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on 27 May 2013
This is an excellent voice recorder, which I would have no hesitation in recommending.

They key thing to note here is that it is a 'voice recorder'. If you want to record excellent reproductions of musical instruments, you may want to consider the Olympus LS series instead. However, where voice is concerned, this unit does have a lot of advantages. Do not let my last statement put you off this device.

For example, the unit is very quick to start up, and is ready for recording in less than a second, and some of the features for playback, including noise reduction and a voice balancer (which normalises the volume of multiple speakers in a recording) is something you will not find on a sound recorder such as the LS 14, neither is the facility to skip segments of the file where there is no voice, increase or decrease playback speed, or use voice activation to automatically start or pause a recording, meaning that the end files will be free of large gaps where nobody is speaking.
The microphone gain, sensitivity, and recording format can all be changed, you can also turn noise filters or low frequency filters on or off, or manually set the recording level for a really clear recording.

This unit also has a nice filing system, and you can browse your recordings by calendar, making finding the recording you want out of a huge number of files so much easier.

Possibly one of the best features of this recorder, which has possibly been understated in the advertising, is the use of the stereo microphones with the zoom mic feature.
With zoom mic, you can narrow down the angle at which the recording is made. Obviously, there will be no mechanical change in the microphones, so what the unit is doing when you 'zoom in', is giving you a file which only contains noise which can clearly be heard in front of both microphones. Fully zoomed in, you could happily record a lecturer at some distance, cutting out a lot of the noise to either side.
This function works really nicely, because of the envelope of each microphone, and the angle that they are at.
On the flip side to zooming in, you can zoom right out, and have a very good stereo picture of all of the sound in front of the device, what seems to me to be a full 180 degrees field. Perfect for recording multiple voices in a small room, and making individual voices so easy to pick out.

The unit is nice and small, it has a built in USB plug which slides out, meaning you don't have to worry about not having cables on you, it seems sturdy, the menus are simple and easy to navigate. There is a built in MP3 player, and FM radio, nice additional features, and with the expansion card slot for micro SD, you could record literally thousands of hours of notes.

Really impressed with this unit.
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on 8 January 2017
I bought this model a couple of years ago (I think - time flows!). It has a lot of features - some of which I struggle to see without a magnifier!
However, when it comes to listening to the recordings I found it time consuming to figure out how to put them in order etc. Also, the screen is grey and not easy to view in low light (I used this for making notes on sites I work at).
I think that for this money the case should be metallic rather than a kind of cheap plastic.
Good to have a usb connector fitted on a slider. In the end though, I find my iPhone 5 much better to access the material and upload.
And, it's so easy to find!!
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on 23 April 2017
just what I needed
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on 21 May 2017
This was purchased as a back-up to the same model - need I say more?
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on 23 May 2017
excellent
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on 2 March 2013
I bought one of these to record lectures in a post grad degree I'm doing and I couldn't be happier with it. The microphone quality is extremely high, and the micro sdhc slot means it's easy to drop another 8gb of memory into it. A single battery lasts somewhere around eight to ten hours for me (my lecture days are 8 hours with a one hour lunch break, and I've never needed to change batteries during the day so far). All in all I think would be impossible to find a better quality recorder for this price tag.
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on 30 January 2014
I bought this item from Amazon less than a year ago. It stopped working after 11 months, in spite of being sparingly used. Amazon will not help with the warranty. Very disappointing. I will not recommend this item!!
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on 7 February 2013
Great and good quality for recording private conversations and lectures. I am very happy with it
and was surprised at the quality of the recording in a big lecture room.
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on 8 June 2013
I've had the Olympus WS811 for a few days, now. The recording quality is excellent, the slide-out USB plug is bliss to use (and, I'm pretty sure, causes a quality increase over using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable into your mic'-in socket on your machine) and was a great idea. The screen could be sharper, but, when instinct cuts in during early use, you need the screen far less, anyway; use will come naturally to you.

My only problem is that, during recording, if you use the "REC" button to pause the recording, then that action puts a sloppy "click/scratch" (tiny, though it is) in the recording.

The sound quality is the best I've ever known from Olympus machines of this type, though. That, alone, was worth spending on. Sound file folders are easy to use on this machine. Deleting empowers you to be more cautious, with greater ease about a possible mis-delete about to happen, which is great. I'd sooner have this recorder containing two, instead of one, AAA battery (Alkaline or rechargeables can be used in it) so that, when one battery is too low to run the machine, the 2nd battery cuts in and seamlessly takes over.

Worth buying? Oh, yeah...hesitate no longer...go and buy; you're gonna be a happy consumer with this gorgeous piece of kit!
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on 28 February 2013
Olympus WS-813 Digital Stereo Voice Recorder with Flash 8GB Memory, WMA, MP3 and Built in USB Key - Black

Hello to everyone,

I would like say my experience and opinion on product of Olympus WS-813 ... I will say my honest point of view, not drived of the marketing that select the reviews for optimize the sell.

I bought this product for try to improve my poor English and for recording the audio at conferences. I thought that I have done the best choice in ratio to quality/price, instead since immediately who I open the box I saw that the product was completely in bad plastic and presented many defects in the structure ... for example the upper frets was blocked in the structure of device, then the display was lightly rotated, not centred and presented a black line also when the device was switched off.

I have immediately thought of ask a replacement, but after I read the manual and made a lot of try of recording, I thought that I had been deceived from pictures and the review of marketing of sellers.
The dictaphone Olympus WS-813 have produced always records of very very bad quality, I have tried to vary all the parameters of recording, I have tried to make recordings with other people and in other room (I have thought also to eventual electromagnetic disturbances) ... at last, I have ask information and help to other friends very expert in this field. Besides, the audio was on and off scratchy ... I have felt cheated and demoralized, surely I will not advice this device to my colleagues and other users.

Now I am using my old mp3 recorder of Packard Bell, and the result are good!

I thought that was difficult to obtain the replacement of that product, because wasn't possible could demonstrate that the product was received in that condition, and not damaged after from other motivation.
Today I keep as a souvenir only the box with manual and headphone, as witness for myself that the next time I'll buy a new product only in a shopping centre and I will do with more caution and after I will have tried both the product in exposure that those I will have as soon bought ... sometimes it's preferably pay a little in more, but have the peace in mind.

I hope to be helpful to someone.

Sorry for my poor English.

Best regards,
Giuseppe
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