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Olympus WS-802

4GB digital voice recorder with expandable memory (Blue)

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  • Olympus WS-802

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  • Olympus WS-802

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  • Olympus WS-802

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Item #: 279WS802L
 
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Our take on the Olympus WS-802

by Ralph Graves
Olympus

Record classroom lectures, business meetings, personal reminders and more in a variety of setting with the versatile Olympus WS-802 digital voice recorder. Two built-in directional condenser mics, with a noise cancellation option, can capture sound under less than ideal conditions.

Olympus WS-802 digital voice recorder

The recorder's retractable USB plug means you don't have to keep track of a separate charging cable.

Read more

Expandable memory and easy connection

The recorder has 4GB of built-in memory, enough for 1,016 hours of basic-quality recordings. But if you need more, just insert a microSD card into the player and keep recording. And transfer is simple. The WS-802 has its own retractable USB connector, so you don't have to deal with separate cables. Just plug the recorder directly into your computer.

Simple recording

The voice-activation mode lets you make convenient, hands-free recordings. Simply select what you want to record, such as lectures, music, or personal memos, and Scene Select automatically adjusts the recording levels for you. Choose either MP3 mode for maximum recording time, WMA mode for better sound quality, or PCM for highly detailed CD-quality audio.

Playback options

Use the built-in speaker for playback, or plug in your headphones for more discreet listening. Voice Playback mode skips the non-vocal parts of your recording, so you don't waste time. The Voice Balancer function compensates for distance — great for recordings of interviews or meetings. The recorder can deliver up to 27 hours of operation with the supplied “AAA” battery.

Highlights:

  • built-in stereo directional condenser microphones
  • 4GB embedded memory
  • records to MP3, WMA, or PCM audio files
  • built-in recording functions:
    • voice activated start and stop
    • bookmark sections of a track during recording or playback
    • noise cancellation minimizes background sounds
  • expandable microSD card slot (memory card not included)
  • LCD display
  • built-in mono speaker
  • Scene Select automatically sets levels based on activity (notes, music, lecture, etc.)
  • Voice Playback automatically skips non-voice portions of recording
  • Voice Balancer adjusts voice levels to compensate for distance
  • high-speed USB interface with retractable connector
  • minijack headphone output
  • stereo minijack input for an optional external microphone
  • up to 27 hours of operation with 1 "AAA" battery (included)
  • 1-5/8"W x 4"H x 5/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

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

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Portable digital recorder
  • 1 "AAA" NiMH rechargeable battery
  • Pair of earbud headphones with a 53" cord (3.5mm plug)
  • Basic Manual
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty/Online registration card
  • VoiceBase promo sheet

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.

General Features
Recording Features
Edit and Playback Functions

General Features

Overview: The Olympus WS-802 is a compact, easy-to-use, hand-held portable digital voice recorder. In addition to voice recording, you can transfer WAV, MP3, and WMA music files from a computer for playback. The recorder has a built-in 4 GB flash memory for hours of recording time. It has a built-in, stereo microphone, a 18mm diameter mono speaker, and jacks for an external microphone and headphones. The WS-802 operates on a single "AAA" Ni-MH rechargeable battery. It can also work with an alkaline battery. A pair of earbud headphones is included.

LCD Display: The WS-802 features a 15/16" square, backlit, monochrome LCD display which indicates recording and playback information. The recorder will display the elapsed or remaining recording time in hours, minutes, and seconds. When not recording, the current time can be displayed. You can set the display contrast to one of 12 levels, and the backlight duration to 5 sec, 10 sec, 30 sec, or 1 minute.

Date and Time: The recorder features a built-in clock. 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 Microphone: The unit features two built-in directional condenser microphones on the top of the recorder. You can set the recording level to High, Middle, or Low. In addition to the built-in microphones, the recorder also has a 3.5mm external microphone input.

Built-In 4 GB Flash Memory: The WS-802 Digital Voice Recorder features a built-in 4 GB flash memory which can hold hours of audio or voice memos. The unit has 5 pre-programmed folders, with up to 200 files per folder.

Memory Card Slot: In addition to the 4 GB built-in memory, the WS-802 has a memory card expansion slot for more recording capacity. The slot will accept microSD (and microSDHC) memory cards up to 32 GB.

USB Port: The WS-802 has a retractable Type A USB plug at the bottom to let you plug the unit directly into your computer for transferring files or charging (if you are using the rechargeable battery). The unit is Hi-speed USB 2.0-compatible, and can work with the following Operating Systems: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Mac OS X (v10.4.11-v10.7).

Power Requirements: The recorder is powered by a single "AAA"-sized Nickel-Metal Hydride battery (included). See the chart below for battery life information during recording. During playback, the battery provides up to 20 hours using the built-in speaker, or up to 22 hours using earphones. You can switch the NiMH battery for an alkaline battery, which will provide up to 24 hours (speaker) to 30 hours (earphones).

Recording Features

Recording Format: The WS-802 records audio files in 16-bit, 44.1kHz LPCM, MP3, or WMA formats in eight recording modes. MP3 files can be recorded at bit rates of 128 kbps and 256 kbps, while WMA files can be recorded at rates of 8 to 128 kbps. You can record in stereo or mono, depending upon the recording mode. When recording with the built-in microphone, a stereo recording will have the same audio recorded to both channels. Lower bit rates provide longer recording times while higher bit rates offer better quality recordings. The selectable recording modes are as follows:

Recording Mode Frequency Response Maximum Recording Time
Built-in 4 GB Memory
Battery Life (NiMH/Alkaline)
LPCM
44.1kHz/16-bit
40 Hz - 21 kHz 6 hours 15 hrs/20 hrs
MP3 256 kbps 40 Hz - 20 kHz 33 hours 18 hrs/22 hrs
MP3 128 kbps 40 Hz - 17 kHz 66 hrs 30 min ---
WMA 128 kbps 40 Hz - 19 kHz 65 hours 17 hrs/21 hrs
WMA 64 kbps 40 Hz - 16 kHz 129 hours ---
WMA 32 kbps
(mono)
40 Hz - 13 kHz 259 hours ---
WMA 16 kbps
(mono)
40 Hz - 8 kHz 511 hours ---
WMA 8 kbps
(mono)
40 Hz - 3 kHz 1016 hours 22 hrs/27 hrs
Note: The maximum capacity for a single file is limited to approximately 4 GB for MP3 and WMA.

Low Cut Filter: The WS-802 has a Low Cut Filter to minimize low frequency sounds. This helps make voice recording clearer, especially in windy conditions.

Recording Scenes: A recording setting can be set to one of four templates to suit the recording scene or situation, or you can register a specific setting and save it for later use. The available Recording Scenes include:

  • Lecture: Suitable for lectures with a large number of people
  • Conference: Suitable for seminars with a small number of people
  • Meeting: Suitable for recording a meeting
  • Dictation: Suitable for personal dictation
  • DNS: Suitable for voice recognition software (see more below)
  • User Setting 1, 2, or 3: Recording with a user-saved setting.

DNS Scene: The DNS recording scene lets you record spoken audio that you will later transcribe. DNS makes the audio suitable to use with optional Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, which uses speech-to-text technology to transcribe spoken words into a text document.

VCVA Function: You can set the WS-802 to automatically start recording when is picks up sound and shut off when the sound stops. The Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA) lets you adjust the volume level threshold for starting and stopping recording. The VCVA level can be set to any of 15 different values.

Music Files: The recorder can play WAV, MP3 (bit rates of 8-320 kbps) and WMA (5-320 kbps) music files transferred from a computer. Voice files and music files are separated into different folders. Music files are organized and saved in a branching tree. Up to 300 Music folders can be created, and up to 1000 songs (128 kbps, 4 minutes) can be stored.

Edit and Playback Functions

Playback Formats: The WS-802 can playback LPCM, MP3 and WMA format files with bit rates of 8-320 kbps for MP3 and 5-320 kbps for WMA.

Playback Speed: You can adjust the playback speed as you desire; slowing it down to review spots you couldn't understand, or speeding it up to listen to meeting content at a faster speed. You can choose from Normal Playback (x1.0 Play), Slow Playback (x0.5 to x0.9), or Fast Playback (x1.1 to x2.0). Some features, such as setting index marks, are not available during Slow or Fast Playback.

Equalizer: When playing back music files, you can choose from 4 EQ presets: Rock, Pop, Jazz, and User. The User setting lets you adjust 5 EQ bands (60Hz, 250Hz, 1kHz, 4kHz, and 12kHz) by + or - 6dB and save the settings.

Skip Space: The Skip Space function lets you skip forward or backward during playback. This is handy for quickly skipping to another playback position or repeatedly playing back short phrases. You can choose Forward Skip (file, 10 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 5 min, or 10 min) or Reverse Skip (file, 1 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 5 min, or 10 min).

Index and Temp Marks: Setting an index mark or a temp mark lets you quickly find a location you want to listen to while fast forwarding or fast rewinding. Index marks cannot be placed on files created on machines other than this recorder, but temp marks can be placed instead to temporarily remember desired locations. Up to 99 index and temp marks can be placed on a single file.

Segment Repeat: The Segment Repeat function, also known as A-B Repeat, enables you to repeat playback of part of a particular file. You can place marks at the beginning and the ending of a recorded passage for repeated playback. This constant repetition feature can be used for language learning.

Voice Balancer: When playing back voice recordings, the Voice Balancer feature enhances the low-volume portions of the file, making them louder and easier to understand.

Voice Detect: The Voice Detect feature extracts voice portions from a recorded voice file. Use the Voice Playback to play just the voice portions of the file. During playback following extraction, the silent portions are automatically skipped.

Play Scene: During playback, you can choose from 2 Voice and 3 Music "scenes" to enhance playback. You can save the playback scene of your choice with each file.

Erase: You can erase your recorded messages one by one, or all messages in a folder at one time.

Divide: In the stop mode, you can divide a file into two parts, with the new file number being added to the newer part of the divided file. Only MP3 files recorded on this unit may be divided.

Protect Files: To prevent a file from being accidentally erased or edited, you can protect an important file. When a file is protected, it is regarded as a read-only file. Protection can be released, if desired.

Calendar Search: You can easily search for recordings by date. A calendar is displayed, indicating the dates when recordings were made.

Hold Function: The WS-802 has a Hold function that will lock the buttons to prevent accidental operations. The Hold function is activated by sliding the power switch to the left.

 
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