REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
SonyPCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder
 
4.7

(based on 154 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (122)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (26)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to control (128)
  • Easy to set up (113)
  • Works every time (91)
  • Fast (86)
  • Good quality duplicates (64)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Audiophiles (87)
    • Smaller rooms / apartments (47)
    • Large rooms (39)
    • Basic systems (37)
    • High volume duplication (23)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Audiophile (89), Tech savvy (67), Practical (47), Professional (31), Pro audio / DJ / mixing (22)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (56), Yes (6)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    For the Roaming Sound Seekers

    The best reviews have already been written: [@]I'm a public radio producer and a podcaster of events and interviews. The D50's got me hooked because of its:- Full metal jacket...Read complete review

    The best reviews have already been written: [@]I'm a public radio producer and a podcaster of events and interviews. The D50's got me hooked because of its:- Full metal jacket that can really take a beating. All rivals come in plastic.- Level and volume controls in knobs. Thank you SONY for answering my prayers.- 12-hr batteries, leaving rivals' 5 hours in shame.- 5 seconds of buffer that helps keep your butt covered.- Back-lit, large LCD and really well placed LEDs for levels, peaks, record, pause and play.- Fantastic pair of swivel condensers. Pick up too much wind and noise, though. Thankfully the limiter and the low cut filter do a formidable job at keeping junk to a minimum. Put some stockings on them and they'll behave in style.- Features like super bit mapping, digital pitch control, low cut filter, and limiter are not just hand-me-downs from its [$]older brother, the D1. They are true work horses in real life situations.But no relationship is perfect. The D50's got me emotional because of its:- Lack of phantom power and XLR inputs, which ought to be in something this size.- Fidgety battery holder. Luckily I stopped biting nails recently.- Lack of mp3 recording, but the generous 4GB that are on board still delivers some quality 6.5 hours, and another 4GB is about $50.Bottom line is, while the D50 is a truly worthy FIELD RECORDER in every sense of the words, it is not without its quirks and flaws. But for all the sound seekers on the road out there, it is the old faithful that will go the distance with you and not be afraid to take a few bruises doing it.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Not working fine in quite environment.

    This PCM-D50 has some problem when record in quite environment and use memory card, and this recorder will record some noise ever 1 second. when you playback(use memory card), that noise is...Read complete review

    This PCM-D50 has some problem when record in quite environment and use memory card, and this recorder will record some noise ever 1 second. when you playback(use memory card), that noise is very easy identify. I already try 3 of them, 2 have the same problem. I do a lot of frequency test. That noise source is the data writing to the memory card. So when you use high bit rate the noise will appear every 1 sec, if you use low bit rate, the noise will appear around 4 second.
    Summary: Try to use memory card and in quite environment to test your PCM-D50. Holpful your PCM-D50 without this problem.
    The picture show that full frequrncy noise.
    another thins, it have a noise line around 33Khz, very high and stable noise from PCM-D50.

    Reviewed by 154 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-20

    Back to top

    Previous | Next »

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    An excellent product

    By Tibor

    from Hungary

    About Me Scientist

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Control
    • Easy To Set Up
    • Fast
    • Highest Build Quality
    • High Quality Sound
    • Long Battery Live
    • Versatile
    • Works Every Time

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Audiophiles
      • Playbackrecording

      Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

      I had the Microtrack, Zoom H4n, and have the BR-80 (for a different purpose) and the PCM D50 is the highest quality of all of them (and also the most expensive one). Outstanding are: the low noise mics, clean and high gain preamps (incl. headroom), digital i/o, strong headphone amp, long battery life, and it is a very versatile unit.The worst thing about it: it seems the Sony decided to stop production, which I don't understand. In this class there is nothing better. I hope Sony comes out with some similar unit.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Worth the money

      By jimondrums

      from San Francisco

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Control
      • Easy To Set Up

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

          I record my working band. I use a external mic AT 822. I use it a ton so I hope it holds up...got the case as well, good protection. The recorder dose a good job of recording the drums getting all the highs of the cymbals and lows of the bass drum. This recorder is worth the price.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          sony products is number 1

          By Aarron H.

          from St. Paul, MN

          About Me Movie Enthusiast, Pro Audio / DJ, Technically Challenged

          Pros

          • Easy To Control
          • Easy To Set Up
          • Fast
          • Good Quality Duplicates
          • Works Every Time

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Audiophiles
            • Basic Systems
            • High Volume Duplication
            • Larger Rooms
            • Smaller Rooms

            Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

            live record,music

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great little recorder

            By quartetcook

            from Boston, MA

            About Me Practical

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Control
            • Easy To Set Up
            • Fast
            • Good Quality Duplicates

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                I just got my PCM-D50 a week ago. I wanted it to record my string quartet, record myself on my viola, and to transfer professional performances of pieces we are playing to the recorder so I could slow them down and play along with them.
                The recording fidelity is very good; I'm happy with all of that.
                It was easy to figure out how to record onto the machine, how to transfer a recording to it, how to attach external speakers, and how to change the speed of the playback.
                The sound, when the professional recording is slowed down, isn't great. There is a lot of background noise. I suppose that is there at regular speed and I just don't hear it then. Maybe if I play with the recording level that will change.
                Since I haven't had it very long, I can't speak to its durability.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Love my D50!

                By Spacedout

                from Washington DC

                About Me Audiophile, Tech Savvy

                Pros

                • Easy To Control
                • Easy To Set Up
                • Great battery life

                Cons

                • None

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Musicians
                • Audiophiles

                Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                For amateur instrument/voice recording, FM radio, or LP digitization, the D50 is a powerhouse. To get better recordings, you've got to spend a whole lot more money. I've been recording a long time and am quite discerning. This recorder does an excellent job. Very easy to use, especially if you spend for the remote control. Outside use requires the expensive windscreen, but it works. I'd love to have a Sound Devices 702, but until my D50 dies, I can't justify it. But it just keeps going. With the new lower price, I'm tempted to buy another.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Classy

                By Earwig

                from Sydney, Australia

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Control
                • Easy To Set Up
                • Good Quality Duplicates

                Cons

                • Display Screen Size

                Best Uses

                • Audiophiles
                • Larger Rooms
                • Smaller Rooms

                Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                I am still a beginner with this classy bit of kit. It is a big leap forward from a voice recorder: the recorded sound quality is quite superb. But the huge advantage of this palm-size field recorder is its full complement of analogue dials and buttons; you don't have to be endlessly drilling into a screen menu. The long recording time (12 hours) on one set of batteries (or rechargeables) is another plus. Solidly constructed and well designed, I will be using it to make sound documentaries.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                4.0

                Quality product - sturdy construction

                By Lord Gus

                from Calgary Alberta Canada

                About Me Practical

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Control

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Audiophiles
                  • High Volume Duplication

                  Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                  Did a lot of research online covering various brands such as zoom, tascam, Roland etc
                  But everyone kept saying this unit is the better piece of machinery.
                  Other field recorders dilute their microphone/ preamplifier quality to offer more consumer bells and whistles for the home recording enthusiast.
                  This piece is simple - but what it does it does on a professional level.
                  Clean recordings - high sample rates, good battery life - rugged construction - intuitive menu system (ie idiot proof)
                  Gets the job done

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  My new best friend

                  By Grey

                  from Boulder, CO

                  About Me Audiophile, Movie Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Control
                  • Easy To Set Up
                  • Good Quality Duplicates
                  • Works Every Time

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Audiophiles
                    • Larger Rooms
                    • Smaller Rooms

                    Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                    It's fantastic. The best for me are the big fat controls and the wide frequency response but mostly the big and convenient rec level knob on the right side. That is valuable.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    2.0

                    It freezes!

                    By My Wedding in Hd

                    from Dublin, Ireland

                    About Me Audiophile, Tech Savvy

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Control
                    • Fast

                    Cons

                    • Lots of Duds

                    Best Uses

                    • Audiophiles
                    • Basic Systems

                    Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                    Used this recorder for about a year and 1/2. Loved the sound quality, although its very sensitive to touch or handling. Lately every time I switch it on it freezes and becomes unresponsive. The only way to get it to work is to remove the battery holder and insert it again and that's not very a very pro feature. If you need something that works great for a year then it's for you.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    1.0

                    Records fine when it works

                    By MusPro

                    from Atlanta, GA

                    About Me Pro Audio / DJ

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Control

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Smaller Rooms

                      Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                      This product started to freeze the screen (running on batteries) after 1 year of use. The buttons are not responding while being frozen. You cannot turn it off and a lot of times cannot even turn it on neither. I have to move the power button on and off many times to get it powered or remove the battery compartment and put it back to reset the unit. The product's firmware is not upgradable.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                       
                      1.0

                      It's good when it works

                      By muspro

                      from Atlanta, GA

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Control
                      • Easy To Set Up

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Larger Rooms
                        • Smaller Rooms

                        Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                        The unit was working fine for a year or so. It started to freeze on its own for no apparent reason from time to time and now, a few years later, it freezes up all the time powered from the batteries. A lot of times it does not even turn on. I am not sure whether it is a power button issue or a hardware/software problem. The firmware is NOT upgradable!? To reset I have to pull the battery compartment out each time it happens.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Great Device

                        By Clarinetplayer

                        from Houston, TX

                        About Me Professional musician

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Control
                        • Good Quality Duplicates
                        • Works Every Time

                        Cons

                        • Expensive

                        Best Uses

                        • Classical Music Recording

                        Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                        Fairly expensive but you get the high quality you paid for

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Stunning Clarity of Sound

                        By Peter

                        from Maine, USA

                        About Me Technically Challenged

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Control
                        • Easy To Set Up
                        • Fast
                        • Good Quality Duplicates
                        • Works Every Time

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Audiophiles
                          • Basic Systems
                          • High Volume Duplication
                          • Smaller Rooms

                          Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                          I went from old tape recorders to the wonderful sound of Zoom H2, which was a great shock in the advancement of recording home guitar players. Having worked with several Zoom recorders, and liking them, I wondered what the sound quality of the Sony PCM D50 would be like compared to the Zoom H4n. The H4n is a fine recorder, with lots of bells and whistles, including multi track recording and added effects. The Sony PCM D50 seems to be what Zoom would be if all the expense was put into the mics and pre amps, rather than the bells and whistles, and here it is. As good as the H4n is, and several of the Tascams, the sound quality of the Sony is clearer, cleaner, with less background noise. It is hyper sensitive, which, with stationary recording of guitar/harmonica/vocals, is just perfect. It seems that Sony put the expense into only recording. I love the "roll bar" protection of the mics, and that I can extend the mics from 90 degrees, XY, to the broad 10 degrees for large recording. I will use it for music rehearsal, recording as well as large room Blue Grass Jam recording. The CD quality is amazing, and the unit can be used almost completely without the manual. Connection to the computer is a no brainer with drop and place for Mac. Fantastic recorder. Get a good wind screen for outdoors. I love that it is built like a tank. It is no cheap plastic toy, but a professional recording instrument of high quality.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Great device

                          By same as last time

                          from Australia

                          About Me Audiophile

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy To Control
                          • Easy To Set Up
                          • Nearly every thing
                          • Works Every Time

                          Cons

                          • A little big

                          Best Uses

                          • Audiophiles
                          • Run gun critical DSLR

                          Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                          I use this for DSLR recording, mounted to the top of the hot shoe with the Rycote Portable Recorder Audio Kit.Line in to line out loop tests, measured:Frequency responseFrom 20 Hz to 20 kHz, dB -0.86, +0.12From 40 Hz to 15 kHz, dB -0.06, +0.12noise level Left RightRMS power, dB -87.1 -87.0RMS power (A-weighted), dB -88.3 -88.2Peak level, dB FS -73.7 -73.7Dynamic range Left RightDynamic range, dB +87.2 +87.1Dynamic range (A-weighted), dB +88.3 +88.3THD + Noise (at -3 dB FS) Left RightTHD, % +0.0039 +0.0039THD + Noise, % +0.0096 +0.0098THD + Noise (A-weighted), % +0.0091 +0.0093Intermodulation distortion Left RightIMD + Noise, % +0.0113 +0.0116IMD + Noise (A-weighted), % +0.0096 +0.0099Stereo crosstalk Left RightCrosstalk at 100 Hz, dB -85 -88Crosstalk at 1000 Hz, dB -89 -86Crosstalk at 10000 Hz, dB -72 -72The D50 is a crazy good recorder, and prehaps the best portable mp3 + wav player on the market.I use the D50 every day on the bus - rediscover your music. I have redone my fav tracks to wav now, as mp3 does not do the D50 justice - the D50 is far too good for mp3.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Sony PCM D50

                          By recorder

                          from usa

                          About Me Audiophile, Practical, Tech Savvy

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy To Set Up

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Audiophiles
                            • Basic Systems

                            Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                            The small Sony PCM recorder (a little bigger than their cassette walkmans used to be if anyone remembers those!) is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something just to record acoustic guitar indoors- and for that it is excellent. The built in mics give a better quality of recorded sound then I expected, and so don't plan to even use my shure mic with it. It also has a headphone jack so you can play back your recording right from the unit- the headphone jack sounded excellent using sennheiser HD 280 pro headphones. The built in mics are very detailed sounding, but also very sensitive- touching, moving, coughing during recording may drive it into overload distortion- so take care to prevent that. I have heard they are also really prone to wind noise or crowd noise, so maybe not the best to record an outdoor concert, for that plug in some sennheisers or whatever, for which you would probably need an adaptor since it doesnt have XLR jacks. It has a great combination of features altogether, I'd rcommend to anyone but some of the most discerning recordists who might opt for something a little more upscale, for everyone else I can't see wanting much better than the Sony PCM 50.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            5.0

                            I picked the Sony for the sound.

                            By Capricorn

                            from Toronto, Ontario

                            About Me Practical

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Control
                            • Easy To Set Up
                            • Fast
                            • Good Quality Duplicates
                            • Works Every Time

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Larger Rooms
                              • Smaller Rooms

                              Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                              I write classical music, both chamber and orchestral, and I need archival tapes to help get future performances. I found the Sony PCM-D50 is so easy to use and gives me a recording that rivals many archival tapes done in the concert hall. It's also completely uncomplicated to use and so small I can fit it in my purse.
                              I haven't had it long enough to find the possible flaws. So far, so good.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                              (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              1.0

                              Not working fine in quite environment.

                              By LDJ

                              from Canada

                              About Me Technically Challenged

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                                    This PCM-D50 has some problem when record in quite environment and use memory card, and this recorder will record some noise ever 1 second. when you playback(use memory card), that noise is very easy identify. I already try 3 of them, 2 have the same problem. I do a lot of frequency test. That noise source is the data writing to the memory card. So when you use high bit rate the noise will appear every 1 sec, if you use low bit rate, the noise will appear around 4 second.
                                    Summary: Try to use memory card and in quite environment to test your PCM-D50. Holpful your PCM-D50 without this problem.
                                    The picture show that full frequrncy noise.
                                    another thins, it have a noise line around 33Khz, very high and stable noise from PCM-D50.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                     
                                    4.0

                                    Easy, clean sound and a great value

                                    By Dan the Podcasting Ad Man

                                    from Atlanta

                                    About Me Podcaster

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Easy To Control
                                    • Fast
                                    • Works Every Time

                                    Cons

                                    • Captures room noise

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Conversations
                                    • Smaller Rooms

                                    Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                                    I produce a podcast, and I wanted a way to record conversations when I travel. This fits the bill. It records in clean stereo, and the built-in memory can record almost seven hours of audio. It gives me the flexibility I have never had by recording to a laptop.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Simple, easy, high quality

                                    By Brian

                                    from Drums, PA

                                    About Me Practical

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Easy To Control
                                    • Easy To Set Up
                                    • Fast
                                    • High Quality Sound
                                    • Works Every Time

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Field Recording

                                      Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                                      Great product. Got it out of the box, made my first recording in less than 2 minutes. Easy to use and intuitive, and very high quality. Great recordings. I use it for field recordings for ambient music, and in some cases it's almost TOO good. Picks up highway and traffic from quite a distance that I have to EQ out. Product is exactly what I hoped for.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

                                      Share this review

                                      (5 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      4.0

                                      I finally bought it

                                      By Joanne

                                      from Boston, MA

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Professional Portable Stereo Digital Audio Recorder:

                                      So after much debate, I finally took the pludge to replace my old minidisc walkman (which replaced my beloeved Sony Pro-Walkman).

                                      Right now I am using the PCM-D50 to record my talented daughter play somewhat complex solo classical piano in our 12x12 living room. I plan to branch out and use it for work -- which involves oral interviews and music recordings in the field - -but haven't done so yet.

                                      First what I love:
                                      It's incredibly easy to use (and I am a technophobe). The instructions are short and ez to read. It feels really really sturdy. And, I like the size. (I know some people complain that it's a bit big, but I kinda like how it feels in my hand -- definitely not flimsy!!). The interface is really simple, too. And for me, that's important. (Though I still live in fear that there might be a way to accidentally record over my recordings.)

                                      I have to admit, what I like less is the actual sound. I know this is odd, because people much more knowledgable than I have all said they love the sound. But to me, it's not a very warm sound. It's rather cold, and singular. It's not terribly rich. I'm not sure how else to explain it. It's cool, and clear and lacking, well, warmth or resonnance. Our living room has a carpet, upholstered furniture, and normal ceilings, so it's not like the sound is bouncing off our bare floors or walls... It just seems to be missing a warm ring to the feel.

                                      Actually, as a result, I've started asking my daughter to play slightly differently so I can capture the feel of her playing rather then just the notes.

                                      Would I buy this recorder again, yes, totally. Am I bowled over by the sound? Not so much.

                                      I've only had it a week though, we'll see what happens.

                                      -Jo

                                      Share this review

                                      Displaying reviews 1-20

                                      Back to top

                                      Previous | Next »