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Olympus LS-11 Review

Front View of Olympus LS-11

First Impressions -
The LS-11 Looks Like the LS-10

Except for its nifty aluminum finish, the Olympus LS-11 looks identical to its cheaper, all-black LS-10 sibling.

It has a sleek and stylish look. It feels smooth, heavy and solid in the hand. It is small enough to fit in a coat pocket.

The LS-11 housing is made entirely of aluminum, with a reinforced tripod socket on the rear. The buttons are crisp, responsive and clearly laid out.

The LS-11's LCD display is clear and coherent, but its fonts are too small for this writer to see without reading glasses or extra light.

The LS-11 has better sound quality and battery life than the LS-10 - much better. It also offers mono recording (great for speech) and a handy file-splitting feature.

In the Box -
The LS-11 is Packaged Like the LS-10

The Olympus LS-11 is very elegantly packaged and comes with

  • 2 x AA alkaline batteries
  • a usb cable
  • an 1/8" audio cable
  • a zippered carrying case
  • a strap
  • a windscreen
  • a Quick Start Guide
  • a DVD-ROM of Cubase LE4 music production software and
  • an Instruction Manual in 3 languages (English, French & Spanish).

An AC adapter, wireless remote, telephone pickup and external mics are available from Olympus as optional accessories.

Ease of Use -
The LS-11 Works Like the LS-10

It's easy to record with the Olympus LS-11.

Press the REC button to go into REC PAUSE mode. Set recording levels with the REC-LEVEL dial. Press REC again to record.

Press STOP to stop. Press PLAY/OK to listen to your recording. Transfer your recorded files to your computer with the USB cable. Easy.

The built-in drive of the LS-11 is organized into 6 folders: Folder A - Folder E and "Music." The manual tells us that Folders A - E are for voice recordings, but you can use them for recordings without voice too.

New in the LS-11 are mono recording and file-splitting features, both of which enhance the convenience and appeal of this recorder.

Upload your favorite tunes to the Music folder when you want to use the LS-11 as an MP3 player.

Storage and Connectivity -
The LS-11 Flash Drive is 4X Bigger Than the LS-10's

The Olympus LS-11 has an 8GB built-in flash drive and can accept high-capacity secure digital media cards up to 32GB in size. This is a big improvement over the LS-10.

The LS-11 has a mini USB 2.0 port, 1/8" stereo line and mic inputs and a combination 1/8" line out/headphone jack aptly labeled "EAR." The USB 2.0 connection is very fast.

Battery Life -
The LS-11 Has More Than Twice the Battery Life of the LS-10

The battery life of the LS-11 is truly outstanding. It lasted more than 19 hours (that's right, 19 hours) during our battery life test.

Sound Quality/Microphones -
The LS-11 Sounds Better Than the LS-10

Excellent. Check out our LS-11 noise floor samples and compare them to the others. Not only is the noise floor improved, but we find the bass response of the LS-11 much more pleasing to our ears than that of the LS-10.

Conclusion - We Like It

With the LS-11, Olympus has retained the best features of the LS-10 and enhanced it with greatly improved sound quality and battery life and handy features such as mono recording and file splitting. We are happy to add it to our selection of portable recorders.

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