Olympus LS-5 digital Voice Recorder
"A sound device full of surprises"
By: Nicholas Newman - 30 November 2010
“Amazing sound quality, easy to use, totally reliable” - Gary Numan
The Olympus LS-5 digital voice recorder is certainly an impressive device! Olympus claims it is designed for
professional users who require high quality sound recordings. Certainly, its chunky blue metallic appearance
suggests that it is a serious professional tool that any musician, sound engineer, broadcaster, journalist or
academic would be proud to use.
Olympus has designed the LS-5 to have all the features necessary for a handy portable sound studio. Like all
Olympus products, due to its innovative design it is robust and easy to use. However, as a journalist, with less
than perfect eyesight, I found I had to use my glasses to read the details on the small backlit inbuilt screen and
discover the particular operation of each individual control button.
The LS-5 includes the following features:
Its stereo high quality microphones enable you to record in WMA, MP3 and WAV file formats and in three modes
including normal, wide and zoom. The LS-5 also gives the user a choice of the degree of echo you require in your
recording; these include normal, club, studio, hall and dome. This means you can determine if you want your
recording to sound like you are making the recording in a studio or in the bath!
Sound Content Editing Software
Olympus includes with the LS-5 its own sound editing content management application known as Sonority. This
software is designed to edit, manage and browse the recordings that you have made on the LS-5 once they are
transferred to your computer for storage, filing and editing. In addition, there are two optional upgrades
available to purchase, these are:
1. Sonority Plus, supports recorder menu setup, Audio CD Writing and MP3 encoding. Sonority Plus enables you to
make high quality podcasts suitable for playing on your website or having very accurate computer transcriptions
when you use voice to text software.
2. Music Editing Plugin provides additional functions: no restrictions of multiple tracks, over 20 types of
advanced effect functions and manage multiple audio files. This plugin enables one to mix and lay down tracks to
produce a radio drama or album.
Sound file Storage
In addition to the in-built 2MB of internal memory, you can add additional memory by making use of the SDHC slot to
plug in a 32GB memory card. In addition, you can easily transfer your files to your computer and use the Sonority
software provided to manage your recordings.
Using the Olympus LS-5
As an energy journalist, I tested how useful the Olympus LS-5 and Sonority software was in a variety of situations
as part of my researches to write a feature and produce a podcast on the future of the Indonesian energy sector.
This assessment included testing out a whole variety of the features available in the following working situations
including in my office dictating my notes for transcribing into text using voice to text software, interviewing an
energy trader in the Square in front of London’s Canary Wharf, attending a seminar and making a podcast about my
In general, I found the LS-5 recording results impressive. However, I do advise users to experiment to discover
which combination of particular features and functions is best for a given type of recording in a particular
recording environment. In addition, I was impressed at the ability of the inbuilt high quality stereo microphones
capability in a noisy crowded seminar room to pick up the speaker at the front, when I was at the back of the
Overall, the Olympus LS-5 is a very innovative piece of kit. That I would recommend to those needing to make,
manage and record in tough sound environments, high quality recordings.
For where to buy, please visit http://www.scvlondon.co.uk/catalog/index.php?manufacturers_id=49
For a full list of LS-5 features, please visit www.olympus.co.uk