The WS series of digital voice recorders from Olympus is a fantastic little range of three models the WS-811, WS-812 and WS-813. All are perfectly suited for recording small meetings, interviews and soundbites and with its small physical size is a favourite with journalists and the police. The recorders have many features which increase as you go up the range, these include:
- Will function with USB power and/or 1x AAA alkaline battery and/or 1x AAA rechargeable battery
- Comes with rechargeable AAA battery – WS-812 & WS-813 only, rechargeable in the recorder itself (WS-811 can not recharge batteries)
- WS-812 2Gb built-in memory : WS-812 4Gb built-in memory : WS-813 8Gb built-in memory
- Optional microSD card can be inserted in all recorder for additional memory (2Gb to 32Gb cards)
- Higher bit rate recording – WS-811 192kbps mp3 : WS-812 & WS-813 256 kbps
- Directional zoom mic – WS-813 only
- Audio playback of WAV and WMA files from PC – WS-812 & WS-813 only
- FM Stereo Tuner – WS-813 only
The full features and specifications can be found in the Olympus WS-811/WS-812/WS-813 manual – click here for the PDF download.
One key feature that I love and is little know by most WS series users is that the recorders can be powered, while recording via a USB connection. It is preferred to use a powered USB adapter like the official Olympus A514 but a USB connection on your PC or Mac will also do the trick. This is a fantastic options and alleviates any concern about battery depletion during your recording session, leaving you to just concentrate on the job in hand.
On all three WS Series recorders I recommend you set the USB Connection setting to Optional. What this does is every time you USB connect your WS series digital voice recorder you will be prompted and asked if you either want to USB power the device (AC Adapter) or USB connect the device (PC) to access your recordings. Of course either of these options can also be set permanently.
To access the USB connection settings on your WS series recorder under the Menu navigate Device Menu –> USB Settings -> USB Connection you will then see the screenshot above where you can select your preferred USB option:
- PC – Act as a USB drive so that audio files can be access via Windows Explorer on a PC or Finder on a Mac
- AC Adapter – Power the recorder via USB
- Optional – You will be prompted when the recorder is USB connected to select either PC or AC Adapter