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Sony PCM-D50 Portable Linear PCM Digital Recorder

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The PCM-D50 is a 96 kHz/24-bit recorder fitted with two-position (X-Y or Wide) stereo microphones, 4 GB of internal flash memory, and a Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo slot for additional storage. The body of... Click To Read More About This Product

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The PCM-D50 is a 96 kHz/24-bit recorder fitted with two-position (X-Y or Wide) stereo microphones, 4 GB of internal flash memory, and a Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo slot for additional storage. The body of the D50 is constructed of lightweight aluminum and it is built rugged to withstand the demands of pro applications, plus it offers long battery life using conventional AA alkaline batteries. The recorder includes a USB high-speed port for simple uploading/downloading its native .WAV format files to and from Windows PC or Macintosh computers. Other unique PCM-D50 features include digital pitch control, dual digital limiter (inherited from the PCM-D1), low-cut filter, Super Bit Mapping, A-B repeat, and MP3 playback capability. To complement the D50 recorder, new optional accessories include a remote commander, tripod stand, and microphone windscreen.

Built-in Electret Condenser Microphones
The PCM-D50's electret condenser microphones have exceptionally high sound quality and offer a selection of 2 operating positions, X-Y and Wide Stereo. X-Y covers a wide sound range with good depth, perspective and a natural sounding stereo image; or alternatively, a wide stereo position offering a wider spread stereo image.

Superior Audio Signal Path
The PCM-D50 is designed with four separate circuit boards to separate analog audio, digital audio, digital recording, and power supply circuits. Separate circuit boards for each function helps minimize noise.

Simple Uploading to Computer
The PCM-D50 conforms to the USB 2.0 Mass Storage Class Device standard and this recorder's native recording file format is .WAV. This means recordings can be rapidly uploaded to a computer and used in conjunction with most common audio production software.

Versatile Recording Functions
The PCM-D50 offers comprehensive signal processing features for location recording including a unique dual digital limiter function (inherited from the PCM-D1 recorder), a high pass filter with selectable frequencies (150 Hz or 75 Hz) and SBM (Super Bit Mapping) noise shaping. In addition, the PCM-D50 includes a 5 second pre-record buffer with an A-B repeat playback function.


Portable and rugged 96kHz and 24-bit recorder
LCD digital peak bargraph metering--along with dedicated nominal and peak level LEDs
Offers solid-state storage, free of drive mechanisms
Built-in high-quality electret condenser stereo microphones
Dual A/D digital limiter and low cut filter
MP3 playback and digital pitch control
Includes Sound Forge audio studio LE software CDROM
Built-in Microphones
Electret Condenser microphones. High sensitivity -35.0dB/Pa 1kHz (typical); Maximum input level 120dB SPL; Self-noise level 20.0dB SPL (A)

Recording Media
Built-in flash memory 4GB, Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo (Not Supplied), Stereo Recording. The PCM-D50 is compatible with Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo MS-EX4G (4GB), MS-EX2G (2GB), and MS-EX1G (1GB); and Memory Stick Pro Duo (High Speed) MSX-M2GNU (2GB) and MSXM1GNU (1GB)

Sample Rates
22.05kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz and 96kHz

16-bit linear, 24-bit linear

Recording File Format
Linear PCM Stereo .WAV

MP3 Playback
Compatible bit rates and sampling frequencies:
MPEG Version 1 Layer 3: 32, 44.1, 48kHz with 32 to 320 kbps (VBR)
MPEG Version 2 Layer 3: 16, 22.05, 24 kHz with 32 to 160 kbps (VBR)

Maximum Record Time using Internal 4 GB Flash Memory
22 kHz 16-bit Recording Mode: 12 hours and 55 minutes
44.1 kHz 16-bit Recording Mode: 6 hours and 25 minutes
44.1 kHz 24-bit Recording Mode: 4 hours and 15 minutes
48 kHz 16-bit Recording Mode: 5 hours and 55 minutes
48 kHz 24-bit Recording Mode: 3 hours and 55 minutes
96 kHz 16-bit Recording Mode: 2 hours and 55 minutes
96 kHz 24-bit Recording Mode: 1 hour and 55 minutes

Frequency Response (Line Input to Line Output)
For Fs = 22.05 kHz: Frequency Response = 20 Hz to 10 kHz
For Fs = 44.1 kHz: Frequency Response = 20 Hz to 20 kHz
For Fs = 48 kHz: Frequency Response = 20 Hz to 22 kHz
For Fs = 96 kHz: Frequency Response = 20 to 40 kHz

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (Line Input to Line Output)
93 dB or greater (1 kHz IHF-A) when set to 24-bit

Total Harmonic Distortion (Line Input to Line Output)
0.01% or below (1 kHz, 22 kHz LPF)

Wow and Flutter
Below measureable limit (less than +/-0.001% W. Peak)

Microphone Input (stereo mini jack)
Input impedance: 22k, rated input level: 2.5mV, minimum input level: 0.7mV. Supports external mic plug-in power

Headphone output (stereo mini jack)
Rated output level: 400 mV, maximum output level: 25 mW +25 mW or more, load impedance: 16 ohms

Line Input (OPT)
Analog input - Input impedance: 40k ohms, rated input level: 2.0V
Minimum input level: 450 mV
Optical Digital Input - Input level: -24.5 dBm to -14.5 dBm, Absorption wavelength: 630 nm to 690 nm

Line Output (OPT)
Analog output - Output impedance: 220 ohms, rated output level: 1.7V, load impedance: 22k ohms
Digital optical output - Output level -21 dBm to -15 dBm, Emission wavelength: 630 nm to 690 nm

Hi-speed USB, mass storage class

Power Requirements
DC IN 6V, Four AA (LR6) alkaline batteries (supplied), Four nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries NH-AA (not supplied)

Power Consumption

2-7/8" x 6-1/8" x 1-5/16" (w x h x d) not including projecting parts and controls

Includes: Sound Forge audio studio LE software CDROM, AC power adapter (6V) model AC-ES608K, USB cable, 4 x Alkaline batteries (AA size), Operating Instructions

12.88 oz (including batteries)
Pro Coverage
Manufacturer's Warranty

Warranty terms vary according to product. For warranty information on specific Sony products, please go to

90 days parts and labor on refurbished items.

  • Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
SonyPCM-D50 Portable Linear PCM Digital Recorder

(based on 4 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 4 customers

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(20 of 25 customers found this review helpful)


No Windows 7

By harperblueplain

from Colorado

Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Portable Linear PCM Digital Recorder:

Incredible as it seems Window 7 is not supported by this recorder. Since the recorder is discontinued they probably won't put up any 7 drivers. This is getting to be a theme with Sony--put something out then abandon it with zero support. They are just throwing orphans out there. How the mighty have fallen. The great Sony has really spiraled into the abyss.

(13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)


never disappoints

By Joe Rodriguez

from Oakland, CA

Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Portable Linear PCM Digital Recorder:

With surprisingly awesome low end, and crystal clear highs, this recorder will not disappoint. I use it for foley, and for recording live sound. Great with the dead cat attachment, you can record band practice and shows clearly. The 5 second pre record has saved me many times. If you can afford it, and really need a field recorder, this is it. I wish sony made a rechargeable battery pack for it, AA's get expensive.


Ease of use and quality are rare combinations


from Athens, AL

Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Portable Linear PCM Digital Recorder:

I recorded our church band during Easter and was very impressed with the high quality and balance in the recording. I had to place the mic in the center of the congregation on a tripod about 20 feet from the stage. Even with the close proximity, the recording was defined and had very nice balance. Our band consists of a Pearl electronic drum set, two electric guitars each through fender amps, keyboard and bass through on stage bass amp. One lead vocalist and three backing vocals. All instruments and vocals feed to a main board and PA. Acoustic environment is not the best as it is a former gym. Not ideal for recording, but it did a very nice job. I made a quick read of the first couple of pages of the owner's manual to cover what all the buttons do. Then read the quickstart and made a flawless recording. This is an expensive unit, but the recordings were worth the investment. Unit is larger than I thought it would be, but still is very compact. Descriptions that the unit is built like a tank are accurate. If it is within your budget, you will not be dissapointed with the unit.


Solid Build

By Peter Hyatt

from Maine

Comments about Sony PCM-D50 Portable Linear PCM Digital Recorder:

Recorders have been improving for years now, and have since sought, within competition, to add lots of bells and whistles. Not so, for the Sony PCM D50. The D50 has its money invested in the quality of the recording. It is stunning. The quiet, marvelous reproduction amazes me. It is highly sensitive, so you will need accessories such as a wind screen and a tripod. The mini flexible tripod works well and can be held while holding the unit. It records in WAV and sending a WAV format recording to your computer is simple and fast. I tested this unit against the Zoom H4n (which I love) and found it to be superior quality. Perhaps my favorite thing about this recorder is the weight. It is heavy, and feels solidly made. I find the sound to be so stunning that I actually bring it, in a case, with me, just to listen to with headphones, like an ipod. It is not tiny so I put it on my desk while working. With high quality headphones, I have never heard better recordings. I have Dylan's "Tempest" on it, in WAV format (it can play MP3s) and it is amazing. You can do direct in line recording, or set up external microphones. I have not due to the high quality mics and preamps within the unit. I have found nothing better. Even when multi track recording, I record the basic track on this and then send it over to the computer or Tascam. It is that good.

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