Edit and Playback Functions
Overview: The Olympus WS-853 is a compact, hand-held portable digital voice recorder. The
device records onto the built-in 8 GB flash memory or optional microSD memory cards
(up to 32 GB). The recorder has
two built-in microphones, a 20mm diameter dynamic speaker, and
jacks for an external microphone and headphones. The WS-853 operates on two
"AAA" NiMH rechargeable
batteries (supplied) or two "AAA" alkaline batteries (optional).
LCD Display: The WS-853 features a 1-1/2" (diagonal)
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.
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 Stereo Microphone: The unit features two built-in microphones on the top of the recorder,
angled at 90 degrees for a wide pickup
pattern. You can set the recording level to
Low, High, or Auto. In addition to the built-in microphones, the
recorder also has a 3.5mm external microphone input. Microphones with plug-in
power supplies can be used.
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. No headphones are included with the recorder.
Recording Memory: The WS-853 features an 8 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-853 has a retractable Type A USB plug at
the top to let you plug the unit directly into your computer for transferring
files, and charging the included rechargeable batteries. The unit is Hi-speed USB 2.0-compatible, and can
work with the following Operating Systems: Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista,
and Mac OS X (v10.5-v10.10).
Stand: The recorder has a flip-down stand on the back panel
that raises the recorder off the surface so the microphone doesn't pick up
Power Requirements: The recorder is powered by two "AAA"
rechargeable NiMH batteries (included). When the rechargeable batteries are
exhausted, you can use two "AAA" alkaline batteries to continue recording. In
the menu, you can indicate the type of batteries being used, Ni-MH or Alkaline,
for best performance. When Alkaline has been selected, the recorder will not
attempt to charge the batteries when it is plugged into your computer via USB.
Charging the Ni-MH batteries via USB takes approximately 3 hours. Fully-charged batteries provide
the following battery life:
|Recording Mode ||Battery Type ||Recording ||Playback |
|Built-in Mic ||Speaker ||Earphone |
|128 kbps ||NiMH ||30 Hrs ||11 Hrs ||49 Hrs |
|Alkaline ||41 Hrs ||15 Hrs ||70 Hrs |
|64 kbps mono ||NiMH ||31 Hrs ||11 Hrs ||53 Hrs |
|Alkaline ||48 Hrs ||15 Hrs ||73 Hrs |
|8 kbps mono ||NiMH ||74 Hrs ||16 Hrs ||64 Hrs |
|Alkaline ||110 Hrs ||24 Hrs ||90 Hrs |
Power Save: The Power Save function turns off the display
and switches the unit to
Standby after the recorder has been stopped for at least 5 minutes.
Recording Format: The WS-853 records audio files in MP3 format in
three recording modes: 128 kbps, 64 kbps mono, and 8 kbps mono. The lower bit
rates provide longer recording times while higher bit rates offer better quality
recordings. The maximum size for a single file is limited to approximately 4 GB.
Specifications per recording mode are as follows:
| ||Recording Mode |
|128 kbps ||64 kbps (mono) ||8 kbps (mono) |
|Sampling Frequency ||44.1 kHz ||44.1 kHz ||11.025 kHz |
|Frequency Response ||70 Hz - 17 kHz ||70 Hz - 15 kHz ||70 Hz - 3.5 kHz |
| ||Approximate Recording Time |
|Internal 8 GB memory ||130 hours ||260 hours ||2080 hours |
|microSD card ||8 GB ||132 hours ||264 hours ||2100 hours |
|16 GB ||264 hours ||525 hours ||4230 hours |
|32 GB ||530 hours ||1060 hours ||8480 hours |
Low Cut Filter: The WS-853 has a Low Cut Filter to minimize
low frequency sounds. This helps make voice recording clearer, especially in
Voice Balancer: The Voice Balancer function adjusts the
volume levels of all speakers to roughly the same 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
seven templates to suit the recording scene or situation. Each Recording Scene
designates specific settings to suit the scene, including Recording Level
(Lo/Hi/Auto), Recording Mode (128 kbps only), Low Cut Filter (On/Off), VCVA
(On/Off), and V-Sync Rec (On/Off). The available Recording
- Dictation: For recording your own voice and other
sounds that are extremely close.
- Meeting: Suitable for recording a meeting held in a
- Conference: Suitable for recording conferences in a
- Duplication (Auto Divide): For duplicating cassette
tapes and CDs. The silent intervals between tracks are detected to
automatically divide the tracks so each one is saved as a separate file
- Duplication (Timer): Records continuously to one file
and stops when the set time is reached.
- Telephone Rec: Suitable for recording telephone
- DNS: Suitable for Speech Recognition software
VCVA Function: You can set the WS-853 to automatically start
recording when it 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.
You can set a detection time of 1, 2, 3, or 5 seconds. The recorder enters
standby mode when the sound goes below the preset level for the set number of
Speech Recognition: Optional
NaturallySpeaking software can automatically convert speech into text,
making it easier to transcribe your recordings. The WS-853 was awarded 6
Dragons--the highest recognition rating from Nuance Communications, the maker of
the Dragon software.
Hold Function: The recorder has a sliding On/Off switch.
While recording or playing back a file, moving the switch to the Off position
puts the recorder in the Hold mode. The recording or playback continues, but no
other operations can be performed. This prevents any accidental operations
during recording or playback.
Edit and Playback Functions
Playback Volume: The Olympus WS-853 lets you adjust the
playback volume between 00 and 30.
Playback Frequency Response: The best frequency response
during playback is 30 Hz to 20 kHz. The playback frequency response may be
narrower depending upon the recording format.
File Storage: The recorded files are separated into five
folders--A, B, C, D, and E. Each folder can store up to 200 files. 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 2.0x normal speed. When
playing back at a different speed, the WS-853 automatically adjusts the pitch to
make the audio sound close to normal. You cannot manually adjust the pitch of
the playback audio.
A-B Repeat: The A-B Repeat function lets you repeat a
portion of a file over and over. This is helpful if you're transcribing a
recording and need to listen to a segment repeatedly.
Noise Cancel: When listening to voice recordings, you can
engage the Noise Cancel function to dramatically reduce unwanted background
noise for clearer voice playback.
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.
File Divide: Large files, or files with long recording
times, can be divided for easier management or editing.
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.