Many electronics companies are renowned for producing a wide range of products, rarely restricting themselves to a single market. Case in point, Olympus has for nearly a century been a reliable producer of everything from professional cameras and microscopes to medical devices to high quality audio recording equipment. In 2008, the LS-10 was released to the public – a PCM recorder that proved to be a much sought after and versatile item. With the June 2012 unveiling of the LS-10S, consumers can once again enjoy the benefits of this piece of audio equipment at an affordable price.
On a personal note, this writer has been an avid user of the no-longer-produced Olympus WS-100, which shares similar functions as a hand-held audio recorder. Naturally, the LS-10S surpasses in virtually every way, not the least of which being its ability to record up to 12 hours at 96 kHz/24-bit in multiple formats including PCM, WMA, WAV, and MP3. As well, with 2GB of built-in flash memory and a slot to house an SD/SDHC card up to 32GB, the LS-10S immediately sets the bar higher for quality recordings. The practical applications of such a device are immediately apparent – with two round dynamic speaker/microphones (windscreens included), the prospect of crystal clear recording with minimal to zero background noise is enough to make the LS-10S a most attractive product not only for the obvious uses of taking dictation or recording business/multimedia presentations, but also for budding musicians to employ. While certainly no replacement for the controlled space of a studio, one can certainly use the device to capture audio in a wide range of settings – be it to grab samples, record live music, or even record a vocal track on the go, the LS-10S can certainly deliver. Even the WS-100, which has been used to record audio InterViews and other vocal snippets for the ReGen Radio Podcast, can’t measure up to how pristine the sound on this small piece of machinery is.
Oh yes, the LS-10S is a small item to be sure, with a smooth and lightweight aluminum housing that would seem flimsy if not for its durability and sleekness of design, even including a strap and carrying case for the traveling recorder. As well, credit must be given for the intelligent layout of control buttons and LED display; intuitive as to nearly render the obligatory user manual a mere formality. Indeed, this writer admits to barely skimming the booklet and simply jumping in to the functions of the device blindly, finding it to be almost ridiculously easy to use. Utilizing a USB 2.0 hi-speed interface compatible with the latest versions of MAC and Windows, and operating on two AA batteries, the LS-10S lives up to its hype and provides users with excellent uncompressed audio recording capabilities… and all for only $200! Had ReGen been allowed to keep the ReView unit, it most certainly would have replaced the WS-100 and been employed for everything from audio InterViews, live performances, podcasting, and who knows what else? It’s that versatile in its capability and that pristine in its quality.
The Olympus LS-10S Linear PCM Recorder is available exclusively at Guitar Center retail stores, and once again at $200, it is well worth the purchase!
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)