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Sony MZ-E10 MiniDisc Walkman
By Aaron Yip
Category : Sound
Published by Jimmy Tang on Friday, 2nd May, 2003
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  

MiniDisc - The Audio Cassette Replacement

How times have flown in the world of the MiniDisc. In the 1990s, the production volume of audio cassette tapes were on a continuous rapid decline - no thanks in part to the establishment of the compact disc media, which had quickly replaced analog audio technology due to its digitally-based, high speed random access and direct search capabilities. But compact discs are a read-only media. So Norio Ohga (Sony's President back then) decided that a new media was needed to replace the aging cassette tapes, and challenged his engineers to develop a recording and playback device that uses a disc smaller than (yet, as good as) the CD to replace the audio cassette tapes (CD-R and CD-RW media were pretty much unheard of back then, you see).

Then in May 1991, with all developments concluded, the new audio standard, the MiniDisc was announced. Sony then made a call upon various hardware and software manufacturers to endorse the MiniDisc system. A product launch was then projected for the end of 1992, and the rest, as some would say, was history.

A cigarette casing, anyone?

Fast forward to circa November 2002, and the world was introduced to the, well, world's smallest and lightest MiniDisc player in the form of the MZ-E10. Available in Japan since that month (and only in Singapore this year), the MZ-E10 was one of four Sony commemoration models to celebrate the behemoth company's 10th Anniversary of its MiniDisc division. And if you're wondering, the other three models are the MZ-N10 (essentially the recordable cousin of the E10), the LAM-10 and Z10 (both of which are desktop MD systems). We'll take a look at these three other anniversary models some other time, but for now we'll get our hands full with the MZ-E10.

The MZ-E10 is only about 1/3 thicker than a minidisc.

At just 9.9mm thick and weighing only 55g with a built-in battery, the MZ-E10 is really one of, if not the smallest player around. And along with its signature magnesium-alloy body, the MiniDisc walkman can easily pass off as a metallic cigarette case or a namecard holder.

Sony MZ-E10 Technical Specifications
Battery Life Playback (MD-LP4) 40 Hours
Charge Time
  • 80% 1 hour (approx)
  • 100% 3.5 Hours (approx)
  • Channels Stereo two channels/monaural one channel
    Sampling Rate 44.1kHz
    Audio Compression Method
  • ATRAC (Adaptive TRansform Acoustic Coding)
  • ATRAC3:LP2 stereo and LP4 stereo
  • Frequency Range 20-20,000Hz ±3dB
  • Width: 81.9mm
  • Height: 72.2mm
  • Depth: 9.99mm
  • Weight 55g (Including Li-Ion battery)
    Supplied Accessories
  • AC Charger
  • Charging Cradle
  • Earphones
  • LCD remote controller
  • Built In Li-Ion rechargeable battery
  • Carrying pouch
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