Sony PCM-D50 Handheld RecorderThe PCM-D50 handheld recorder by Sony is a nice, compact recorder that features many of the same features as the PCM-D1, only it doesn’t include the high price.  The P50 is also smaller and more portable than the larger D1.  This is because Sony has removed the D1’s peak meters, titanium case, and rechargeable battery pack and replaced them with aluminum, four standard batteries, and an AC power supply.  While these features may be missed, the fact that the D50 is much more affordable, lighter, and smaller are definite pluses for many.

Taking the D50 out of the box reveals a small control unit and two swiveling electret cardioid condenser mics.  This gives you the same type of point and record features that the D1 has.  The unit also features a headphone out jack, external mic input, and analog and digital I/O options.  The device has 4GB of internal flash memory for recording, but it also has a Pro HG Duo slot so you can add more memory as needed.  It records files in either 16 or 24-bit depths and at rates of anywhere from 22.05 kHz to 96 kHz.  The files are in WAV format.  A USB 2 connection lets you connect and transfer files to a PC or MAC, but you can always record to the memory stick and transfer files that way if you prefer.  The recorder comes with Sound Forge Audio Studio LE sound editor software.

The D50 features an internal file system that has ten different folders.  Each one can hold 99 recorded files in it, so you can have a total of 990 files on the internal memory.  The menu system on the control unit lets you view the current folder, search and delete files, and play back files.  The backlit LCD screen is viewable in most areas, although it may be a bit hard to see under bright lights or outdoors.

The D50 records very clean digital audio, and it’s very easy to use.  It retails for $599

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