Product Type: Sony portable MD players
Newest Review: ... second hand value but I doubt I would sell my minidisc, even though I just recently bought a Sony MZN1. The battery flap at the side of t... more
Sony MD Walkman MZ-R900
Member Name: grandmasterjoel
Sony MD Walkman MZ-R900
Date: 30/05/02, updated on 30/05/02 (654 review reads)
Advantages: Sound Quality, Battery Life, Size and Weight
Disadvantages: Headphones, No Seperate Line Out, Jog Dials
Having considered the similarly priced Sony model with radio included I was dissappointed to discover that the radio was contained completely in the headphone remote and the only reason for connection to the minidisc unit was for battery. Therefore I decided to go fo the purely minidisc model and hopefully achieve better sound quality.
This is by far the best sounding minidisc player I have ever owned. I have previously held models by Aiwa and Sony. The sound quality is excellent whether through a stereo amp or headphones.
The problem with this particular model is that the headphones included in the original package do not do the machine justice. They are a bit cheap and a top of the range pair of Sony headphones or some Sennheisers are required to truly appreciate what this MD can do.
The menu system on the player itself is easy enough to use but at first may feel fiddly using the jog dials. Sony loves these thing for some reason but I am not sure that they present the best in menu access and could be better (in fact Sony have improved upon them in the new MZR-909). Once you have got used to this system all the editing options can be performed from here or the headphone remote (still doesn't stay clipped on EVER!).
There are a couple of usful tools that are included on this MD. There is an option to turn off the beeping whenever a command is issued and save your ears. Also an end search has been included so the recording will always start from the end of any material already on the disc.
The MDLP (long play) modes are very useful and I for one cannot tell the difference between a minidisc recorded normally and one recorded on LP2 (double length). The LP4 though is audibly inferior and is probably only meant for voice recordings.
Digital recording quality is good and the microphone sensitivity can be altered for analog recordings.
Battery life on this recorder is amazing, I recently travelled in Vie
tnam and was listening to minidiscs on 17 hr bus journeys and never needed to change the battery (this was using just AAs as there was no charging facility there). Using a combination of rechargable and AA you can achieve even longer battery life.
Overall this is a sexy little number almost 100% aluminium casing - apart from the plastic battery cover (AARRGGHH!!) - and compact to boot.
My biggest problem with it however and the reason why the score is not closer to perfection, is that there is no Line Out port. The headphone socket serves both purposes and although each job is done well individually, the need to manually change from headphone output to Line Out EVERY time the machine is turned on or a disc is changed (headphone output is default)is mighty frustrating (especially with the stupid jog dials - a simple switch would suffice - damned overcomplication). Maybe the manufacturers put this default in to save peoples headphones from being ruined by excessive volume if the Line out is left on accedentally but for someone like me who uses the player with an amp on a stereo system this is VERY ANNOYING!! What does make this constant faffing worthwhile however is the quality sound that the MD puts out.