Sony mobile recorder hardware PCM-D50

Surprise! It’s a high-end Sony mobile recorder you could actually afford. The pretty new PCM-D50 lists at US$600, not four figures. If it sounds as good as its sibling, we could see some other mobile recorders on eBay. The search for the perfect field recorder continues:

Brad Linder is a blogger, freelance journalist, and producer for National Public Radio. If anyone loves mobile recorders, he sure does. He writes in with a great overview of what was happening in mobile recorders at the AES show here in New York, with plenty of detailed information on his blog.

Here’s my little writeup of the new portable flash recorder from Sony: announces PCM-D50 handheld flash recorder

Overall, it blew me away. The successor to its $2000 PCM-D1 flash audio recorder is 1/3rd the price, and packs almost all the same features. For $600, it’s a bit pricier than the Zoom H2 or H4 recorders, but it’s aimed at professionals with high quality audio standards.

Here’s the Sony product page:


Also, Digidesign/M-Audio is launching an updated version of their Microtrack flash recorder in November. They didn’t have a working model at AES, but the new unit will sell for $299 ($100 less than the original), features a brightness control, 48V phantom power (compared with 30V on the original), and improved battery life. On the down side, the battery is still non-removable.

M-Audio Microtrack II available for $299 in November

And Marantz (who is not exhibiting at AES) is competing with Zoom, Edirol, and M-Audio with the new PMD620 recorder:

More Marantz PMD620 details emerge

The long and short of it is, it’s an exciting time to be shopping for field recorders.

Be sure to click through for some sound samples, details, and observations. I feel a little sheepish about my Zoom H4, which has some definite issues, but this is good news for anyone buying. Maybe I need a second recorder, huh? If you’re in the H4 boat, here are our past tips from Brad:
Zoom H4 Mobile Recorder, In Action on NPR
Fix for Zoom H4 Mobile Recording: Use a Mobile Battery Pack