New small digital recorders are coming onto the market all of the time. It is nearly impossible to keep up with all the new advances. Other than the quality of the sound, record time and battery life are of high importance in nature recording. This new recorder is very good on both of these aspects.

Field Recorders under $400.

A great new entry into the lower price range is the Olympus LS-11

The manufacturers websites:

Olympus LS-11

The user’s manual can be found at:

Users Manual

Excellent reviews can be read at:

Brad Linder’s blog

Forums discussing this recorder are:

The Taperssection Forums

There are several videos posted on YouTube:

Olympus LS11 – Summer NAMM ’09

Summer NAMM ’09 – Olympus LS-11 PCM Recorder

Recording media:

8GB of internal flash memory.

An additional 32GB of memory can be added with an SD or SDHC card.

Maximum recordable time – In any card not all of the stated capacity is available for data. Using the 32 gb card the record time in .wav at 44.1kHz 16bit CD quality mode should be nearly 48 hours.


Using two AA batteries up to 23 hours.


Although this unit is just being released I was very impressed by the Olympus DS50 that a fellow researcher used recently in Colorado.

Sound Clip 1 recorded by Todd Perteet using the Olympus DS50.

Conclusion – I think this is a very good recorder and gets researchers into a nice, reasonably priced unit that has great battery life and recording times. Early reviews state that it’s sound quality is improved over the previous model Olympus LS-10.


– built-in microphones
– easy to use
– great sound
– great battery life
– great recording time
– reasonable price

– bass rolloff

– no external battery port

– no xlr ports