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Olympus WS-331M

2GB digital voice recorder and MP3 player

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  • Olympus WS-331M

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Item #: 279WS331M
 
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Our take on the Olympus WS-331M

by Ralph Graves
Olympus

Here's a combination voice recorder and MP3 player that's great for work and play. The Olympus WS-331M lets you make audio notes to yourself, or record lectures and meetings. The two-gigabyte embedded memory can hold over nine days of voice recordings, or over 32 hours of MP3 or WMA formatted music.

Recording and playback options
The WS-331M has a built-in microphone with adjustable sensitivity to adapt to different recording conditions. A low cut filter minimizes the rumbling of air conditioners and machinery while you're recording. Choose the voice-activated recording mode for convenient hands-free operation. For playback, you can either use the recorder's built-in speaker, or plug in the supplied earbud headphones for more discreet listening. The Voice Filter function enhances voice quality by reducing high- and low-frequency noise during playback. And you can vary the speed of the playback, too — great for transcribing.

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Easy file maintenance
Transfering audio files to and from the WS-331 M is simple. Pull off the battery pack off to reveal the recorder's USB plug, and insert it directly into your PC. Then just drag and drop files — no special software necessary.

Highlights:

  • battery-powered digital voice recorder and MP3 player
  • 2 GB embedded memory holds up to
    • 555 hours, 45 minutes of low-quality mono voice recordings
    • 142 hours, 05 minutes of medium-quality stereo voice recordings
    • 35 hours, 30 minutes of highest-quality stereo voice recordings
    • 16 hours, 40 minutes of average sound quality MP3 or WMA music files
  • records in WMA (Windows Media Audio) format
  • stores up to five folders with up to 200 messages per folder
  • backlit LCD display
  • built-in speaker
  • selectable voice activated recording
  • six recording quality modes (three stereo, three mono)
  • low cut filter minimizes low-frequency sounds during recording
  • Voice Filter cuts out low and high frequency noise during playback
  • slow and fast playback options
  • high-speed USB interface (no cable needed)
  • headphone minijack (earbud headphones included)
  • external microphone minijack input
  • up to 21 hours operation with included "AAA" battery
  • weight: 1.7 oz.
  • 1-5/8"W x 3-3/4"H x 7/16"D
  • warranty: 60 days
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Computer Requirements:
    Macintosh®
    • OS X 10.2 or higher
    • USB port (high-speed USB recommended)
    Windows®
    • Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista™
    • USB port (high-speed USB recommended)

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Black portable 2GB WMA digital voice stereo recorder with built-In MP3 music player
    • "AAA" battery
    • White earbud-style headphones with attached 46" cord terminated by a right-angle 3.5mm male connector
    • 12" USB cable with a male USB type-A connector on one end and a female USB type-A connector on other end
    • Instructions (English/French/Spanish)
    • Online Registration card

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Features

    Overview: The Olympus WS-331M Digital Voice Recorder and Music Player allows you to record lectures and music in high-quality stereo sound. This device can be used as a voice recorder or as a music player. You can easily store and organize your audio files on the Olympus WS-331M, and transfer them to your PC with its USB Direct design. The WS-331M comes supplied with a pair of earbud-style headphones and operates off of a single "AAA" battery (included).

    2GB Internal Flash Memory: The Olympus WS-331M Digital Voice Recorder With Music Player features a built-in 2GB NAND Flash memory which allows up to 555 hours and 45 minutes of voice recordings and 500 songs (128kbps/4 minutes per song).

    Audio Recording Format: The Olympus Digital Voice Recorder With Music Player records voice recordings in the WMA (Windows Media Audio) recording format while recording music in WMA or MP3 (5 to 256 kbps).

    Recording Modes: The WS-331M Digital Voice Recorder with Music Player records in stereo and offers the following recording modes and recording times for voice recording and music recording.

    • Voice Recorder:
      • Stereo XQ Mode (50-19,000 Hz): approximately 35 hours, 30 minutes
      • Stereo HQ Mode (50-15,000 Hz): approximately 71 hours, 00 minutes
      • Stereo SP Mode (50-9,000 Hz): approximately 142 hours, 05 minutes
      • HQ Mode (50-13,000 Hz): approximately 142 hours, 05 minutes
      • SP Mode (100-7,000 Hz): approximately 279 hours, 35 minutes
      • LP Mode (100-3,000 Hz): approximately 555 hours, 45 minutes
    • Music Player:
      • WMA Recording: 500 songs (128kbps/4 minutes per song)
      • MP3 Recording: 500 songs (128kbps/4 minutes per song)

    USB Direct: The Olympus WS-331M features an integrated USB type-A plug for direct connection to your PC without the need for an additional USB cable. As a USB storage device, the WS-331M can store a variety of files in addition to voice recordings such as MP3 and WMA music files. The WS-331M supports Windows PC - IBM PC/AT compatible PC with Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista using Windows Media Player.

    Built-In Stereo Microphones: The WS-331M Digital Voice Recorder features built-in stereo electret condenser microphone for clear stereo sound of your recorded personal notes, school lectures, or business-related meetings. Microphone sensitivity (High or Low) is adjustable to meet your recording needs. The unit also features a 3.5mm microphone jack for connecting an external microphone.

    Variable Control Voice Activator (VCVA): This feature allows the Digital Voice Recorder to only record when sound is sensed by the unit. When the microphone sense that sounds have reached a preset threshold volume level, the built-ion Variable Control Actuator (VCVA) starts recording automatically and stops when the volume drops below the threshold level. The VCVA feature extends recording time and conserves memory by stopping recording during silent periods, which helps the playback to be more efficient.

    Low Cut Filter: The unit's Low Cut Filter minimize low frequency sounds in the background such as an air condition or projector when recording to record voice more clearly.

    File Organization: The WS-331M features five file folders (A/B/C/D/E), each holding up to 200 files, to provide exceptional organization. Up to 16 index marks can be set in each file. When index marks are placed, you can quickly find a location you want to listen to in fast forward and fast rewind and when cuing a file.

    File Lock: Files can be locked to avoid important files from being accidentally erased.

    LCD Display: The WS-331M features a Full-Dot, Backlit, monochrome LCD display which indicates recording and playback information. The LCD display's contrast can be adjusted in 12 levels.

    Date and Time: The recorder features a built-in clock that displays date and time on the unit's LCD screen. If you have set the time and date, information as to when a sound file was recorded is stored automatically with that file.

    Built-In Speaker and Headphones: The Olympus WS-331M features a built-in monaural 18mm round dynamic speaker and comes supplied with a pair of  earbud-style stereo headphones for listening to your recorded audio. When the earphones are connected, the built-in speaker will not emit sound. The unit features a 3.5mm minijack input for connecting the headphones.

    Voice Filter: The Voice Filter function enhances the human voice by cutting low and high frequency noises during normal, slow or fast playback.

    Noise Cancel Function: If recorded audio is difficult to understand because of noisy surroundings, you can adjust the Noise Cancel setting level. Noise will be reduce in the file when it is played back for better sound quality.

    Variable Speed Playback: The Olympus WS-331M offers slow and fast playback speed variations. The playback speed of the file can be changed between 0.5 and 1.5 times speed in increments of 0.125. Change the speed according to need such as listening to meeting content at a fast speed or reviewing spots that you could not catch in a language lesson at a slow speed. The tone will be automatically adjusted digitally without changing the voice so it sounds natural.

    File Search: The recorder features Fast Forward and Rewind to locate audio files. The recorder pauses when it reaches to the end of the file during fast forwarding or fast rewinding. If there is an index mark in the middle of the file, the recorder will also stop at that location.

    Music Play Mode: The Olympus WS-331M offers the following music playback modes - File, File Repeat, Folder, Folder Repeat, All, All Repeat and Random.

    EQ: The Olympus WS-331M allows you to customize the sound of your music with its built-in equalizer. It has four preset EQ settings (Flat, Rock, Pop, Jazz) and one user setting which allows you to adjust the following frequencies (60Hz, 250Hz, 1kHz, 4kHz, 12kHz) independently from -10 to +10 dB.

    WOW: Built-in WOW XTTM technology provides rich bass (TruBass) and three-dimensional (SRS 3D) stereo sound which can be set to High, Middle, Low, or Off.

    Hold Switch: The Hold switch locks the current conditions of the Digital Voice recorder; all the units buttons and functions will be disabled. This feature is useful when the recorder has to be carried in a bag or pocket.

    Power-Save Mode: If the recorder is stopped for 5 minutes or longer during recording or playing, it goes into Standby (Power-Save) mode, and the display shuts off. To exit Standby mode and turn on the display, you can press any button on the unit.

    Battery Powered: The Digital Voice Recorder with Music Player operates off a single "AAA" battery (included). The single "AAA" battery provides up to 21 hours of continuous operation. The unit supports Alkaline and Ni-MH rechargeable "AAA" batteries. The WS-331M provides the following continuous operation times based on operation mode, record mode, playback mode and battery type.

    • Voice Recorder:
      • Alkaline "AAA" Battery (supplied):
        • Stereo XQ Mode: approximately 11.5 hours
        • Stereo HQ Mode: approximately 13.5 hours
        • Stereo SP Mode: approximately 14.5 hours
        • HQ Mode: approximately 16 hours
        • SP Mode: approximately 16.5 hours
        • LP Mode: approximately 21 hours
        • Speaker Playback: approximately 7 hours
        • Headphone Playback: approximately 15 hours
      • Ni-MH Rechargeable "AAA" Battery (optional):
        • Stereo XQ Mode: approximately 9.5 hours
        • Stereo HQ Mode: approximately 11.5 hours
        • Stereo SP Mode: approximately 12 hours
        • HQ Mode: approximately 14.5 hours
        • SP Mode: approximately 14.5 hours
        • LP Mode: approximately 15 hours
        • Speaker Playback: approximately 6 hours
        • Headphone Playback: approximately 11.5 hours
    • Music Player:
      • Alkaline "AAA" Battery (supplied):
        • WMA Recording: approximately 16 hours
        • MP3 Recording: approximately 19 hours
      • Ni-MH Rechargeable "AAA" Battery (optional):
        • WMA Recording: 12.5 hours
        • MP3 Recording: approximately 14 hours
     
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