New Sony MD Players

(A translation of the original Sony page).

Announcing two new portable MiniDisc players that slip neatly into a breast pocket. The smallest is 13.5mm thick and 76 grams, making it the thinnest, smallest and lighest MD unit in the world.

MZ-E50 MD Walkman
13.5mm thick, 76grams

MZ-E30 MD Walkman
25.8mm thick, 120grams

Sony is now selling two units, the MD Walkman MD-E50, a 76 gram, 13.5mm thin-styled portable MiniDisc player that is the world's thinnest, smallest and lightest unit to date, and the MD Walkman MD-E30, an MD jacket-size MD Walkman. Both units can be put in a breast pocket or handbag wihout being bulky, allowing high quality MD sound to be easily enjoyed while on the go.

NameIntroPrice (w/o tax)Body ColorInitial Production
MD Walkman
10/21JPY48,000Silver20,000 units
MD Walkman
11/21JPY38,000 Silver,
Sparkling Blue,
Sparkling Orange
30,000 units

In both MD Walkman units now on sale, a reduction in size and weight has been pursued, and use has been made of MiniDisc's special qualities, to produce a handy portable playback device. In comparison with our previous unit, the pickup weight has been reduced about 80%, thickness about 30% and a newly developed LSI has reduced the parts count about 45%. In addition, power consumption has fallen to under 50% of our previous unit. For the first time it is possible to drive an MD unit with one "chewing gum pack" shaped battery, achieving an overall reduction in size and weight. Furthermore, through the adoption of a diecast magnesium mechanical platform and exterior for the MZ-E50, a body thickness of 13.5mm and weight of 76 grams has been realized, making it the world's thinnest, smallest, and lightest MD player.

Both units are powered by an internal "chewing gum pack" shaped Nickel-Hydride rechargeable battery which provides 4 hours use. A single alkaline AA cell (used with the external battery case) provides approximately 5 hours use, both together provide about 10 hours continuous playback. In addition, the LCD equipped remote control on the headphones displays katakana, roman letters, and symbols from MDs which have had disc and track names placed on them, making this information easy and convenient to check.

The MZ-E50, through its high strength diecast magnesium exterior, is given an unexcelled high quality look and feel. The MZ-E30, through a special coating process, has a delicately changing sparkling color that varies with the viewing angle, giving it a ``Pop Design''.

Points concerning the reduction in thickness, size and weight.

Both Machines -- compared to the previous MZ-E3:
  • Development of the ultra small pickup: by adopting a magnesium diecast construction, an 80% weight reduction and 30% thickness reduction was achieved.
  • Newly developed LSI: gives a 45% reduction in parts count.
  • Newly developed LSI: cuts power consumption to less than 50%, realizes ability to drive unit with 1.5V "gum pack shape" Nickel-Hydride cell.

Adopted in the MZ-E50:

  • Development of the ultra small deck mechanism: compared with the previous MZ-E3 model, weight has been reduced about 60% and thickness about 15%.
  • A high strength diecast magnesium exterior has been adopted to reduce weight and thickness.
  • High strength titanium as been adopted for the internal MD holder to further reduce weight and thickness.

Japanese Domestic Market Scale

MD machinesRecordable MiniDiscs (Sony Survey)
1995 1,080,000 units (EIAJ)1995 approx. 10,000,000 pieces
1996 approx 2,500,000 units (Sony estimate)1996 approx. 25,000,000 pieces

MZ-E50 Main Characteristics

1. World's thinnest, smallest, lightest.
A thickness of 13.5mm and weight of 76 grams has been realized, making it the world's thinnest, smallest, lightest MD player. The same size as a business card case, not bulky, even if placed in a dress shirt breast pocket or ladies small handbag. The most appropriate unit for portable use.

2. Strong, diecast magnesium body.
For the sake of on the go use, a diecast magnesium exterior is used, promoting lightness and high strength. At the same time, a high quality feel never before seen in portable audio equipment has been achieved.

MZ-E30 Main Characteristics

1. MD ``Jacket''-size small-style design
A recordable MiniDisc ``Jacket'' size MD player has been realized*. Because it's small size is only 82mm wide, 79.6mm deep and 25.8mm thick, it's handy for on the go use.
*A reflection of the MD Jacket front face size. [Which is 80x72mm -eaw]

2. On the go enjoyment with three color variations.
Metallic-like Silver, and through the use of a special coating which produces a delicately changing scarab beetle like coloration depending upon the viewing angle, Sparkling Blue and Sparkling Orange. On the go enjoyment with ``Pop'' color variations.

Special characteristics of both the MZ-E50 and MZ-E30

1. The first use of a single "gum pack shaped" rechargeable cell to drive an MD unit has been realized.
The mechanism's low power consumption design allows a single "gum pack shaped" 1.5V Nickel-Hydride cell to drive the unit. One rechargeable cell provides about 4 hours use, one alkaline AA cell (with included battery case attached) provides about 5 hours use, and both together provide about 10 hours continuous playback.

2. Headphone remote and main body both equipped with LCD display.
On the remote unit LCD display, katakana, roman letters and symbols display disc and song names*, conveniently allowing them to be checked, and desired songs to be searched for. Further, playback modes such as repeat, shuffle, etc., a song's remaining time, and remaining battery power can be easily checked. On the main body LCD display the track number, play mode, and remaining battery power are displayed.
*Disk and track names are displayed only on discs which have had that information placed on them.

3. Equipped with a standard miniplug jack.
Because it's equipped with a standard miniplug jack, not only can HiFi use headphones be attached, car audio* and active speaker connections can conveniently be made.
*For car audio connections the separately available CPA-8 ``Car Connecting Pack''is necessary.

4. Other characteristics.
Equipped with 1 song repeat, all repeat, shuffle repeat playback modes.
``Gum pack'' shaped Nickel-Hydride rechargeable cell quick-charger included. Can produce 40% charge in about 15 minutes, full charge in about 60 minutes.
Monaurally recorded discs are automatically played back in monaural mode with ``auto-monaural playback mode''.
Equipped with a ``confortable sound level switch'' that decreases sound leaks(?) and is kind to your ears for enjoyment at the proper sound level.

Main Specifications (slightly abbreviated)

Freq. response20-20,000Hz+-3dB
Powerrechargable Nickel-Hydride cell (included) and/or 1 alkaline AA cell (included)
external powerDC1.5V AC power adapter (sold separately)/AC100V 50/60Hz
battery playback time

(continuous playback)
(1) rechargeable Nickel-Hydride: approx. 4 hours
(2) alkaline AA cell:approx. 5 hours
(1)+(2): approx 10 hours
recharge timeNickel Hydride cell: approx. 15 minutes 40% charge / approx. 60 minutes full charge
input terminalsnone
output terminalsheadphone output (stereo mini)

Maximum exterior sizes
(width x height x depth)
99x13.5x 73.5mm
*Not including projections
*Not including projections
weightmain body: approx. 76g
with rechargeable cell: approx. 101g
ready for use: approx. 120g
(prerecorded disc and rechargable cell included)
body: approx. 120g
with rechargeable cell: approx 145g
ready for use: approx. 160g
(prerecorded disc and rechargable cell included)
included accessoriesHeadphones with remote control attached, rechargeable Nickel-Hydride cell,
Recharger, alkaline AA cell, external battery case,
carrying pouch, battery carrying case, ear attachment

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