##UPDATE## The TP-7 has been discontinued and replaced by the TP-8 ..
Most people while browsing for a new digital voice recorder or dictaphone will notice that Olympus have a number of microphones available as an optional extra. Many assume incorrectly that you need to buy a microphone when you purchase a voice recorder. The microphones built into the Olympus digital notetaker and dictaphone range are superb. So why have a range of mics? Well the optional mics serve specific purposes, e.g. to record telephone conversations or to reduce excessive background noise.
In this post we will look at each Olympus microphone and identify what they would be typically used for. All Olympus digital voice recorders are compatible with all the Olympus mics.
All mics come with a 3.5mm male jack plug which fits directly into the mic socket on your digital voice recorder. For older recorders with 2.5mm jack sockets you can get an accessory (PA-1) to allow the 3.5mm mics to fit (this accessory is included with the TP-7).
Olympus ME-52W – Noise Cancelling Mic
The Olympus ME-52W is a uni-directional noise cancelling mic. It will record audio surrounding it so is good for a group discussion where there is excessive background noise like wind, in a cafe/restaurant or in a busy office. The mic comes with a 1 metre extension cable and also a tie-pin crocodile mic clip in case you need to attach the mic to something, like your clothing. The ME-52W can be tilted so when connected directly to a digital voice recorder you can angle it to the best direction for audio pickup. The black foam cover can be removed.
Olympus TP-7 – Telephone Pickup Mic
Easily our most popular mic, the Olympus TP-7 facilitates recording of telephone conversations. A favourite with journalists who regularly interview over the phone, private investigators and call centres the TP-7’s clever design means that it will work with any phone – desk phone, mobile phone even a pay phone.
The TP-7 unit is similar to an iPod earbud as it sits snugly in your ear. When you make your call the speaker from your phone is pressed against your ear and thus with the TP-7 mic, this ensures clear audio pickup from the speaker(s) on the phone and also your voice.
The TP-7 is attached to a 1.5 metre cable so long enough to easily connect to and allow control of your Olympus recorder, simply hit record when your conversation starts. It also comes with a set of jack plug converters (PA-1) so if you have an older recorder with a 2.5mm jack it can also connect to those. The TP-7 is compatible with all the current Olympus digital voice recorder range. The TP-7 will only act as a microphone, it does not playback sound.
Disclaimer Time …
There may be legal implications involved with recording telephone conversations in Australia (and other countries). For people in Australia please click this government link see or seek advice from a qualified legal representative. Outside Australia please refer to your own government guidelines or contact your legal representative.
Olympus ME-12 – Noise Cancelling Mic
The Olympus ME-12 is a short stuby noise cancelling mic which comes with a removable foam wind cover. The ME-12 is a single direction mic so typically used to record one speaker. Often used by journalists when trying to capture a sound bite from a speaker at a press gathering the noise cancelling mic will also reduce surrounding noise and pickup clearly a voice from the direction it is being pointed.
This microphone is also popular with users of Dragon NaturallySpeaking (Premium & Professional versions) which can transcribe audio recorded on a digital voice recorder. By adding the ME-12 mic further reduces any background noise and enhances your voice recognition accuracy.
Olympus ME-15 – Noise Cancelling Mic
The Olympus ME-15 is often referred to as the tie-pin mic, it is a small single direction noise cancelling mic which sits on the end of a 1 metre cable. The ME-15 clips into a crocodile clip which can be clipped onto a tie, shirt or blouse. Typically used by presenters and lecturers who need to clearly record their presentation or speech without the distraction of surrounding audience noise. The ME-15 is a mono mic, so on the stereo recorders you will only get one channel of audio recorded.
Olympus ME-51S – Stereo Mic
The Olympus ME-51S is a uni-directional stereo mic, this means it will pickup crisp clear audio from all directions. The ME-51S comes with a 1 metre extension cable and also a tie-pin style crocodile clip. As most of the Olympus digital recorder range now records in stereo this mic becomes useful if you have an older mono recorder or for situations where it is not practical to have the recorder on show, in which case you can use the extender cable for optimal audio pickup.
So there you have a summary of the Olympus range of accessory microphones. For the more technical I have listed the tech specs for the microphones below.
Looking for a quality mic for your iPhone or iPad?
If you are an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch user and are looking for a high quality mic to help you pickup better audio when using your device then we are with you and currently looking into how we can get some or all of these mics to work with Apple devices. I personally use my iPhone to record HD video and am desperate to get a good quality stereo mic with noise reduction. As soon as we have a break through I will post details here. The ME-51S does work with the iPad however only seems to be single channel audio recording of which is excellent quality.
Olympus ME52W Mic Tech Specs
Olympus TP7 Mic Tech Specs
Olympus ME12 Mic Tech Specs
Cord length: No cord
Olympus ME15 Mic Tech Specs
Olympus ME51S Mic Tech Specs