Slim, attractive, and highly functional, the Olympus WS-300M digital voice recorder packs 256 MB of internal flash memory into its lightweight housing, letting you record up to 68 hours of high-quality audio in WMA format. It's ideal for recording notes or long lectures, interviewing sources for an upcoming story, or capturing spur-of-the-moment song ideas before they disappear into the air. As an added bonus, the WS-300M can store up to 66 WMA or MP3 songs for high-quality stereo playback, letting you listen to your favorite tunes between (or during) classes or while waiting in line at the DMV. All this in a tiny body that measures 1.5 inches wide by 3.73 inches tall--roughly the size of a pack of gum.
The WS-300M features five separate file folders capable of holding 199 files each, so you can organize nearly 1,000 files by subject, theme, or other categories. Users also have the choice of four recording modes: HQ, which minimizes background noise and is great for recording people with low speaking voices; LP and SP modes that offer extended recording times; and the unique Stereo HQ mode, which makes two-channel recordings. And thanks to the voice activation option, users don't need to press a single button to start recording. The WS-300M will instead record as soon as the built-in microphone picks up sound.
Perhaps the most convenient feature, however, is the built-in USB connector. To attach the WS-300M to a PC, all you need to do is remove one end of the recorder's body, which reveals a male USB plug. This USB Direct design eliminates the need for a USB cable (the male plug connects directly to your computer), making the device even more portable. Once connected, you can download music files, images, or documents, in effect turning the recorder into a small hard drive, or you can transfer voice recordings to your computer for storage or multimedia use.
The unit also offers built-in WOW sound enhancement to produce rich, three-dimensional audio with a nice bass component. Additional audio improvements include a user-selectable equalizer that lets you tailor the sound to your taste or environment, along with Olympus's innovative noise-canceling technology, which makes the audio even clearer by removing unwanted hiss and background noise. You can even adjust the built-in stereo microphone's recording level to meet your needs.
Every bit as important are the playback functions, which include fast (50 percent) and slow (25 percent) playback, random play, and repeat play. And should you need to identify and quickly retrieve important sound bites, all you need to do is insert an index mark and refer to it later. Additional features include a locking function, which keeps important data from being erased; an easy-to-read, backlit, full-dot LCD; and a pair of stereo headphones.
What's in the Box
WS-300M digital voice recorder, stereo earphone, one AAA battery, USB cable, user's manual.