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OLYMPUS WS-331M USB direct, 2.0 full speed PC Interface Digital Voice Recorder

  • 2GB Recording Media
  • USB direct, 2.0 full speed PC Interface
  • 3.73" x 1.52" x 0.43" excluding protrusions

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Record for over 23 days with the WS-331M digital voice recorder from Olympus. In LP mode it can hold 555 hours and 45 minutes of recordings in its 2GB of memory. In extra high quality (Stereo XQ) mode you can record up to 35 hours and 30 minutes for when you want to catch every nuance of the conversation. When you’re done, just plug it into your PC’s USB port and transfer the files over.

The WS-331M supports playback of music files in MP3 and WMA formats. A built in equalizer and WOW XT sound enhancement let you customize your listening experience. The Advanced file management lets you record up to 200 files in each of the 5 folders. Index marks and temp marks allow you to quickly find desired locations. The large backlight LCD screen makes managing your recordings easy and convenient.

  • newegg Extended Recording Time The Olympus WS-331M features built-in 2GB flash memory for extended recording time of up to 35.5 hours in Stereo XQ mode or 555.75 hours in LP mode.
  • newegg Built-in MP3 Player The built-in MP3 player supports MP3 and WMA audio files and employs WOW XT technology to deliver rich bass and 3D stereo sound for a great listening experience.
  • newegg Super High Quality Recording The Olympus WS-331M features a low cut filter to block out unwanted background noise for super high quality audio recording.
  • newegg Large LCD Screen The Olympus WS-331M features a large, full-dot LCD screen with backlit for clear and quick viewing of recording times, battery life status and more.
  • newegg USB Direct Design With the “USB Direct” design, plug the Olympus WS-331M to your PC or Mac without cumbersome wires.

Learn more about the Olympus America Inc. WS-331M




Recording Format
Recording Media
Recording Time
Stereo XQ Mode: 35 hours, 30 minutes

Stereo HQ Mode: 71 hours, 00 minutes

Stereo SP Mode: 142hours, 05 minutes

HQ Mode: 142 hours 05 minutes

SP Mode: 279 hours 35 minutes

LP Mode: 555 hours 45 minutes
PC Interface
USB direct, 2.0 full speed
Built-in 18mm round dynamic speaker
1x AAA-size battery
Battery Life
Approx. 21 hours (using alkaline dry cell battery)
Input Level: -70dbv



Folders Messages: 5/200 per folder

Voice Activation: Available, Switchable On/Off

Practical Maximum Output: 70 mW

Microphone Jack

Earphone Jack

Sampling Frequency

Stereo XQ: 44.1kHz

Stereo HQ: 44.1kHz

Stereo SP: 44.1kHz

HQ: 44.1kHz

SP: 22.0kHz

LP: 8.0kHz

Overall Frequency Response

Stereo XQ: 50-19,000Hz

Stereo HQ: 50-15,000Hz

Stereo SP: 50-9,000Hz

HQ: 50-13,000Hz

SP: 100-7,000Hz

LP: 100-3,000Hz

Physical Spec

3.73" x 1.52" x 0.43" excluding protrusions
1.7 oz. including battery

Manufacturer Warranty

1 year limited
1 year limited
Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the Olympus America Inc. WS-331M

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  • John H.
  • 11/13/2009 3:26:52 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggs

Pros: Perfect for recording class lectures. Does an adequate job without an external mike. Compact and light weight.

Cons: Menu navigation a bit awkward. Eats batteries on playback. Appears fragile, but have not had any actual issues.

Other Thoughts: Does what I bought it for, recording lectures. Occasional use as an Thumb drive. USB connectivity with out a hitch. Have not used for music playback. Earbuds OK for lecture playback while commuting in car, but usually transfer to PC and playback at home. Would buy a better set of earbuds if used for music playback.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 2/5/2009 3:41:49 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsNot bad but not great

Pros: Voice recording quality is great.
Allows hookup of another microphone of greater quality.
Lots of room for recording
Great interface with computers (doubles as a jump drive if you dont want to carry another thing around with you)

Cons: Cheap construction.- Was carrying this in my pocket with just a pen and somehow the screen cracked, no horseplay and did not bump into anything. (If I put this in my briefcase it would most certainly be destroyed)

This thing tears through batteries- always keep an extra AAA on you if you use this frequently.

Other Thoughts: Still works with the cracked screen. Luckily I had it configured just how I wanted before it cracked so I just hit the record button and it works fine.

As a manager at a large facility I am not thrilled about this device. I record every conversation I have (so that in case someone claims I promised something I can either verify it or deny it without any confusion.) So I use this ALOT and quite frankly am really not happy with the quality of the construction... especially when putting the price in perspective.

This device is really small. That is neither a pro nor a con I guess, I personally sit it on my desk so that people know the conversation is being recorded, but I guess with the small size its perfect if you want to be more discreet.

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • TRUNG N.
  • 1/21/2009 2:06:13 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGood recorder for the price and purpose

Pros: I've bought this recorder for college lecture recording purpose, and it turned out to be way better than what I expected especially with a tiny recorder. It has produced not only exceptional but also high stereo quality sound. Without any external microphone, it worked right out of the box.

Cons: Battery life is considered on the low side.

Other Thoughts: It would be nice if Olympus ship it out with some kind of a protection pouch or something similiar.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Nabeel S.
  • 6/27/2008 5:07:04 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat product

Pros: Works like a charm, no problems so far.

Only time I thought it was messed up was when it went out of memory.
I thought it kept turning off during it's recording session because it hit the floor just once or became buggy. But it was only memory full.

Cons: In the hands of evil people.

Other Thoughts: It's worth every penny when

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 6/16/2008 11:47:15 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsOK recorder!

Pros: Big memory! Good battery life! Simple operations for recording mode, play mode, index, & fast forward.

Cons: Noisy stereo! Slow USB transfer! I can't use it to listen my recorded lectures due to noise while my old recorder (other brand) is really good at noise reduction. USB transfer is only 1.1 not 2.0. Not really good for mp3 playing! I tried all combination, but all modes were no good.

Other Thoughts: My cell phone can play mp3 music & record lectures better than this WS-331M! Too bad that I can't return this for something else!

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Michael C.
  • 4/27/2008 12:50:20 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsSpectacular recorder!!

Pros: Solidly built, fast upload/download speeds, several improvements over the older WS-320M model, which I have used for the past couple of years. Improved Hold and voice/record buttons. Rec/Stop/Play buttons are now raised for easier use. Battery cover redesigned so batter is now inserted from the bottom.

Cons: Not really a con, but the internal microphone isn't as good as an external mic. I picked up an external and the improved sensitivity is quite noticeable.

Other Thoughts: I record a lot of classes, and with soft-spoken teachers, I don't miss a word with the external mic. Not as rugged as DS-40 model, but with the same recording modes and 4X the memory, I don't really care!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Edward A.
  • 4/19/2008 8:02:35 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsWS-331M rocks ... so far

Pros: Bought a WS-331M from Newegg specifically to record a conference, and it did a great job. Now, I'm finding it makes a pretty good music player, too. (So far I've used only WMAs.) The WS-331M is nice and compact; turn off the LED record light, and people don't notice you're recording.

Cons: I'm guessing the paint on the case won't be very durable. Battery life seems to be less than what Olympus advertises. (But I don't mind changing batteries, it's better than getting stuck with one of those expensive built-in LiIon batteries.) I've come across some tracks (from Loreena McKennitt "Nights at the Alhambra") that don't play right; there's peculiar digital "hammering" distortion in the applause at the end of the tracks. (But the same WMA files play fine on a computer.) Since the WS-331M doesn't recognize ogg vorbis, I can't use it with my Ubuntu Linux system.

Other Thoughts: Excellent choice for a digital audio recorder at less than $150. There are a lot of high quality digital recorders (e.g. Zoom) on the market now, but prices *start* at 2.5x Newegg's price for the WS-331M. If you're going to use your WS-3xxM for music as well as recording, stick with the 2GB model, the lower capacity models are too limiting.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 4/4/2008 10:24:55 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat quality, well built.

Pros: Great quality, long recording times, ease of use, portable. Great for classroom use, meetings, lectures, etc.

Cons: Relatively expensive, and the mic picks up background hums of ACs and PCs, perhaps there is a setting I haven't yet discovered to eliminate this.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Cindy P.
  • 2/29/2008 6:55:45 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsniffty device

Pros: I use this to record lectures. It picks up sound pretty well, I'm thinking of getting a microphone next.

Cons: None so far.

Other Thoughts: I love newegg. I started off with buying an Antec case, and have been steadily building my computer. Over a 4 month buying spree, I now have a samsung 22" lcd, core2duo 2.66, gigbyte mobo 1333, 650 watt power supply, 2 hdd (375g and 500g), 52X cd, dvdr 20X. Shipments have been fast. I had to RMA one thing, the 500g hdd by Seagate, and the RMA was easy. Newegg gives really great service.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 2/25/2008 10:00:37 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsDoes Not Read All mp3s

Coming Soon!

Pros: Very good recording quality, slim, usb connection and lit LCD screen.

Cons: Can only read first 32 of 134 mp3s in the unit. I had the same problem with the WS-321M.

Mp3 playback and search not user friendly as mentioned in prior reviews.

Olympus not helpful at all.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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