58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality recorder, who wants an ipod?
This is a great bit of kit without question! Sony has obviously decided to aim this unit at the field recorder or amateur enthusiast rather than as an ipod alternative. However, if you do want to use it as that, it does remarkably well. I have managed to store about 600 tracks on a 1GB disc in very good quality. In fact, when I play a disc through my Hi-Fi it is leagues...
Published on 13 Dec 2006 by doc-feelbad
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars REVOLUTIONARY SOUND QUALITY!!!!
GREAT FOR USE AS A FANTASTIC SOUND QUALITY MINI STEREO IN THE HOME OR CAR AND BRILLIANT RECORDER FOR MUSICIANS/JOURNALISTS, BUT NOT GOOD AS A DURABLE MOBILE PERSONAL STEREO IN THE POCKET FOR EVERY DAY USE COMPARED TO MOST MP3 PLAYERS AND THE IPOD.
This is an awesome sounding device! BY FAR richer and more quality sound than the IPOD...
Published on 15 Jun 2008 by G. Humphreys
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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality recorder, who wants an ipod?,
This review is from: Sony MZRH1B.EU8 Hi-MD Digital Audio Player and Recorder (Electronics)This is a great bit of kit without question! Sony has obviously decided to aim this unit at the field recorder or amateur enthusiast rather than as an ipod alternative. However, if you do want to use it as that, it does remarkably well. I have managed to store about 600 tracks on a 1GB disc in very good quality. In fact, when I play a disc through my Hi-Fi it is leagues ahead of my other MP3 player sound quality wise. There are loads of other features on this unit too like the date stamp, CD quality PCM recording and the ability to upload recordings made on previous MD recorders in WAVE format without any kind of restrictions to your PC. I can't recommend it highly enough, it's great!
If you want to make very high quality audio recordings this is definitely for you. Build quality is superb with an excellent display, long battery life and loads of features. Buy it, you won't regret it.
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars End Of An Era,
This review is from: Sony MZRH1B.EU8 Hi-MD Digital Audio Player and Recorder (Electronics)As you can see from the photograph, the Sony MZ-RH1 is a beautiful little piece of kit. I've seen it described elsewhere as being like a miniature separates unit, and that's quite accurate as it has the display on the front, rather than on top like most players out there, and has four tiny little rubber feet on the underside, and it is made almost entirely of metal. It does, unfortunately, feel a little fragile - you really wouldn't want to drop it on a hard floor.
Sound quality is the best I have heard from any compressed music player, whether playing MP3 or oma files (ATRAC). The oma tracks have just a slight edge over MP3s - but this is down to the superiority of the ATRAC codec, rather than any limitation of the player. The same phenomenon can be experienced if comparing tracks on a PC or on a Sony hard disc Walkman. Overall, the sound is much helped by the player's integrated digital amplifier, which has given a subtle but very noticeable improvement over previous players in terms of clarity. The AVLS volume limiter is also easily disabled via a menu option and forgotten about, meaning you can enjoy your dynamic pumping tunes as they were intended (previous recent players had an AVLS system that could only be disabled by pressing buttons in a secret combination, obtainable from various unofficial websites). Limiters on personal media players are included by necessity of EU law to prevent us listening too loudly and hurting our poor wittle ears. However, they do make the music sound flat and lifeless, so disabling them is a must.
Being a 'Hi-MD', this baby takes 1GB discs, which hold just a little under 8 hours of music when recorded at the player's default recording bit rate of 256kbps. Whilst this quality is excellent (easily comparable to the best MP3s at 320kbps), I find that copying a CD to the maximum 352kbps is just perfect, and barely discernible from a CD, especially when out and about, which of course is the whole point of a Walkman.
The SonicStage software is a joy to use too. After famously suffering from some bad early versions that limited the number of times you could convert a particular track, and was not without the odd bug, the latest version is fantastic, and much preferable to the bloated substandard iTunes. It's beauty is in its simplicity. Just set a few preferences when you first use it (e.g. what bitrate to convert your CDs to (I use 352kbps), what bitrate to transfer to your minidisc at (I use the 'as is' option, which means no further conversions take place, preserving quality) and that's about it (what more do you need?). Of course, MP3 files can be imported to the software too. CD track information is automatically downloaded if connected to the net. Songs can be displayed alphabetically by album or artist or just by song title, and album artwork can be uploaded. Playback quality using the software is second to none, and MP3 playback is FAR superior to the best MP3s on iTunes (I'm not sure what codec iTunes uses, but it is truly dreadful even at 320kbps, not that your average chav really cares!).
The MZ-RH1 itself also records extremely admirably in real time (always at either 256kbps or uncompressed PCM) via an optical cable from your CD player. It also has an analogue line input which can be switched to mic sensitivity if using a little non-powered microphone to capture your live performances.
The supplied earphones are nothing to shout about, as with all standard supply earphones. Replacements are a must, and for an affordable quality pair I would suggest checking out the Sennheiser CX-300 in-ear phones for good frequency range and isolation (although beware cheap inferior fakes - but genuine ones cost just around thirty pounds or so). Get these (or other decent phones), then set your player's EQ to flat (or off) as it will not be needed.
The battery is a super-slim little LIP-4WM. Such a battery is bound to have its limits, but you will still get nine or 10 hours of playback from a fully charged battery. My old minidisc (MZ-NH600), which takes a single AA battery, lasts probably twice as long, but the player itself needs to be more chunky to accommodate it. Spare LIP-4WM batteries can be purchased for twenty pounds on various sites, and it is recommended to keep a charged spare in your pocket for continuous enjoyment.
The remote control is nice to use, but the clip is not very strong so it doesn't cling to your coat very well.
The supplied charger connects and charges via the player's USB port. The player will also automatically start charging the battery if it is connected to a PC, so it is a good idea to just slip the battery out before connecting (charging a battery unnecessarily too many times will shorten its life).
Bottom line: the MZ-RH1 looks sexy, and sounds fantastic.
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great MiniDisc recorder/MP3 player!,
This review is from: Sony MZRH1B.EU8 Hi-MD Digital Audio Player and Recorder (Electronics)I've had a few minidisc recorders and while they've all been really good they have some limitations; the MZ-RH1 has removed those limitations and this is one classy piece of hardware. I've stopped listening to my iPod for music as the sound quality on this device with good headphones (HD600) is just so much better. The size is nice and small and the looks really are great, a bit retro, and it is very quiet when spinning the disc. Being made of metal it looks and feels well made. The major limitations of not allowing uploads to PC of old Minidiscs has been removed - a major benefit, plus it now supports 48khz MP3s, which the others didn't. The sound quality of MP3s which was slightly crippled on previous players has been fixed on this model.
Only criticism I have is that the MD/MP3 titles only appear on the remote not the main unit.
Possibly the last Minidisc recorder to be released but Sony have produced a cracker.
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recorder, superb player.,
This review is from: Sony MZRH1B.EU8 Hi-MD Digital Audio Player and Recorder (Electronics)I was torn between ipods, creative, i-river and upgrading my old Sharp MD recorder. I was after a top notch sound quality, with versatile recording options, so I went for the MZ-RH1. Safe to say, I wasn't disappointed. Great build quality too, with all the options for recording that I could possibly need. The software is a breeze too, I heard that it used to be awful, but it has gone without a hitch so far. I do recommend this machine to people who want excellent sound quality, and for those who need to record for various applications. 5/5
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BIG sound from a MINI disc,
This review is from: Sony MZRH1B.EU8 Hi-MD Digital Audio Player and Recorder (Electronics)Rewind to the year 1995, I walked into my local SONY Store and exchanged 35 crisp tenners for a new recording portable Minidisc player. Whilst it was brand new technology, I was amazed at the size of the discs and the sound that came from them. I never really bought that many pre-recorded discs from the stores but checking out how much some of the rarer MD albums are selling for nowadays, wished that I did!
Back in the space machine to 2008 (13 years later), I visited my favourite online retailer (Amazon.co.uk) and bought an MZ-RH1 Recording Minidisc Player. I didn't have to part with as many tenners and the sound quality is as amazing as ever.
I think that the best thing about this player is that you can get about 550 minutes of recording on it using a very high rate, I can usually fit all albums by one artist on one 1GB Minidisc and that pleases me as I do not really wish to carry lots of discs around like I used to do in the 90's.
A good friend of mine who is an 'iPod' fanatic, challenged me to a 'Music-Off' yesterday, we both recorded the same album onto our respective players, then challenged other work colleagues to listen to a 30 second snippet of a classic rock track and choose, the results? MD = 9 iPod=1 (that was his own vote). I cannot help but feel the sound on the iPod is very 'thin', washed out and empty, whereas the MZ-RH1 player sounded rich, fuller and overall more pleasing to the ear. I have gone a little mad and bought 10x1GB discs and am in the process of transferring all of my classic CD's onto them now. To say that an album that you have heard over 100 times suddenly sounds different and you pick out instruments and noises on the songs that you previously never heard HAS to say something about the kit that you are using!!
I am no dedicated audiophile but I do prefer vinyl to CD's at home and I certainly will NEVER EVER go back to an iPod again, no matter what.
You ask someone to name an MP3 player, 99% will say 'Apple iPod', which is great as it really has cornered the market, perform an invisible sound test and then show them what beat the iPod hands down and they start making excuses about bit rates and the fact that you have to carry discs around with you....I agree, I do have a nice padded case that houses 4 discs, is it worth it for a much better sound? You Bet!!
So my overall opinion is my new MD player is awesome, slight niggle re the display fo the track, artist and album only being available on the remote control is a bit of a drag but the sound and portability of the unit make this fact pale into insignificance. I work long hours and with the MD player next to me, I can honestly say that it takes the edge off the tedious tasks that I sometimes have to put up with.
I understand that SONY will not be developing the MD player further, this one will do me for a long time and when it dies, I will simply buy another one.....
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done Sony!,
This review is from: Sony MZRH1B.EU8 Hi-MD Digital Audio Player and Recorder (Electronics)This is the best portable player/recorder I have ever owned.
I spent weeks deciding whether or not to buy it, because some of the reviews put me off. However - the negative points vanish if you take the time to read the instructions. For example, some people complained about sound quality - but this is due to a volume limiter setting that can be disabled.
I was worried about backwards compatibility with my existing MDLP equipment, but everything works like a charm. The main reason I stuck with Minidisc rather than buying an iPod was that I record a lot of audio from other sources, eg BBC7 on freeview. This device is perfect for recording from any source in high quality (it also looks fantastic). Mostly I have been recording on standard MDs in MDLP mode for backwards compatibility, but the 1GB HiMD discs are great for portable listening.
Even the Sonic Stage software (unreliable and frustrating in previous guises) is simple and enjoyable to use (version 4.3 at time of writing). I can download podcasts onto my computer, then use Sonic Stage to transfer them to the recorder. This is quick and easy.
In summary then, buy this product and support Minidisc (in my opinion the best removable media ever designed) if:-
* You want to record from any sources (analogue or optical) in high quality
* You are an existing MD or MDLP user, looking for a decent upgrade
* You want a high quality audio device that offers more than a standard MP3 player.
Note that you don't get any blank discs with the machine but they are available in Sony shops and all over the internet.
Congratulations to Sony on an amazing machine.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best portable for REAL music lovers.,
This review is from: Sony MZRH1B.EU8 Hi-MD Digital Audio Player and Recorder (Electronics)I got into minidisc 10 years ago - saw it fade as hard disc and flash players came along. I bought my first Hi-MD machine (MZ-NH1) 4 years ago to keep my hand in with the format, but also dabbled with hard disc and flash (yes they are convenient for storing several gigabytes of music and gimmicky video if that's your style). But when it comes down to functionality and real music features nothing can touch minidisc.
The MZ-RH1 is the pinnicle of MD development - record in full CD quality (PCM) as well as at the highest quality compressed bit-rates. "Record" being THE word here - try recording digitally at PCM onto an i-pod, or other flash/HD machine. No chance.
Playback quality is superb through the built in digital amp. Absolutely no hiss, and at 256 or 352 bit rates you cannot tell the difference between full CD quality. The unit also has a LINE-OUT feature to play back through your hi-fi or car stereo without fidgeting with volume controls etc.
For old MD fans you can even upload your old minidisc recordings made at SP.
As far as Sonicstage software is concerned, I have never experienced a problem with it. It is really simple to use (those who complain must be really thick!!).
This machine is really sleek, and although slightly bigger than todays flash players and i-pod hard disc machines, it is still small and light. Added bonus over the flash and HD players is the removable battery.
Don't follow fashion/fads - use your ears and listen, record and enjoy a real portable music machine.
UPDATE 2010: Now more than 2 years on from my original review, I have revisted this page and am delighted to see the MZ-RH1 is still availble, and receiving positive reviews. I still use mine on a daily basis, but contrary to what I originally stated I now find myself primarily using PCM (full CD-quality) mode - the 256/352 compressed is as good as compressed musi files get, but PCM mode on this player is unbeatable, and I will no longer compromise when I don't need to. I still use flash (it is smaller for when out & about), but I am yet to find an alternative to MD that ensures absolutely no hiss, whatsoever,during playback.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MAC users take care,
This review is from: Sony MZRH1B.EU8 Hi-MD Digital Audio Player and Recorder (Electronics)It took me a lot of experiment and reading of the fine detail in the notes to realise that this otherwise excellent machine has serious drawbacks for Mac-users.
I got mine because, as a long-time MD-user, I have a mountain of old discs that are waiting to be backed up on my computer, via my cd-recorder, which is how I have always done it. I thought this new machine would allow me automatically to upload old discs onto my Mac. Alas, it does not. This facility is only available to Windows-users.
Not only that, but it appears to me that the only way to transfer tracks from the Mac to the HI-MD is via an optical or analogue cable, in real time - just as I have always done it.*
When you first try it out, be sure to have a Hi-MD or blank MD in otherwise the computer will not recognise the hardware.
Apart from that, it looks good, apart from the fiddly remote which you have to use to edit tracks, which I do not like.
I am sure that when I start working with it, it will be an improvement on the old Sharp thing I had for years.
In a fast-disappearing MD market, I guess this will become the industry standard MD-recorder.
*UPDATE: Just found out there is a software update on the Sony Support site. Upgrade to Hi-MD Music Transfer Ver.2.0 gives you:
1. You can import audio data recorded in Linear PCM, Hi-SP or Hi-LP mode on the Macintosh-compatible Hi-MD Walkman to a Macintosh computer after converting to WAV format audio data.
2. You can download WAV or MP3 format audio data from a Macintosh computer to a Hi-MD Walkman.
3. You can change a track or group title in a Hi-MD disc, and change the order of tracks or groups.
4. You can erase the tracks or groups in a Hi-MD disc.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hi-Fi on the go,
This review is from: Sony MZRH1B.EU8 Hi-MD Digital Audio Player and Recorder (Electronics)A portable hi-fi quality playback/recording deck with optical and line inputs/outputs the size and weight of a small chocolate bar. There is also a line input monitor so that you can adjust the levels to achieve the best recording results.
Built quality is impeccable. High speed USB connectivity and charging makes it ideal for the road warrior. It even tells you the time remaining to a full charge!!
Sound quality must be heard to believe. Even with MP3 files, each percussion note can be clearly heard. The base is tight and midrange faithfully reproduced.
Sonic stage version 4.3 is the latest updated version. Much more user friendly compared with earlier versions.
Finally, 1GB disk can also store files, pictures, etc. File transfer only needs the supplied USB cable. No extra drivers needed for windows XP.
Just what I need on the move. A real bonus to me. You need to see and hear this unit in person to really appreciate what it is capable of.
Highly recommended for audiophiles who is always on the move.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS THE ONE!!!!!!!!,
This review is from: Sony MZRH1B.EU8 Hi-MD Digital Audio Player and Recorder (Electronics)Believe me, its the most versatile one available, it even allows you to upload/download your old net-md recordings which you can put onto a 1GB disc without even converting the file!!! even allowing you to mix hi-md and net-md recordings together on the same disc (never possible before!!)
BUT MAKE SURE TO ONLY BUY FROM AMERICAN SELLERS AS THE VOLUME LIMITER LAW IS NOT IN FORCE THERE..(ENGLISH players sound is reduced by 50 percent compared to american players of the same exact model)..
Also be aware of import tax from customs!!!
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