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Sony Unveils PCM-D100 High Resolution Audio Portable Recorder

by Tom 10/18/2013

Sony’s new PCM-D100 audio recorder is designed to deliver the highest sound quality in professional audio applications including live music events, theatrical performances, and electronic news gathering.  The recorder supports the latest high-resolution codecs and formats, including 192kHz/24bit PCM and DSD.

The PCM-D100 recorder is part of Sony’s newly announced High-Resolution Audio initiative, a complete series of products designed to help music lovers conveniently access and enjoy the digital music they love in the best playback quality.

“This new model is Sony’s highest-quality portable digital recorder, designed to faithfully reproduce sound sources such as instrument performances and sounds of nature, as closely to the original as possible,” said Karl Kussmaul, senior product manager, professional audio, Sony Electronics.

The PCM-D100 recorder’s compatibility with the DSD format enables the recording of source sounds using digital signals, but in a format that closely resembles analog waveforms. Compatible with recording and playback in 192 kHz/24-bit linear PCM, the unit can reproduce ultra-high range, delicate music components with excellent audio quality from low to high range. Its broad playback frequency band easily exceeds the audible band of 20 Hz to 25 kHz.

A highly sensitive directional microphone uses a new 15 mm unidirectional mic unit. The mic’s sound collection range adjusts to suit various sounds, from performances with a small number of people to concert halls with a large group of performers. The highly sensitive, broadband recording functionality expresses frequency properties up to 40 kHz, to maximize the advantages of DSD recording.

Users can select the 90-degree ‘X-Y stereo position’ when the sound is in close proximity to the mic, or the 120-degree ‘wide stereo position’ in more spacious venues or for performances by larger groups.

 The PCM-D100 recorder uses separate A to D converters for PCM and DSD recording. Compared to conventional 24-bit DA converters, the new Sony recorder uses a higher-class 32-bit converter to achieve accurate sound playback.

 The headphone amp incorporates a high-capacity, ultra-low impedance 0.33F (330000μF) electric double-layer capacitor (EDLC), equivalent to 750 times the capacitance of conventional technologies. This stable power supply dramatically enhances the headphone power source, enabling more faithful reproduction of high-quality audio.

 Internal noise when performing conversions from analog to digital is reduced by applying a unique digital limiter mechanism that uses two AD converters for a single channel. This functionality achieves low noise with a signal-to-noise ratio of up to 100 dB. A conventional digital limiter constantly secures normal audio, as well as low 12 dB signals. Even if input exceeds the maximum input levels, the recorder prevents sound distortion by automatically adjusting to the optimal level.

 The individual left and right adjustable REC volume enables fine adjustments to the left and right channels. Users can quickly check recording levels on the recorder’s illuminated level meter, even in darkened venues. Compact built-in speakers also allow users to immediately play back and check the recorded audio, even without headphones.

 Long recording times are possible with the PCM-D100 recorder: approximately 6 hours, 35 minutes when recording in Linear PCM (192 kHz/24-bit), or about 10 hours, 50 minutes in DSD (2.8 MHz/1-bit).

The recorder includes a high-speed USB port for uploading and downloading files to and from Windows® PC or Macintosh® computers. Recording formats include linear PCM (at 192, 176.4, 96, 88.2, 48 and 44.1kHz); DSD (2.8224 MHz) and MP3 (320 and128 kbps). Additional playback support is provided for FLAC, WMA and AAC files.

The PCM-D100 recorder has 32 GB of built-in flash memory and a combination SD Card/Memory Stick slot for expandable storage. The recorder’s lightweight metal aluminum body is built to withstand the demands of professional applications and offers long battery life via four AA batteries.

 Other unique PCM-D100 features include a five-second pre-record buffer, digital pitch control, cross-memory recording, dual digital limiter, a low-pass filter, Super Bit Mapping®, built-in editing functions and a built-in speaker.

 The PCM-D100 recorder, which replaces Sony’ previous PCM-D50 model, is supplied with Sony’s Sound Forge Audio software, a wireless IR remote commander, a microphone furry windscreen, carrying case, four AA batteries, AC adapter and a USB cable.

 The PCM-D100 recorder is planned to be available in early 2014 for a suggested list price of $999. For more information, visit

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Add Comment

  1. Israel wrote: October 18, 2013 7:54am

    Seem to be an amazing gadget, I have a PCM-D50 and I love it but… $999 really? There’s many other PCM recorder out there with similar specs for 3/4 of that money.

  2. Chris wrote: October 26, 2013 12:34pm

    I want this!!!! $800 is the street price, I had a Sony PCM-D50 I’ve owned these kind of flast recorders for years – Edirol, Zoom etc nothing had compared to the D50 (which I lost) and I also have a PCM-M10 which I think is pretty perfect super quiet preamps and I love it’s Omni mics which sound better for recording jams etc, but I look forward to buying this when it hits the shelves, I don’t miss XLR after owning a Tascam and a Zoom with XLR inputs I realised they weren’t good so I have a separate mixer to handle the XLR (mixpre-d) Sony rock and they’re back man!

  3. Carl wrote: October 28, 2013 8:13pm

    This seems like a logical successor to the excellent and early PCM-D1 and PCM-D50 models and something of blend of the two, at a price between the two. And without the luxury and high expense of a titanium case and such things that which nice increase the cost a lot, but add much less practical value. That said it is AMAZING that Sony has chosen to omit two important features! They are OF COURSE XLR inputs and a nice lithium battery option. With a battery option of either 4 AA or one big lithium ion and some ability to use professional microphones requiring phantom power, Sony could off an affordable alternative to say an Sound Devices 702. Who likes to have to travel with a zillion AA batteries? I HATE it!

    Please SONY follow Olympus’ lead with the LS-100 in concept and add to it, the your much higher construction, preamps and overall higher end offering. I am very dissappointed, as I like my PCM-D50, but would like a to have a BIG LiOn battery and built in XLR inputs and Phantom power. PLEASE!!!!

  4. Mohaned Sayegh wrote: November 5, 2013 6:00pm

    Okay, Does the Sony PCM-D100 have better preamps and analog to digital converters than the D-50? Does the D-100 have a better analog signal path than the D-50? How are things like SNR and total harmonic distortion when compared to the D-50?

  5. erik wrote: February 12, 2014 8:45pm

    I hope the ops in this one beat or match the pcm d1 and better match the 702! It would be nice if it had the expanded ability to offer the xlr breakout. Too early. maybe someone can comment on that option if it exists or is planned…


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