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Sony PCM-D1 Professional Portable 24-bit Linear Audio Recorder

3.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

Currently unavailable.
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  • 24-bit - 96kHz field recorder with light weight and pro quality
  • Built-in condenser microphones in X-Y configuration with low self-noise, high sensitivity and nearly 30kHz frequency response
  • WAV recording file format capability
  • Analog level meters with LED peak overload indicators
Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.

Product Description

Product Description

The PCMD1 portable audio recorder is ideal for capturing live musical and theatrical performances, or for journalists recording in the field. Features include 96 kHz-24 bit recording capability, 4GB internal Flash Memory, removable Memory Stick Pro High-Speed storage (optional) and a built-in USB port compatible with Macintosh and WindowsPC operating systems. The PCMD1 is lightweight, free of all drive mechanisms, equipped with highly sensitive electret condenser microphones, and designed with circuits that process stereo sound with virtually no extraneous noise. The body of this portable recorder is made of pressed titanium that's ten times harder than alumite-treated aluminum..

From the Manufacturer

The PCM-D1 Portable Linear PCM Recorder takes mobile recording beyond the boundaries of typical field recording, making it the ideal choice for capturing live musical or theatrical performances, for recording sound effects, or for journalists in the field. With built-in, highly sensitive, electret condenser microphones; a circuit design that processes stereo sound with virtually no extraneous noise; and 96 kHz 24-bit recording quality, this recorder is capable of capturing even the most subtle performance nuances. Convenience features such as a 4 GB internal Flash Memory, a slot for Memory Stick PRO™ (High Speed) storage media, a USB port, four AA size nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries, and a battery charger make this unit super-equipped for field recording. Free of drive mechanisms, this lightweight, portable, and rugged recorder is audio refined – and cool redefined.


  • 96 kHz-24 bit, virtually noise-free, recording quality
  • Built-in, X-Y configuration electret condenser microphones for superb stereo sound
  • 4GB internal Flash Memory, free of drive mechanisms
  • Slot for removable Memory Stick PRO (High Speed) storage
  • Built-in USB 2.0 port, compatible with Macintosh® and Windows®/PC operating systems
  • Four rechargeable nickel metal hydride AA batteries (battery charger included)
  • Rugged titanium body with portable, lightweight design

Built-in Electret Condenser Microphones
The PCM-D1's electret condenser microphones have extraordinarily high sensitivity and low noise characteristics. All microphone casing parts fit together nearly seamlessly and are adjusted with 100-micron level precision. With a frequency response of nearly 30 kHz, the microphones are positioned using an X-Y pattern and then angled toward each other with the left and right diaphragms close together, covering a wide sound range with reduced phase shifts. The result is rich audio with a natural sounding stereo image, good depth, and perspective.

Superb Audio Signal Path
The microphone amplifier provided for each channel is the Analog Devices, Inc. AD797, which boasts ultra-low noise and distortion. A variable gain circuit is adopted for amplitude control, which enhances the actual signal-to-noise ratio. The line amplifier provided for each channel is the Analog Devices AD8672. Analog and digital circuits are mounted on separate circuit boards and also separately powered to help prevent interference between circuit blocks. The analog circuit achieves superb linearity so that the recorded sound is output faithfully.

Outstanding Construction Quality
The circuitry of the PCM-D1 recorder is protected by a body made of 1 mm thick, pure titanium and covered with nitrate titanium, scratchresistant coating – resulting in a finished titanium surface approximately ten times as hard as that of alumite treated aluminum. In addition, a distinctive arch-shaped polished stainless steel frame is provided to protect the microphones from impact damage. This rugged exterior protects the PCM-D1's circuits and microphones and enhances the high sonic quality of the recorder.

Simple Uploading to Computer
The PCM-D1 recorder conforms to the USB 2.0 Mass Storage Device standard. Because the recorder's native recording file format is .WAV, recordings can be rapidly uploaded to a computer and used in conjunction with most common audio production software.

High Quality Signal Processing
The PCM-D1 recorder offers comprehensive signal processing features for location recording including a unique limiter function, a 200 Hz high pass filter and SBM (Super Bit Mapping) noise shaping. The digital limiter uses an independent audio buffer that contains audio 20dB lower then the audio processed in the normal recording signal path. With the PCM-D1 limiter enabled, when a loud sound suddenly occurs during recording, the over level part of the sound is automatically set within the range of the maximum input level (from the alternative -20dB buffer) in order to help prevent distortion. While this limiter function won't compensate for clipping of audio that is suddenly in excess of 20 dB, the sonic purity of the recording is fully maintained without the need to apply conventional limiter signal processing techniques. With the High Pass Filter enabled, audio below 200 Hz is filtered out and not recorded. This function can be used to reduce noise caused by external sources such as wind, the flow of air-conditioning equipment, etc. With the SBM function enabled (optionally used for 16-bit recording modes), Super Bit Mapping significantly increases the dynamic range acoustically by reducing noise that is particularly easy to hear within the human audible band. To improve the audio quality when converting 20-bit data into 16-bit, the top bits of information within the lower data (usually discarded when recording in 16-bit mode) are integrated into the 16-bit data track by shifting audible noise up into an inaudible higher frequency range.

Full Specifications


Specification Detail
  • Built in Microphones
Electret condenser microphones mounted in X-Y configuration. High sensitivity (-32.0 dB /Pa 1 kHz); Maximum input level 130 dB SPL; Self noise level 20 dBSPL(A)
  • Recording Media
Built-in flash memory 4 GB, Memory Stick Pro High Speed (Not Supplied), Stereo Recording
  • Sampling Rates
22.05 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz and 96 kHz
  • Quantization
16-bit linear, 24-bit linear
  • Maximum Record Time using Internal 4GB Flash Memory
22 kHz 16-bit Recording Mode: 13 hours and 10 minutes; 44.1 kHz 16-bit Recording Mode: 6 hours and 35 minutes; 44.1 kHz 24-bit Recording Mode: 4 hours and 15 minutes; 48 kHz 16-bit Recording Mode: 5 hours and 50 minutes; 48 kHz 24-bit Recording Mode: 3 hours and 50 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 44 kHz
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (Line Input to Line Output)
96 dB or greater (1 kHz IHF-A) when set to 24-bit
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (Line Input to Line Output)
0.008% or below (1 kHz, 22 kHz LPF)
  • Wow and Flutter
Below measurable limit (less than +/-0.001% W.Peak)
  • Mic Input (Stereo Mini Jack)
Input impedance: 22 k ohm, Rated input level: 2.5 mV; Minimum input level: 0.7 mV
  • Headphone Output (Stereo Mini Jack)
Rated output level: 400 mV; Maximum output level: 30 mW + 30 mW or more; Load impedance: 16 ohms
  • Line Input (Stereo Mini Jack)
Input impedance: 47 K ohms; Rated input level: 2.0V; Minimum input level: 570 mV
  • Line Out/Optical Digital Output (Combination Stereo Mini and Optical Output Jack)
For Line Output Use = Output impedance: 220 ohms; Rated output level: 1.8V; Load impedance: 22 k ohm. For Optical Digital Output Use = Output level: -21dBm to -15 dBm; Emission wavelength: 630 nm to 690 nm
  • DC Input Jack
  • USB Connection
Hi-speed USB, Mass Storage Class; System requirements: Macintosh® OS Version 10.2.8 or later; Windows®/PC OS Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and 2004, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, Wndows 2000 Professional (SP3 or later)
  • Memory Stick Slot
Memory Stick Pro (High Speed); NOTE: Standard Memory Stick not supported
  • Power Requirements
DC IN 6V (AC 120V, 60Hz); Four AA size nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries NH-AA (supplied); or Four AA size alkaline batteries (not supplied)
  • Power Consumption
  • Dimensions
2 7/8" x 6 3/4" x 1 5/16" (w x h x d) not including projecting parts and controls
  • Mass
18.52 oz (including batteries)

Product Information

Item Weight 1.2 pounds
Product Dimensions 13.7 x 9.2 x 5.5 inches
Shipping Weight 4.4 pounds
Domestic Shipping Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Item model number PCM-D1
Customer Reviews
3.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #224,850 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments)
#328 in Musical Instruments > Recording Equipment > Portable Recorders
Date first available at October 2, 2001

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Maxwell Hodges on March 18, 2007
I bought my PCM-D1 nearly a year ago, and I've been quite satisfied with it. I've used it to record acoustic music and field recordings in Japan and Brazil. The microphones are extremely sensitive and the circuitry extremely low-noise for crystal clear recordings. The sonic quality of the recordings is stellar. The lack of phantom power for an external mic is a bit of a bummer, but other gear on the market allows you to work around this limitation, and I believe Sony is going to introduce a solution this year.

The unit itself is very attractively designed, practical to use, and comes with rechargeable batteries, a battery charger, AC power adapter, windscreen, case and mini-tripod.

I've read a lot of criticism of this unit on the web, but it's usually for very special circumstances. One guy said it was "worthless" because it takes too long to change the batteries (you can do it under a minute). But I've been using this unit for a year and I haven't run into a situation where I needed to record while walking around for 4 hours and didn't have 30 seconds during that time to swap batteries. If you're stationary, just use the supplied power adapter. Maybe he has a special circumstance, but i think it's a little unfair to call the unit worthless because of some special need that the majority of users are not going to encounter.

Overall if you need a compact, lightweight portable recorder with uncompromising high fidelity, give the PCM-D1 some consideration.
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I've been recording nature sounds with this recorder for the last year. By mounting it on a tripod, either stand-alone or on a gorilla-pod clinging to a tree branch, I've been able to leave the recorder out doing it's thing for up to 4 hours on one battery pack and memory card. This recorder has captured some beautiful dawn chorus' while I was away recording elsewhere. I've added a home-made fuzzy wind screen to the fuzzy I purchased from Sony and the two control wind noise well. This whole system with recorder and extra batteries and memory cards fits into a small fanny pack. My principle recording system consists of a Sound Devices 722 with Sennheiser MKH 30/40 mics which do give a better recording. However, this makes a great back-up and secondary system when I'm out on site and want to record in two locations at once. It is compact enough to take along when my full system would be awkward. Very easy to use. Easy to download files to my computer with the USB port. One feature Sony should add is the ability to limit file sizes to a use-chosen size less than 2 hours.
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By Nick Kemp on December 16, 2011
Simply the best audio recorder, brilliant sound quality and built like a tank. The PCM D50 is also great but the mics on the D1 really put it into the pro recording market. I have used it for vocal and music and continue to be amazed at how good it sounds
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