Olympus LS-5 voice recorder promises pocket-sized hi-fi

Olympus LS-5 voice recorder promises pocket-sized hi-fi

Only spotty intern reporters from the Lower Grimthrope Weekly Gazette still use tape recorders for interviews because digital is where it’s at baby- and to underscore that point, Olympus have just shunted out their latest voice recording gizmo, the LS-5.

The company solemnly swear that you’ll be able to, “make high-end audio recordings no matter the time and place,” thanks to this baby, with the pint sized ear-in-a-box capable of faithfully recording concerts, probing interviews, passing steam trains or the soothing sounds of nature.

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Boasting Linear PCM recording capabilities and sampling rates of up to 24bit/96kHz, this  mobile mini sound studio comes with 2GB of built in memory, expandable to 32GB (using the SDHC-compatible SD card slot).

The high-sensitivity, noise reduction stereo microphone lets you record in three modes (Normal, Wide and Zoom) with the option to record in  the popular WMA, MP3 and WAV recording formats  for maximum compatibility.

An Auto Recording feature can also be set to automatically start recording when noise levels exceed a given threshold and turn off again when the signal fades below the preset level – handy if you’re interviewing a drunk celeb with a penchant for falling asleep.

Olympus LS-5 voice recorder promises pocket-sized hi-fi


There’s also five reverb modes –  Normal, Studio, Club, Hall, Dome – to add a bit of life to mumbling bores (or perhaps inject an amusingly inappropriate reggae influence to your interview with the Right Hon Smythe-Tory-B’stard MP) ,

There’s automatic or manual record level adjustments, and a large, backlit display (1.8 inches) keeping you informed as to w’g’wan.

The Olympus LS-5 is available now, with pricing hovering around the £199.99 mark.

Olympus LS-5 voice recorder promises pocket-sized hi-fi

Feature list:

  • Elegant, compact metal design
  • Up to 24bit/96kHz sampling rate & PCM recording
  • High-quality built-in microphones
  • WAV/WMA/MP3 recording formats
  • 3 modes: Normal, Wide, Zoom
  • 5 reverb modes: Normal, Studio, Club, Hall, Dome
  • 4 playback modes (Euphony mobile): Normal, Natural, Wide, Power
  • Automatic or manual record level adjustment (manual with switchable limiter)
  • Switchable recording monitor
  • Low Cut-Filter
  • Large, backlit display (1.8 inches)
  • Long battery life time
  • 2GB internal memory
  • SD / SDHC card slot
  • Built-in stereo speaker
  • Function Button: Justifiable speed-dial button for the most needed function
  • Optional AC adapter
  • Optional infrared remote control

Full specs:

Product Class Linear PCM Recorder
Mobile / Stationary mobile and stationary
Storage Media
Internal / Removable Media Internal + Removable
External Memory SD / SDHC card (512 MB – 32 GB)
SD / SDHC card Yes
microSD / microSDHC card No
Internal memory 2 GB
USB functionality
USB Audio Class Yes
USB Speed USB 2.0 High Speed
USB storage class Yes
Display Backlit Yes
Display colour White
Display Type Full Dot Matrix Display
Display Size 30.1 x 35.4 mm / 1.83 ”
Device operation
Programmable button 0
Main Switch Push
HOLD switch Yes
Power switch Yes
Recording Modes
Recording format WAV / WMA / MP3 , PCM
PCM (WAV) format This high-quality, non-compressed recording format gives you better-than-CD sounds. Choose from the following modes to get the best combination of quality and recording time:
96 kHz 24 bit 0 h 55 min
96 kHz 16 bit 1 h 25 min
88,2 kHz 24 bit 1 h
88,2 kHz 16 bit 1 h 35 min
48 kHz 24 bit 1 h 55 min
48 kHz 16 bit 2 h 55 min
44.1 kHz 24 bit 2 h 5 min
44.1 kHz 16 bit 3 h 10 min
Mono 6 h 20 min
Recording time is expandable with optional SD / SDHC card (e.g. more than 12 h with 8 GB card, 44 kHz 16 bit).
Recording time is expandable with optional SD / SDHC card (e.g. more than 139 h with 8 GB card, 128 kbps).
Recording time is expandable with optional SD / SDHC card (e.g. more than 272 h with 8 GB card, 64 kbps).
Recording times shown above are approximate values for reference. Maximum recording capacity per each file is limited of approx. 4 GB due to file system restrictions. For WMA format the maximum recording time is approx. 26 hours 40 minutes. Available recording time for SD/SDHC memory cards refer to the Olympus official web site (http://www.olympus-europa.com).
MP3 format The ever-popular MP3 format is great for distributing music online – and the LS-10 lets you record directly in a choice of MP3 modes for different recording times:
320 kbps 14 h 10 min
256 kbps 17 h 45 min
128 kbps 35 h 35 min
WMA format Need to record for even longer? The LS-10 supports the versatile WMA format, which offers the following recording times:
160 kbps 27 h 50 min
64 kbps 69 h 35 min
Playback Modes
Playback format WAV / WMA / MP3 , PCM
Frequency response
96 kHz (PCM) 20 – 44.000 Hz
88,1kHz (PCM) 20 Hz – 42 kHz Hz
48 kHz (PCM) 20 – 23.000 Hz
44.1 kHz (PCM) 20 – 21.000 Hz
44,1 kHz mono 20 Hz – 21 kHz Hz
320 kbps (MP3) 50 – 20.000 Hz
256 kbps (MP3) 50 – 20.000 Hz
128 kbps (MP3) 50 – 17.000 Hz
Mono 50 Hz – 13 kHz Hz
160 kbps (WMA) 50 – 19.000 Hz
128 kbps (WMA) 50 – 19.000 Hz
64 kbps (WMA) 50 – 15.000 Hz
Frequency response 70 – 20.000 Hz
Record function
Continuous Recording Yes
Direct recording Yes
Erase all files Yes
Erase single files Yes
Partial Erase Yes
Handsfree recording function via optional footswitch No
Index Up to 16 in one file
Insert No
Low-cut filter Yes
Manual Rec level control Yes
Noise canceling function No
Overwrite No
Rec Monitor Yes
Timer recording No
VCVA recording Yes
Verbal annotations (up to 32 per file) No
Voice filter No
Zoom Mic. Setting (DVM) Yes
Playback function
Alarm playback No
Fast play No
Playback Speed Control No
Repeat playback Yes
Reverb Yes
Slow Play No
Data organisation
File move No
Folder Audible
Folder music 128
Folder Podcasts
Folder voice 5
Time/date info Yes
Files per folder 200
Workflow function
Author ID Setting No
Pending File No
Priority setting No
Worktype ID Setting No
Other Features
Audible support No
beep signal (system sound) Yes
Configurable Firmware No
Podcast support No
Remote Control No
Voice feedback / guidance No
corresponding Audio software (type) Audio Management Software
corresponding Audio software (name) Sonority
Interfaces Input
PC interface USB Cable
SD / SDHC interface no function
Microphone sensitivity High (- 59dBv) Low (- 39dBv)
Microphone jack 3.5 ø mm mini-jack, impedance 2 kΩ
LINE IN jack input – 6dBv
LINE IN jack 3.5 ø mm mini-jack, impedance 78 kΩ
Interfaces Output
Max. working output 200 mW + 200 mW (8 Ω speaker)
Maximum headphone output 3 mW + 3 mW
Speaker Diameter Stereo (two built-in ø 16 mm round dynamic speaker)
Earphone jack 3.5 ø mm jack, impedance 8Ω or more
Power Supply
Alkaline battery life Recording: 23 h (PCM 44.1kHz 16 bit)
Device standalone recharge function via AC adapter No
Device standalone recharge function via USB No
Docking station with recharge function No
External power supply AC-Adapter 5V / 300 mA
Ni-MH battery life Recording: 22 h (PCM 44.1kHz 16 bit)
Power Supply AA batteries (LR6 or ZR6) or two Ni-MH rechargeable batteries
Weight 165 g (incl. battery)
WxHxD 48 x 131.5 x 22.4 mm
Housing material Metal
Housing colour Blue metallic
Menu languages English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian
Hardware Security
Device Locky by Fingerprint No
Device lock by PIN code No
Lock single files No
Operating Systems & Requirements
Windows Operating system: Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista (Free USB port)
Macintosh Operating system: Mac OS 10.2/10.3/10.4/10.5 (Free USB port)


One Comment on “Olympus LS-5 voice recorder promises pocket-sized hi-fi”

  1. Olympus always get the build quality and ergonomics right, and the battery life on the LS-10 was excellent.

    But around the same price point it’s worth considering Edirol’s R-05, which has a similar basic spec. You won’t get the same smooth appearance or robustness of construction, but you might get a slightly richer and better balanced sound.

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