Philip Graitcer got an Olympus LS-10 digital audio recorder this morning and put it through the paces with fellow radio producer Henry Howard.
You can find an MP3 file on Henry Howard’s web site that should give you a pretty good idea of how the recorder sounds with a variety of mics including EV RE-50 and 635A dynamic mics and a Sennheiser K3U.
Overall, the recorder sounds pretty good to me. I’d say the internal mics are near-broadcast quality, although they pick up a bit more room tone than I’d like. But when using a dynamic or condenser plug-in mic there’s not much noticable hiss. I’d say the LS-10 sounds almost as good as the Sony PCM-D50, although it’s a bit difficult to make comparisons without using the two side by side under the exact same conditions.
Philip reports that the only real down sides to this recorder are the lack of XLR inputs, phantom power, or a track mark button. The PCM-D50 has most of the same limitations, but costs $50 to $100 more. The D50, however, has a track mark button, twice the internal memory (4GB compared with the LS-10’s 2GB) and an exceptional limiter function.