As a less bulky alternative to other high-end pro-quality digital audio recorders, the Sony PCM-M10 delivers top-notch performance with an easy-to-use interface. Users particularly appreciate its stellar battery life and trim size. However, don't expect to find many extra features.
Keeps going and going. The vast majority of users have positive things to say about the overall recording quality of the Sony PCM-M10. Some go as far as to say that it handily beats the directly competing Samson Zoom H4n (Est. $270) in terms of raw recording quality. Others are not as convinced, however, saying that the mics don't give as much of a true stereo recording. On the other hand, everyone agrees that the built-in playback speaker is weak. While the PCM-M10 lacks the multitracking capabilities and many of the extras of its closest competitor, its five-second prerecording buffer is a great unique feature. Last, and very much not least, epic battery life is one of the Sony PCM-M10's most buzzed-about positives.
Palm-sized and simple to use. The PCM-M10 digital voice recorder fits comfortably in your palm for one-handed operation, and the intuitive controls make it easy to pick up and use right out of the box. In contrast, the file folder architecture is too unwieldy for some users, who say that it's poorly implemented. The PCM-M10's substantive 4 GB of onboard memory can be expanded by adding a memory card for plenty of recording time, which you'll definitely clock thanks to the great battery life.
Sleek, with a trade-off. The PCM-M10 voice recorder fits in your palm or your pocket, making it a prime pick for users seeking greater portability paired with high-end audio quality. However, while performance stacks up well compared to the Samson Zoom H4n, this Sony digital voice recorder has fewer features yet sells for a similar price.
More than 160 owners weigh in on the PCM-M10 at BHPhotoVideo.com, where it earns an overall score of 4.7 stars out of 5. This Sony digital voice recorder earns much praise for its unique five-second prerecording buffer, though some complain the speaker monitor is weak for playback.
Review: Sony PCM-M10 Portable Audio Recorder, Contributors to BHPhotoVideo.com, As of April 2014
Tom Flint praises the PCM-M10 for its overall accessibility and ease of use, saying "Sony [has] kept settings simple enough that operation remains within the reach of 'prosumers' with little or no music technology experience." He criticizes how the dual microphones are non-adjustable, but maintains they still produce high-quality recordings.
Review: Sony PCM M10B, Tom Flint, March 2010
Videographer Fred Greenhalgh writes about his experience with the PCM-M10 after taking it on a recording trek through South Africa. He says this Sony digital audio recorder offers "truly legendary" battery life, as well as great portability. He also provides a handful of audio clips as samples here.
Review: Our South African Love: The Sony PCM-M10, Fred Greenhalgh, Feb. 19, 2012
More than 65 users review the Sony PCM-M10 at Amazon.com, where the digital audio recorder earns an overall score of 4.5 stars out of 5. The small iPod-like form factor is a major plus among reviewers, and some vocal users suggest its sound quality surpasses that of the Zoom H4n.
Review: Sony PCM-M10 Portable Linear PCM Voice Recorder, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014