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Olympus America Inc. > 
Item#: N82E16873100015

OLYMPUS WS-311M USB PC Interface Digital Voice Recorder with Music Player

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  • 512MB Recording Media
  • USB PC Interface
  • 3.7" x 1.5" x 0.4" (excluding protrusions)

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Many media players have a voice record feature. The Olympus WS-311M is a voice recorder with media player features. It has 512MB of onboard flash memory that can record up to 138 hours in LP mode. Stereo XQ mode will capture up to 8 hours and 50 minutes of audio. Because this is a recorder first, it has advanced file organization features. Up to 200 files can be stored in each of 5 folders. Each file can have up to 16 index marks.

The media playback feature plays WMA and MP3 files. A built in equalizer and WOW XT sound enhancement let you customize your listening experience. Transfer files by plugging the recorder into a USB port.

  • newegg Extended Recording Time The Olympus WS-311M features built-in 512MB flash memory for extended recording time of over 138 hours in LP mode.
  • newegg Super High Quality Recording The Olympus WS-311M features a low cut filter to block out unwanted background noise for super high quality audio recording.
  • 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 Large LCD Screen The Olympus WS-311M features a large LCD screen for clear and quick viewing of recording times, battery life status and more.
  • newegg Easy File Management The Olympus WS-311M provides 5 customizable folders, each capable of storing up to 200 files, for easy management of your audio recordings.
  • newegg USB Direct Design With the “USB Direct” design, plug the Olympus WS-311M to your PC or Mac without cumbersome wires.

Learn more about the Olympus America Inc. WS-311M




Recording Format
Recording Media
Recording Time
Stereo XQ Mode: 8 hours, 50 minutes

Stereo HQ Mode: 17 hours, 40 minutes

Stereo SP Mode: 35 hours, 25 minutes

HQ Mode: 35 hours, 25 minutes

SP Mode: 69 hours, 40 minutes

LP Mode: 138 hours, 30 minutes
PC Interface
Built-in 18mm round dynamic speaker
1x AAA-size battery
Battery Life
Approx. 21 hours (using alkaline dry cell battery)


Built-in stereo microphone

Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA) records only when sound is sensed

The Low Cut Filter minimizes air conditioner noise and other similar noises

Up to 16 index marks can be set in a file

Lock files to avoid accidentally erasing important information

WMA & MP3 Music Player

Noise Cancel feature cuts out unwanted background noise

Voice Filter enhances the human voice by cutting low and high frequency noises during playback

Slow and fast playback speed variations

Repeat and Random playback

WOW XT technology provides rich bass and three-dimensional stereo sound

Customize the sound with a built-in equalizer


Input Level: -70 dBv



Folders Messages: 5/200 per folder

LP Mode

Voice Activation: Available via menu setting

Practical Maximum Output: 70 mW

Microphone Jack

Earphone Jack

Sampling Frequency
Stereo XQ Mode: 44.1kHz
Stereo HQ Mode: 44.1kHz
Stereo SP Mode: 44.1kHz
HQ Mode:44.1kHz
SP Mode: 22.0kHz
LP Mode: 8.0kHz

Overall Frequency Response
Stereo XQ Mode: 50-19,000Hz
Stereo HQ Mode: 50-15,000 Hz
Stereo SP Mode: 50-9,000Hz
HQ Mode:50-13,000Hz
SP Mode: 100-7,000Hz
LP Mode: 100-3,000Hz

Dimensions & Weight

3.7" x 1.5" x 0.4" (excluding protrusions)
1.7 oz. (including battery)
Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information

Customer Reviews of the Olympus America Inc. WS-311M

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  • Anonymous
  • 9/30/2008 9:16:42 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Recorder

Pros: Records great in conf. or dict. setting. Transfers easily to computer as WMA. but I convert to wav. or mp3 and pop it into itunes and onto my ipod.

Good Battery life.

Cons: None so far

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

  • William M.
  • 9/9/2008 10:18:09 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsbtmerk86

Pros: ST XQ is the highest level of recording on this device and is of an excellent audio quality. When WS-311M device is empty of files (excluding device software; 578 KB) it can record 8hr 52min 47secs of ST XQ, or store 511MB of files (578KB of 512MB is used for device software). The physical size of the device is slightly smaller than and about the same weight as a flip-phone cell phone. The device doubles as a flash drive for storing data files and allows for file transfer from computer to device and vice versa. Data and Audio storage can occur at the same time as long as the total is less than 511 MB. Locking audio files is a nice feature to prevent accidental erasing of audio. Locking is done manually & optionally after recording is stopped/complete. Once the audio file is locked it says locked until you unlock it or if you load it on a computer is it then vulnerable to deletion. I like downloading all audio files to my computer for later listening, made possible by a USB port.

Cons: The only con that I have is that the device goes quickly through batteries. I typically use rechargeable batteries and need a new one every 6-7.5 hours of recording. I haven't really tried to push the limit any further with my batteries, but 6-7 hours seems to work before battery swapping/replacement. Another thought is that I only record in ST XQ. I do not know if the battery last longer on other recording settings, but you might try it out it could help your battery life, but then again it could just be the device and what power the device normally consumes.

Other Thoughts: I mainly use this device to record college lectures. Within reason, I can pick up just about every sound that is made when this device is recording. I might suggest that if you download files to your computer you might want to convert these to mp3 files to reduce the overall file size or if you have a large internal/external hard drive that could work too. I purchased an external hard drive to help store the 11GB of audio or (~183hrs or~7.6days straight audio) that I have acquired over the past 8 months of college lectures, etc. I think that this device is well worth the purchase. I also would suggest purchasing at least 2 better yet 4 rechargeable AAA batteries and a battery recharger. It will save you lots of money in the long run. I have recharged my batteries countless times and have been using the same 4 batteries ever since I purchase this 8 months ago in spring 2008. It was a minimal price compared to the continual purchase of non-rechargeable batteries.

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

  • Kent D.
  • 9/9/2008 1:02:45 PM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsAmazing little guy

Pros: Everything. This thing works great, has so many recording options, and the best part is the removable USB connector.

Cons: Needs an lcd screen...? The only thing is moving it about causes lots of background noise, but a mic would fix that.

Other Thoughts: I use it for class in 300 seating rooms, 50 seating rooms, and 20 seating rooms, it sounds great on all of it. I don't know how how to get the background noise canceled out, but not a big deal. Great product.

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

  • Richard L.
  • 7/31/2008 7:10:25 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggs

Pros: I gave this as a gift to a teacher. She loves the product and has raved about its ease of use and the clarity of the recordings.

Cons: None

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

5 out of 5 eggsGood buy

Pros: Plenty of room for hours of recording, good battery life and easy to transfer to the computer. Bought four of these and all work perfectly. Good number of options to set the device up for quality or quantity. I use this for appraisals at warehouses and manufacturing plants and despite the noise the speech is still understandable even at the middle quality - plus its very easy to carry along with my camera + flashlight due to the small size and weight.

Cons: Would be awesome if it was USB-rechargeable... but I may be asking a bit much. AAA's are easy to keep around anyways.

Other Thoughts: At first glance it seemed flimsy, but so far I haven't had a single problem. Three people at my company use this recorder and have had no complaints.

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

  • John D.
  • 6/28/2008 12:24:12 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsSmall Size, Good Value.

Pros: Overall, I like this recorder very much. It's a fraction of the size (and weight) of my old tape-based micro-recorder, and has very sensitive stereo microphones (use dictation mode in the car to reduce road noise). Most of the buttons are easy to see and press, except the HOLD (on/off) button. I like the slow/normal/fast playback, voice-activation, USB interface to my WinXP PC (shows up as a removable USB drive, with no special software), and ability to play back audiobooks and music in WMA or MP3 format. I sometimes make recordings, then plug the unit into my PC and rename the files (but leave them on the unit) so they're easier to find when I need to play them back. The built-in speaker sounds darn good, considering its small size. Playback through headphones or the PC sounds even better!

Cons: 1) The removable battery compartment allows dust into the USB connector, which creates a weak connection to the body, which makes the unit sensitive to the lightest bumps, causing it to shut off or reboot unexpectedly (not good when you're relying on the recording, and can't keep an eye on the screen). I remove the battery compartment, blow on the connectors, and put it back together again before starting a recording.

2) When sliding the HOLD (on/off) button with your thumb, your index finger may push the RECORD button (on the other side) simultaneously, sometimes putting the unit into RECORD mode instead of OFF. Not a problem when you're at your desk, but sometimes a problem if you use the recorder while driving.

3) The internal microphones amplify the smallest noises: your fingers holding the case, the loud CLICK-CLICK from every button-press, fabric-rustling if you press RECORD and drop the unit in a shirt pocket. So start your recording, and set the darn thing down!

Other Thoughts: I am almost tempted to NOT recommend this recorder because of the battery / connector issue, but I put some silicone grease on the contacts, and that seems to help.

Other minor complaints:
You can't immediately start recording. First, you must slide the HOLD button down, and wait for the "System Check" to complete (about 2 seconds) before you can record.

The date-time stamps on the files are weird. Instead of a recording showing up as "0015.wma 2008-06-25 11:31:52" it shows up as "WS310015.WMA/ 6M25D PM11:31". It makes sense, but takes some getting used to.

I really think this unit is pretty darn amazing. Most of the features are intuitive, and it comes with an easy-to-read manual that is 6 times bigger than the unit itself. I would buy it again; and I recommend it to you!

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

  • Anonymous
  • 5/2/2008 1:55:32 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat little recorder

Pros: Fantastic little device, half the thickness of the previous Olympus recorder I was replacing. Extremely easy to copy files to the main computer, just like files on a flash drive. Great audio quality in conference rooms and school rooms alike. MP3 playing comes in handy for audio books

Cons: none

Other Thoughts: This little recorder has exceeded my expectations for a voice recorder. No scratchy telephone-sounding quality. Granted the built-in microphones won't pick up the deep, rich bass of James Earl Jones, but they will pick up the voice of a college professor 30+ feet away.

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

  • Scott F.
  • 4/15/2008 8:01:38 AM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Recorder!

Pros: The recorder works great. The automatic voice detection worked great in a recent meeting. The sound is very clear playing back on the PC. The built-in USB port is awesome!

Cons: None

Other Thoughts: I used to have an RCA digital recorder but had to play it back to the PC in order to transfer the recording. It's nice having one with digital transfer via USB. The Olympus also sounds way better than the older RCA model I used to use.

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

  • Imran K.
  • 4/11/2008 3:12:00 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat product for price

Pros: Excellenct product for price. SMall, fits in pocket, great microphone and battery life. Sound quality and earphones are also great.

Cons: Memory may fill up rather quickly if filled with music, but thats why its not meant fot it...

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

  • Josef a.
  • 2/22/2008 12:20:35 PM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsInvaluable purchase

Pros: Excellent design, light-weight, interfaces easily and without middle-man software, small size, superb sound quality, features (such as noise filtering) which actually work and aren't simply marketing embellishments.

Cons: A bit heavy on the battery consumption (although given my usage, understandable. i.e. experience may vary).

Other Thoughts: I searched all over for optimized quality vs. price and definitely made the right choice. To the buyer: I would suggest taking some time to explore the different recording and playback options along with reading through the manual as even the smallest alterations in recording settings can make an enormous difference (see: Dict vs. Lect recording types).

11 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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