Sunday, 22 August 2010

Olympus LS-10 Recorder Review

Rating: 9/10

Best Price: £199.00 here

+ High quality recordings
- No internal battery
+ Easy to use
+ Sleek and good quality finish

First Impressions

When you first pick up the Olympus you are struck by the smooth and solid feel, due to the aluminium case. At 165g it is nice and sturdy so you don’t feel you could break it easily.
At roughly 13cm by 5cm by 2cm the LS 10 can easily fit in a jacket pocket.
The screen is crisp and clear with a good back light; however most of the fonts are on the small side.
The buttons are logically laid out, crisp and responsive. When you get your hands on the LS-10 it is a very intuitive device.

Ease of Use

The ‘quick start up guide’ gives succinct and easy to follow instructions.
To make a recording is simple, press the REC button and it goes into ‘REC PAUSE’ mode, where you adjust the mic sensitivity via adjusting the ‘MIC SENSE’ switch and adjust the recording level dial accordingly.
Press the REC button again and it records. From then it’s very intuitive; STOP button to stop, PLAY button to play what you recorded. Simple.
The menu tree consists of 6 folders which allows for easy arrangement of several recordings in one day. It appears a little sophisticated, but if you are comfortable with using file-menus on a computer you will figure it out quickly.
The Cubase software which comes with the LS-10 is a useful tool; and makes it easy to edit your recordings.

Storage and Connectivity

The LS-10 has an internal memory of 2GB and accepts SD cards up to 8GB thus having a potential of 10GB storage capacity.
You can record in WAV, WMA and MP3 file formats, meaning you can download your recordings onto iTunes and Media Player. Furthermore you can take music from iTunes and listen to it on the device.

Stereo Speaker

The quality of sound of the speakers is surprisingly clear for their size. They are not powerful but loud enough for playback in a quiet area. This is very useful for checking recordings without having to use another bit of equipment.

Remote Control

The remote and receiver is a very useful accessory. Especially for use in a lecture or meeting to be able to start and stop recording form your seat. However due to the thin plug you would have to be careful as it looks and feels quite fragile.

Sound Quality

Playback through headphones or speakers is very good. There is a richness to the audio which you would expect from much larger recording equipment. The bass was especially deep.

In the Box:
  • 2 x AA alkaline batteries
  • a usb cable
  • an 1/8" audio cable
  • a zippered carrying case
  • a strap
  • 2 windscreens
  • a Quick Start Guide
  • a DVD-ROM of Cubase LE4 music production software and an Instruction Manual in 3 languages (English, French & Spanish).
This is a very good selection of included accessories, but an AC adapter would be nice, so not to have to buy new AA batteries, however the long battery life almost makes up for it.

Tech Specs

2 high quality microphones
WAV/WMA/MP3 recording formats
2GB internal memory
SD card slot
Built-in stereo speaker
Optional Infrared remote control
Complete specs can be found on the Olympus LS-10 web page.


The fonts are a little on the small side and an internal rechargeable battery would be nice, but on the whole it is a great device The Olympus LS-10 is sleek, well made and easy to use, which produces high quality recordings, perfect for bands recording on a budget to students recording their lectures.

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