Got a guitar for Christmas and plan on becoming the next Bob Dylan? Spring $400 on this little pocket recorder, and you just might. This mean-looking stereo recorder from Olympus weighs 5.8 ounces and can track stereo 24-bit 96kHz linear PCM uncompressed, so you get essentially everything the built-in microphones can pick up.
It can record and play back in WAV, MP3 and WMA, and can take an expensive external mic if you want something a little hotter. Mercifully, it takes SD and SDHC cards (and not Olympus' proprietary xD ones), and can run 12 hours on two AA batteries. I would have preferred a lithium ion but there are always reusable alternatives. It even comes with Steinberg's Cubase music production software.
The only thing I'm truly wary of is the user interface—Olympus has given its recorders some supremely ugly interfaces in the past, and there's no indication that this will be any more intuitive than its predecessors. [Olympus]
Olympus LS-10 Recorder Delivers Superior Sound Quality and Professional Features to Musicians
True All-In-One Digital Portable Audio Device Lets Audiophiles Record in Uncompressed Linear PCM Format
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 3, 2008 - Olympus, the market leader for portable digital voice recorders and professional dictation devices, now leverages its audio expertise with the LS-10 Linear PCM Audio Recording Device, the ultimate portable professional recording tool for musicians and everyone who values high-quality recording. Straight out of the box, the intuitive and easy-to-use LS-10 delivers the high fidelity of a portable professional recording studio in an extremely light, go-anywhere body. No extra gear is required to record audio in uncompressed 24 bit/96 kHz Linear PCM format for digital stereo recordings true to the original performance. In addition to WAV, the LS-10 records and plays back in the common WMA and MP3 formats.
The LS-10 contains many unique and innovative features, including the following:
* Uncompressed 24 bit/96 kHz Linear PCM recording capability;
* WAV, MP3 and WMA recording and playback;
* Elegant and durable aluminum body;
* 2GB Built-in memory and a SD/SDHC removable media card slot that can accommodate SD cards;
* Built-in stereo speakers for instant playback of recordings;
* High sensitivity built-in stereo microphones;
* Manual Recording Level Adjustment to obtain the optimum level;
* Remote jack for optional wireless remote controller;
* Recording battery life of 12 hours; and
* Large 1.8-inch LCD with backlight.
"The LS-10 will bring music to the masses by allowing musicians and audio enthusiasts to produce studio-quality recordings," said Andrew Flagg, director, Sales and Marketing, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "As more and more people return to playing musical instruments themselves, the LS-10 will help them reach their true potential as performers and allow them to share their music with friends and family. Whether it is used by a band of amateur musicians or an orchestra, the LS-10 offers the best sound quality, ease of use, and feature set in the industry and produces recordings that are faithful to the original performance."
High Quality Recording
The LS-10 features uncompressed 24 bit/96kHz Linear PCM recording capability, to capture the rich sound quality of music performances. It has the versatility to record and play back in the WAV, MP3 and WMA formats. The LS-10 can record with its internal microphone or by plugging in an external microphone. The LS-10's value extends beyond the realm of music. Students will find it useful for recording lectures and journalists for recording high-quality interviews for broadcasts and podcasts.
Elegant and Intuitive Design
An enlarged, backlit LCD is easy to read and shows file information, recording time and events clearly. The device is outfitted with an ergonomic dial thumb pad allowing the user to play or stop a recording, adjust the volume level, fast-forward and rewind with the touch of one button. The Erase and Folder/Index buttons are positioned individually below the thumb dial for easy access.
The LS-10 has a lightweight and durable aluminum body. This keeps the weight of the LS-10 to a mere 5.8 ounces including batteries.
Memory Capacity and Expandability
The LS-10 has two gigabytes of internal flash memory to capture lengthy recordings. The LS-10 also features an SD/SDHC removable media card slot to further expand its capacity. During a busy day of recording, changing SD cards is an easy way for users to capture more audio without taking the time to download files to a computer.
Recording and Listening
The LS-10 can play back the high-quality audio it records and play it back on its built-in stereo speakers with vibrancy and clarity. These speakers allow more than one person to listen to a new recording simultaneously to help collaborating musicians evaluate recording progress on the fly.
The optional exclusive wireless remote controller allows users to start and stop the recording of the LS-10 from a distance. This is ideal for live performances when the LS-10 can be placed near the stage and activated from several rows back.
The LS-10 can record 12 hours on two AA batteries, longer than many competing Linear PCM recorders and long enough for an all-day event.
The LS-10 ships with Steinberg CUBASE LE 4 Sound editing software with 48 sound tracks and variety of effects, a carrying case, USB cable, audio cable, wind screen, two AA batteries, a strap, an instruction manual and Olympus warranty card.
Optional accessories for the LS-10 include an infrared remote control, AC adaptor, conference microphones (ME30W), Carrying Bag, Tripod, Rechargeable Battery (Ni-MH) and Charger, a zoom microphone, and a headset.
Pricing and Availability
The LS-10 provides excellent uncompressed audio recording at a fraction of the price of competing Linear PCM recorders. The LS-10 Digital Audio Device has an estimated street price of $399.99 (U.S.) and will be available in January 2008.