This recorder is the smallest dedicated high quality digital recorder I’ve seen though not the smallest audio recorder I’ve ever handled, that honour goes to the old and faithful - and still very much alive - Sony MZR-900. The Olympus LS-P4 resembles a rather large USB stick and perhaps one could call the LS-P4 a USB stick since the USB connector for the recorder slides in and out of the bottom at the touch of a switch. The USB connector allows the recorder to connect to an AC adapter for charging or a computer for the transfer of audio files. The LS-P4 recorder is the first digital recorder I’ve heard of that records in the Loessless FLAC format as well as MP3 and PCM Wave formats. Sample and bit rates can be set for PCM and FLAC formats up to 96 and 24 bit respectively and 320K in MP3 with recording mono modes being provided which are particularly useful if you’re just recording your own voice as a lot of memory space can be saved. The LS-P4 has both internal memory and facilities for a SD memory card which is inserted into a slot found in the battery compartment. I notice that the recorder takes a while to boot when a memory card is inserted though its quick off the mark when booting without a memory card. Power is supplied to the recorder by a triple A battery and you can choose to use either an Alkaline or Rechargeable battery, the recorder comes supplied with 1 triple A rechargeable battery which the recorder chan charge via the USB connection. When the recorder is first powered on you’re asked to select the battery type, to set the date and time used for time/date stamping of recordings and Voice guidance on/off. I particularly like the control key arrangement of this recorder. The traditional Olympus square of up, down, left, right and enter has been replaced by a more obvious round control which looks like a 4 pointed start - points indicating the 4 directions of the controls travel -. I didn’t receive a carry case or windscreen with my LS-P4 though a good windscreen is easily purchased and I’ve ordered a Gutman windscreen though I’m still looking around for a protective carry case. Connections for external devices can be found on the right hand side of the recorder for an external microphone and headphones. Some previous models of Olympus recorders incorporated a setting in the menu system to turn recording monitoring on and off. Now the monitoring function is enabled if headphones are connected and the recorder is in recording mode. I’ve made several recordings using the “Auto” mode for recording level and microphone sensitivity. The recorder has a very good level adjustment range so everything from the quietest to the loudest sound can be capture with this recorder. If you know the sort of environment you’ll be using the recorder in then you may decide to use or experiment with one of the preset Scene settings which are available through the menu system or you can hold down the menu key to bring up the list of pre-defined scenes to select from. This model of recorder offers Bluetooth connectivity so you can playback through a set of bluetooth headphones or a bluetooth speaker which I’ve found very convenient. Furthermore this function makes perfect sense given you can transfer music to the LS-P4 and use the recorder as a music player. Bluetooth is also used for the Audio Control App available for both Android and IOS however I’ve not had any success with this App as yet.
********** Those of a positive and enquiring frame of mind will leave the rest of the halfwits in this world behind.