Test Report Olympus LS-11
It's official since 07-22-09: Olympus introduced the successor model of its terrific LS-10 to the market. In July, we went to Hamburg and inspected the first device in Germany directly on site. By the end of August it will be available for sale in our store and those of other selected specialist retailers. Here are our first impressions.
Addition from 08-17-2009: Today, we were able to lay our hands on one of the first LS-11 in Europe and immediately made a test recording. If you scroll down you can hear the impressive results and compare them to those of the LS-10 yourself.
Addition from 09-30-2009: The Olympus LS-11 was rated number one in our large benchmark test of digital recorders.
Silver-colored with more power inside
On the outside there are only few distinctions to detect. One is the exterior color of the Olympus LS-11, which is silver now instead of black. Arrangement, processing quality and haptics of keys and ports are identical in construction to those of the LS-10. The improvements of the Olympus LS-11 are inside the gadget.
First of all, there's a clearly extended memory of 8GB (before 2GB) while the usage of SD cards remains possible. That's enough for 4 to 162 hours of recording, even in highest and uncompressed WAV format. Very pleasing is also its improved battery lifetime. The set of batteries lasts for tremendous 23 hours (instead of 10) when recording or during playback. That's incredible and is surely to last throughout very long meetings or concerts. The necessity for an optional power supply (which is no charger) is therefore greatly reduced.
The Olympus LS-10 has been rated as excellent in several test reports. One of the few points of criticism was aimed at the slightly weaker reproduction of the basses. The Olympus LS-11 is better off in this matter. The sound of the lower basses is now more vibrant and over all more balanced. We took some test recordings of the LS-11 and LS-10 for comparison.
The LS-11 live
Sulfur springs in Costa Rica (download)
In the past months, we had many customers inquiring whether or not the LS-10 can be used as a microphone directly on a PC (as the devices by Zoom for example). The good news is that the LS-11 now supports USB class and can therefore be used for direct recording on a PC. Mono recording has been added to the existing microphone settings, which is quite useful for one-on-one interviews and podcasts.
Menu / File management
For structuring of the recordings, 16 different index markers can be placed and the files be shifted and edited on the LS-11 itself. 2 GB files (and bigger, which is quite possible with uncompressed WAV recordings) can now be recorded without stopping. For doing so, the LS-11 automatically creates a second file in the same folder. As a result, a live recording is recorded in two files, but no sound gets lost and the user does not need to restart the gadget. Recording with noise recognition is now possible as well; the LS-11 starts recording only when the input level is above a certain adjusted sound level. The menu is preinstalled in 6 different languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian).
Included in delivery is, as before, a wireless remote control and in addition a case which is now big enough to fit not just the LS-11 but also a wind jammer and the audio-editing software Cubcase by Steinberg. The DVD enclosed contains a video tutorial of the audio-editing software Cubcase – very sharp and useful.
The amount of improvements does unfortunately not come without additional costs. The price will be, like originally the LS-10 as well, at a RRP of 449 euros and likely a street price of about 399 euros incl. VAT. The LS-10 will still be available for sale for 299 euros incl. VAT which makes it an excellent offer.
What do others say?
The “Frankfurter Allgemeine” (German newspaper) evaluates the LS-11 as an “all-round talent” with “extraordinary” recording results. “Considering all this, the LS-11 delights us as an all-round talent... The gadget is fun!” (transl.).
The LS-11 has improved in many details compared to the LS-10, which makes it much more versatile. Here an overview of the improvements:
- double battery life
- internal memory quadrupled
- mono-recording possible
- sound has more basses
- file management/ - processing possible
- usable as PC-microphone (USB audio classic)
- audio recording possible
- German menu language adjustable
Whether these detailed changes are worth the surcharge on the LS-10 depends of course on the field of application.
And last but not least
We make our living selling recorders. Therefore, we are of course not thoroughly unbiased.
Nevertheless, our concern is to display the products as transparent as possible and therefore provide justified information which is far from being an advertising promise and is more than just technical data. If you would like to support our work, we are looking forward to your purchase in our online shop.