- Built-in Microphone
Olympus DS-40 Digital Voice Recorder
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- Professional-grade digital voice recorder with high-sensitivity microphone
- Up to 136 hours of recording time; 30-hour battery life
- Connect to PC to transfer files or download podcasts
- Store and listen to favorite music anytime, anywhere
- Timer recording, alarm playback, slow/fast
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What's in the Box
DS-40 digital voice recorder, stereo microphone, USB cables, stereo earphones, DSS Player v.7 software, instruction manual, strap, and two AAA batteries.
Top Customer Reviews
The DS-40 without its external microphone is about the same size as the WS-320M. It is slightly thicker and heavier. The exterior of the DS-40 is mostly metal. On the bottom, the battery door is plastic and hinged like the Olympus DS-4000. The mini-USB port is covered by a tethered plastic cover. On the lower right side, there is a power/hold slide switch. If you do not power the DS-40 off, it will enter a power save mode and the display will blank. Pressing a key brings it out of power save mode. The power save mode time is user adjustable. The control buttons are well spaced and shaped to make the DS-40 an acceptable dictation recorder unlike the WS-320M. The WS-320M has small flat closely spaced keys. The LCD screen is backlit in white and is very legible. The speaker is located in the back and produces enough volume to be heard in a moving car. On the top of the DS-40 is a stereo microphone jack which supports an optional remote control / microphone jack and is where the external stereo microphone is plugged in. Curiously, Nuance in their Dragon testing of the DS-30/40/50 writes that this recorder does not accept an external microphone.
The DS-40 is setup as a standard plug and play external USB drive. So you can transfer audio by using the supplied DSS Player software, Windows Explorer, or Windows Media Player. The USB audio transfer speed is about 140mb per minute. That is about five times faster than the WS-320M.Read more ›
SOUND: Great quality, amazingly crystal clear sound in STXQ mode (highest setting). Stock stereo mic is actually pretty nice as well; I expected to have to buy another mic, but I don't know quite yet if that's necessary.
INTERFACE: Controls are a bit clumsy but a small price to pay for this quality, and given the extremely limited real estate on this tiny thing, I suppose they did a great job with design. It's plug and play so it's easy to use. It acts just like a jump drive for storage as well. Not to mention that I've been wearing this thing out and the batteries are still fully charged.
APPLICATION: I use it for lectures, business meetings, reminders, all the usual stuff. **HOWEVER, I actually bought it to try it out as a field recorder. I'm a musician and experimenting with sampling, and I've found that this is perfect for that. It was after all designed for podcasting. The specified field recorders out right now (Zoom H4, Edirol R9, etc.) have gotten tons of bad press; loud, clunky, low quality, etc., and there's no way I was going to buy an MD recorder. For less than half of the price of one of those, I bought this and the quality difference is unreal.
SHORTCOMINGS: Not many of these, but the big ones are the inability to rename files on the fly and the inability to resume a recording once stopped (you can do this if you simply pause the recording however but I'd like to be able to resume from a stopped or even powered `off' recording); it may do both of these, but I haven't figured it out yet. Also a problem is the fact that it doesn't come with a case of some sort.Read more ›
I first bought the Sony ICD-SX46VTP which had terrible sound quality and required software that complained of missing files during the install. I took it back in favor of the Olympus DS40 and I am really glad that I did. The Sony ICD-SX46VTP was terrible all around.
Here are a list of good and not-so-good points:
... Good bits ...
Very good sound quality. The supplied stereo mic (ME-53SH) does a great job and recordings sound very lively. I tend to use the middle sensitivity which gives great near-field recordings. The XQ quality setting sounds fine.
Good battery life. Using XQ (highest quality) I get nearly 8 hours of recording from a set of alkaline AAA cells. To save power I switch off the back-light because I hardly need it. I don't switch the device off, instead it goes into standby which means it is ready to use by pressing REC twice.
The supplied stereo mic is sufficiently directional to reject some ambient off-axis noise, giving better recordings.
I found the buttons quite usable, mostly you can operate the device without looking.
It is a very discrete unit - tiny! I've even made good recordings while it sat in my shirt pocket. You can switch off the red recording LED if it is distracting during an interview.
... Not-so-good bits ...
The supplied stereo mic does not fit firmly onto the device - it wobbles slightly. It is secured by a small jack plug in the middle and two small plastic locator pegs on the top of the unit. This means the mic doesn't feel firmly attached and isn't a robust connection. It is possibly subject to damage if mishandled. Perhaps this is why Olympus sell replacement mics for $25.
Olympus should supply a case for the device. I bought the $20 case (CS-113) which is expensive for a piece of felt but it protects the unit. The case also probably reduces some handling noise during recording.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I tried to use this for a radio show and the mic is a bit low quality for what I need it to do. Other than that, it works great and its simple to use.Published 11 months ago by Dan Jenkins
After the batteries ran out no other batteries work except the Panasonic I had. I tried Duracell, Eveready, Rayovac, but nothing. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Peter M. Molignano
I have used this for so many applications but as a rehearsal tool, nothing beats it! Sound quality is incredible. You can slow down playback without changing pitch. Read morePublished 14 months ago by AKV
This is a good quality product that has lasted me several years without any problems. It's fairly easy to use.Published 23 months ago by Magnate
This was a great, handy recorder. However, for the price, the Zoom h1 has fewer features, but the sound is better (it should be) for more recording situations. Read morePublished 23 months ago by sickphil71
I have had so many recorders fail me but this one is outstanding in every respect. Very easy to operate, holds hours of recording, the quality of the recording is outstanding,... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Dale R. B.