Friday, March 7, 2008

Want to know what the Olympus LS-10 sounds like?

Philip Graitcer got an Olympus LS-10 digital audio recorder this morning and put it through the paces with fellow radio producer Henry Howard.

You can find an MP3 file on Henry Howard's web site that should give you a pretty good idea of how the recorder sounds with a variety of mics including EV RE-50 and 635A dynamic mics and a Sennheiser K3U.

Overall, the recorder sounds pretty good to me. I'd say the internal mics are near-broadcast quality, although they pick up a bit more room tone than I'd like. But when using a dynamic or condenser plug-in mic there's not much noticable hiss. I'd say the LS-10 sounds almost as good as the Sony PCM-D50, although it's a bit difficult to make comparisons without using the two side by side under the exact same conditions.

Philip reports that the only real down sides to this recorder are the lack of XLR inputs, phantom power, or a track mark button. The PCM-D50 has most of the same limitations, but costs $50 to $100 more. The D50, however, has a track mark button, twice the internal memory (4GB compared with the LS-10's 2GB) and an exceptional limiter function.

6 comments:

Brad E. said...

Hello...

I'd like to start adding sound to my street photography endeavors (www.citysnaps.net).

For that, and an occasional interview with people on the street, how would you compare the usefulness of the LS-10 with the D50?

Thanks - Brad

Brad Linder said...

You should take my advice with a grain of salt since I've never actually touched an Olympus LS-10. But I'd say either recorder would probably fit your needs. They both seem to record decent quality sound whether you're using the internal mics or a plug in mic. In both cases you'll have much better results with an external mic, as the built in mics are sensitive to wind noise.

If you want to take a gamble and use the internal mics, and if money is a concern, I'd go with the Olympus recorder for now. It's a bit cheaper, and it comes with windscreens for the built in mics, while you have have to pay $50 for an optional windscreen for the Sony recorder.

Chris J said...

I like to grab samples on the go and that's why i chose the ls-10 vs. the D50. I have that thing clipped to my belt all day.
The windscreens on the olympus snap in to place and do a pretty good job stopping moderate bursts of air.

Brad E. said...

Brad and Chris, thanks for your views...

Anonymous said...

Hi Brad,

Thanks for all of your great product reviews. I like to record live concerts and am not sure which recorder to get (the LS-10 or the D-50). In such a situation, it's nice to have something small that does not call attention to itself, hence there is often a tradeoff between quality and what you can get away with carrying with you. It appears to me that the LS-10 is better in this regard.

Any thoughts? Do you think the D-50 is worth the extra $100? Like you said earlier, this is the first high-quality Olympus recorder, so perhaps it's best to be a it cautious.

Thanks,
O.T.

Brad E. said...

Brad and Chris, thanks for your views...

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