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A Review On: Sony PCM-D100 Portable High Resolution Audio Recorder

Sony PCM-D100 Portable High Resolution Audio Recorder

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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Battery Life
User Interface
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Pros: Sound quality, Built quality, Battery life

Cons: bulky

The playback portion of D100 has been optimized comparing to its predecessor D50. It can also playback flac and aac regardless of its inability to record in those format. It also feature multi language interface. Build quality is good, full metal construction. It also run on 4 AA batteries, and has good battery life, with back lit off, it can play for 24 hours straight.


runs on AA batteries

dropping it isn't much of a problem

gapless playback for PCM and DSD

lag free interface, no file search time, no boot time

can drive most portable headphone well



Heavy: 430g (0.95~ pound)

Channel imbalance at low volume, sensitive balance armatures is unlistenable (lowering the gain on music files or adding resistor cable can solve the problem)

attention magnet: better not have this out of the pocket when outside



Overall, the D100 is slightly warm, very detailed. Instruments are better presented than vocal, sound is spacious and transparent, the soundstage is not too impressive however. The low on the D100 is a bit more than neutral, fast, punchy and extends deep. it makes instruments sounds very dynamic. The mid is detailed and full, the vocal will standout quite a bit, and this really shows when using V sounding headphones. The high seem overly extended when playing PCM files, it makes female vocals sounds great, lots of overtone, but can be tiring, and sibilance may be a problem for some people. in terms of highs DSD file sounds more relaxed.


Headphone choices: I really enjoyed paring the D100 with sr325 and er4s, I believe these two phones are great for vocals. the D100 is very forgiving for headphones choices,


I also like using recorders for DAPs. My Tascam DR-07mkII is a great digital audio player. It is easy to transfer files via USB. It has a great D/A converter, rechargeable batteries last a long time; what's not to like.
What headphones/earphones are you using for your tests regarding sound quality? The D100 provides 50 mW of power at 16 Ω according to their specifications.
May I ask for some more detailed impressions vs. other daps you've either used or own still? Thanks. I'm currently trying to decide on this or the MSAK100, which seems to be in some ways better than the AK240 in terms of depth of soundstage and more quantity and quality of bass.

Thanks again
Also do you feel like it would benefit from an amp?
Can you tell me how to set up music folders on your D-100 SD card?
To illustrate, say I have 4 Dire Straits albums and 6 Beatles albums. I set up a Dire Straits folder and drag the 4 Dire Straits albums/folders into it. I then set up a second Beatles folder and drag the 6 Beatles albums/folders into it. So I have two levels of folders.
When I put the SD card into the D-100, it shows 10 folders/albums (4 Dire Straits albums and 6 Beatles albums) and it seems to ignore the first level of folders.
The manual seems to be silent on this.
Thanks in advance.
Was your listening done primarily through HO or LO?