Product Type: Panasonic portable MD players
Newest Review: ... just a rebuild SJMJ70 with new design and remote), Sony MZ-E75, Sharp MT866 etc, all which I returned! Nothing could replace the SJMJ70 in ... more
Member Name: GAThrawn1
Date: 08/11/00, updated on 08/11/00 (724 review reads)
Advantages: Very small, excellent sound quality, all the advantages of minidisc
Disadvantages: expensive price, playback only
I bought my Panasonic minidisc player a year ago and I have never regretted buying it. At the time it was the smallest MD player available, it might not be now but any MD player that is smaller will only be fractionally smaller. I have actually had people come up to me when I am in the labs and ask to see it and it's not difficult to see why!
Physically the SJ-MJ70 is very small and light, barely bigger than a minidisc and not much heavier. Even now when I use it I can't believe how small and light it is, and given how quickly technology moves on I find it impressive that it is still as cool as the day I bought. The samll exterior dimensions are complemented by a shiny metal front, which has a small window to show you what colour of minidisc is in which I think is a neat little touch.
On the more functional side, the SJ-MJ70 plays minisdiscs which are usually around 75 minutes long. It comes with a backlit remote control with which you can; skip tracks, forward or backward, increase or decrease the volume, turn on bass, train mode or all off, set to repeat, all repeat or random, or simply put the remote control on hold. The backlit display shows you what track number you are listening to, the track time, title or total amount of time elapsed on the minisdisc and whether you have bass on or not. You can use the SJ-Mj70 player from the unit itself but you can only skip track, play/stop or adjust volume. This is because it is assumed you will use the remote control.
I bought the SJ-MJ70 because of its size and the ability to skip tracks, I wasn't too bothered about the sound quality. However I was taken by suprise by the sound quality, it is amazing! Everthing is crystal clear and there is good amount of bass given the size of the headphones. I also use a tape adaptor to listen to MD-player through the car stereo, it works very well with this as well. My car is a Metro and the car stereo isn't particularly fancy
but with the minidisc player the sound quality is good, I don't need to bother upgrading the car stereo now.
The SJ-MJ70 comes with a standard Panasonic battery, plus an add-on battery pack which can take one AA battery to boost performance. For those who are not familiar with previous products that have used Panasonics rechargeable battery, it looks a bit like a flat AA battery. It takes around 2 hours to charge and gives about 11 hours playback, which is not bad. I have had Panasonic tape player for the last couple of years which use the same battery so I usually try to have one battery fully charged so that when one goes dead I have a spare. The battery life is not so good now, but given I have been using the unit nearly every day for over a year, that is to be expected, I just need to buy a new one from the Panasonic webpage.
The downsides? One of the biggest downsides for most people will be the price, I paid £200 for mine. However I consider this more of an investment, I will hopefully use it for a few more years, I certainly don't intend to replace it anytime soon. With previous personal stereos I found that I wanted the newer model each and subsequently replaced it so I will probably spend les on my Minidisc player over the years. The other downside to some people will be that this is a playback only MD player, you have to have some sort of recording to use with it. The upside of this that the MD player can be much smaller than a recording one, which I think is worth it. Also I wanted a recording deck anyone so I could listen to my Minidiscs through my hi-fi. Another argument I have heard a lot is that MP3 players are smaller, cheaper and don't skip. Well, I want to be able to listen to MD's through my hi-fi which you can't do with MP3 players (you can hook them up to a hi-fi but this is not nearly as good as having a deck) I also find that Minidiscs are better quality than MP3's (people disagree with thi
s but it is simply my opinion) and I feel it is worth paying the extra. My MD player does skip but only if I am violently jumping down stairs, it's pretty good apart from that.
Overall, the ultimate personal stereo on the market; it is small and gives excellent sound quality. I would recommend the SJ-MJ70 to anyone who has the money for it, it is well worth every penny of its £200 cost.