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Olympus Brings New Recorders to CES

Small handheld recorders offer dual mics, USB tongues for direct connections

As if anyone hasn’t noticed, handheld digital recorders are like mushrooms after a spring rain — they are popping up everywhere.

Olympus, long involved in handheld recorders, is no exception. It is using the CES show to introduce five recorders. Three are from the higher-end WS family and probably have the most relevance for broadcasters.

WS-801, WS-802 and WS-803 are the new models. All have dual mics, which Olympus describes as “newly-developed high-sensitivity, low-noise directional microphones.” They have internal memory, micro SD card slots and USB tongues, eliminating the need for a cable when transferring recorded files.

Designed for voice recording, the 802 and 803 offer dead-space skip, noise-cancellation and a pitch control. The WS-803 has a built-in FM tuner. They record PCM, MP3 and WMA formats, while the 801 is MP3 and WMA.

All units have a 1.43-inch backlit LCD screen, built-in speaker and transport/control toggle. They are expected to ship in March.

Prices: WS-801 $79.99; WS-802 $99.99; WS-803 $149.99.