-SR60 (the former sans remote), both apparently identical to the MD-MT50. Sharp MD-MT50 variants in New Zealand: the MD-SR50W (no remote), and the MD-SR70W (slight case variation, w/remote and headphones, of a sort). A Sharp Japanese page lists the MD-SR50, MD-SR70, and MD-SR75, as well as a statistics page showing that all three units are identical (though the SR75 reportedly comes with a backlit remote) and are simply meant for different world markets.

Entering Service Mode: (Beware of the dangers of attempting this!) You can enter test mode on an MD-SR60 (an MT50 variant) by holding the following keys simultaneously: 'disp', 'bass', and 'enter' and then 'play'. -Shiv Naimpally, January 2001

Specs: 10mW headphone output.

User Manuals: MD-SR50, MD-SR60, MD-SR75

Service Manuals: MD-SR50, MD-SR70

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH (AA cell shaped)6.5 hr4.5 hr3.5 hr
AA x 17 hr3 hr
Energizer Lithium AA x 11 0 hr7 hr
Kenwood DMC-L7R
Sharp MD-MT831
Sharp MD-MT832
Kenwood DMC-L7R
Portable MD Recorder
Intro: 8/1999
MSRP ¥46,000/49,000
IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: line/headphones. DC IN: 3.3-5.0VDCW 79.4 x H 17.9 x D 81.1mm, 163g (w/rechargeable)

Features: Sharp claims 7 records for the unit:

  1. Smallest and thinnest recorder (as of 7/99), 13% smaller and 14% thinner than previous MD-MT821 model.
  2. Longest playing recorder (employs 7th generation ATRAC chip using .25 micron process that, along with high speed disc drive circuit and mechanism, was designed for low power consumption).
  3. First portable recorder with recharging stand (no audio or control connections via cradle, however unit can record and playback while recharging in stand).
  4. First portable recorder with Kanji display on remote (832's remote shows Kanji, 831's does not, though Kanji remote is available as an option). Remote is backlit and can display 5 Kanji or Hiragana, or 10 Katakana or Roman letters.
  5. First portable recorder with optional PC (AD-PCR1) and Zaurus (AD-ZAR1) link. Via this link, titling (including Kanji input) and editing can be conducted, as well as program play selection, label printing, and MD library management. For label printing, 8 patterns are available, as well as the ability to include digital camera images. Name application can be downloaded from Sharp's home page
  6. First portable recorder with digital recording level control.
  7. First portable recorder with auto fade in and fade out during recording start and finish. Will automatically fade out level as recording encounters end of disc (3 step fade time selector)
40 second shock memory, Sharp ATRAC 6, sampling rate converter, mono 2X playback mode. Mic, line, digital synchro start. 20 bit ADC and DAC. Digital X-Bass boost. Play modes: random, random repeat, 1 repeat, all repeat. Hand strap. Colors: 831: antique silver & deep blue, 832: sunbeam silver.



Entering Service mode: Do be careful! It's pretty similar to most of the other Sharp portables but the battery compartment must be OPEN - i.e. the unit must have NO POWER. 1) Press and hold PLAY, SYNC[Enter] and DISP buttons. 2) THEN drop in the battery and close the compartment (or apply external power - eg turn on the DC power source). Display shows the EEPROM version code, followed by all symbols lighting up, followed by the standard Sharp test menu. My EEPROM version code is 921AcX. -Dave Hooper Gadget Squad reviews the Sharp MD-MT831, with favorable findings.

Specs: Motor speed: 400-1350 rpm, headphone amp: 10mW + 10mW * Headphone volume at 0 during recording and 15 during playback.

User Manual: MD-MT831 courtesy Robert Schwartz

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-T51BT14.5 hr9.5 hr3 hr on AC adapter
4 hr on stand
AA x 111.5 hr4.5 hr
Both26 hr14 hr
Sharp MD-MT15
Sharp MD-MT16
Sharp MD-MT20
Portable MD Recorder
Intro: 6/1999
IN: mic, optical/line. OUT: l ine/headphone87.9x29.8x79.7mm, 235g

Features: Sharp sixth generation ATRAC, 10 second shock memory, clamshell disc loading. Unit is apparently a cost reduced version of the MD-MT821. The MT15 takes Alkaline AA cells and has no remote, the MT20 takes AA rechargeables. Both come in Silver, MT20 version available in blue and gold as well. Sharp USA's MD-MT15 announcement stated this was the world's first MD portable recorder available for under $200.

Getting a Remote: The Sharp MD-MT15 does not include nor has the optional accessory listed for a remote (according to Sharp). It does, however, have support for a remote control (which I can confirm as I have the MT20 remote for the MT15). The remote can be ordered as a replacement part (#RRMCW0001AWSA) for the MD-MT20 and is fully compatible with the MD-MT15. There is no display, just operation of play, pause, fast forward, Bass, etc and can also be used in assisting input of titles. -Brian Teh


Tips: Using the built-in charger for off-the-shelf NiMH batteries: Just take a business card and wrap the batteries with it. You may need to trim the card a little. Insert all three into the battery compartment-the end of the card should be folded into the crease between the two batteries to hit the MT15's rechargeable-battery sensor. -Calum Tsang Trucki has created MD-MT15 Titleaid QBasic software, available from his German site. Trucki's site also shows off some deep hacking of the Sharp MD-MT15 (local English trans) and hacking that uses drill bits and extra connectors (trans).


User Manuals: MD-MT15, MD-MT16, MD-MT20

Service Manual: MD-MT20 remote schematic

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH AA x 2 (i.e. MT20)12 hr7.5 hr4 hr
Alkaline AA x 2 (i.e. MT15)15 hr7.5 hr
Kenwood DMC-K9R
Sharp MD-MT821
Kenwood DMC-K9R
Portable MD recorder
Intro: 2/1999
MSRP ¥46,000
Init. Mo. Prod: 20,000 units
IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: line/headphone. DC IN: 3.4-5.0VDC82.5 x 20.7 x 77.9mm, 177g w/batt

Features: Through component size reductions, unit has 28% less volume and is 20% thinner than the MS721. Uses same LSI chip set as the MS721/722 (Sharp ATRAC 6). "Top open" (i.e. clamshell, not slot-in) disc insertion. 40 second shock memory. 20bit DAC and ADC. High speed scroll and 3 character display during character selection speeds titling. Triple shuttle backlit LCD remote. Mic and digital synchro start recording. Disk/track "name stamp" function allows titles to be cloned from another disc. 2x high speed playback option on mono recordings. Unit can be operated while recharging. Available in silver, blue and black.

Included accessories: LCD remote, headphone, LiIon cell, AC adapter, connection cord, AA cell case, handstrap, carrying case, instruction manual, warranty card.

Separately available accessories: 100-240VAC adaptor (AD-SS70AP) ¥5000, LiIon cell (AD-T51BT) ¥5500 (from 3/21/99), LCD remote (AD-S31RM) ¥7500, Car power (12/24VDC) adapter (AD-CA20X) ¥5000, Digital sound card (AD-AJ2) ¥25,000.

Mis-features: No date/time stamp during recording.


Tips: Matthew Swift ([email protected]) reports that the Sony AC adapter model AC-E45HG (around $20) will work with the unit, even though it is rated at 4.5V and only 700mA.

Specs: Headphone amp: 10mw+10mw into 16ohms, Line: 250mV (@-12dB) into 10Kohms.


User Manuals: MD-MT821 courtesy Nick Paul, quick guide

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-T51BT11.5 hr8 hr3 hr
AA x 16.5 hr3 hr
Both18 hr11 hr
Pioneer PMD-R55
Kenwood DMC-K7R
Courtesy Japan-Direct
Sharp MD-MS721
Sharp MD-MS722
Pioneer PMD-R55
Kenwood DMC-K7R
Portable MD Recorder
Intro: 7/1998
MD-MS721: MSRP ¥46,000
Street ¥37,000
MD-MS722: ¥49,000
IN: line/optical, mic, DC 3.4~5.0v, OUT: headphone/line87 x 25.9 x 81.5mm, 216g, w/batt


  • 40 second shock memory, Sharp ATRAC 6.
  • .25 um process LSI includes digitized RF section, signal encoder/decoder, digital servo EFM processing and ATRAC compression and decompression on a single chip.
  • 20bit ADC and DAC.
  • Backlit remote (MS721 remote features 3 small jog rings for controlling track selection, X-bass and volume. MS722 remote includes watch/alarm clock functions and features 2 small jog rings for controlling track selection and volume).
  • MS722 features large jog dial on front face of unit for titling and control.
  • MS721 features diecast aluminum construction

Mis-features: No date/time stamp during recording.

Tips: The skip-track fwd/bkwd buttons on the remote are used to increase or decrease the recording level (values 0-30). It mirrors the functionality of the base unit. -Arne Bier


Specs: Input levels: Mic H: 0.25mV, 10Kohms, Mic L: 2.5mV, 10KOhms, Line: 100mV, 20Kohms. Headphone: 10mW+10mW, 16Ohms. Line: 300mV (@ -12dB), 10Kohms.


User Manuals: MD-MS721, quick guide, short

Service Manual: MD-MS721

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-S31BT (3.6V 800mAh)10 hr8 hr3 hr
AA x 16 hr3 hr
Both16 hr11 hr
Pioneer PMD-R3
Photo: Boyde
Kenwood DMC-J7R
Sharp MD-MS701
Sharp MD-MS702
Pioneer PMD-R3
Kenwood DMC-J7R
Portable MD recorders,
Intro: 9/1997
MSRP ¥47,000/ 48,000, street: ¥39,800
IN: optical/line, mic. OUT: headphone, DC in: 3.6V (LiIon) 3V (2AA), 4.5V (car), 5V (AC)87x29.4x81.5, pocket weight: MS701: 216g, MS702: 219g

Features: First recorder with an ``MD Jacket'' (i.e. square front face) design. Sharp ATRAC 5. 10 second shock memory. New 1 chip LSI incorporating the [digitalized] RF section, signal processing encoder/decoder, digital servo, EFM processing and audio compression/decompression circuitry. MS702 is ``sporty look'' model. Sampling rate converter. Digital/Line/Mic synchro start, goes into pause after 3 seconds silence. Mono recording. 2X quick playback mode. Time automarking at 3, 5 and 10 minute intervals. ``Moji Stamp'' function allows text transfer from original to newly recorded disc. Manual recording level control only (no AGC), microphone sensitivity selection is built-in, as part of the recording level control setting (0-20: HIGH, 21-30: LOW). Katakana/ Alphanumeric/ Symbol titling. Random, all repeat, 1 repeat play modes.

Included Accessories: Backlit LCD remote, headphones, LiIon rechargeable, AC adapter, AA case, carrying case.

Mis-features: No date/time stamp during recording. Be aware that when recording from the mic input and you adjust the recording level, a small 'glitch' (a few millisecs silence) will be recorded where the level drops from MIC 'H' to MIC 'L' (position 20 on the 0 - 30 level scale). -Graham Baker

TOC Undo: TOC Undo with the Kenwood DMC-J7R is very simple: Remove the battery/unplug the power supply without turning the unit off. When powered up again, it forgets that there are unwritten TOC changes. -Stefan Werner

Problems: There have been reports on MD-L of Sharp MD-MS701/702 units malfunctioning, displaying intermittent "UTOC Error" messages with damaged/irrecoverable recordings as a result. A user ([email protected]) advises:

  1. It is important not to do an auto calibration in service mode without a "tdys1" (sony) testing MD or equivalent (Teac). This will definetly cause more problems!
  2. Unit should be returned immediately when the first UTOC errors appear, it is a bad sign! It makes no sense to wait until the warranty has expired.
Sharp later introduced the 702MK model to address the UTOC problem. Failure rates for this newer version are reported by Minidisco.com to be about the same as they have seen for other modern MD recorders (1-2%).

Accessories: Sharp seems to have sold the MD-MS702 outside of Japan without the external AA cell case. It's available though from Planet Minidisc and Minidisco.


Specs: 20-20kHz +/-3dB, wow & flutter <.001% peak. Output: Line: 300mV (-12dB) (50Kohms). Headphones: 10mW+10mW (32ohms). Input: Mic H: 0.25mV 10kOhms. Mic L: 2.5mV 10kOhms. Line: 100mV 20kOhms.


User Manuals: MD-MS701, HTML

Service Manual: MD-MS701

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-S31BT (3.6V 800mAh)5 hr3.5 hr2.5 hr
AA x 28 hr4 hr
Both13 hr7.5 hr
Sharp MD-MS200
Denon DMP-R70
Kenwood DMC-G7R
Pioneer PMD-R2
portable recorder
Intro: 1/1997
msrp:¥48,000, street: ¥32,800
IN: line/optical, mic (w/plug in power). out: common jack for headphone (10mW+10mW @16ohm) / line (50Kohm)109.2 X 29.8 X 81.3 mm, 275g (incl. rechargeable)

Features: Sharp ATRAC 4. Slot in design. Digital and Mic Synchro start recording (has Hi/Lo selector for mic synchro start threshold), Double speed playback, Time Auto Mark function (track mark at 3, 5 or 10 min. interval), Auto time stamping, Sample rate converter, Stereo/mono recording. Autoplay on disc insertion. With car adapter, resumes from start of song when car is started. Manually adjustable gain level can be changed during recording. Up to 100 characters per track and disc title may be entered, totaling up to 1700 characters per disc. Defeatable beep (hold bass boost button). "Moji Stamp" feature copies title and song names of one MD onto another, as follows: after dubbing MD->MD (analog, or digitally if permitted), original disc is placed in the MS200 to read and store the name data, duplicated disc is subsequently inserted and the stored names written to it from the MS200's memory. Industry's longest continuous recording time, on rechargeable (AD-MS10BT) (as of intro date). Ext power: AC adapter:5.0v, Dry cell case: 6.0v, Car adapter: 4.5v. The MS200 comes with one lithium ion battery and a LCD-less remote control (AD-MS20RM). Dry Cell case (AD-MS10BC) and LCD remote control sold separately (both AD-ST60RM and AD-SS70RM can be used). Pioneer and Kenwood models come with LCD remote that includes a ``play mode'' button setting Random, Repeat and Repeat 1.

Little known modes: P-save mode, stores less music in the shock-proof memory. To toggle it on/off, hold the ``Display'' button for 2 seconds when the unit is stopped. A-play mode, automatically goes into play mode when a disc is inserted. Hold the ``Mode/Ins'' button for 2 seconds when the unit is stopped.

Note: No AGC (automatic gain control) recording. The battery life is 9.5h (PB) when "auto Power Save" mode is ON. In this mode, the memory saves only 5 sec of data. If you turn OFF this "auto Power Save" mode, the memory saves 10 sec of data (which is the ordinary amount for other portables), and the battery life gets 20% shorter (==7.6h), according to the manual.

Mis-features: No "remaining track time" display.

Problems: Japanese domestic units have trouble charging on North American 120VAC house current.

Parts: Unit's DAC chip reported to be made by AKM semiconductor.

Links: Sharp's comprehensive summary page. A scan of all its surfaces. Conrad Sanderson's Sharp MS200 pages (and a subpage). The German Stereo magazine and a user compare the MZ-R30 and the Sharp MD-MS200. Emanuel Borsboom has a table comparing the Sony MZ-R30 and Sharp MD-MS200. Steven Smith has done a little bench testing of the unit. MiniDiscussion has collected user reviews for this unit.


User Manual: MD-MS200

Service Manual: MD-MS200

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-MS10BT9.5 hr7 hr3 hr
AA x 6
Both35 hr25 hr
Denon DMP-R50
Sharp MD-MS100
Pioneer PMD-R1
Denon DMP-R50
Kenwood DMC-F5R
portable recorder
Intro: 12/1995
msrp: ¥49,000
in: optical/line, mic. out: hdphn.109.2 x 30.5 x 81.3 mm, 275g w/batt.

Features: Sharp ATRAC 3. "slot-in" (non-clamshell) disc insert/eject [easier to manage when you're on the go], stereo/mono recording, track move/ divide/ combine/ erase, random play, sound-synchro recording [starts recording when audio appears on the input, automatically truncates between track silence exceeding 4 seconds], auto marker, remote on headphone cord (volume, track select/position, stop/ pause/ play, bass boost), katakana/roman alphabet input/display. Line out uses the headphone connector. Unit available in black or silver. Comes with: headphones, remote control, lithium ion rechargeable battery, AC adapter, analog line cord, carrying case. Playback time 4.5 hours, recording 3.5. Recording time about 12 hours with separately available battery case (AD-MS10BC)

Comparison: with Sony MZ-R3 (showing features unique to each): Sharp MD-MS100 Defeatable beep sound. Ability to change recording level whilst recording. Standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Loud!! Uses 5V adapter. Combined headphone/line-out jack (though output impedance is adjusted to match the load). Calibrated level meter in dB. Suppl. acessories: headphones, rechargeable Lithium battery, power adapter, analog cable, carrying bag, remote control. Sony MZ-R3 Date/time stamps on recordings. Automatic gain control. Uses 4.5V adapter. Separate outputs for headphone and line-out. Suppl. acessories: headphones, power adapter, analog cable, carrying bag, remote control.

Problems: Japanese domestic units have trouble charging on North American 120VAC house current.

Links: Sharp press release. Sharp Japan Spec sheet (in English). Sharp Japan page for this unit, including a cute animation of the "Slot-in" design.


Sharp MD-M25
Denon DMP-R30
Kenwood DMC-E7R
portable recorder
Intro: 9/1995
msrp: $600(sharp)
in: optical/line, mic. out: optical, hdphn/line. ext. pwr: 4.5V84x26.8x106mm, 265g w/bat.

Features: Sharp ATRAC 2. Track/disc titling. Track delete move, join, divide. Sampling rate converter, st/mono recording. 1 bit AD and DA. Defeatable beep (hold bass boost button). Nearly identical in features to the Sharp MD-M20 (the MD-M20 kit included the AD-M20BC 6AA cell case as standard). Accessories: AD-M20BC 6AA cell case, AD-M20CK car mount kit (¥13,000, includes base mounting unit, car power cord, cassette adapter, 2 velcro strips. Mounts on center console). Battery: AD-M20BT Lithium Ion rechargeable (¥5000).

Links: User's review and comparison with MZ-R3.

Specs: Headphone jack supplies 10mW+10mW into 16ohm load, or 275mV line level (@-12dB) into 50kohm load.


User Manual: MD-M25

Battery LifePlayRecord
LiIon AD-M20BT3.5 hr2.5 hr
AA x 6
Both16 hr12 hr
Sharp MD-M20portable MD recorder
Intro: 3/1995




Features: Very similar to Sharp MD-M25. Smallest and lighest MD recorder at time of introduction.


Kenwood DMC-A7R
Sharp MD-M11
Kenwood DMC-A7R
Portable MD recorder
Intro: 1/1994
MSRP ¥45,000
in: optical/line, mic. out: optical/line, headphone. DC in: 4.5v84x29.8x106mm, 300g w/batt.

Features: First Sharp recorder. Sharp ATRAC 1. Full editing and titling functions. 10 second shock memory. Rechargeable 3.6V Li-Ion cell, recharge time 1.5 hours. Battery life: continuous playback: 2.5 hr, continuous record (monitor volume at zero): 2 hours. No AGC (manual recording level only). Backup battery pack (4 1/2 x 2 7/8 x 3/4 inches) holds 6 AA batteries, pack snaps onto the back of the unit. 50-level recording meter.

Quick-Charge Trick: Purchase a Recoton DC adaptor with voltage selector ranging from 3V to 12V from Sears, and set it to 7.5 volts. The unit will now charge in 20-30 minutes with no damage done. I've been doing this for months and battery life has not suffered at all. -misfit809

Links: A user has several photos of the Kenwood DMC-A7R clone.

Specs: Headphone amp: 8mW + 8mW, 0.2% THD. Freq resp.: 20-20kHz +/-3dB. 1 bit A/D and D/A. 4.5 DC input.


Sony Qualia-017High-End portable MD player
Intro: 6/2004
Out: headphones


  • Expensive!
  • Exterior case machined from a solid brass block.
  • "High quality, low profile ear-bud headphones with an extended bass capability".
  • Charging stand.
  • Available in chrome finish, silver plate, or gold plate.
  • std-MD (not Hi-MD)



Sony MZ-NF520portable FM/TV/Weather NetMD recorder
Intro: 5/2004
In: None (no Mic, Line/Optical input). Out: headphones, DATA: USB81.0 x 30.7 x 74.4, 113.3g w/o batt


  • A downloader -- no mic, line or optical input.
  • FM/TV/Weather tuner built into (backlit?) LCD remote.
  • Cannot record from tuner.


Accessories: Tuner remote, Fontopia headphones (Canadian version), blank MD, USB cable, CD-ROM with SonicStage 2.0 and NetMD Simple Burner


Service Manual: MZ-NF520

Battery life SP/LP2/LP4
(Download count assumes tracks of 5m duration)
AAx136/42.5/48 hr55/230/325 tracks
Sony MZ-N920portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 05/2004
In: line, mic, optical. Out: headphones. Data: USB. DC IN: 3V78.9w x 72.2h x 15.9d mm, 94g (main body, w/o batt)


  • Kanji displaying, backlit, stick type LCD remote
  • Digital amp
  • 6 band graphic equalizer
  • VPT acoustic engine
  • 64X USB downloading (no uploading)
  • SonicStage 2.0, SimpleBurner

Markets: Japan



Battery Life
US Models
Canadian Models
Sony MZ-N420DPortable NetMD downloader
Intro: 4/2004
Street: <US$100
Data: USB. Out: headphones81x30.7x74.4mm, 113.3g w/o batt.

Features: Bare bones MD downloader (no line/mic/optical inputs, no remote, no built-in editing functions).

  • Unlimited checkout (feature of supplied SonicStage V2.0)
  • Group mode support.
  • Digital sound preset
  • 10 play modes
  • Colors: Canada: red or blue. USA: orange/grey ("Psyc") or blue.


Accessories: Fontopia in-ear-phones (Canada), SonicStage V2.0 CD w/NetMD Simple Burner, One blank, USB cable


Battery life SP/LP2/LP4
(Download count assumes tracks of 5m duration)
AA x 142/48/56 hr75/300/600 tracks
Sony MZ-NE810portable NetMD downloader
Intro: 06/2003
Data: USB. Out: headphones
No line or microphone input!
73.3w x 14.8d x 79.8h mm, 82g (body only)


  • Pressing "Download" button on unit automatically rips and downloads CD tracks and titles them with CDDB (when used in conjunction with Simple Burner software operating in "simple mode").
  • NetMD downloader/player -- no live recording capability.
  • ATRAC DSP Type-S (though not used for recording as all encoding is done on the PC).
  • Digital amplifier
  • Remote displays Roman/Kana/Kanji alphabet
  • Ships with NetMD Simple Burner (a first for Japanese NetMD units?)



User Manual: MZ-NE810

Battery LifePlayRecharge
NiMH28/36/40 hr3.5 hr
AA x 1
Both74/92/106 hr
Sony MZ-NF610portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 04/2003
In: line/optical no microphone input. Data: USB. Out: headphones81w x 74.4h x 21.2d mm, 103g (body only)

Features: Unit appears to be an MZ-N510 with a radio tuner remote, but like the MZ-R700/MZ-G750 duo, most likely incorporates changes to the main circuit board to accomodate the radio remote.

  • NetMD Recorder with AM/FM/TV/Weather radio incorporated into LCD remote (unit cannot record from radio).
  • Bookmark track function (see Sony glossary).
  • "Quick mode" (allows user to optionally trade battery life for faster queuing and FF/REW speeds).

Markets: N. America (only?)

Included accessories: AC adapter, AM/FM/TV/Weather radio remote, headphones


Specs: Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW


User Manual: MZ-NF610

Service Manual: MZ-NF610

Battery Life
NH-7WMAA AA formfactor
14.5/15.5/17.5 hr5.5/8/9 hr7.5(FM)/7(TV/Weather)
AA x 136/42.5/48 hr9/12/16 hr18.5(FM)/17(TV/Weather)
Photo: AV Watch (Japan)
Sony MZ-NF810portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 04/2003
In: mic, line/optical. Data: USB. Out: headphones81w x 74.4h x 20d mm, 108g body only

Features: Unit appears to be an MZ-N710 with a radio tuner remote, but like the MZ-R700/MZ-G750 duo, most likely incorporates changes to the main circuit board to accomodate the radio remote.

  • NetMD Recorder with AM/FM/TV/Weather radio incorporated into LCD remote
  • Bookmark track function
  • Six Band equalizer and Virtual Phone Technology (see Sony glossary).
  • "Quick mode" (allows user to optionally trade battery life for faster queuing and FF/REW speeds).

Markets: N. America (where unit is dubbed MZ-NF810CK and equipped with a Car Kit), UK, (Europe?, Japan?)

Included Accessories: USB cable, OpenMG v2.2(?), SonicStage1.5, Charge stand, AM/FM radio equipped LCD remote, Headphones, NiMH cell (part# NH-10WM, lower capacity than Sony's heretofor supplied NH-14WM), battery case, AC adapter, optical cable, "Car Kit" (including cassette adapter and Remote Commander (in-car mountable remote))


Reader Comments: The LCD remote is un-backlit, bulky, and inferior to the RM-MC11EL that came with the MZ-R900. The worst part is that the "radio on" button (which turns off the MD and switches on the radio) is right on the top, so it is easy to push by mistake with your thumb when trying to use the other buttons. -Wing Durestos

Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone amp


User Manual: MZ-NF810

Service Manual: MZ-NF810

Battery LifePlayRecordRadioRecharge
(user manual specs)
17/21/23.5 hr7/9/12 hr9(FM)/9(TV/Weather)3.5 hr
AA x 138/44/50.512/15/18.518.5(FM)/17(TV/Weather)
(user manual specs)
57/66.5/73.5 hr22/30/35 hr29(FM)/23(TV/Weather)
(press release specs [NH-14WM?])
19.5/23/27 hr7.5/9.5/13 hr3.5 hr
(press release specs)
63/70/85 hr26/34/41 hr
Sony MZ-N910portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 03/2003
In: mic, line/optical. Out: headphones/line78.9w x 72.2h x 15.9d mm, 93g (body only), 116g w/battery

Features: Unit appears to be nearly an MZ-N10 but with a conventional NiMH (gumpack) battery and [non-rotating] jog-lever instead of jog-knob.

  • ATRAC DSP Type S
  • Max 64X download speed (LP4 mode)
  • 200 second (?) G-Protection
  • 6-band equalizer & Virtual Sound
  • Bookmark and group mode functions
  • 3 line display on main body
  • Charge stand (power only, no USB connection)
  • Personal disc memory (remembers settings for 20 discs)
  • Melody Alarm (avoid missed train stops)
  • Jog Lever
  • Variable playback speed (50-150%) [though a user reports the quality is surprising low and hence unusable].
  • Microphone sens. selector
  • Name bank
  • Joint Text (!)
  • Auto time-mark (places track marks at regular intervals [user settable from 1 to 99 minutes] during recording).
  • Date/Time stamp recording
  • backlit LCD remote
  • Fully aluminum body.
  • PowerMode option (NORMAL/QUICK/PowerSave) User manual excerpt:
    • When the power mode is set to "QUICK", the power remains on within the recorder even when nothing appears in the display. This leads to a shorter battery life. For this reason, it is recommended that you charge the battery daily.
    • [In quick mode] if no recorder operation (including opening and closing of the lid) occurs for 17 hours, the power in the recorder automatically turns off. For this reason, the next time you start playback or do another operation, the recorder will not respond quickly. The unit, however, will return to quick mode afterwards.
    • The [Power Save] function allows you to maximize the operating life of the battery when playing the recorder with headphones/earphones (with a remote control) or a line cable connected to the headphone/LINE OUT jack. Power consumption is reduced by turning off the display when no operation has been made for a while.

Markets: UK, Europe, Japan


Included Accessories: USB cable, OpenMG v2.2(?), SonicStage 1.5, Charge stand, backlit LCD remote, Headphones, NiMH cell, battery case, AC adapter, optical cable, carrying case with clip.

Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone amp


User Manuals: MZ-N910, J

Service Manual: MZ-N910

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
31/38/45 hr11/16/20 hr3.5 hr
AA x 147/57/69 hr11/16/21 hr
Both80/95/114 hr29/38/50 hr
Courtesy Minidisc Australia (1600x1200)
Sony MZ-N710portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 03/2003
In: mic, line/optical. Out: headphones/line81w x 74.4h x 20d mm, 108g body only


  • ATRAC DSP Type S
  • Max 32X download speed (LP4 mode)
  • 200 second (?) G-Protection
  • Charge stand w/USB connection, USB connection also on main body
  • 9-character LCD on main unit
  • Group mode support
  • Jog Lever
  • Automatic time-based track marking (5,10,15 minute interval)
  • non-Backlit LCD remote
  • Body has aluminum top

Markets: UK, Europe and Australia (not Japan, US)


Included Accessories: USB cable, OpenMG v2.2(?), SonicStage1.5, Charge stand, non-backlit LCD remote, Headphones, NiMH cell (part# NH-10WM, lower capacity than Sony's heretofor supplied NH-14WM), battery case, AC adapter, optical cable.

Specs: 1.2mW+1.2mW(?) headphone amp


User Manual: MZ-N710

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
19.5/23/27 hr7.5/9.5/13 hr3.5 hr
AA x 1
Both63/70/85 hr26/34/41 hr
Sony MZ-NE410portable NetMD downloader
Intro: 03/2003
In: USB. Out: headphones81 x 74.4 x 28.9mm, 100g (w/o battery)


  • System Controller/ATRAC DSP IC: CXD2680GA (CXD2676)
  • Group mode functions.
  • Entry-level NetMD recorder.
  • No audio input jacks! Records only via USB download from PC.
  • Max download speed 32X (LP4).
  • No remote.
  • "Quick mode" (allows user to optionally trade battery life for faster queuing and FF/REW speeds).


Included Accessories: Canada: Fontopia headphones, SonicStage 1.5, NetMD Simple Burner, USB cable

Specs: Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW


User Manual: MZ-NE410

Service Manual: MZ-NE410

Battery life SP/LP2/LP4
(Download count assumes tracks of 5m duration)
AA x 142/48/56 hr75/300/600 tracks
Photo: AV Watch (Japan)
Sony MZ-N510portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 03/2003
In: line/optical no microphone input. Data: USB. Out: headphones, DC IN: 3V81w x 74.4h x 27.7d mm, 103g (body only)


  • System Controller/ATRAC DSP IC: CXD2680GA (CXD2676)
  • Entry-level NetMD recorder.
  • ATRAC Type-S
  • No microphone input
  • Group and Bookmark track function (see Sony glossary).
  • Recording level change and character input while recording
  • Quick mode (!) according to Sonystyle Canada.
  • Non-LCD remote
  • "Quick mode" (shorter battery life: turns off the LCD, but leaves unit "on" for up to an hour with no user input -- unit will respond almost immediately when a track is played or cued within that hour).

Markets: N. America (where unit is dubbed MZ-N510CK and equipped with a Car Kit), UK, Europe, (Japan?)

Included Accessories: USB cable, PC software (SonicStage 1.5, Simple Burner 1.1), headphones, blank MD, AC adapter, carrying pouch. N. American unit includes a "Car Kit" consisting of cassette adapter, Rotary Commander (in-car mountable remote), cigarette lighter power cord and velcro mounting strips.


Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone amp


User Manual: MZ-N510

Service Manual: MZ-N510

Battery LifePlayRecord
NC-7WMAA AA formfactor
15/16/20 hr4/6/7.5 hr
AA x 142/48/56 hr10/14/18.5 hr
Sony MZ-B10"business" MDLP recorder
Intro: 2/2003
Street: ¥ 20,400
In: line/optical, mic. Out: headphones, DC IN: 3VDC118.2 x 24.0 x 75.4mm, 150g (body only), 190g w/batt.


  • MDLP Support (but not NetMD)
  • Large LCD shows both elapsed and remaining time.
  • ATRAC DSP Type-S.
  • Button layout resembling portable tape recorders, to ease use by first-timers.
  • Digital pitch control allows slow or fast playback without change of pitch (useful for e.g. language learning or reviewing a lecture).
  • Twin Speakers
  • Automatic Time Track (inserts track mark automatically at regular intervals).
  • Built-In Monaural Microphone
  • Voice Mirror (blinks LED as voice signal occurs, assuring the functioning of microphone and recorder).
  • Hand Strap
  • Carrying Pouch


Included Accessories: In-ear headphones, carrying pouch, AA cell, handstrap

Specs: Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW, Speaker amp (mono): 140mW (70mW x 2)


User Manuals: MZ-B10, J

Service Manual: MZ-B10

Battery LifePlayRecord
AA x 240 hr24 hr
Sony MZ-R410non-NetMD portable MD recorder
Intro: 1/2003
In: line/optical no microphone input. Out: headphones81w x 74.4h x 27.9d mm, 101g


  • ATRAC Type R
  • No remote, no microphone input.
  • G-protection

Markets: UK/Europe (only?)

Included Accessories: AC power adapter, headphones, optical cable


Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone amp


User Manual: MZ-R410

Battery LifePlayRecord
AA x 137/46/51 hr8/13/19 hr
Photos: AVWatch
Photo: PocketFad
Photo: Sony
Photos: MDMan.net (1000x750)
Photos: Minidisco
Photo: PCOnline.com.cn
US Model
Euro Model (1280x927)
Sony MZ-N10portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 9/2002
Est: JPY40,000
IN: microphone, line/optical. OUT: line/headphones. DATA: USB. DC IN: 6Vexcl. protrusions: 78.5 x 73.3 x 13.8mm (min. thickness: 12.9mm)
incl. protrusions: 83.8 x 74.3 x 18.9mm
weight: 84g (incl. battery)

Features: Sony's 10th anniversary Minidisc recorder, with several changes from previous models:

  • ATRAC DSP Type-S (see description under MDS-JB980). (System Controller/ATRAC DSP IC: CXD2678-202GA)
  • Unit is 30g lighter and 2.6mm thinner than the MZ-N1 (accomplished with new optical pickup and motor (30% thinner) and miniaturized main IC (33% smaller)).
  • LP4 audio downloading at 64x realtime (LP2 @ 32x?, SP @ ?x).
  • Downloading handled by SonicStage Ver 1.5 software (no mention of OpenMG Jukebox). Note: Japanese model ships with Japanese SonicStage, which cannot be installed on non-Japanese systems.
  • (Correction) USB and charging connections are made through the docking stand only.
  • Auto time-mark (places track marks at regular intervals [user settable from 1 to 99 minutes] during recording).
  • Personal disk memory on MZ-N10 now remembers group mode (on/off) setting as well.
  • User settable option (NORMAL/QUICK) for the unit's fast forward and reverse engagement delay (selecting QUICK reduces battery life). (Shared by all 2003 MZ-Nxx units, except, perhaps the MZ-N910).
  • Rehearsal Mode: holding the track mark button down for a few seconds enters rehearsal mode, allowing fine +/- adjustment of the track mark's position, just like home Minidisc decks.
  • Available in silver and grey.

    Common to MZ-N10 and MZ-E10:

  • Built-in 3mm Lithium Ion cell.
  • Further thinning of the magnesium case.
  • Backlit remote has 2-line display for Roman alphabet titles, 1-line for Kanji titles.
  • "Virtual Headphone Technology Acoustic Engine" uses DSP to provide "Studio, Club, Live, or Arena" effects.
  • Equalizer allows 7 steps of adjustment (-10dB to +10dB) in 6 frequency bands. Equalizer settings are established with one of four fixed presets ("Heavy, Pops, Jazz, Unique") or one of 2 custom (i.e. user defined) settings. Equalizer and "Virtual Headphone" cannot be used together.
  • "Bookmark Track" function can remember up to 20 "favorite tracks" from an MD and allows one to subsequently play just those tracks (tracks are registered by holding the joystick button down for 2 seconds while listening).
  • Adjustable playback speed from -50% to +100% (factor of 0.5x to 2.0x) in 13 steps without change of pitch.
  • "New" Play mode (See Sony portables glossary).

Other features incorporated from previous unit: 3 line LCD on main body, Jog-dial (now apparently a "Jog-knob" similar to the JVC XM-R700), manual REC level control selectable for digital and analog signals, MDLP group function, G-Protection Jog-proof, battery remaining indicator on main body and stick controller, one touch eject.

Features dropped: No Name Bank.

Remote: RM-MC35EKLU

Variants: European edition: Silver color only, power amp 2mW+2mW (equivalent to setting volume level to 25 out of 30 on the elsewhere available 5mW+5mW edition).



User Comments:

The Japanese model comes with Japanese software only, so beware. I was able to install the new drivers that came with it and it worked with Open MG 2.2 and Sonicstage 1.2, but I was not able to install Sonicstage 1.5. The menus would be gibberish anyway unless you had a Japanese OS or some kind of Japanese language support. The operation manual I got contains no English.

You can attach the USB cable without the cradle, but not both the USB cable and the external power or the AA battery pack at the same time. This is due to the fact that the external power comes in through the AA battery pack which attaches to and covers the USB port. The USB connector is a flat thin one I have never seen before. The power supply is 6V, no doubt due to the LIon battery charging needs.

There is a power option that selects between NORMAL and QUICK. I don't know if that is new, but it seems to reduce the delay that happens on older units when you fast forward or reverse play.

The mechanism is very quiet, quieter than my N505 and much more so than my R900. Nice and small and light. Controls seem intuitive and easy.

Transfer Speed Improvements: For LP2 mode, which I use the most, transfers are much faster, but the TOC update time limits the benefit. I tried a single 33 minute track and the N10 ran at about 30x real time while the N505 ran 15.5x realtime, so the N10 was almost 2 times as fast. With a 64 minute album of Miles Davis, which contains 7 tracks, 5 of which are about 10 minutes long, the improvement over the MZ-N505 was a factor of about 1.5 (it took 3 minutes 5 seconds to completely tranfer the disc). This is using OpenMG 2.2 or SonicStage 1.1. I don't think SonicStage 1.5 makes any difference to the download speed, it must be recorder and driver dependent.

Rehearsal and Bookmark Mode: When you add a track mark with the track mark button on the unit, you can hold the track mark button down for a few seconds to enter "REHEARSAL" mode and adjust the position of the track mark. This works just like on the home decks, although I am not sure if you can select how fine the increment of changing the position is. This is a very cool feature that is a first for Sony portables (Aiwa portables have had this since the AM-F5). Bookmarks are made by holding down the joystick for 2 seconds while playing.
-Leland McArthy

Specs: Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW into 16 ohms. 20-20kHz +/-3dB.

Included Accessories: (Japanese edition) Backlit Remote, AC power adapter, USB cradle, USB cable (1.5m), SonicStage Ver 1.5 CD-ROM (download software), attachable AA cell case, carrying pouch.

User Manuals: MZ-N10, MZ-N10 Courtesy Minidisco

Service Manuals: MZ-N10, MZ-N10

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)
"was" refers to Sony's pre-release figures
LIP-3WMB - 3.7V, 340mAh builtin
17/20/24 hr
(was: 23/27/30)
8.5/11/14 hr
(was: 9/13/16)
100%: 3.5 hr (cradle or direct), 80%: 1 hr
AA x 127/32/36 hr
(was: 32/40/43)
7.5/10/11.5 hr
(was: 11/16/20)
Both42/52/58 hr
(was: 58/71/77)
15/20/26.5 hr
(was: 22/33/41)
Sony MZ-R910Portable MDLP recorder
Intro: 6/2002
IN: line/optical, mic, OUT: headphones, DC IN: 3v78.9 x 72 x 17.1 mm, 108g body only (135g w/batt)


  • Non-NetMD.
  • Quite similar in features to Sony MZ-R909, but with battery life of the Sony MZ-N1. Differs from MZ-R909 as follows:
    • It lacks Joint-Text, a feature for copying track titles from CD-Text type CDs to MD. (Given that most CD-Text CDs had copy-prohibited titles, and that a special cable and Sony CD player was required, the feature's disappearance is not surprising).
    • LCD pixels and symbols are black instead of th MZ-R909's blue.
    • Magnesium shell makes the unit a bit lighter than the MZ-R909.
    • Case edges are more contoured than the MZ-R909 (see T-board comments).
  • Personal Disc Memory (remembers program play, treble & bass, repeat mode, playback speed (80-110%), and volume settings for up to 20 discs within the unit.)
  • Available in silver, blue and pink.
  • Playback speed control without pitch change.
  • Digital sound presets (8 step treble and bass adjustments that can be stored as "preset 1" and "preset 2")
  • ATRAC Type-R



User Manual: MZ-R910

Service Manual: MZ-R910

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)PlayRecordRecharge
30/38/42 hr12/17/21 hr6h cradle, 3.5 hr direct)
AA x 145/52/62 hr12/19/23 hr
Both79/95/110 hr30/43/52 hr
Sony MZ-G755Portable MDLP recorder w/AM/FM tuner
Intro: 5/2002
Street: £165
IN: line/optical, mic, OUT: headphones, DC IN: 3V81 x 28 x 74.4mm, 144g w/batt

Features: MDLP capable, ATRAC DSP Type-R. Remote has built-in AM/FM tuner with 40 presets. No NetMD support. Differences from Sony MZ-G750: ATRAC DSP Type-R, (... and ?).

Manufacturer's Specs:

  • Built in tuner remote comtroller
  • Digital FM/AM tuner with 40 pre-sets (35 FM/5 AM)
  • G-Protection Jog Proof
  • MDLP
  • ATRAC TYPE-R DSP for high quality
  • 4-position control key on the unit for ease of use
  • Digital Mega Bass
  • Up to 48 hours battery life
  • 1 x AA sized battery goes inside the unit (battery not supplied)
  • Digital recording level control
  • Pop Up eject

Accessories: Euro-model: Remote control with built-in AM/FM tuner, headphones, NiCd rechargeable battery, AC power adapter/charger, TOSlink to 3.5mm mini jack optical cable, carrying pouch with belt clip

Available From:


User Manual: MZ-G755

Service Manual: MZ-G755

Battery LifePlayRecordRadio
Alkaline AA x 136/42/56 hr9/13/16 hr28.5 hr
NiCd (NC-WMAA) x 111.5/14/16 hr4/6/7.5 hr9.5 hr
Sony MZ-R701Portable MDLP recorder
Intro: 5/2002
Street: AU$527, HK$1600
IN: line/optical, mic, OUT: headphones, DC IN: 3V

Features: Appears quite similar to the Sony MZ-R700. ATRAC DSP Type-R, Non-LCD remote. No NetMD support.


Dealers: Available from Dick Smith Electronics (Australia).


User Manual: MZ-R701

Service Manual: MZ-R701

Battery LifePlay
AA x 153 hr
Still from publicity film shows mockup with "MZ-0000" badging
(note orange gaskets) (1024x768)
Backlight (1024x768)
Compared to MZ-R900 (1024x768)
Photos: M. Wiley, IGN (1024x768)
Sony Feature Comparison Chart
Sony MZ-S1"Sports" portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 4/2002
IN: line/optical, no mic input, no remote jack, DATA: USB (mini-B), OUT: headphones, DC IN: 3V97.3 x 104 x 40mm, 215g body only (3.5" x 4" x 1.5", 7.5oz)

Features: First "Sports" Minidisc portable. Second (after the MZ-1) Sony MD recorder to incorporate backlit LCD on main unit (amber backlight). No remote; "one-thumb" joystick control on top of unit. "Buckle"-design case latch for improved ruggedness. Bright reflective surface (presumably to reduce solar heating and make finding a dropped one easier). Sony states "Splash Proof Water-Resistant(1) Design with high-impact plastic housing is designed for outdoor fun, with rubber gaskets, bushings, and waterproof seals that help keep out water, moisture, and dirt" but clarifies "Not meant to be immersed in or come into continuous contact with water". No Mic input, no remote jack.


Included Accessories: AC Adaptor, Headphones, Handstrap

Manufacturer's Features List:

  • Easy One Hand Joystick Operation
  • Backlit LCD Display
  • Splash Proof Water Resistant(1) Design
    (1) Not meant to be immersed in or come into continuous contact with water.
  • Reflective Hand Strap Supplied
  • Reflective Casing And Rugged Buckle Mechanism
  • G-Protection(tm)
  • Up To 54 Hours Playback Using One "AA" Battery (LP4 Mode)
  • Internal Battery Compartment Holds 1 "AA" Type Battery
  • "Easy Skip" Group/Folder Function
  • Plays Back In ATRAC3(tm) [and ATRAC. -eaw], Supports Multiple Internet Audio Formats (MP3, WMA, WAV)
  • New NetMD Simple Burner Quick Rip CD Dubbing Application (Supplied) allows you to swiftly and easily dub music tracks from your CDs directly to the NetMD Walkman with no need to store files or manage music on the hard drive
  • Compatible With Windows(r) 98/98SE/2000/Me/XP Operating Systems
  • Music Management Software Supplied
  • Ability To Record From Multiple Sources (PC, Portable CD, Home CD Unit, Radio)
  • MDLP Long Time Stereo Recording And Playback (Up To 320 Minutes/Over 5 Hours Of Music) On One 80 Minute Disc (LP4 Mode)
  • Digital Mega Bass(r) Sound System
  • Remaining Recording/Playback And Battery Time Indication On Unit LCD
  • Multiple Playback Modes, Normal - all repeat, 1 track, 1 track repeat shuffle, shuffle repeat, program, program repeat; Group - all repeat in a group, 1 track in a group, 1 track repeat in a group, shuffle in a group, shuffle repeat in a group, program 1 in a group, program repeat in a group; or lets you play through a MiniDisc from start to end.


User Manual: MZ-S1

Service Manual: MZ-S1

Battery LifePlayRecord
AA x 140/49/54 hr9/13/16 hr
MZ-N707 with car adapter
Courtesy AVLand (UK)
Photo: Henke
Sony Feature Comparison Chart
Sony MZ-N707Portable NetMD Recorder
Intro: 3/2002 (US)
MSRP ~US$250
IN: USB, line/optical, mic
OUT: headphones
81 x 27.7 x 74.4mm, 116g body only, 142g w/batt

Features: NetMD recorder, allows direct PC to MD downloading of compressed audio (i.e. ATRAC) data via USB. MDLP. Additional features over MZ-N505: microphone input, remote control (with editing capability), charging stand, included car-adapter kit (via dummy cassette). Available in two-toned black/red and blue/silver. No microphone sensitivity setting.


  • Unlike the European MZ-N707, the North American MZ-N707 comes with the same editing remote as the MZ-R700 which is the RM-MZ-4R. The European version comes with the RM-MC10L, a remote similar to the RM-MC11EL (used for the MZ-R900 & US MZ-N1), but molded in black and presumably lacking a backlight. -Nassib Khayat



Supplied Accessories (UK edition): AC power adapter/charger, Headphones with LCD remote control, NC-WMAA NiCd (AA cell shaped), Optical Cable, Recharge Stand, 1.5M USB cable, OpenMG Jukebox Ver2.2 CD-ROM, Carrying pouch with belt clip.

Specs: Frequency Response: 20-20kHz +/-3dB, Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW



User Manual: MZ-N707

Service Manual: MZ-N707

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)PlayRecordRecharge
15/16/20 hr4/6/7.5 hr3.5 hr
AA x 142/48/56 hr9/13/16 hr
Note "MZ-R550" badging of these early publicity photos (1280x950)
Note USB port built into body
AV-Land (1409x963)
Sony Feature Comparison Chart
Sony MZ-N505Budget NetMD Recorder
Intro: 3/2002 (US)
MSRP ~US$200, Street: ~US$150
IN: USB, line/optical no microphone input, OUT: headphones81x27.9x74.7mm, 104g (body only), 130g (w/batt)

Features: Cost-reduced NetMD recorder, allows direct PC to MD downloading of compressed audio (i.e. ATRAC) data via USB. MDLP. Available in gold (yellow?), silver, and blue. No microphone input!

Variants: Euro-version has non-LCD remote, North American version has no remote.



Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone amp

Included Accessories (UK): AC power adapter, Remote Control, NC-WMAA Rechargeable AA NiCd battery, Headphones, Optical cable (TOSlink to 3.5mm-jack), 1.5m USB cable, OpenMG Jukebox V2.2.


User Manual: MZ-N505

Service Manual: MZ-N505

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)PlayRecordRecharge
NiCd15/16/20 hr4/6/7.5 hr3 hr
AA x 142/48/56 hr9/13/16 hr
Sony MZ-R501portable MD recorder
Intro: 1/2002
208 EUR
IN: optical/line, NO MIC or REMOTE JACK. DC IN: 3V
OUT: headphones
83W x 27.8H x 75.8D mm, 113g (body only)

Features: ATRAC Type-R, MDLP capable, G-Protection anti-shock, digital and analog recording level control, End Search/Auto End Search, Group function. Appears to be nearly identical to the MZ-R500. Note: Unit does not have microphone input or remote jack. A microphone or remote cannot be used with this unit.


Supplied Accessories: AC power adapter (European and Chinese models), Headphones, Optical cable (not USA model), PC Link kit (MZ-R501PC only), Digital PC Link Kit (MZ-R501DPC only)


User Manual: MZ-R501

Service Manual: MZ-R501

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)PlayRecord
AA x 136/42/48 hr7.5/10/13.5 hr
Sony Feature Comparison Chart
Sony MZ-N1Portable MDLP recorder with NetMD interface
Intro: 12/2001
IN: line/optical, mic, DC IN: 3V
OUT: headphone/line
I/O: USB (on cradle)
78.7x71.8x16.9mm, 90g (body only)

Features: (First) NetMD equipped portable MD recorder, allows direct PC to MD download (but not upload) of compressed ATRAC audio at up to 30X real-time for LP4 audio (16x for LP2, and ~2x for SP mode audio. MDLP. ATRAC Type-R. (System Controller/ATRAC DSP IC: CXD2677-202GA) Docking cradle provides USB port and charging function. New stick controller with Kanji (Chinese character) display. 3 line LCD on main body. Magnesium case. G-protection. Group function. USB interface can be used for titling, limited editing, and control of the unit from a PC. Selectable microphone sensitivity (HIGH/LOW). "Ultimate Skip-Free G-Protection Technology" (Sony's 3rd generation shock recovery system that combines a lighter servo mechanism and improved electronic circuitry. Adds shock protection to the pick-up mechanism, thereby minimizing the loss of position. It continues to provide quick recovery from both horizontal and vertical shock.)

Software: PC download application is Open MG Jukebox 2.2, and allows CD, WAV, and MP3 tracks, as well as music purchased on the Internet to be downloaded to MD (being converted to ATRAC in the process, as necessary). OpenMG system will ensure that a bonafide NetMD recorder is connected before allowing a transfer, and will prevent ATRAC audio files created on one PC from being played, downloaded or used on a different PC. Open MG Jukebox is SDMI compliant and allows up to 3 track 'check-outs' from PC to MD, tracks can subsequently be 'checked-in', deleting them from the MD. (Check-in transfers the track "rights" back to the PC, but not the audio).

Included Accessories: Backlit remote, headphones, USB cradle, USB cable (1.5m), OpenMG Jukebox V2.2 CD-ROM, AC adapter, rechargeable NiMH cell, battery carrying case, external dry-cell adapter case, carrying pouch.

User Comments: Front panel rocker-control has poor ergonomics. -eaw


  • The Japanese MZ-N1 comes with software that installs an English version if an English language version of Windows is running, however the installer and help file is in Japanese.
  • Though the MZ-N1 can display Kanji titles on its remote, it only writes Kanji titles to MD with the Japanese version of the software.
  • The US MZ-N1 comes with the same remote as the MZ-R900 (RM-MC11EL/S).
  • The US version does NOT include the carrying pouch (the soft cloth bag) that is shown in Brian Youn's review of a Japanese unit. The manual, which lists all of the equipment and accessories included, does not mention a carrying case either. -Haemish Edgerton



User Manuals: MZ-N1, German

Service Manuals: MZ-N1, 1.4, MZ-N1

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)PlayRecordRecharge
30/38/42 hr12/17/21 hr6h cradle, 3.5 hr direct)
AA x 145/52/62 hr12/19/23 hr
Both79/95/110 hr30/43/52 hr
Courtesy George Themelis
Sony MZ-B100MDLP business recorder
Intro: 10/2001
IN: microphone, optical/analog line in
OUT: headphones
81.2 x 108 x 25.7 mm, 180g (160g body only)

Features: MD recorder intended for business use (dictation, recording meetings). Internal stereo flat microphone and monaural front speaker. Voice-Operated Recording function automatically starts recording when it senses sound, and stops recording when the sound stops. MDLP compatible, Group mode functions. Easy Search function allows skipping ahead or back one minute per button press. Two types of track marker let you indicate the importance of recorded events. Jog dial for easy speed control and editing, Large LCD with 3 lines of display, Playback speed control function (+10% to -20%). Click alert indicates disc is out of space. Operating instructions: English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Russian, Spanish.

Tips: Hitting FF or RR for about 1 second or a bit more, releasing, then immediately hitting FF or RR again, results in an instantaneous response.


Specs: 2.8cm speaker. Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW, 20-20kHz +/-3dB


User Manual: MZ-B100

Service Manual: MZ-B100

Battery Life (SP/SP-Mono/LP2/LP4)PlayRecord
AA x 1Speaker: 25.5/30/27/30 hr
Headphones: Add ~10hr
9/12/12.5/15 hr
Photos: Japan-Direct
Photos: MDMan.net (1024x768)
Sony MZ-R909portable MD recorder
Intro: 8/2001
MSRP: ``Open''
IN: microphone, analog, optical
OUT: headphones, line out
80.0W x 75.5H x 20.5D mm, 110g (137g w/batt)


  • Updated and improved version of the MZ-R900.
  • ATRAC Type R
  • Group function
  • 3 line 9 character LCD
  • Speed-sensitive jog-dial (fully rotatable).
  • Combined headphone and line out jacks (use the unit's menu system to switch between the two different modes).
  • LCD on remote (remote is RM-MC11EL, same one as used on the MZ-R900).
  • Selectable microphone sensitivity (HIGH/LOW).
  • Available in silver, blue, and red.
  • Other improvements over MZ-R900: (Courtesy Brian Youn)
    • In manual recording-level mode, recording levels can be adjusted while recording is underway.
    • Dual VU meters on left and right channels during recording and playback,
    • LCD contrast adjustable in 8 steps
    • SOUND settings can be changed from the main unit (without the remote)
    • Playstation-like control pad (push for PLAY, rock left, right up or down for other functions).

Notes: The MZ-R900 will fit into the MZ-R909's charging cradle and charge properly. (MZ-R909 Cradle ["charge unit"] part#: 1-476-763-12)



Specs: 5mW + 5mW headphones output, 100VAC.

User Manuals: MZ-R909, German

Service Manual: MZ-R909

Battery Life
NiMH24/27/31 hr8.5/11/14 hr3.5 hr
AA x 134/40/45 hr7.5/12/15 hr
Both64/75/84 hr20/28/37 hr
Sony MZ-R500portable MD recorder
Intro: 1/2001
IN: optical/line, NO MIC or REMOTE JACK. DC IN: 3V
OUT: headphones
83W x 28H x 76D mm, 113g

Features: MDLP capable. G-Protection anti-shock, digital and analog recording level control, End Search/Auto End Search. Optical cable supplied with unit. Note: Unit does not have microphone input or remote jack. A microphone or remote cannot be used with this unit.




User Manual: MZ-R500

Service Manual: MZ-R500

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)PlayRecord
AA x 136/42/48 hr7.5/10/13.5 hr
(1.2MB) (2164x2132)
MZ-R700DPC (includes PC Link Kit)
Sony MZ-R700portable MD recorder
Intro: 1/2001
$250 USD
IN: optical/line, mic. DC IN: 3V
OUT: headphones
81W x 28H x 75D mm, 116g (142g w/batt)

Features: Similar to MZ-R900 (MDLP capable, G-Protection anti-shock, digital and analog recording level control, Manual End Search/Auto End Search). Optical cable is supplied with unit.

Differences from MZ-R900: Non-LCD remote, battery is AA formfactor (i.e. round, accepts AA drycell or AA shaped rechargeable), does not have 1) double jog lever 2) Joint-text recording (transferring titles from special CD-TEXT CDs when recording with special Sony cable from special Sony CD players) 3) date-time stamp recording 4) Personal disc memory 5) Microphone sensitivity switch.

Variants: In Asia the "PC" version of the unit is apparently shipped with an analog version of the USB audio adapter.




Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output.

User Manual: MZ-R700

Service Manuals: a, R700-G750

Battery Life
NiCd13/14.5/18 hr4/6/7.5 hr2 hr
AA x 140/46/53 hr9/13/16 hr
Sony MZ-G750Portable MD recorder with built-in AM/FM tuner
Intro: 1/2001

IN: optical/line, mic. DC IN: 3V
OUT: line/ headphones
81W x 28H x 75D mm, 118g (144g w/batt)

Features: Similar to MZ-R700 but includes AM/FM tuner (in remote). MDLP capable, G-Protection anti-shock, digital and analog recording level control, Manual End Search/Auto End Search. Tuner contained entirely within LCD remote control, hence cannot record from tuner. Internally the MZ-G750 differs from MZ-R700, containing 5 additional ICs and several circuitry changes (see the service manual for details).

Manufacturer's Specs:

  • MDLP recording and playback
  • Up To 48Hrs Battery Life
  • Digital FM/AM Built in Tuner Remote (DOES NOT RECORD FROM THE RADIO)
  • MDLP Long time stereo recording (up to 320 min. recording) and playback
  • Jacket sized light-weight MD recorder
  • Takes 1 x AA battery
  • Easy Pop Up Eject mechanism
  • Digital Recording Level Control
  • Manual Recording Level Setting
  • Record mode setting (SP/LP/LP2/MONO)
  • End search/Auto end search
  • Track Mark ON/OFF (Divide/Combine)
  • Erase (1/ALL) / MOVE / Character Input
  • Digital Mega Bass

User comments: Mark Litgenstein: The MZ-G750 is exactly the same size as the MZ-R700, the only difference is the headphone out, which comes with power out to power the remote. The remote includes the radio, the player doesn't. So you can't listen to the radio without the remote, but you can listen to MD without the remote. I can really recommend this unit. It's not cheap, but the radio is a very welcome addition.



Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output.

User Manual: MZ-G750

Service Manuals: MZ-G750, MZ-G750

Battery LifePlayRecordRadio
Alkaline AA x 136/42/48 hr9/13/16 hr28.5 hr
NiCd (NC-WMAA) x 111.5/14/16 hr4/6/7.5 hr9.5 hr
Sony MZ-B50portable MD recorder
Intro: 10/2000
IN: line/optical, microphone
OUT: headphones
90 x 123.4 x 28mm, 220g

Features: Built-in stereo microphone and speaker, voice-operated recording, track mark button on remote, 1.6x speed playback capability, 40 second anti-shock protection. VOR (voice activated recording) function. "Clear-voice" speech playback enhancement function to ``emphasize the left-right orientation of individual voices, making them easier to distinguish and hear'' (only works on stereo recordings). No End-Search: unit is the first Sony portable since the MZ-1 to be entirely free of manual end-search -- new recordings are always appended to the end of the disc. No manual recording level control, recording levels are always set automatically. Selectable (HIGH/LOW) microphone sensitivity control. Record-start function available on remote.



Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output.

User Manual: MZ-B50

Service Manual: MZ-B50

Battery LifePlayRecord
AA x 218 hr6 hr
Aiwa AM-F90
R900/F90 comparison (1024x491)
Sony MZ-R900
Aiwa AM-F90
portable MD recorder
Intro: 9/2000

IN: optical/line, microphone. DC IN: 3V
OUT: line/headphones
78.2 x 17.1 x 72.0mm, 94g (120g w/batt)

Features: ATRAC IC: CXD2671-201GA. First MDLP mode portable recorder. Record-breaking battery life as of its release. A unique disc based settings ("Personal Disc Memory") feature remembers program play, treble & bass, repeat mode, playback speed (80-110%), and volume settings for up to 20 discs within the unit. 'Double' jog dial. First Sony portable with program play mode. Shock proof memory capacity depends on record mode-- LP4: 160s, LP2&mono: 80s, SP: 40s. Date stamp, digital REC level control, 8 step bass and treble settings, 1-99 minute melody timer. Selectable microphone sensitivity (HIGH/LOW). Aluminum body. Unit can be set to do END SEARCH automatically (no more accidentally erased recordings!); this settting is in NVRAM and remains even when batteries are removed. Available in silver, white, blue and red. 9 character backlit remote display. G-protection (anti-shock mechanism) present on US and Euro edition but not on Japanese model.

Notes: End-Search can be permanently automated on the MZ-R900. Quoting from its user manual as follows:

How to Set Rec-Posi: If you wish to avoid overwriting the currrent contents of an MD, do the following procedure. All new material will then be recorded from the end of the current contents.
  1. While the recorder is stopped, press the jog lever, flip the lever repeatedly until "Rec-Posi" flashes in the display, and then press the lever again.
  2. Flip the jog lever repeatedly until the "From End" flashes in the display and then press the lever.
The Japanese section of the manual notes that these settings are retained even if the power is cut (oddly, the English section of the manual incorrectly translates this point). Overwrite recording is done by first positioning with Play-Pause at the overwrite point.

User Comments on features: (noted by Leland McArthy)

  • Beep on remote is defeatable.
  • Offers auto track marking at selectable time intervals 5 min, 10 min, 15 min.
  • Mic sensitivity low and high are user selectable via software switch (not physical switch on the unit as with MZ-R50 and earlier).
  • Line Out mode will not drive headphones, leading me to believe it differs from the Line Out mode in the R90, which will. Might be quieter?
  • LP2 mode sounds quite good. LP4 mode is useable for music, but not for the most demanding listening.
  • Unit's startup, track switch, and esp. FF/REW times are improved over the MZ-R90, though still not offering the responsiveness of the older (e.g. MZ-R50) class machines.

User Comments on LP mode quality: (Ed Heckman) I've spent a couple of hours checking out the sound quality on my MZ-R900 and comparing it to my MZ-R50. To do this, I recorded "The throne room and end title" from the Star Wars suite digitally to a disc on the R50, then moved the disc to the R900 and recorded it again using standard stereo and LP2 modes. Then I listened to all 4 recordings through the R900 using my Sony NC10 earbuds. (The CD was played through the R900 with the R900 paused in record mode.) On a scale of 1-10 with the CD being placed at 10, this is how I would rank the sound quality of the various recordings:
Recorded on R50: 9.5
R900 stereo: 9.8
R900 LP2: 9.2
I didn't specifically test the LP4 mode in this manner, but I have used it. I would probably rate it somewhere around 7.6. I should note that it took very, very careful listening with my eyes closed and as little outside noise as possible for me to be able to hear the differences between the 4 versions. I would say that under normal listening conditions there would be no detectable differences between the recordings.

User Comments on distortion: Tim Corcoran found distortion on two different MZ-R900 units. This problem does not exist on all units.




Specs: Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW

User Manuals: MZ-R900, J/E

Service Manual: MZ-R900

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)PlayRecordRecharge
NiMH21/23/26 hr8/10.5/13 hr3.5 hr
AA X 130/35/38 hr7/10/14 hr
Both53/60/66 hr19/26/30 hr
Sony MZ-R70Portable MD Recorder
Intro: 1/2000
IN: mic, optical/line. OUT: headphones/line (x2). DC IN: 3.0V81x26.2x74mm, 115g (155 w/batt & MD)

Features: Cost reduced Sony recorder of ca. MZ-R90 generation but with non-LCD remote (RM-MZ3R), no jog dial, no joint-text (i.e. CD->MD track name copy), and no date/time stamp recording, no microphone sensitivity switch. Includes digital rec level control, 40 second shock memory, pop-open eject. Unit accepts one AA cell internally. Colors: silver, blue, black.

Comments: Unit is relatively thin except for the round hump on the back to allow room for the drycell battery. MZ-R90 LCD remote will operate properly with this unit (including backlight function).

Variants: MZ-R70PC version comes packed with a (Sony badged) Xitel MDPort-AN1 USB to analog audio converter. A Sony press release describes the MZ-R70DPC in more detail. A downbeat MacNN article that expressed disappointment at Sony's apparent lack of Macintosh support for the MZ-R70DPC (though unofficially supposed through 3rd party drivers) prompted Dale Greer to write the MacNN article's author.

Links: Superfi (UK) has further photos of the unit. Superfi posts zoomable, rotatable scans of this unit. MiniDiscussion has collected user reviews for this unit. Christian Almind submits a review of the MZ-R70. The December 2000 issue of PC World includes a "Gift Guide" recommending a Sony MZ-R70PC. eTown posts a generally positive review of the Sony MZ-R70PC.


User Manual: MZ-R70

Service Manual: MZ-R70

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiCd (NC-WMAA) x 16.5 hr3 hr
AA x 117 hr3 hr
MZ-R55 vs. MZ-R90 optical block
Sony MZ-R90
Sony MZ-R91
Portable MiniDisc Recorder/Player
Intro: 10/1999
R90: ¥46,000
R91: ¥44,000
in: optical/line, microphone
out: line/headphone
R90: 78.9x17.3x72mm, 105g, 148g w/batt & disc
R91: 78.9x18.0x72mm, 110g, 153g w/batt & disc

Features: "Jacket Size" MD Walkmans, world's smallest size and weight for a recording portable (as of Aug 24 1999), longest recording and playback times (as of Aug 24 1999), smaller size achieved through redesign of the optical pickup mechanism (MZ-R90/91's pickup is 50% smaller in frontal area than that of previous model MZ-R55), "One Touch Eject" feature, "Name Bank" function (allows you to store up to 600 characters worth of commonly used words in the unit for easy MD titling), "Smart Stick Controller" with titling and editing functions, "Joint Text" feature records the titles from a CD while recording (not achievable with all CD players), digital recording level control, 40 second shock memory, Synchro Recording from digital source. Headphone and line out are combined into a single plug (switchable between the two functions with a jog lever). No microphone sensitivity setting. MZ-R90 only uses high stiffness magnesium alloy for top of case.

Mis-features: Longish start from power-off state (ca. ~9 seconds) and track seek times (ca. ~2-5 seconds) due to slow [power saving] drive motor spin-up gives unit a sluggish feeling response to user input.



Specs: Sampling rate converter converts to 44.1kHz from 48kHz/44.1kHz/ 32kHz sources, frequency response: 20-20,000Hz +/-3dB, max output level: 5mW+5mW, AC100V.

User Manual: MZ-R90

Service Manuals: R90, R91, MZ-R90

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
Ni-MH12 hr6.5 hr3 hr
AA x 116.5 hr4 hr
Both29 hr14.5 hr
surface scans (989x1352)
Sony MZ-R37Portable Recorder
Intro: 3/1999
MSRP $300
IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: line, headphones. DC IN 4.5V116.8 x 18.5 x 86.1mm, 160g (body only)

Features: ATRAC 4.0 (IC: 2652AR) Sony's first "cost reduced" portable recorder (apparently for US and European release only). Unit is of ca. MZ-R55 generation but slightly larger than MZ-R50. 40 second shock memory. Editing and titling functions available on remote. Unit includes 2 rechargeable (AA size) NiCad batteries [MZ-R37SP version comes without batteries or AC adapter], but can also run on Alkaline cells. Synchro start recording, sampling rate converter. Difference to MZ-R55: no microphone sensitivity setting, no "erase" button ("delete" function appears under edit menu), and no date and time stamp. Included remote has no LCD, but MZ-R55 [LCD equipped] remote works properly with it, including backlight function.

Variants: MZ-R37PCIF version is the same base MZ-R37 unit bundled with a USB to analog line-out interface adapter (reportedly made by Xitel), allowing easy recording from a PC. MZ-R37SP ("Self-Powered"?) version was released a year after the initial version, it ships without the AC adapter, and Sony quotes slightly longer battery life figures for it.

Links: Sony Japan's MZ-R37 tourist model page. A Sony announcement stating that the MZ-E33 player and the MZ-R37 recorder will be released in the US in February. PASS (UK) makes an oversized wired-remote button box for this unit. MiniDiscussion has collected user reviews for this unit.

Specs: Freq. Resp: 20-20kHz +/-3dB


User Manuals: MZ-R37, MZ-R37SP

Service Manuals: 1.3, 1.4

Battery Life for MZ-R37PlayRecordRecharge
NiCd (NC-AA) X 25 hr3 hr
AA x 213 hr5.5 hr
Battery Life for MZ-R37SPPlayRecordRecharge
NiMH WMAA X 211.5 hr8 hr
AA x 215.5 hr-- hr
Aiwa AM-F70 & MZ-R55
Sony MZ-R55Portable Recorder
Intro: 10/1998
MSRP ¥46,000
Street ¥36,000
Init. Mo. Prod: 70,000 units
IN: line/optical, mic. OUT: line, headphone, DC in: 3V78.9 x 18.9 x 84mm, 147g (190g w/disc and NH-14WM rechargeable),

Features: ATRAC 4 (IC: CXD2652AR). Unit is small, 75% the volume of the MZ-R50. 40 sec shock memory, backlit remote "stick controller" with 9 character display (vs. 6 in previous versions). Operation, editing and track labelling functions available on remote as well as main body. Titling may be done while recording is in progress. Clamshell opens via pushbutton (rather than slider). Two step bass boost. Selectable microphone sensitivity (HIGH/LOW). First recorder with 1.2V drive. Uses NiMH gumpack rechargeable (NH-14WM). Available in gold, blue, yellow.

Sony announces the upcoming release of a USB to MiniDisc connection kit that will be bundled with the MZ-R55.

Parts: MD-Mechanism Type: MT-MZR55-161, Optical Pick-up Type: KMS-280A

Mis-features: Contrary to what is stated in the manual, the battery cannot be recharged while the unit is in use. When the unit is in the ``stopped'' state, pressing the stop button will start the battery charging. In manual recording level mode, unit must be paused to change the level setting (as with all Sony portables).

Notes: The MZ-R55's remote can be used with the MZ-R50, but in this case the backlight is inoperative (only the MZ-R55 emits the command codes needed to control the backlight). The MZ-R55 remote is completely interchangeable with the MZ-R37 remote. -Gerald Tomyn

Tips: Take special care to close the rechargeable battery compartment hatch carefully and completely; the plastic tabs at the corners have been known to break when they are not grasped completely by the metal hook edge inside the player.

Problems: Hoshing Kwong describes a circuit board fix for the Sony MZ-R55 self recording-start problem.


Specs: 16 bit ADC/DAC, Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW


User Manuals: MZ-R55, HTML

Service Manual: MZ-R55

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH NH-14WM4 hr2.5 hr3 hr
AA x 210 hr5 hr
Both16 hr9.5 hr
Sony MZ-R35Portable recorder
Intro: 9/1998 (? guess)

Features: From all appearances, an MZ-R30 with new sheet metal (specs are identical) and slight (?) firmware upgrade (has Ver 1.7 vs. R30's Ver 1.6). Available in Silver or Metallic Blue.

Links: Martin Borus' CeBit '98 page has a photo of the unit. Matthew Dolan has a page covering the MZ-R35's test mode in detail. PASS (UK) makes an oversized wired-remote button box for this unit.


User Manual: MZ-R35

Sony MZ-R5STportable recorder w/docking station
Intro: 11/1997
MSRP ¥72,000
base: in: optical x 2, line, out: optical, line, headphones, active speakers. portable: in: mic, out: headphonesbase: 232x61x154mm, 970g. portable: 109.5x20.1x77mm, 185g (235g pocket weight)

Features: First wide bit stream portable (but wide bit stream available only when using base). Portable has 10 second shock memory. IR ``card'' remote. Edit point accuracy of 60ms with rehearsal mode. 2 second time machine recording. Digital syncho start recording. Sampling rate converter. ``Stick controller'' remote. Base has headphone as well as speaker jack. Active speaker jack volume level can be controlled with I/R remote. Undo. Date and time stamp recording. Program play. Timer rec/playback with external timer. Buttons and display prompts in English. No jog dial or power jack on remote. (Note that the portable unit is not equivalent to the MZ-R50, they are completely different units).

Parts: MD-Mechanism Type: MT-MZR50-143, Optical Pick-up Type: KMS-280A/J2N

Links: Sony's page R5ST announcement and its hasty English summary. Nic Boyde's pictures and information on the unit. John Lawrence's review of the unit. The Korean MD page posts a Korean review and good closeup snapshots of the MZ-R5ST.

Specs: S/N (with base) >92dB analog, >96dB digital. Dynamic range: >92dB (analog), >96dB digital.


User Manual: J/E

Service Manuals: MZ-R5ST, training

Battery LifePlayRecord
LiIon LIP-85.5 hr3.5 hr
AA x 29 hr4.5 hr
NiMH x 2 (external)6.5 hr4.5 hr
LiIon + AA x 216 hr8 hr
LiIon + NiMH x 213 hr8 hr
Sony MZ-R50Portable Recorder
Intro: 10/1997
MSRP:¥48,000, street:¥39,000
IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: headpho nes, line. DC IN: 6V109.5x19.7x77mm, 190g (240g pocket weight)

Features: ATRAC 4 (IC: CXD2652AR) Approximately 70% the volume of the MZ-R30, 16Mbit DRAM provides 40 seconds of shock proof memory. Syncho-start recording for digital input signals. New ``stick controller'' type remote with normal stereo mini-jack for headphones. Stick controller provides all the functions of the MZ-R30 remote plus control of play mode and display mode. Scrolling display on remote shows time elapsed (not time remaining), track title, MD title and time recorded (not date recorded). Remainder of display on remote shows the track number (alternating with total tracks on the MD), a little flashing disk icon, play mode, battery level, and REC for when you are recording. Digital bass boost, position pointer, date and time stamp recording. Selectable microphone sensitivity (HIGH/LOW). Repeat modes: all repeat, 1 repeat, shuffle. AA cells are used with included external drycell case. Available in blue, orange and silver. Optional car mount kit: CPM-MZ6VK (includes mounting plate that attaches to screw hole at rear of MZ-R50, the mounting plate then snaps in and out of a base mount that one attaches to car interior with included velcro strap). Line outut rating: 194mV, 10Kohms. Considered by many to be the pinnacle of Sony's Minidisc development in terms of ruggedness and usability [except for the presence of END-SEARCH].

Parts: MD-Mechanism Type: MT-MZR50-143, Optical Pick-up Type: KMS-280A

Notes: The MZ-R50 has no FAST playback function, but the unit has a FAST indicator on the LCD (you can see it if you look at the LCD in oblique light) because it is the same LCD used in the MZ-B3 (dictation recorder), which has the FAST playback function.

Tips: When titling a track or disc you can hit the play button to quickly go the first character of the different subcategories (foreign characters, A-Z, a-z, 0-9), the ``erase'' button will backspace over the previous character, and the ``end search'' button will insert a character space in the title. The degree symbol can be inserted by doing this: 1) Display a capital letter with the cursor on that letter. 2) Press ERASE. 3) Without pushing anything else, dial down 5 slots, and after the apostrophe, the degree sign will be displayed.

"SuperHold" function: If you push "TITLE/ENTER" so the recorder goes into track name editing mode, then slide the "HOLD" into hold mode, now everything is hold, player as well as remote! -Bo

It seems that the remote for Sony's high end CD Walkmans (D-E01/D-EJ01) will function properly with the MZ-R50 (and most likely Sony's other MD portables), including the backlight function.



Looking for an MZ-R50?: Amerinet is selling the MZ-R50 for $250 new. You can also search for one on eBay.

Notes: New ``stick controller'' remote can also be used with R30, R4ST, E30, E50, EP10, and EP11 (but there are some functions that you can't use). MSRP is ¥6,000.

User Manuals: MZ-R50, HTML, J/E

Service Manual: MZ-R50

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon LIP-87 hr4 hr2 hr (80%); 3 hr (Full)
AA x 212 hr5 hr
Both22 hr12 hr
(Photo: Doornekamp)
Photo: BorusSylt (861x1353)
Sony MZ-R30portable recorder
Intro: 10/1996
msrp: ¥48,000, street: ¥34,800
in: op tical/line, mic. out: line, hdphn (5mW+5mW). 6V ext. pwr116.5 x 26 x 78mm, 220g w/o bat, 317g pocket weight (w/battery, disc, headphones, remote).

Features: ATRAC 4. New style "vertical" jog dial for easy character input, track editing and song selection. Sampling rate converter. True synchro start and synchro pause. Position pointer graphically displays position on disk. Mic high/low sensitivity switch, synchro rec on/off switch. Stereo/mono recording. Manual/AGC recording level. Level meter has hysteresis, showing signal peaks. The included remote does not include an LCD, but the remote for the MZ-R4ST does and can be used with this unit. The Sony part number is RM-MZR4MP and costs about $50. The MZ-E30 remote also has an LCD and will work with this unit. Optional car mount kit includes mounting plate that attaches to screw hole at rear of MZ-R30, the mounting plate then snaps in and out of a base mount that one attaches to the car's interior with the included velcro strap.

Components: ATRAC IC: CXD-2652R, RF amp: CXA-2523R

Differences between MZ-R30 and MZ-R3: MZ-R30: Sampling rate converter, track-search (can view other track titles with jog dial while a track is playing), digital synchro-start recording, digital mono recording uses (L+R)/2 (MZ-R3 is L-channel only).

Tips: When titling a track or disc, you can hit the play button to quickly go the first character of the different subcategories (foreign characters, A-Z, a-z, 0-9). // The Sony MZ-R30 is the nearly the same size as a Palm Pilot (the 'R30 is just 10mm thicker) and so can be used with a Palm Pilot case.

Setting recording level: The values for each bar of the level meter of the MZ-R30 are (from bottom to top): 1 = -51dB, 2 = -40dB, 3 = -30dB, 4 = -20dB, 5 = -12dB, 6 = -6dB, 7 = -4dB, 8 = -2dB, 9 = 0dB ("OVER"), These values are the minimum values for which the bars light up. Each bar actually represents an interval. For example, bar 1 indicates a level of -51dB to -40dB, bar 5 indicates -12dB to -6dB and bar 8 indicates -2dB to 0dB. When manually setting the record level, this means you should adjust the level so that the 9th bar doesn't light up. (Or at least not very often.) Mathijs Vermeulen ([email protected])

Comparison with Sharp MS200: R30 has a unique jog dial that makes entering title easier. Operation of MS200 is slower than R30, taking longer to read a disc and for TOC writing. MS200 has 4 level bass boost, R30 has only 3. Bass level can be selected with remote on MS200, but not on R30. R30 gets hot after recording for some time. With the Pioneer PMD-R2, play mode can be changed (Random, repeat all, repeat 1) using the LCD remote control, but not on the MS200 nor R30. R30 comes with a dry cell case (holds 2 AAs), battery case for MS200 (holding 6 AAs) must be purhased separately. R30 only features: Track searching using jog dial (you can select the track by the title, and you can do it while playing tracks). Track move using jog dial. Shuffle repeat play is possible. Slimmer than MS200 (26mm vs 29.8mm) and slightly lighter (265g vs 270g with rechargeable). Disc does not come out while playing. More than 100 characters can be used for a track title. Independent Line out. Auto REC level control. MS200: Recording level can be changed while recording is underway.

Notes: The MZ-R30 has no FAST playback function, but the unit has a FAST indicator on the LCD (you can see it if you look at the LCD in oblique light) because it is the same LCD used in the MZ-B3 (dictation recorder), which has the FAST playback function.

Links: Sony's prerelease page in English and Japanese, Sony's 'R30 intro announcement at CES '97. Its scanned surfaces. A user's impressions of the Sony MZ-R30. The German Stereo magazine and a user compare the MZ-R30 and the Sharp MD-MS200. Excerpts from a What HiFi article mention the Sony MZ-R30. Emanuel Borsboom's table comparing the Sony MZ-R30 and Sharp MD-MS200. Ico Doornekamp's Sony MZ-R30 FAQ. A brief summary of MD activity at CES '97 by a Sony staffer and a visitor mentions the Sony MZ-R30 intro into the US. Mat Smith scores the relative merits of the Sony MZ-R30 vs. Sharp MD-MS702. Matthew Dolan has a page covering the MZ-R30's test mode in detail. PASS (UK) makes an oversized wired-remote button box for this unit.


User Manual: MZ-R30

Service Manuals: MZ-R30, training

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon LIP-128 hr5 hr5 hr (80%: 2.5 hr)
NiMH BP-DM20 (double AA size)
(Use external charger: BC-DM20)
4.5 hr3 hr
AA x 26.5 hr3 hr
AA + LiIon15 hr8.5 hr
NiMH + LiIon14.5 hr8.5 hr
Sony MZ-R4STportable recorder w/docking station
Intro: 7/1996
msrp ¥67000, street: $500
dock in: optical, line. out: optical, line, 1/4" hdphn. portable: in: mic. out: hdphn.78x23x116 210g, 255g/bat, 300g/pocket weight

Features: ATRAC 3.5. Portable recorder with docking station. Li-ion (LIP-12) rechargeable. Resembles slightly thicker MZ-E3. LCD on both body and headphone remote. Has no titling or editing buttons (on docking station instead). Away from station, portable unit has only playback and mic-record functions (with AGC or manual level control). Docking station: large LCD screen for titling and displaying other information. Provides line and optical i/o connectors. Sampling rate converter. Date and time stamp recording with station or portable, display on station only (AM/PM format). Playback: LiIon: 6.5 hr, NiMH: 3 hr, AA: 4 hr, LiIon+AA: 10.5 hr, NiMH+AA: 9.5. Recording: LiIon: 4 hr, NiMH: 2 hr, AA: 2 hr, LiIon+AA: 6 hr, NiMH+AA: 6 hr. LiIon recharge time: 5 hr, Power consumption: Rec: 1.0W, Playback: 0.7W

Mis-Features: Only records left channel when mono-recording from a digital source. Cannot turn off auto track marking when recording from an analog source. Portable unit does not have A/C adapter power socket. No wireless remote control, even when docked. Divide point is as accurate as your ability to push the pause button (no 60ms positioning with rehearse mode like the decks).

Links: Sony Japan Page Pre-release info (and picture). An initial report on the MZ-R4ST's look and feel.


User Manual: J/E

Sony MZ-B3portable recorder
Intro: 8/1995
msrp: ¥69,000
in: mic, remote control (mini mini-jack), no digital or line-level input!. out: hdphn. pwr: 4.5V135.3x30x80.5mm 305g (405g including remote, 3 alkaline cells)

Features: ATRAC 3. Built in microphone and speaker. Stereo and mono recording. Voice activated recording (switch selectable) makes use of memory to avoid clipping the beginning of the recording. High speed playback at 1.6x and 2.2x. "Position pointer" shows relative disc position of current record/playback point. Power: 3 Alkaline AA cells. LIP-12 LiIon rechargeable can be used, but not charged with this unit, a separately available charger (ACP-MZ60A) is required. Foot control unit (FS85B3) separately available that has start/pause/forw/rev/stop functions (can be ordered from Tri-tronics for $100 retail). Two track mark types: While recording a discussion you can add regular track marks as well as special track marks (but only with the remote). To add a special track mark, press TRACK Mark twice within one second. To find special track marks while playing, hold the VOR on/off button down and press FF or REW slightly. The special track mark indication TT appears following the track number. Each time you press FF/REW you can find the next/previous special track mark. Discs can have up to 254 track marks in total of the two kinds.

Components: ATRAC IC: CXD-2536R, EFM/ADIP/Servo IC: CXD-2535BR, RF amp: CXA-1981AR

Differences from MZ-R3: MZ-B3: mechanical (rotating) volume control, no remote, no line output, no line or digital input, no AVLS, no digital bass boost, no beep, AGC recording only (no manual REC level), no auto-track mark, no titling input. MZ-B3 has built-in mono mic (plus jack for external stereo mic).


  • No song or disc title input.
  • Cannot change track order, only track delete and entire disc delete editing functions available (similar functions to MZ-R2).
  • Some users have reported that the voice activated recording does not work so well in practice.
  • No line input or output terminals, however manual states that line level inputs can be recorded through the microphone input jack. Clay Schnieder comments: The surprising part of using the mic jack for line level input on the MZ-B3 is that it actually works (I have done this with my unit). It functions like a very wide range auto-level control. It apparently senses the line level and adjusts to it. Pretty impressive, as it is also a plug-in power mic connection!

Links: Sony Page info (translated) Sony US page info. Frank Beacham discusses the use of the MZ-B3 portable for radio journalism. Digital Dictate sells the Sony MZ-B3 recorder as part of their speech recognition package.


User Manual: MZ-B3

Service Manual: MZ-B3

Sony MZ-R3portable recorder
Intro: 5/1995
msrp: $650
in: optical/line, mic. out: hdphn, line. 4.5V ext. pwr.115.8x29.8x81mm, 265g w/o bat. 360g w/bat

Features: ATRAC 3. Ni-MH (BP-DM20) rechargeable or 2 AA cells (LIP-12 LiIon rechargeable can be used with separately available external case). Track/disc titling. track delete, move, join, divide. AGC and manual recording level control but cannot manually change recording level during recording. Date & time stamp during recording, stereo/mono recording. bass boost. Recording: AA: 2 hr, Ni-MH: 2 hr, LiIon: 2.5 hr, AA+LiIon: 4.5 hr, Ni-MH+LiIon 4.5 hr. Playback: AA: 4 hr, Ni-MH: 3 hr, LiIon: 4 hr, AA+LiIon: 8 hr, Ni-MH+LiIon 7 hr. Power consumption: Rec: 1.1W, Play: 0.7W

Components: ATRAC IC: CXD-2536R, EFM/ADIP/Servo IC: CXD-2535BR, RF amp: CXA-1981AR

Differences between MZ-R30 and MZ-R3: MZ-R30: Sampling rate converter, track-search (can view other track titles with jog dial while a track is playing), digital synchro-start recording, digital mono recording uses (L+R)/2 (MZ-R3 is L-channel only).

Specs: On playback: 88.6 dB S/N, 87.9 dB Dynamic range, <0.08% from 20 Hz to 18 kHz THD+N at 0 dBFS* -2.7 Linearity error at -90 dBFS. Record/Playback Digital input: 87.1 dB S/N, <0.095% THD+N at 0 dbFS -.014 dB Linearity error at -90 dBFS. Record/Playback via analog input: 83.7 dB S/N, <0.095% THD+N at 0 dbFS +.04 dB Linearity error at -90 dBFS. The bass boost on the portables does this: the Mid setting (dB re 1-kHz level): +16 at 25 Hz +6 at 112 Hz and +5 at 18 kHz. the Max setting (dB re 1-kHz level): +19 at 32 Hz +6 at 185 Hz and +5 at 18 kHz.


  • To get rechargeable AA's to work in an 'R3, you need arrange for the sense bar that detects "rechargeable batteries present" to be activated. Open up your 'R3, holding it so the bottom is facing up and the battery bay is on the far side. Pop the door open. On the right-hand side, you will see near the bottom a little sense pin. Get a bit of newspaper or eraser to hold the pin shut, then put your AA rechargeable batteries in. They should charge normally. Do this at your own risk; it isn't likely to be a Sony-approved technique. -Gian-Paolo D Musumeci (and others)
  • When titling a track or disc, you can hit the play button to quickly go the first character of the different subcategories (foreign characters (when available), A-Z, a-z, 0-9).

Notes: The MZ-R3 has no FAST playback function, but the unit has a FAST indicator on the LCD (you can see it if you look at the LCD in oblique light) because it is the same LCD used in the MZ-B3 (dictation recorder), which has the FAST playback function. -Matthew Richardson
Although this was an analog recording test, I found (bars 'lit' vs -dB). 1: -45dB 2: -30dB 3: -20dB 4: -12dB 5: -6dB 6: -3dB 7: 0dB (maximum, borderline of distortion) -PrinceGaz

Links: Sony Page info. A few users prefer Sony's earlier MZ-R1 in comparison to MZ-R3. Ebay has several as well, at more reasonable prices.


User Manuals: MZ-R3, MZ-R3

Service Manuals: Circuit desc., MZ-R3

Sony MZ-R2portable recorder
Intro: 12/1993 (US: 4/1994)
msrp: $750
in: optical line, mic. out: line, hdphn. DC IN: 6V84 x 29.9 x 106.8mm, 310g (w/batt) (3/8" x 1 3/16" x 4 1/4")

Features: ATRAC 2. 10-second shock-resistant memory. Stereo headphones w/remote. Only allows simple editing operations: track mark, track erase and end search (no track move or titling). Bass boost. Battery life indicator. AGC and manual recording level. AC adapter, carrying case. Cannot manually change recording level during recording. No mono recording, no smart-space.

Tips: To set unit in manual recording level mode: Press the red record button to the right and HOLD IT for a few seconds, ``Manual Rec'' will appear on the display. Set the record level using the `<<' or `>>' buttons before pressing `pause' to start recording again. The level cannot be changed whilst recording, only whilst in `pause'. ``Erase All'' function can be accomplished by seeking to track one and entering record mode, without first pushing ``End Search''.


Components: (ATRAC IC: CXD-2531AR, Shock proof controller: CXD-2526AR, EFM ACIRC encoder/decoder: CXD-2525R, ADIP demodulator: CXA-1380N, Servo signal processor: CXA-1620R, RF amp: CXA-1861R)


User Manuals: MZ-R2, MZ-R2 Japanese and English

Service Manual: MZ-R2

Battery LifePlayRecord
2.5 hr2 hr
AA x 32.5 hr2 hr
Both6.5 hr
(Courtesy MDCorea.com) (1024x951)
MZ-1 & MZ-2P
(Photo: E Tedeschi)
MD-R1 (ca. 1992) vs. Sharp MD-MT770 (ca. 2001) (1280x960)
5 MDs thick! (1280x960)
Note "Disc Loading Mechanism" displayed in loading slot (1280x960)
After disc is inserted, "Disc Is Inside" displayed in loading slot (1280x960)
Optical I/O connectors (marked in Korean) (1280x960)
Goldstar photos: 5jongsup (1280x960)
Sony MZ-1
Goldstar MD-R1
portable recorder
Intro: 11/1992 (US: 12/1992)
msrp: $750(?), 748,000 KRW
In: optical, line, mic. Out: optical, line, hdphn, DC IN: 10.5V @ 1 Amp4 1/2" x 1 11/16" 5 1/2" 1.5lbs incl nicad (Korean MD-R1: 114x139x43mm)


  • The first Minidisc unit on the market.
  • ATRAC 1.
  • 10-second shock-resistant memory, 10 key direct track access.
  • Shuffle, repeat, program play modes, auto-resume, backlit LCD display for disc name, track name, time.
  • Bass boost.
  • Track divide, combine, swap, erase.
  • Disc and track (21 chars max) titling functions.
  • Date and time memo.
  • 1 hour continuous record on BP-MZ1 NiCad battery pack.

Variants: Korean MD-R1 unit had Korean language case markings and labels and sold for 748,000 KRW

External power comments: The DC power input on the MZ-1 is 10.5V. A user has reported that a 12 volt DC supply will damage this unit.

Components: (ATRAC IC: CXD-2527R (x2), Shock proof controller: CXD-2525Q, EFM ACIRC: CXD-2525R, ADIP demodulator: CXA-1380N, Servo signal processor: CXA-1602R, RF amp: CXA-1381R)

Historical: An MZ-1 advertisement from a 1993 Popular Science.



User Manuals: MZ-1, PDF

Service Manuals: MZ-1, alt, corr 1, corr 2, sup 1, sup 2

Sony MD-MockupMD Portable Mockup
Intro: 6/1991 (est.)


Features: Vaporware. MD Portable Mockup used for publicity photos. Never appeared as a product. (Note the early, ``upside-down'' orientation of the MDs, with the shutter on the left).


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