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Olympus LS-5

Olympus LS-5 digital voice recorder

The Olympus LS-5 is effectively a pocket-sized recording studio – with the capability to capture really high quality audio in almost any environment.

Boasting Linear PCM recording capabilities and sampling rates of up to 24bit/96kHz, it is perfect for recording everything from live music and bird song to interviews, radio broadcasts and podcasts.

It has 2GB of internal memory, which gives you 55 minutes of recording time at the highest quality. But this can be expanded to 32GB using the SDHC-compatible SD card slot.

The high-sensitivity, high quality stereo microphones allow you to record in WMA, MP3 and WAV formats and in three modes - normal, wide and zoom. You can also choose from five reverb modes: normal, studio, club, hall and dome.

Olympus LS-5 at a glance...


  Micro SD card slot     2GB internal memory
  WAV, WMA or MP3     AA or rechargeable batteries
  High quality recording     Stereo low noise mics
  Linear PCM Recorder     up to 69 hours recording
  Sonority software     Timer recording


Display:   30.1 x 35.4 mm / 1.83 '' backlit LCD
Memory:   2 GB internal memory + MicroSD/microSDHC card
Input:   Mic mini-jack 3.5mm
Output:   Headphones mini-jack 3.5mm, USB
Power:   Two AA batteries or rechargeable Ni-Mh or supplied adaptor
Battery Life:   up to 23 hours recording at highest quality
Dimensions:   48 x 131.5 x 22.4 mm
Weight:   165 g (incl. battery)
Recording format:   WAV / WMA / MP3 , PCM
File system:   5 voice folders, 200 files per folder
Tools:   Olympus Sonority software
Speaker:   Stereo (two built-in ø 16 mm round dynamic speaker)
Mic:   Stereo microphones


Listen to these 'road test' recordings of the Olympus LS-5 using the player or click on the link to download the file for further testing.


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Download Music clip
It's a very rough guide but we played a CD on a fairly good stereo and recorded the music using the Olympus LS-5 recording through it's onboard mics to give you an idea of the music recording quality. It was set to record using it's highest MP3 setting - obviously not the highest recording quality it is capable of though. We plan to record the same clip using as many different types of recorder as we can get our hands on - so you can compare them all.

The track is Midnight Shaker by the Bobby Blackston Band - you can find out more about them and/or buy their music here

Speaking voice

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Download Speaking voice
Reading a poem using the Olympus LS-5 recorder at its highest mp3 recording levels.


Click on the images below for a larger version:


Olympus LS-5 review

Top of the range audio recording
Well priced
Good looks

Only 2MB internal memory
Speaker playback could be louder

The Olympus LS-5 is a serious recorder but has been styled to look a bit funkier than it's big brother the LS-11. It's solid metal casing is now blue(ish) instead of silver which gives it a more youthful, exciting look

Two (included)rechargeable AA batteries power the LS-5 and allow it to record for around 20 hours at it's highest PCM setting. It is recharged using an (also included) AC adapter.

the LS-5 has many features but it can also be powered up and used with complete simplicity. Simply turn it on using the slider on the side of the recorder, press record once and you're in standby mode, press record again and you're recording – it's that easy.

It has many configurable options available from the menu button. You can choose whether to record in PCM, MP3 or WMA and there are many quality options for each recording type you can also set things like recording levels and recording modes such as normal wide and zoom.

A list button provides a list of all five folders and all the recordings within each folder. Simply navigate to any recording press okay and the central scrolling wheel and a recording will play on the small but adequate speakers located at the back of the recorder.You can also fast forward and fast reverse through any recording using the left or right controls on the scroll wheel.

The recorder also has a mike in line in sockets and earphone socket volume control the playback manual record level as well as an automatic record level and microphone sensitivity settings at low or high and a low cut setting.

The Olympus LS-5 records in WAV, WMA, MP3 and PCM. It's linear PCM recording capabilities and sampling rates of up to 24bit/96kHz, make this a mobile sound studio producing CD quality recordings. The recorder has two high-quality stereo microphones producing clear, rich recordings that have been widely praised by critics. The recorder is more than capable of faithfully reproducing live music, concerts, interviews,nature recordings as well as straightforward voice recordings.

Files can be played back using the on-board speakers or earphones. It can also be uploaded via USB to a computer to be played or edited there.

2GB of built-in memoryof memory can be expanded to 32GB (using the SDHC-compatible SD card slot)

The Olympus LS five has an auto recording feature which means it can be set to switch on automatically when noise levels exceed a given threshold and off-again when the volume drops below a certain level

One of the LS-5's sales points is that PCM audio files can be edited directly on the device but don't get too excited. Files can be split and moved about which can be very useful, this is not an on-board editing suite and for very serious is to be much better off uploading the files to your PC and it using audacity or other audio editing software.

* USB Lead to connect to PC
* Wriststrap
* 2 x microphone windshields
* CD of Olympus Sonority software
* 2 x AA rechargeable batteries
* Manual

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