The Olympus LS-11 portable audio recorder
By Darren Quick
September 9, 2009
IFA brought us the Olympus LS-10 last year, so it’s only fitting that IFA 2009 saw Olympus touting the imminent arrival of the LS-11, a feature-packed audio recorder that fits in the palm of a hand and boasts sampling rates of up to 24-bit/96kHz with PCM recording. It also gives users a choice of three file formats – WMA, MP3, and WAV – and even allows sound files to be edited in the device.
The LS-11 has the same built-in high sensitivity, noise reduction microphones placed at a 90 degree angle to each other as its predecessor, but ups the internal memory from 2 to 8GB and adds the ability to record to SD cards of up to 32GB in capacity. The device can also view the two memory sources as one storage destination, so it can address 40GB of data when using a 32GB SD card. It is also possible to divide and partially erase files and move and copy them between internal memory and SD cards.
The inclusion of Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA) technology enables the LS-11’s new Auto Recording function, which automatically switches on when it detects a certain audio level. The same feature also allows the unit to automatically stop recording when the audio signal falls back below a certain level.
Other features new to the LS-11 include an indexing function, which provides the ability to set index marks during recording and playback in PCM mode, and a double clock generator based on 44.1 and 48kHz sampling, which comes in handy for multi-track recordings. It also incorporates two 16mm round dynamic stereo speakers for immediate playback of recordings, as well as a tripod socket for easy mounting.
Designed as it is to appeal to musicians, journalists and podcasters, the LS-11 weighs just 5-oz (142g) and is small and sturdy enough to be carried around in a pocket, bag or backpack. Its silver body incorporates metal volume and recording level dials as well as a 1.8-inch backlit display.
The LS-11 runs on two AA batteries, which should provide for up to 23 hours or recording time, and it comes with an infrared remote control, carry case, USB cable, audio cable and two microphone windshields. It is Windows and Mac compatible and also comes with the Cubase 4 LE music production software. Optional extras include a rechargeable Ni-MH battery, AC adapter and ME30W conference microphone.
The Olympus LS-11 will be available this month for USD$399.99.