Sony makes some damn fine portable audio recorders. Its PCM-D50, released in March of 2008, has a cult-like following among audio professionals and still stands as one of CNET's highest-rated field recorders. But Sony's pro-audio portable recorders have historically been attached to nearly unjustifiable price tags, especially in the face of affordable options like the Zoom H4n.
In an effort to compete against these increasingly sophisticated budget-priced recorders, Sony pulled back the curtain on its $399 PCM-M10 during this year's Summer NAMM showcase. The PCM-M10 includes many of the features found on last year's D50, such as articulated X/Y pattern stereo microphones, a five-second recording buffer, and an extremely intuitive interface that honors the transport and gain functions with big, dedicated controls.
In many ways, however, the Sony PCM-M10 improves on its high-priced predecessors. Support for MicroSD memory cards and direct-to-MP3 recording (in addition to WAV format) are a first for the Sony PCM line.
Still, Sony's sound quality will really need to dazzle to win share from companies like Zoom and Edirol, which have carved out a nice little niche in the sub-$400 audio recorder market. Out of the box, the PCM-M10 only includes 4GB of internal memory, limited external microphone support, and a capacity that maxes out at 20GB.
Expect to hear more from us on the Sony PCM-M10 when the recorder ships in October.
(Via Sound On Sound)