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Olympus WS-822

4GB digital voice recorder with expandable memory (Gun Metal)

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  • Olympus WS-822

    Front

  • Olympus WS-822

    Alternate view

  • Olympus WS-822

    Straight ahead view

  • Olympus WS-822

    With retractable USB connector extended

 

Our take on the Olympus WS-822

by David Brown
Olympus

Easy recording anywhere

Record classroom lectures, business meetings, conferences, and personal reminders with the compact Olympus WS-822 digital voice recorder. Two built-in directional condenser microphones capture clear sound at the push of a button. Noise cancellation mode can reduce background noise, so you can record in a variety of settings.

Expandable memory and easy connection

The recorder has 4GB of built-in memory, enough for 1,000 hours of basic-quality recordings. If you need more, just insert a microSD card into the player and keep recording. And transfer is simple. The WS-822 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. There are also Transcription and Language modes that let you quickly jump forward or skip back to re-listen to passages repeatedly before moving on.

The WS-822 can deliver up to 37 hours of operation with the supplied rechargeable “AAA” battery. Recharge it with the included USB cable and your computer, or simply replace it with a standard "AAA" battery.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • built-in stereo directional condenser microphones
  • 4GB internal memory
  • records to MP3, WMA, or PCM audio files
  • built-in recording functions:
    • voice activated start and stop
    • add up to 99 index marks for easy access to specific points in a recording
    • noise cancellation minimizes background noise for clearer playback
  • microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB cards, not included)
  • LCD display
  • built-in speaker
  • Scene Select automatically optimizes settings for different uses, including lecture, meeting, and dictation
  • Voice Playback automatically skips non-voice portions of recording
  • Voice Balancer automatically adjusts playback levels to compensate for low recording levels during some passages
  • Transcription and Language playback modes let you easily skip forward and backward for repeated listening to portions of a recording
  • high-speed USB interface with retractable connector allows transfer of files to a PC as well as recharging the included "AAA" battery
  • minijack (3.5mm) headphone output
  • minijack input for an optional external microphone
  • up to 37 hours of operation with 1 rechargeable "AAA" battery (included)
  • 1-11/16"W x 4"H x 5/8"D
  • weight: 1.9 oz. (with batteries)
  • 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?

  • Portable digital recorder (silver)
  • BR404 "AAA"-sized NiMH rechargeable battery (1.2V 750mAh)
  • Pair of earbud headphones with a 53" cord (3.5mm plug)
  • Basic Manual
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty/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.

General Features
Recording Features
Edit and Playback Functions

General Features

Overview: The Olympus WS-822 is a compact, hand-held portable digital voice recorder with features found in professional dictation systems. The recorder records onto its 4 GB internal memory for up to 1000 hours of recording time. It can also record onto optional microSD memory cards. It has two built-in condenser microphones, an 18mm diameter mono speaker, and jacks for an external microphone and headphones. The WS-822 operates on a single "AAA" Ni-MH rechargeable battery (included). It can also work with an alkaline "AAA" battery.

LCD Display: The WS-822 features a 1-3/8" (diagonal) 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 can be set to 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds.

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 condenser microphones on the top of the recorder. You can set the recording level to Low, Medium, or High. In addition to the built-in microphones, the recorder also has a 3.5mm external microphone input.

Headphone Jack: A 3.5mm headphone jack is provided on the top of the recorder to allow you to listen to recorded files, or monitor the audio during recording. A pair of earbud headphones is included.

Recording Memory: The WS-822 features a 4 GB internal memory for recording and storing files. In addition, the recorder has a slot for microSD memory cards with capacities ranging from 2 to 32 GB.

USB Plug: The WS-822 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 the battery. The unit is Hi-speed USB 2.0-compatible, and can work with the following Operating Systems: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Mac OS X (v10.5-v10.8).

Power Requirements: The recorder is powered by a single BR404 "AAA"-sized Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery (included). The battery charges via USB in approximately 3 hours. A fully-charged battery provide approximately 37 hours of battery life (WMA 8 kbps with alkaline battery). An optional A514 AC adapter is available for charging the battery.

Power Save: The Power Save function switches the unit to Standby after a preset amount of time without a button being pressed. You can set the Power Save duration to 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or Off.

Recording Features

Recording Format: The WS-822 records audio files in Linear PCM, MP3, or WMA formats in five recording modes. You can record in stereo or mono, depending upon the recording mode. 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
Linear PCM
44.1kHz/16-bit
40 Hz - 21 kHz 5 hrs 45 min
MP3 256 kbps 40 Hz - 19 kHz 32 hrs 30 min
MP3 128 kbps 40 Hz - 17 kHz 65 hours
WMA 32 kbps
(mono)
40 Hz - 13 kHz 267 hrs 30 min
WMA 8 kbps
(mono)
40 Hz - 3 kHz 1000 hours
Note: The maximum capacity for a single file is limited to approximately 4 GB for MP3 and WMA.

Low Cut Filter: The WS-822 has a Low Cut Filter to minimize low frequency sounds. This helps make voice recording clearer, especially in windy conditions.

Voice Balancer: The Voice Balancer function adjusts the volume levels of all speakers to a certain level for clearer playback. This compensates for uneven voice recordings when persons are varying distances away from the microphone.

Recording Scenes: A recording setting can be set to one of five templates to suit the recording scene or situation. 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)

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-822 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 different values.

Music Files: The recorder can play MP3 and WMA 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 (Artist, Album, File, etc.).

Edit and Playback Functions

File Storage: The recorded files are separated into two folders--Music and Recorder. You can search within each folder to find the desired file to play back, or use the Calendar Search function to search for files by their recording date.

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 vary the playback speed by 0.1x increments from 0.5x (half speed) to 3.5x normal speed.

Pitch Control: In addition to variable playback speed, you can also alter the pitch of the playback by 6 levels higher (#) or lower (♭).

Noise Canceling: When listening to voice recordings, you can engage the Noise Canceling function to dramatically reduce unwanted background noise for clearer voice playback.

Play Scene: When playing back files, you can select a Playback Scene for best results. You can choose between Transcription and Language Study.

Index Marks: Setting an index mark lets you quickly find a location you want to listen to while fast forwarding or fast rewinding. Up to 99 index marks can be placed on a single file.

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

File Lock: To prevent a file from being accidentally erased or edited, you can lock it. When a file is locked, it is regarded as a read-only file. It can later be unlocked, if desired.

 
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1 question already asked

best Olympus for Dragon Naturally Speaking??" [ john  Apr 21, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • The Olympus digital recorders are infinitely better than their Sony counterparts - much clearer, with much less distortion. That said, the reaining question is what amount of memory do you think you will need. I believe there was another model of the Olympus with more memory. You will have to decide if you need more than the 4GB on the WS-822 [ DAVID   Apr 22, 2014 ]

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