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Pros: Extended recording time, great sensitivity and sound quality, sturdy construction.
Cons: The most obtuse, counter intuitive user interface I have ever seen in my 62 years. Getting to any menu function involves entering what seems to be a Konami code. The instruction manual assumes you already know this code and only tells you what you could do if you are lucky enough to get that far.
Other Thoughts: If you can do a Rubik's cube with your eyes closed you will love this thing. I bought it for my wife, kill me, please.
Reviewed By:Daddio7,12/28/2014 11:14:11 AM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is Somewhat High and has owned this product 1 week to 1 month.
Pros: The recorder is very high quality. The stereo mic provides excellent playback, even with background noise. It's great for lectures, which is what I use it for. Just make sure to buy a memory card. I'm full after one week.
Cons: The speech recognition software is a waste of time. Don't even bother installing it. Seriously.
Reviewed By:Semper Fido,7/17/2014 10:52:37 PM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is Somewhat High and has owned this product 1 week to 1 month. Did you find this review helpful?
Pros: Useful configuration settings - you can tune it to work well in most environments. VCVA in particular can be tuned to work just the way you want it to.
Excellent audio quality.
Good battery life
Cons: I've got lots of Olympus recorders, including three WS-510M models that are fantastically good voice recorders. I managed to kill a couple of those (my fault - dropped in water) and I needed another backup so I bought this WS-803.
Everything about this 803 is bad/worse when compared to older models.
The buttons have no feel to them and take far too little pressure to activate. I typically record my ideas with the device in my shirt pocket and it's constantly turning itself off or triggering playback.
This thing is much bigger than the 510M, the worst part being how much thicker it is. It's quite bulky/noticeable in your pocket.
They put the mic jack on the side of the unit (510M and earlier have it on the top alongside the mic jack) This is a problem as you can't plug headphones in and drop it into your pocket unless the headphones have a 90 degree adapter.. In my case, I often use a very small Bluetooth dongle that I plug in to the voice recorder and use a Bluetooth headset for a wireless connection to my helmet communicator, but now it won't fit in my pocket easily with the dongle hanging off the side.
I've got my much (ab)used 510M and this one side by side. The 510 shows a fingerprint here or there after years of use, this 803 looks like I've been handling it after dipping my hands in oil and that's only after a week of use.
The 803 does not have the ability to set a default playback speed to "fast play", it only has a "Voice Play" that I haven't figure out yet. Problem is, I record while riding dual-sport motorcycles and often times my voice isn't loud against the background noise when I voice annotate my photos and video. The only way to find those bits in the audio now is to play the recording at high speed and listen. I have to play the recordings back on my PC.
The WS803 still stupidly uses the model # and a 4 digit sequential number (e.g. WS5101234.wma or 803_1234.wma) which causes overlaps if you happen to be using more than one of them.
I've also got an Olympus VN722PC. It is also even larger than the WS803 (but costs half as much, has 2x AAA batteries, not one, and much better button feel) and it does what you want/expect it to which is to name the saved audio files using the current date/time.
The FM radio on the 803 picks up no stations. I'm not in a big city, but there are some reasonably strong stations here that should be showing up. Fortunately it's a fluff feature I didn't want/need anyway.
Other Thoughts: I'm pretty disappointed as I really like all my other Olympus voice recorders. They take a great deal of abuse, have excellent battery life, and have almost every feature one could need for recording anything from live action to dictation while driving a car, to recording a large conference room with excellent clarity.
This WS803 is, for my purposes, a big step backwards.
Fortunately I've got the VN722PC as a backup and I hope that my last WS510M never dies because neither the 803 nor 722 are good replacements for it.
It's really annoying to have the WS series go backwards because the only high quality alternatives for voice recorders are Sony and Panasonic, and I've been jerked around by their proprietary formats/hardware/software enough times that I don't ever want to go back to them.
Reviewed By:Dan,5/17/2014 6:53:31 AM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is High and has owned this product 1 week to 1 month.
Pros: This recorder is very easy to use, and just as easy to move it to the computer. I would recommend this product to anyone who has to record meetings. I use it for City Council Meetings, and the sound quality on the recording is very good.
Cons: The only con that I notice is, it needs a A/C adapter plug other then that, it is a great product
Reviewed By:N/A,2/24/2014 8:20:58 AM
This reviewer reports that his/her technical understanding of this type of product is average and has owned this product 1 month to 1 year.
This user purchased this item from Newegg
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.