Camera boffins Olympus jump into the pocket recorder market with this handy stereo tool.
This Olympus looks like just the job for recording voice and acoustic or even full bands on the fly. It records MP3, WAV or WMA files and transfers to a computer via a USB 2.0 port. It’s got twin stereo mics plus a 2Gb internal memory: we recorded for 25 minutes before we noticed there was no SD card in it, which is impressive. It also has a pair of mini monitor speakers, so you don’t even need to bring any headphones. You can connect additional mic and line inputs, and there are proper hardware controls for Record and Playback Volume, Bass Roll-Off, and Hi/Low mic sensitivity. Olympus also makes a range of mics including a ‘T-bar’ stereo, a kit with a pair of omnis and mini-tripods, a noise-cancelling mic and a tie-clip mic.
The multi-function LS-10 has a rather involved split file structure for voice and music, but you get an A-B selector for repeating sections of a recording. You can also add preset reverb and surround processing internally.
Sound quality is very good, with excellent clarity and a well-defined stereo image. We compared it at 24/96 against a simultaneous recording using high-end gear at 44.1/24 and another recorder on MP3, and it came out well. We noticed some loss of subtlety and to our ears it was somewhat bright, but against the MP3 there was no comparison.
This is a really nicely thought out and easy-to-use recorder, and we like having the internal memory. The marketplace is busy with stereo recorders at the moment so make sure it has the right features and sound for you, but it's a thumbs-up from us.