Sharp Recorders

Sharp portable MD recorders have the following general characteristics:

Sharp MD-DR77

Sharp MD-DR77portable MD recorder
Intro: 4/2004
Est. ¥30,000
In: optical, line, mic. Out: line, headphones78.9w x 18.0h x 71.9d mm, 101g (131g w/batt), DC IN: 1.2V (NiMH), 1.5V (AA), 4.5V (Car adapter), 5.0V (AC adapter)


  • One-bit digital amp w/4-pole headphone plug.
  • Backlit-LCD remote.
  • Recording-start button on remote (!)
  • Recording level control can be set automatically (for analog sources) or manually (for analog and digital sources).
  • Syncro-start recording from analog and digital sources.
  • Playback speed control.
  • "Favorite-track playback" remembers up to 10 favorite tracks on up to 9 disks.
  • Group mode support.
  • High/Low microphone input sensitivity selector.
  • Charge-stand.
  • Character-stamp
  • Timer alarm (avoid missing your train stop).
  • Available in silver, blue and black.

Markets: Japan


Included Accessories: LCD remote, Headphones, NiMH cell (with case), AC adapter, external AA case, charging stand, carrying pouch

Specs: Headphone amp: 8mW+8mW (@32k ohm), Line: 125mV (@10k ohm, -12dB), Freq resp. 20-20kHz +/- 3dB


Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH28/40/49 hr10.5/15/21 hrFull: 5.5hr, 80%: 3.5 hr
AA x 149/70/83 hr13/22/33 hr
Both80/112/135 hr25/40/57 hr

Sharp IM-DR580/DR80

Sharp IM-DR80
Sharp IM-DR580
Kenwood DMC-S9NET
portable NetMD recorder with dock
Intro: 9/2003
est. ¥37,000
Body: In: mic. Out: headphones. Docking Station: In: line/optical, Out: line, speaker. Data USB. DC IN: 1.2V, 1.5V80.1w x 16.6h x 72.6d mm, 95g (120g w/batt)

Features: Prototype shown at IFA Berlin 2003.

  • High(er) speed NetMD downloading: SP: 4X, LP2: 25X, LP4: 50X
  • Small docking station with LCD, power, line in/out, optical in and USB connections (no LCD on MD unit).
  • Auto (microphone recording) and manual analog recording level control. Digital recording level control.
  • Group mode support.
  • Timer alarm (avoid missing your train stop).
  • CD synchro recording.
  • Character-stamp (copy track titles from original to copied MD).
  • One-bit digital amp with 4 pole headphone connector.
  • Backlit Kanji-capable LCD remote.
  • Available in silver, black, and red.

Variants: Unit is dubbed IM-DR80 in Japan and IM-DR580 in Europe. Kenwood sells the unit as the DMC-S9NET.


Specs: Headphone amp: 8mW+8mW @ 32ohms, line: 125mV @ 10k ohms

Accessories: Backlit LCD remote, headphones, NiMH battery and case, multi-voltage (100V-240V) AC adapter, "Multi-link station" (docking stand), external AA cell case, carrying pouch, USB cable, manuals, BeatJam software CD and manuals

Optional Accessories: HP-MD33 headphones (9mm diameter, in-the-ear type, 3 silicon gum earpiece sizes (S, M, L), ¥3800), HP-MD90 headphones (16mm diameter, adjustable angle, aluminum, over-the-ear type, ¥3300)


User Manuals: IM-DR80, IM-DR580

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH27/36/42 hr8/12/15 hrfull: 5.5 hr, 90%: 3.5 hr
Alkaline AA x 148/67/75 hr8/15/20.5 hr
Both80/103/122 hr20/30.5/40 hr

Sharp IM-DR400/DR410/DR420

IM-DR410 (1280x1051)
IM-DR420 (1280x1114)
Sharp IM-DR400
Sharp IM-DR410
Sharp IM-DR420
portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 09/2003
Street: IM-DR410: €210, IM-DR420: € 230
In: line/optical, (IM-DR420 only: mic). Out: headphones. Data: USB, DC IN: 1.2V, 1.5V, 3V83w x 28h x 76d mm, 140g w/batt, 117g w/o batt


  • A first for Sharp: Automatic (with settable low/high range) and manual recording level control (IM-DR420 only)
  • NetMD downloading at 50x realtime
  • 1-bit digital amp
  • Group mode support
  • Play modes: all, shuffle, all-repeat, shuffle-repeat
  • Digital X-Bass
  • Auto time-mark (3, 5, and 10 minute intervals)
  • Line synchro-start recording (microphone synchro-start recording [i.e. voice activated recording] on IM-DR420)


  • IM-DR400 is non-remote base model.
  • IM-DR410 is apparently identical to IM-DR400 but comes with carrying pouch and optical cable.
  • IM-DR420 differs from DR400 and DR410, adding microphone input (with auto and manual recording level function) and non-LCD remote.

Included Accessories: Both units: 4-pole earphones, 4-pole to 3 pole conversion cable, AC adapter, carrying pouch, optical cable, analog cable (1/8" stereo to RCA x 2), CD-ROM, USB cable. IM-DR420 only: non-LCD remote, NiMH battery (AA formfactor), NiMH case


Specs: Headphone amp: 8mW+8mW, 0.2% THD. Disc RPM: 400-1800 playback, 400-2700 recording


User Manuals: IM-DR400, IM-DR400 Quickstart, IM-DR410, IM-DR410 Quickstart, IM-DR420, IM-DR420 Quickstart, Software Preinstall, BeatJam

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
AA formfactor
33/44/51 hr8/13/18 hrfull: 5.4hr, 90%: 3.4 hr
Alkaline AA x 144/62/75 hr4/7/11 hr

Sharp MD-MT270/MT290

Sharp MD-MT270
Sharp MD-MT290
portable MDLP recorder
Intro: 2/2003
Street: £100
In: line/optical, (mic: MT-MD290 only). Out: headphones, DC IN: 1.5V-5.0V83 x 28 x 77mm, 107g (body only), 134g w/battery


  • MDLP support
  • 3-step X-Bass.
  • In common with all modern Sharp portable recorders:
    • Synchro recording for digital and analog (LINE/MIC) sources.
    • Character Stamp (Sharp feature since MD-MS200 that provides quick title text transfer from original to newly recorded disc)
    • Recording level control may be adjusted while recording is underway.
    • No automatic recording level setting.

Variants: MD-MT270 has no remote or microphone input, MD-MT290 has a non-LCD remote and microphone input.


Included Accessories: Earphones, AC adapter, RCA cable. Europe: optical cable

Specs: Headphone amp: 10mW+10mW RMS @ 32 ohms (0.2%THD), Line out: 250mV (-12dB), Freq. Resp: 20-20kHz +/-3dB


Battery LifePlayRecord
NiMH cell25/29/34 hr10/13/17 hr
AA x 133/44/52 hr8/11/16 hr

Sharp MD-DR470/DR480/DR7

Photo: Minidisco
Photos: Mike Sloan
Photos: Tina Ryan
Sharp MD-DR7
Sharp MD-DR470
Sharp MD-DR480
portable MD recorder
Intro: 12/2002
In: mic, line, optical. Out: headphones/line, DC IN: 1.2VDC-5.0VDC78.9 x 17.8 x 71.9mm, 140g (w/batt), 115g (body only)


  • Trace-back recording (formerly only available on MD decks) stores 5, 10 or 30 (user selectable) seconds of audio in memory while in REC-PAUSE state; when the user presses REC, recording actually begins 5, 10 or 30 seconds prior to the button press.
  • Record breaking battery life: 120 hour playback, 64 hour recording.
  • World's first MD recorder with 1-bit digital amplifier (uses 4 conductor headphone plug and jack).
  • MDLP support (but not NetMD).
  • "Favorite Playback" allows selection of up to 10 favorite tracks that are played when in Favorite Playback mode. These tracks are remembered for up to 9 different MDs in the recorder's memory.
  • Playback Speed control in 5 steps: -30%, -20%, 10%, +5%, +15%
  • First Sharp recorder with Treble control. Bass boost functions as it did on previous units, but treble adjustment is now available (in 5 steps: -2, -1, 0, +1, +2) after bass setting is selected.
  • Equipped with a charging stand.
  • Alarm timer from 1 to 99 minutes (to avoid missing train stops).
  • New group mode function starts a new group when group button is pressed during mic recording.
  • Backlit LCD remote.
  • Microphone sensitvity setting (HIGH/LOW) incorporated into recording level control.
  • Available in Silver, blue and pink.
  • In common with all modern Sharp portable recorders:
    • Synchro recording for digital and analog (LINE/MIC) sources.
    • Character Stamp (Sharp feature since MD-MS200 that provides quick title text transfer from original to newly recorded disc)
    • Recording level control may be adjusted while recording is underway.
    • No automatic recording level setting.

Variants: Unit is badged "MD-DR480" in Singapore (Asia?). Euro variant is sold without charging cradle as the MD-DR470. Discussion of variants



Accessories: Backlit LCD remote, Headphone, NiMH battery, AC adaptor (auto-sensing 110-240AC in Asia), externally attachable AA drycell case, Charge stand, Manual. In Europe: optical cable (TOSlink to 3.5mm), analog cable (RCA to 3.5mm), carrying case. MD-DR480 (Asia): additonal ear buds (as well as headphones), AD-USB1 analog PC-Link (USB->analog) adapter, optical cable (TOSlink to 3.5mm), analog cable (RCA to 3.5mm) 4-Pole ->3-Pole conversion cable.


  • Output: Headphone: 8mW+8mW (32 ohms, RMS), Line 250mV (10Kohms)
  • Input sensitivity: MIC H: 0.25mV (10kohms), MIC L: 2.5mV (10kohms), LINE: 100mV (20kohms).

User Manual: MD-DR7

Battery Life
Remote LCD off, VOL 15
AD-N55BT (1400mAh)
27/35/42 hr10.5/15/22 hrFull: 5.5 hr, 90%: 3.5 hr
AA x 141/59/71 hr13/22/38 hr
Both72/100/120 hr28/43/64 hr

Sharp MD-MT170/MT180/MT190/MT200

MD-MT200 Accessories
Sharp MD-MT170
Sharp MD-MT180
Sharp MD-MT190
Sharp MD-MT200
portable (budget) MD recorders
Intro: 1/2002
MT170: £130
IN: line/optical, mic (MT190/200 only), OUT: headphones, DC IN: 1.5V-5V76w x 83d x 22.9h mm, 146g w/batt

Features: MDLP modes, 3-mode digital X-bass system, Digital rec-level control. Flat case (no battery bulge), MD-MT170/180 has no remote or microphone input

Variants: MD-MT170 and MD-MT180 appear identical in function. MD-MT190 and MD-MT200 come with non-LCD remote. MD-MT200 has Dolby surround DSP mode

Accessories: Headphones, AC adapter, PC Link kit (USB->analog for MT180, USB->optical for MT190&MT200)

Optional Accessories: Attachable AA cell battery case: AD-M18BC, Car adapter: AD-CA20X


Specs: Headphone amp: 10mW+10mW RMS @32Ohms (0.2%THD), Line output 250mV @10KOhms Disc RPM: 400-1350, Freq. Resp.: 20-20kHz +/-3dB, Line input sensitivity: 100mV (20KOhms)


User Manuals: MD-MT180, MD-MT190

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
11/13/15 hr7/9.5/12.5 hr3.5 hr (90%), 5.5 hr (Full)
AAx115.5/19/22 hr6/19/22 hr
Both27/32/38 hr15.5/23/30 hr

Sharp IM-MT880/MT899

(Snapshots courtesy Japan-Direct)
Spyflash from IFA 2001
Sharp IM-MT880
Sharp IM-MT899
portable NetMD recorder
Intro: 12/2001
open price
IN: analog, optical digital
OUT: analog
71.9D x 78.9W x 15.7H mm, 105g (130g w/ batt)

Features: MDLP Group mode, connectable to a computer via USB cable. Supports the OpenMG digital music copyright standard. (High-speed copying to unit in SP mode not allowed). Unit comes with OpenMG Jukebox Ver.2.2, which allows conversion of MP3, WMA, and WAV file formats to ATRAC3. Seven LEDs indicate the status of the transfer of audio files. Two-line LCD remote display. Track scan mode plays the first five seconds of each music track. Sound-activated microphone recording mode. 40 seconds shock protection (160 seconds in MDLP 4X). Unit is charged when placed in included stand.

Variants: This unit is likely to be badged the MD-MT899 in Europe.

User Tips: After installing the software that came with the unit, and discovering that some of the buttons were in Japanese, I stumbled on a solution. I first uninstalled the Sharp version of OpenMG and all the associated drivers. I then downloaded the Sony version of OpenMG from the OpenMG website and installed it. It's important that you only install the OpenMG software, and not the Sony drivers. I then reran the install from the Sharp CD. The Sharp install attempted to install OpenMG, but discovered that one was already on the system, and left it alone. It went ahead installed the rest of the software, including the MT880 driver. I now have a fully English version of OpenMG that works with my Sharp MD. (BTW-the Japanese button on the player says 'shuffle'). -Mick Gardina



Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output.

User Manual: IM-MT880

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)PlayRecordRecharge
NiMH9.5/11/12.5 hr6/8.5/10 hr3 hr
AA x 114/17.5/19.5 hr6/9.5/12.5 hr
Both24/29.5/33 hr14.5/20.5/26 hr

Sharp MD-MT770/MT888

MD-MT770 vs. MZ-R909 thickness
Photos: Japan-Direct
Photo: (1024x768)
Photo taken at IFA Berlin
Sharp MD-MT770
Sharp MD-MT888
Portable MD recorder
Intro: 8/2001
MSRP: ``Open''
IN: mic, line, optical, DC 1.5-2V
OUT: headphone
71.9Dx78.9Wx15.7H mm, 128g w/batt, 103g body only

Features: World's smallest portable as of Aug. 2001. MDLP capable, 2-line LCD, full editing and titling from remote. Unique group mode functions: "group move" moves track to new group, "group top move" makes entire group the first group on the disc, "group erase" removes all tracks within a group, "group booking" creates a group and places newly recorded tracks there, "group arrange" moves tracks not in any group to the end of the disc so that even machines that don't support group function will play the tracks in the same order.(?) Three color blinking LED signalling system indicates recording type (SP/LP2/LP4), state of charge, and operating mode. Optional AD-PCR3 connecting kit features USB to digital optical link as well as control of editing and titling from PC. High speed (2X) playback of monaural (SP) recordings, digital/line/mic-synchro start, auto time-mark (3/5/10 minute interval), character stamp, one-touch eject, digital and analog recording level control (no AGC).

Variants: Unit badged the MD-MT888 in Europe

Included Accessories: LCD remote control, AA dry cell case, headphone, charge stand, NiMH rechargeable cell (with case), carrying case, AC adaptor, connecting cord, Manual.

Notes: Display on main unit does not show disc or track names, only the track number, hence titling can only be done from remote.



Specs: Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW into 32 ohms, line: 250mV into 10K ohms.

User Manual: MD-MT888

Battery Life
NiMH13.5/16/18.5 hr8/11/14 hr90%: 3 hr, full: 5 hr
AA x 120/25/29 hr9/14/19.5 hr
Both35/42.5/49 hr19/27.5/36.5 hr

Sharp MD-MT88/MT99

Sharp MD-MT88
Sharp MD-MT99
MDLP recorder
Intro: 5/2001
IN: line/optical, mic
OUT: headphone
81.1w x 19.9h x 92.4d mm, 172g w/battery (MT99), 147g w/o battery (MT88)

Features: MDLP recorder. The MD-MT88 and MD-MT99 appear to be the same basic unit except for slight differences in front panel button shapes. The MT-88 does not come with remote control or rechargeable battery.

Links: Sharp UK's MT-88 and MT-99 pages.

Accesories: Rechargeable battery: AD-N70BT, Car adaptor: AD-CA20X, Cassette adaptor: AD-CT14, MD to MD edit cable: AD-M5AC, Tie-Pin microphone: MC-TP2


User Manuals: MD-MT88, MD-MT99

Battery Life (all times LP4)PlayRecordRecharge
17.5 hr13.5 hr?
AA x 120 hr7 hr

Sharp MD-MT80/MT90

MD-MT90 (1050x997)
Sharp MD-MT80
Sharp MD-MT90
portable MD recorder
Intro: 3/2001
IN: line/optical, microphone
OUT: headphones
81.1 (W)x 19.9 (H)x 92.4 (D)mm, 172g w/ batt

Features: Unit is not MDLP compatible. 3-level bass boost. 40 second anti-shock protection, character stamp feature, clamshell design, synchronized recording for digital, analog, and microphone. MD-MT90 comes with non-LCD remote, MD-MT80 comes sans remote.

Links: Sharp UK's official English page for the MD-MT90. Sharp UK has an MD-MT80H page MD21 posts French information on the MD-MT90. An official Sharp press release talks about the upcoming release of the MD-MT877 (an MT77 variant) and the MD-MT90.


User Manuals: MD-MT90, MD-MT80

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH12 hr7 hr3.5 hr
AA x 112 hr3 hr

Sharp MD-MT77/MT877

Kenwood DMC-M7R
(Courtesy IGN)
Photo: Youn
Sharp MD-MT77
Sharp MD-MT877
Kenwood DMC-M7R
portable MD recorder
Intro: 11/2000
IN: optical/line, microphone
OUT: line/headphones
78.7D x 71.9W x 16.8H mm, 131g w/batt (Kenwood DMC-M7R: 72.7 x 17.0 x 79.3, 137g)

Features: MDLP capable. Smallest portable MD recorder in the world as of October 2000. Battery "memory effect" is reduced by automatic discharging circuitry in the charge stand. Can interface with a computer via USB connection kit (AD-PCR2), allowing track and title management and automatic label printing of a MiniDisc's contents, as well as an audio connection. "Scan" feature plays the first five seconds of each track. Two-line 12-character LCD display, digital recording level control, X-BASS boost, 40-second shock protection (provides 160 second protection in LP4 mode), hand strap. Microphone-synchronized recording function only records when sound is heard. Mono mode recordings can be played back at 2x speed. Track ``auto-mark'' function can be set to mark a track at regular intervals (3,5,10 minutes?). "Name Stamp" function allows easy copying of character information from one disc to another.

Variants: US (and Euro?) model badged the MD-MT877.



Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output, 20 bit D/A converter, 1.2V NiMH, 1.5V AA, 5V adapter. Disc spins at about 400-1,350 rpm.
(battery times shown show SP/LP2/LP4)

User Manuals: MD-MT77, Update

Service Manual: MD-MT77

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH12/13.5/15 hr6.5/9/11.5 hr3.5 hr
AA x 116/19.5/22 hr6/10/13 hr
Both29/33/40 hr15/22/30 hr

Sharp MD-MT66/MT866

Sharp MD-MT66
Sharp MD-MT866
portable MD recorder
Intro: 9/2000
IN: optical/line in, microphone
OUT: headphones/line out
78.9D x 72.0W x 19.5H mm, 137g w/batt

Features: Utilizes a charge stand for recharging Nickel Hyrdogen battery. 40 second anti-shock protection, adjustable digital input signal level, "microphone synchronized recording" (where the unit only records to MD when it detects audible sound with the microphone), synchro-recording function, shuffle and repeat modes, double-speed mono playback, voice-activated recorder for conferencing.

Variants: Sharp's Korean page for the MD-MT866 (the MT866 is the Korean model number of the MT66 model, unit reportedly has ability to title with Korean characters).



Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output, 5.0 VAC. 32kHz, 48kHz sampling rate converter.

User Manual: MD-MT866

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH12 hr6.5 hr3.5 hr
AA x 118 hr6 hr
Both30 hr15.5 hr

Sharp MD-MT50/SR50/SR60/SR70/SR75

MD-SR60 (1716x1674)
Sharp MD-SR50
Sharp MD-MT50
Sharp MD-SR60
Sharp MD-SR70
Sharp MD-SR75
portable MD recorder
Intro: 2/2000
IN: mic, optical/line. OUT: headphone/line.99.9 x 22.9 x 77.9mm, 191g w/batt

Features: Recorder operates on either a single alkaline or rechargeable AA cell. No LCD on remote. Available in silver or blue.

Variants: MD-SR50: no remote MD-SR60: non-LCD remote (same unit as SR70?) MD-SR70: non-LCD remote MD-SR75: backlit LCD remote


User comments: The SR60 appears to exhibit behavior similar to the Sharp MD-MS702 when recording from the mic input, in that a short silence will be recorded when the recording level is adjusted between position 20 and 21 on the 30-point level scale. This pause occurs when both increasing and decreasing the recording level past this point. -J. Kwon

Links: Sharp's Japanese page (also available in English) and press release for this unit. Sharp's specs for the SR50/70/75 (they're all basically the same unit with variations in their accessories). Superfi (UK) has pictures of Sharp's MD-SR50 and MD-SR60 (the former sans remote), both apparently identical to the MD-MT50. Sharp MD-MT50 variants in New Zealand: the MD-SR50W (no remote), and the MD-SR70W (slight case variation, w/remote and headphones, of a sort). A Sharp Japanese page lists the MD-SR50, MD-SR70, and MD-SR75, as well as a statistics page showing that all three units are identical (though the SR75 reportedly comes with a backlit remote) and are simply meant for different world markets.

Entering Service Mode: (Beware of the dangers of attempting this!) You can enter test mode on an MD-SR60 (an MT50 variant) by holding the following keys simultaneously: 'disp', 'bass', and 'enter' and then 'play'. -Shiv Naimpally, January 2001

Specs: 10mW headphone output.

User Manuals: MD-SR50, MD-SR60, MD-SR75

Service Manuals: MD-SR50, MD-SR70

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH (AA cell shaped)6.5 hr4.5 hr3.5 hr
AA x 17 hr3 hr
Energizer Lithium AA x 11 0 hr7 hr

Sharp MD-MT831/MT832

Kenwood DMC-L7R
Sharp MD-MT831
Sharp MD-MT832
Kenwood DMC-L7R
Portable MD Recorder
Intro: 8/1999
MSRP ¥46,000/49,000
IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: line/headphones. DC IN: 3.3-5.0VDCW 79.4 x H 17.9 x D 81.1mm, 163g (w/rechargeable)

Features: Sharp claims 7 records for the unit:

  1. Smallest and thinnest recorder (as of 7/99), 13% smaller and 14% thinner than previous MD-MT821 model.
  2. Longest playing recorder (employs 7th generation ATRAC chip using .25 micron process that, along with high speed disc drive circuit and mechanism, was designed for low power consumption).
  3. First portable recorder with recharging stand (no audio or control connections via cradle, however unit can record and playback while recharging in stand).
  4. First portable recorder with Kanji display on remote (832's remote shows Kanji, 831's does not, though Kanji remote is available as an option). Remote is backlit and can display 5 Kanji or Hiragana, or 10 Katakana or Roman letters.
  5. First portable recorder with optional PC (AD-PCR1) and Zaurus (AD-ZAR1) link. Via this link, titling (including Kanji input) and editing can be conducted, as well as program play selection, label printing, and MD library management. For label printing, 8 patterns are available, as well as the ability to include digital camera images. Name application can be downloaded from Sharp's home page
  6. First portable recorder with digital recording level control.
  7. First portable recorder with auto fade in and fade out during recording start and finish. Will automatically fade out level as recording encounters end of disc (3 step fade time selector)
40 second shock memory, Sharp ATRAC 6, sampling rate converter, mono 2X playback mode. Mic, line, digital synchro start. 20 bit ADC and DAC. Digital X-Bass boost. Play modes: random, random repeat, 1 repeat, all repeat. Hand strap. Colors: 831: antique silver & deep blue, 832: sunbeam silver.



Entering Service mode: Do be careful! It's pretty similar to most of the other Sharp portables but the battery compartment must be OPEN - i.e. the unit must have NO POWER. 1) Press and hold PLAY, SYNC[Enter] and DISP buttons. 2) THEN drop in the battery and close the compartment (or apply external power - eg turn on the DC power source). Display shows the EEPROM version code, followed by all symbols lighting up, followed by the standard Sharp test menu. My EEPROM version code is 921AcX. -Dave Hooper Gadget Squad reviews the Sharp MD-MT831, with favorable findings.

Specs: Motor speed: 400-1350 rpm, headphone amp: 10mW + 10mW * Headphone volume at 0 during recording and 15 during playback.

User Manual: MD-MT831 courtesy Robert Schwartz

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-T51BT14.5 hr9.5 hr3 hr on AC adapter
4 hr on stand
AA x 111.5 hr4.5 hr
Both26 hr14 hr

Sharp MD-MT15/MT16/MT20

Sharp MD-MT15
Sharp MD-MT16
Sharp MD-MT20
Portable MD Recorder
Intro: 6/1999
IN: mic, optical/line. OUT: l ine/headphone87.9x29.8x79.7mm, 235g

Features: Sharp sixth generation ATRAC, 10 second shock memory, clamshell disc loading. Unit is apparently a cost reduced version of the MD-MT821. The MT15 takes Alkaline AA cells and has no remote, the MT20 takes AA rechargeables. Both come in Silver, MT20 version available in blue and gold as well. Sharp USA's MD-MT15 announcement stated this was the world's first MD portable recorder available for under $200.

Getting a Remote: The Sharp MD-MT15 does not include nor has the optional accessory listed for a remote (according to Sharp). It does, however, have support for a remote control (which I can confirm as I have the MT20 remote for the MT15). The remote can be ordered as a replacement part (#RRMCW0001AWSA) for the MD-MT20 and is fully compatible with the MD-MT15. There is no display, just operation of play, pause, fast forward, Bass, etc and can also be used in assisting input of titles. -Brian Teh


Tips: Using the built-in charger for off-the-shelf NiMH batteries: Just take a business card and wrap the batteries with it. You may need to trim the card a little. Insert all three into the battery compartment-the end of the card should be folded into the crease between the two batteries to hit the MT15's rechargeable-battery sensor. -Calum Tsang Trucki has created MD-MT15 Titleaid QBasic software, available from his German site. Trucki's site also shows off some deep hacking of the Sharp MD-MT15 (local English trans) and hacking that uses drill bits and extra connectors (trans).


User Manuals: MD-MT15, MD-MT16, MD-MT20

Service Manual: MD-MT20 remote schematic

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH AA x 2 (i.e. MT20)12 hr7.5 hr4 hr
Alkaline AA x 2 (i.e. MT15)15 hr7.5 hr

Sharp MD-MT821

Kenwood DMC-K9R
Sharp MD-MT821
Kenwood DMC-K9R
Portable MD recorder
Intro: 2/1999
MSRP ¥46,000
Init. Mo. Prod: 20,000 units
IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: line/headphone. DC IN: 3.4-5.0VDC82.5 x 20.7 x 77.9mm, 177g w/batt

Features: Through component size reductions, unit has 28% less volume and is 20% thinner than the MS721. Uses same LSI chip set as the MS721/722 (Sharp ATRAC 6). "Top open" (i.e. clamshell, not slot-in) disc insertion. 40 second shock memory. 20bit DAC and ADC. High speed scroll and 3 character display during character selection speeds titling. Triple shuttle backlit LCD remote. Mic and digital synchro start recording. Disk/track "name stamp" function allows titles to be cloned from another disc. 2x high speed playback option on mono recordings. Unit can be operated while recharging. Available in silver, blue and black.

Included accessories: LCD remote, headphone, LiIon cell, AC adapter, connection cord, AA cell case, handstrap, carrying case, instruction manual, warranty card.

Separately available accessories: 100-240VAC adaptor (AD-SS70AP) ¥5000, LiIon cell (AD-T51BT) ¥5500 (from 3/21/99), LCD remote (AD-S31RM) ¥7500, Car power (12/24VDC) adapter (AD-CA20X) ¥5000, Digital sound card (AD-AJ2) ¥25,000.

Mis-features: No date/time stamp during recording.


Tips: Matthew Swift ([email protected]) reports that the Sony AC adapter model AC-E45HG (around $20) will work with the unit, even though it is rated at 4.5V and only 700mA.

Specs: Headphone amp: 10mw+10mw into 16ohms, Line: 250mV (@-12dB) into 10Kohms.


User Manuals: MD-MT821 courtesy Nick Paul, quick guide

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-T51BT11.5 hr8 hr3 hr
AA x 16.5 hr3 hr
Both18 hr11 hr

Sharp MD-MS721/MS722

Pioneer PMD-R55
Kenwood DMC-K7R
Courtesy Japan-Direct
Sharp MD-MS721
Sharp MD-MS722
Pioneer PMD-R55
Kenwood DMC-K7R
Portable MD Recorder
Intro: 7/1998
MD-MS721: MSRP ¥46,000
Street ¥37,000
MD-MS722: ¥49,000
IN: line/optical, mic, DC 3.4~5.0v, OUT: headphone/line87 x 25.9 x 81.5mm, 216g, w/batt


  • 40 second shock memory, Sharp ATRAC 6.
  • .25 um process LSI includes digitized RF section, signal encoder/decoder, digital servo EFM processing and ATRAC compression and decompression on a single chip.
  • 20bit ADC and DAC.
  • Backlit remote (MS721 remote features 3 small jog rings for controlling track selection, X-bass and volume. MS722 remote includes watch/alarm clock functions and features 2 small jog rings for controlling track selection and volume).
  • MS722 features large jog dial on front face of unit for titling and control.
  • MS721 features diecast aluminum construction

Mis-features: No date/time stamp during recording.

Tips: The skip-track fwd/bkwd buttons on the remote are used to increase or decrease the recording level (values 0-30). It mirrors the functionality of the base unit. -Arne Bier


Specs: Input levels: Mic H: 0.25mV, 10Kohms, Mic L: 2.5mV, 10KOhms, Line: 100mV, 20Kohms. Headphone: 10mW+10mW, 16Ohms. Line: 300mV (@ -12dB), 10Kohms.


User Manuals: MD-MS721, quick guide, short

Service Manual: MD-MS721

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-S31BT (3.6V 800mAh)10 hr8 hr3 hr
AA x 16 hr3 hr
Both16 hr11 hr

Sharp MD-MS701/MS702

Pioneer PMD-R3
Photo: Boyde
Kenwood DMC-J7R
Sharp MD-MS701
Sharp MD-MS702
Pioneer PMD-R3
Kenwood DMC-J7R
Portable MD recorders,
Intro: 9/1997
MSRP ¥47,000/ 48,000, street: ¥39,800
IN: optical/line, mic. OUT: headphone, DC in: 3.6V (LiIon) 3V (2AA), 4.5V (car), 5V (AC)87x29.4x81.5, pocket weight: MS701: 216g, MS702: 219g

Features: First recorder with an ``MD Jacket'' (i.e. square front face) design. Sharp ATRAC 5. 10 second shock memory. New 1 chip LSI incorporating the [digitalized] RF section, signal processing encoder/decoder, digital servo, EFM processing and audio compression/decompression circuitry. MS702 is ``sporty look'' model. Sampling rate converter. Digital/Line/Mic synchro start, goes into pause after 3 seconds silence. Mono recording. 2X quick playback mode. Time automarking at 3, 5 and 10 minute intervals. ``Moji Stamp'' function allows text transfer from original to newly recorded disc. Manual recording level control only (no AGC), microphone sensitivity selection is built-in, as part of the recording level control setting (0-20: HIGH, 21-30: LOW). Katakana/ Alphanumeric/ Symbol titling. Random, all repeat, 1 repeat play modes.

Included Accessories: Backlit LCD remote, headphones, LiIon rechargeable, AC adapter, AA case, carrying case.

Mis-features: No date/time stamp during recording. Be aware that when recording from the mic input and you adjust the recording level, a small 'glitch' (a few millisecs silence) will be recorded where the level drops from MIC 'H' to MIC 'L' (position 20 on the 0 - 30 level scale). -Graham Baker

TOC Undo: TOC Undo with the Kenwood DMC-J7R is very simple: Remove the battery/unplug the power supply without turning the unit off. When powered up again, it forgets that there are unwritten TOC changes. -Stefan Werner

Problems: There have been reports on MD-L of Sharp MD-MS701/702 units malfunctioning, displaying intermittent "UTOC Error" messages with damaged/irrecoverable recordings as a result. A user ([email protected]) advises:

  1. It is important not to do an auto calibration in service mode without a "tdys1" (sony) testing MD or equivalent (Teac). This will definetly cause more problems!
  2. Unit should be returned immediately when the first UTOC errors appear, it is a bad sign! It makes no sense to wait until the warranty has expired.
Sharp later introduced the 702MK model to address the UTOC problem. Failure rates for this newer version are reported by to be about the same as they have seen for other modern MD recorders (1-2%).

Accessories: Sharp seems to have sold the MD-MS702 outside of Japan without the external AA cell case. It's available though from Planet Minidisc and Minidisco.


Specs: 20-20kHz +/-3dB, wow & flutter <.001% peak. Output: Line: 300mV (-12dB) (50Kohms). Headphones: 10mW+10mW (32ohms). Input: Mic H: 0.25mV 10kOhms. Mic L: 2.5mV 10kOhms. Line: 100mV 20kOhms.


User Manuals: MD-MS701, HTML

Service Manual: MD-MS701

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-S31BT (3.6V 800mAh)5 hr3.5 hr2.5 hr
AA x 28 hr4 hr
Both13 hr7.5 hr

Sharp MD-MS200

Sharp MD-MS200
Denon DMP-R70
Kenwood DMC-G7R
Pioneer PMD-R2
portable recorder
Intro: 1/1997
msrp:¥48,000, street: ¥32,800
IN: line/optical, mic (w/plug in power). out: common jack for headphone (10mW+10mW @16ohm) / line (50Kohm)109.2 X 29.8 X 81.3 mm, 275g (incl. rechargeable)

Features: Sharp ATRAC 4. Slot in design. Digital and Mic Synchro start recording (has Hi/Lo selector for mic synchro start threshold), Double speed playback, Time Auto Mark function (track mark at 3, 5 or 10 min. interval), Auto time stamping, Sample rate converter, Stereo/mono recording. Autoplay on disc insertion. With car adapter, resumes from start of song when car is started. Manually adjustable gain level can be changed during recording. Up to 100 characters per track and disc title may be entered, totaling up to 1700 characters per disc. Defeatable beep (hold bass boost button). "Moji Stamp" feature copies title and song names of one MD onto another, as follows: after dubbing MD->MD (analog, or digitally if permitted), original disc is placed in the MS200 to read and store the name data, duplicated disc is subsequently inserted and the stored names written to it from the MS200's memory. Industry's longest continuous recording time, on rechargeable (AD-MS10BT) (as of intro date). Ext power: AC adapter:5.0v, Dry cell case: 6.0v, Car adapter: 4.5v. The MS200 comes with one lithium ion battery and a LCD-less remote control (AD-MS20RM). Dry Cell case (AD-MS10BC) and LCD remote control sold separately (both AD-ST60RM and AD-SS70RM can be used). Pioneer and Kenwood models come with LCD remote that includes a ``play mode'' button setting Random, Repeat and Repeat 1.

Little known modes: P-save mode, stores less music in the shock-proof memory. To toggle it on/off, hold the ``Display'' button for 2 seconds when the unit is stopped. A-play mode, automatically goes into play mode when a disc is inserted. Hold the ``Mode/Ins'' button for 2 seconds when the unit is stopped.

Note: No AGC (automatic gain control) recording. The battery life is 9.5h (PB) when "auto Power Save" mode is ON. In this mode, the memory saves only 5 sec of data. If you turn OFF this "auto Power Save" mode, the memory saves 10 sec of data (which is the ordinary amount for other portables), and the battery life gets 20% shorter (==7.6h), according to the manual.

Mis-features: No "remaining track time" display.

Problems: Japanese domestic units have trouble charging on North American 120VAC house current.

Parts: Unit's DAC chip reported to be made by AKM semiconductor.

Links: Sharp's comprehensive summary page. A scan of all its surfaces. Conrad Sanderson's Sharp MS200 pages (and a subpage). The German Stereo magazine and a user compare the MZ-R30 and the Sharp MD-MS200. Emanuel Borsboom has a table comparing the Sony MZ-R30 and Sharp MD-MS200. Steven Smith has done a little bench testing of the unit. MiniDiscussion has collected user reviews for this unit.


User Manual: MD-MS200

Service Manual: MD-MS200

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-MS10BT9.5 hr7 hr3 hr
AA x 6
Both35 hr25 hr

Sharp MD-MS100

Denon DMP-R50
Sharp MD-MS100
Pioneer PMD-R1
Denon DMP-R50
Kenwood DMC-F5R
portable recorder
Intro: 12/1995
msrp: ¥49,000
in: optical/line, mic. out: hdphn.109.2 x 30.5 x 81.3 mm, 275g w/batt.

Features: Sharp ATRAC 3. "slot-in" (non-clamshell) disc insert/eject [easier to manage when you're on the go], stereo/mono recording, track move/ divide/ combine/ erase, random play, sound-synchro recording [starts recording when audio appears on the input, automatically truncates between track silence exceeding 4 seconds], auto marker, remote on headphone cord (volume, track select/position, stop/ pause/ play, bass boost), katakana/roman alphabet input/display. Line out uses the headphone connector. Unit available in black or silver. Comes with: headphones, remote control, lithium ion rechargeable battery, AC adapter, analog line cord, carrying case. Playback time 4.5 hours, recording 3.5. Recording time about 12 hours with separately available battery case (AD-MS10BC)

Comparison: with Sony MZ-R3 (showing features unique to each): Sharp MD-MS100 Defeatable beep sound. Ability to change recording level whilst recording. Standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Loud!! Uses 5V adapter. Combined headphone/line-out jack (though output impedance is adjusted to match the load). Calibrated level meter in dB. Suppl. acessories: headphones, rechargeable Lithium battery, power adapter, analog cable, carrying bag, remote control. Sony MZ-R3 Date/time stamps on recordings. Automatic gain control. Uses 4.5V adapter. Separate outputs for headphone and line-out. Suppl. acessories: headphones, power adapter, analog cable, carrying bag, remote control.

Problems: Japanese domestic units have trouble charging on North American 120VAC house current.

Links: Sharp press release. Sharp Japan Spec sheet (in English). Sharp Japan page for this unit, including a cute animation of the "Slot-in" design.


Sharp MD-M25

Sharp MD-M25
Denon DMP-R30
Kenwood DMC-E7R
portable recorder
Intro: 9/1995
msrp: $600(sharp)
in: optical/line, mic. out: optical, hdphn/line. ext. pwr: 4.5V84x26.8x106mm, 265g w/bat.

Features: Sharp ATRAC 2. Track/disc titling. Track delete move, join, divide. Sampling rate converter, st/mono recording. 1 bit AD and DA. Defeatable beep (hold bass boost button). Nearly identical in features to the Sharp MD-M20 (the MD-M20 kit included the AD-M20BC 6AA cell case as standard). Accessories: AD-M20BC 6AA cell case, AD-M20CK car mount kit (¥13,000, includes base mounting unit, car power cord, cassette adapter, 2 velcro strips. Mounts on center console). Battery: AD-M20BT Lithium Ion rechargeable (¥5000).

Links: User's review and comparison with MZ-R3.

Specs: Headphone jack supplies 10mW+10mW into 16ohm load, or 275mV line level (@-12dB) into 50kohm load.


User Manual: MD-M25

Battery LifePlayRecord
LiIon AD-M20BT3.5 hr2.5 hr
AA x 6
Both16 hr12 hr

Sharp MD-M20

Sharp MD-M20portable MD recorder
Intro: 3/1995




Features: Very similar to Sharp MD-M25. Smallest and lighest MD recorder at time of introduction.


Sharp MD-M11

Kenwood DMC-A7R
Sharp MD-M11
Kenwood DMC-A7R
Portable MD recorder
Intro: 1/1994
MSRP ¥45,000
in: optical/line, mic. out: optical/line, headphone. DC in: 4.5v84x29.8x106mm, 300g w/batt.

Features: First Sharp recorder. Sharp ATRAC 1. Full editing and titling functions. 10 second shock memory. Rechargeable 3.6V Li-Ion cell, recharge time 1.5 hours. Battery life: continuous playback: 2.5 hr, continuous record (monitor volume at zero): 2 hours. No AGC (manual recording level only). Backup battery pack (4 1/2 x 2 7/8 x 3/4 inches) holds 6 AA batteries, pack snaps onto the back of the unit. 50-level recording meter.

Quick-Charge Trick: Purchase a Recoton DC adaptor with voltage selector ranging from 3V to 12V from Sears, and set it to 7.5 volts. The unit will now charge in 20-30 minutes with no damage done. I've been doing this for months and battery life has not suffered at all. -misfit809

Links: A user has several photos of the Kenwood DMC-A7R clone.

Specs: Headphone amp: 8mW + 8mW, 0.2% THD. Freq resp.: 20-20kHz +/-3dB. 1 bit A/D and D/A. 4.5 DC input.


Return to the
MiniDisc Equipment Browser
MiniDisc Accessories Browser or
MiniDisc Community Page.