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Do-it all with the best quality – record, listen and store.
The WS-803 features two internal directional condenser microphones, achieving the best ever quality in sound recording for this series. Great new features include Voice Playback, Voice Balancer, and Voice Changer. As with all our OLYMPUS’s recorders, the WS-803 boasts direct connect USB connection, calendar search function, and plenty of memory with 8GB internal and microSD compatible. The FM radio function gives you music on the go!
2,043 HOURS OF RECORDING TIME and multi format support With 8GB of internal memory and 2,043 hours of recording time, you’ll be able to capture notes, lectures, and more – and still have room to store documents. The device also features a microSD slot with the potential to hold up to 32GB of additional memory. You can record and play back in three standard high-function formats including PCM, MP3 and WMA.
New voice balancer function, voice playback function and voice changer function Voice Balancer adjusts voice levels to compensate for distance. This is perfect for interviews or meetings where one person’s voice might drown our others based on there the recorder is located. Voice Playback allows you to skip the non-voice portions of a recording and only playback the parts with recorded voices, making for more seamless recordings and easier to transcribe files. And voice changer function allows you to change the pitch of a voice. You can even adjust the recording level at will based on the volume of the recording subject to maximize the use of dynamic range.
Direct link to your Mac/PC With the "USB Direct" design, it is easy to transfer your files over to your Mac or PC. Just plug the recorder right into your computer for fast downloads – no cables needed. The USB also helps charge your battery at the same time. The microSD slot makes connection with PC’s even more convenient.
FM radio Users will be able to listen to and record radio through a built-in FM tuner.
Zoom Mic and noise cancellation New built-in algorithms realize more powerful directional performance. Works well when recording from a distant position or in noisy environments. The WS-803 also dampens or minimizes unwanted background sounds – so you record a clean, high-quality audio file.
Scene select function and calendar search function Wherever you are, whether it’s a conference room, large hall, or at home dictating, the microphones will automatically adjust to capture the best sound depending on your setting. The WS-803 allows you to set up to 99 index marks per file with peace of mind. Calendar Search Function allows you to easily search for files by date and play them back with ease.
This review is from: OLYMPUS WS-803 USB PC Interface Digital Voice Recorder
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.
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