Sony MZ-N1


Name MZ-N1
Manufacturer Sony
Released 2001/12
Device type portable
Recorder Recorder
NetMD Yes
Hi-MD No
Radio No
Dimensions 78.7 x 71.8 x 16.9mm
Weight 90g
ATRAC ver Type-R
Battery "Gumstick"
Battery notes
Sidecar (depr) 1xAA
Voltage 1.5, 3
Power cable Center positive
Price (launch)
¥45 000
Inputs 3.5mm line in (analog-only), 3.5mm line in (optical multi), 3.5mm microphone
Outputs 3.5mm line out (analog-only), 3.5mm headphone
Control Remote (Sony), USB Mini-B

First portable netMD recorder launched by Sony. It was launched alongside the CMT-C7NT, LAM-Z1, and MDS-NT1 as the first generation of netMD devices. NetMD allows PC to MD download of audio files. Originally Open MG Jukebox (and later SonicStage) was required to use netMD, but these days most devices are supported by PlatinumMD and web MD.

Shipped with the RM–MC12ELK remote in Japan. It supports full-width and half-width disc/track titles, meaning Kanji and Katakana names work fine. International models seemingly shipped with the RM-MC11EL, which does not support full-width titles(and therefore means no support for full-width kanji/kana).

A few things to keep in mind for modern buyers:

  • A dock is required in order to use netMD. This can be expensive to buy separately.
  • Numerous reports of issues with the write head's ribbon cable. Not really repairable except for those with advanced soldering skills.

With these issues in mind, a later generation recorder such as the MZ-N910 would be a safer buy.

Maximum output (DC): Headphones: 5 mW + 5 mW (16 ohm)
Outputs LINE OUT: stereo mini-jack (dedicated remote control jack) /194 mV (10 kohm )

Mechanism Type: MT-MZN1-171
Optical Pick-up Name: LCX-5R
Chipset: CXD2677-202GA or -205GA

Search for the MZ-N1 on eBay

Content adapted from: Official Sony Press Announcement, MZ-N1, Brian Youn's MZ-N1 Review, Sony Press Release Announcing Net MD "Open" price but 45,000~yen estimate


The early signs of a write head cable failure are skips/silence in recording. Once the cable fails entirely, the unit won't write anything at all, including the table of contents. It will think it wrote things, so until you eject the disc or the machine loses power, it will attempt playback but you'll getsilence.

Write head repair

Skipping and errors during playback and recording can also be symptoms of a unit that needs to be lubed, so if your N1 has trouble, it may be worth starting with basic lubing.


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  • equipment/sony/portable/mz-n1.txt
  • Last modified: 8 weeks ago
  • by specialk