Sony, SD cards and snake oil

I really enjoy the videos made by electronics engineering video blogger Dave Jones posted on his EEVblog web site and the one below about a new SD card being launched by Sony really is worth watching.

It seems Sony have come up with a ruse to part music lovers from their cash by launching a 64GB Sony Audiophile micro SD card ‘for premium sound‘.

Now SD cards are digital storage, unless the individual cards are so badly designed or manufactured that they are effectively faulty the digital information, the ‘1’s and ‘0’s, read from them will be exactly the same whatever the brand of SD card or whatever price you pay for it. Buying a very expensive SD card because it is marked ‘Premium Sound’ and is specifically targeted for audio use will not make your mp3 music files sound any better.

It also needs to be remembered that mp3  files are compressed anyway to make them smaller. By their nature they are a compromise between audio purity and file size, no fancy SD memory card is going to restore what has already been removed.


This has a real feel of quack medicine men selling snake oil remedies.

Remember those who used to claim running a green felt tip pen around the edge of a music CD improved the sound? Well CDs are digital too, and that did not make a blind bit of difference to the actual sound quality either.

Ah” I hear someone say, “what about the different classes of SD cards they sell, class 4 and class 10 etc, all memory cards are not the same”. Well those are the Speed Class and determine how fast the card can be written to. This is important for recording large files in real time, especially for recording quality video, but has no impact on reading back mp3 compressed audio files.

Given the time of year it did cross my mind that Sony were playing a trick, that on the 1st of April they were going to cry “April Fool – we got you“, but typing “Sony Audiophile SD card” into an Ebay search I have actually found sellers in Japan who are happy to sell me one of these extraordinarily expensive Sony SD cards and post it to me here in the UK.

Anyway, watch the video below and enjoy the Dave Jones ranty Australian presenting style.


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