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What are the main features of this model?

The LS-7 is a high-quality, high-capacity digital recorder loaded with handy and intuitive usability features as well as support software that can run on both PCs and Macs.

It can record in three audio formats: PCM (Linear Pulse Code Modulation), MP3 and WMA (Windows Media Audio). In PCM mode, the microphone sensitivity levels can be set manually and the files that are created, which have a .WAV extension, can be split in the recorder.

This model has 4 GB of built-in flash memory and a card slot that holds one microSD or microSDHC card of up to 16 GB capacity (sold separately). Files can be transferred from the card to internal memory and vice-versa.

The LS-7 adds a center microphone for deeper bass response and has a tripod socket for mounting the recorder to tripods or stands.

The LS-7 features Recording and Playback "scenes" - configuration templates - that make it easy to enable an array of preferred settings via a single menu selection. There are three programmable Recording Scenes and three programmable Playback Scenes.

There are five folders for organizing recordings and separate folders for music. The Music folder holds WMA or MP3 music files transferred from Windows Media Player® or iTunes®.

The ZOOM microphone incorporates DiMAGIC® Corporation's DVM (DiMAGIC Virtual Microphone) technology for directional recording, and DiMAGIC's Euphony psychoacoustic technology for enhanced playback in the recorder.

The LS-7 also includes accessibility features designed to help the visually impaired. The Voice Guide speaks aloud menu items as they are selected in any of 19 languages.¹ The recorder's buttons feature ridges and grooves to make them more identifiable by touch.

After transferring the files to a computer via the bundled USB 2.0 cable, the included Olympus Sonority software can be used to manage, archive and edit PCM and WMA files made with the recorder on Windows and Mac platforms. (The ability to edit MP3 files is available at additional cost via the Olympus Sonority Plus upgrade.) The software also enables subscription to and download from podcast URLs. The podcasts can be transferred to the recorder's Podcast folder for playback at the user's convenience.

The bundled NiMH batteries can be charged in the unit while it is plugged into a computer's USB port, so you can keep them conveniently topped off while you work with your files.

¹ The default languages are English, French and Spanish; however, the others may be uploaded to the recorder from a computer by using Olympus Sonority software.

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What are Recording Scenes?

Recording scenes are essentially sets of recorder settings that can be enabled all at once by making a single menu selection. This selection is located in the Rec Menu as Rec Scene.

The LS-7 has three recording scene options, which are optimized by the user. Scenes can be created for dictation, conferences and lectures, for example. The menu options that can be assigned to a Recording Scene are Rec Mode, Mic Sense, Low Cut Filter, and Zoom Mic. When the factors in these options are netered in the menu, select one of the Recording Scenes and press the OK button to register the settings. Then when the specific Recording Scene is selected, the selected factors will be applied.

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What are Playback Scenes?

The LS-7 has an option for the user to create up to three Playback Scenes to setup the recorder to preset playback scenarios. The settings that can be saved as a Playback Scene are Property, Noise Cancel, EUPHONY, Voice Filter, Play Mode, Play Speed, Skip Space, Backlight and LED.

To create a Playback Scene, first configure the recorder with the desired settings. Then, in the menu, go to Play Scene > Scene Save and select a User Setting option. Finally, press the [OK] button to save the scene. The recorder will save the settings of the functions listed above as a Playback Scene. To create another scene, create a new mix of menu settings and repeat the process.

To select a saved Playback Scene for use, in the menu go to Play Scene > Scene Select and choose the desired User Setting. Press the [OK] button to activate the scene.

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What is the function of Noise Cancel?

Noise Cancel can be enabled to reduce background noise in recordings made in noisy surroundings. In effect, the function treats the loudest sounds as the most important and reduces other sounds to make the dictation clearer.

The Noise Cancel options are OFF, LOW and HIGH. The options are set in the recorder's menu. The Low or High settings remain valid until Noise Cancel is set to OFF. Noise Cancel is not available while the Voice Filter is set, and it cannot be used during Slow Playback or Fast Playback.

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What is EUPHONY?

The LS-7 features EUPHONY MOBILE - a psychacoustic surround sound system that combines bandwidth correction, expansion technology, and virtual acoustic source technology to allow the listener to alter the audio dynamics when playing back recordings through earphones. EUPHONY creates a natural, expansive feel so listeners are less prone to experience a closed-in feeling or grow tired over extended listening sessions, such as when playing audio books. The options are: OFF, Natural, Wide and Power.

EUPHONY is only applied during playback and cannot be used when recording. EUPHONY is disabled when playing back through the built-in speaker

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What is VCVA?

Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA) is a function that configures the recorder to record automatically only when sound is detected at a pre-set level, and stop when the sound drops below the threshold level. The purpose of the function is to eliminate "dead air" during recordings, thereby conserving memory and shortening file times.

VCVA is enabled in the recorder's menu. In the LS-7, the VCVA can be set to any of 23 different values. The higher the value, the more sensitive the recorder is to sounds. At the highest level, even the faintest sound will activate recording.

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What is the function of the LowCut Filter?

The recorder has a LowCut Filter function to minimize low-frequency sounds and record voices more clearly. This function can reduce noise from air conditioners, projectors and other types of "white noise."

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What enhancements do the upgrades to Olympus Sonority offer?

Purchasing the upgrades adds the following features to the version of Olympus Sonority that is bundled with the LS-7:

Plus Edition

  • MP3 Editing - Adds the ability to output and convert to an MP3 file. With the MP3 format, output and conversion at 320 kbps, 256 kbps, 192 kbps and 128 kbps as well as ID3 tag editing are possible.
  • Create a Music CD - Allows an audio CD to be easily created by specifying in the browsing screen the files to write to a CD. If the total size of the specified audio files exceeds the capacity of a CD, the files can be divided onto multiple CDs.
  • Configuring the Recorder Menu - The built-in device settings (adavanced settings such as the recording mode, alarm setting and timer recording) can be configured using Olympus Sonority.

Music Editing Plug-in

  • Effects - Adds more than 20 types of advanced effect functions.
  • Spectrum Analyzer - Displays the frequency distribution of the sound being played, in real time, on the Waveform Editing screen.
  • Unlimited Track Editing - Eliminates the limitation on the number of tracks that can be editied simultaneously.

To add the Music Editing Plug-in, Olympus Sonority must first be upgraded to the Plus Edition.

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What are Index Marks and Temp Marks?

Index Marks are digital tags that can be inserted while recording or during playback. They are used to skip forward and backward in recordings to pre-selected points. Up to 16 Index Marks can be added to a single file.

Index Marks cannot be placed in files created on machines other than Olympus digital voice recorders. This means that they cannot be placed in podcasts. Instead Temp Marks can be placed in podcasts to temporarily remember desired locations. Up to 16 Temp Marks can be added to a single file.

Both Index Marks and Temp Marks are inserted using the [F2/INDEX] button on the recorder. Index Marks and Temp Marks cannot be added to files in the Audible folder.

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What is V-Sync.Rec?


V-Sync.Rec is enabled in the menu, the Voice Sync Recording starts when a voice louder than the voice sync level (detection level) is detected. When the voice becomes low, recording will automatically stop. When voice sync recording is on and the input level falls below the voice sync level (detection level) for a period of at least the specified detection time, the recorder will return to standby mode.

The detection time options are 1 second, 2 seconds, 3 seconds, 5 seconds and 10 seconds.

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What is Pre-Recording?

Pre-Recording enables you to start recording up to 2 seconds before you press the REC button to record while the recording function is in standby. This function allows you, for example, to start recording a bird's singing for up to 2 seconds before you press the REC button at the moment it starts singing. The recording start time will vary according to the Rec Mode settings. The pre-recorded data refeshes every second. When using Pre-Recording, VCVA and V-Sync.Rec are not available.

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What music formats does the LS-7 support?

The LS-7 can store and play WMA (Windows Media Audio) files with bit rates of between 5 and 320 kbps; 16 bit WAV (Linear PCM format) files, and mp3 files with bit rates between 8 and 320 kbps. Variable bit rate files may not play properly.

The LS-7 is compatible with Microsoft Corporation DRM 9 but not with DRM 10.

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What operating systems support the LS-7 digital voice recorder?

The LS-7 is supported on the following Windows platforms:

  • Windows XP Home Edition service packs 2 and 3
  • Windows XP Professional service packs 2 and 3
  • Windows XP Professional X64 Edition service pack 2
  • Windows Vista Home Basic service pack 1
  • Windows Vista Home Premium service pack 1
  • Windows Vista Business service pack 1
  • Windows Vista Enterprise service pack 1
  • Windows Vista Ultimate service pack 1
  • Windows 7

The LS-7 is supported by Macintosh OS X 10.4.11 ("Tiger") - 10.7 ("Lion").

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What are the maximum recording times per file?

A maximum recording time per file is set for each quality mode. Even if a recorder's memory is not exhausted, a single file cannot continue beyond the limit. There is a limit of 2 GB per file. If a recording goes longer than 2 GB, the 2 GB file is closed and the recorder automatically creates a new file to continue recording.

Maximum Recording Time Per File

Quality Mode Recording Time
PCM 96 kHz mode approx. 1 hour, 00 minutes
PCM 88.2 kHz mode approx. 1 hour, 00 minutes
PCM 48 kHz mode approx. 3 hours, 00 minutes
PCM 44.1 kHz mode approx. 3 hours, 20 minutes
PCM mono mode approx. 6 hours, 40 minutes
MP3 320 kbps mode approx. 29 hours, 40 minutes
MP3 256 kbps mode approx. 37 hours, 10 minutes
MP3 128 kbps mode approx. 74 hours, 30 minutes
MP3 mono mode approx. 149 hours, 00 minutes
WMA 128 kbps mode approx. 26 hours, 40 minutes
WMA 64 kbps mode approx. 26 hours 40 minutes
WMA 32 kbps mode approx. 53 hours, 40 minutes
WMA mono mode approx. 148 hours, 40 minutes

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How is the recorder turned off?

The recorder is turned off by sliding the [POWER/HOLD] button on the lower left side of the recorder downward and then releasing it. The switch should then be moved upward to the HOLD position to prevent accidental activation of button functions.

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How do I select which type of memory to use?

The selection of built-in memory or removable memory card is made in the menu. When a microSD or microSDHC card is inserted in the card slot for the first time and the recorder is turned on, the option to select the memory mode is displayed on the start-up screen. Thereafter the selection needs to be made in the Device Menu through the Memory Select function.

The available options are Built-in Memory and microSD Card. MicroSD and microSDHC cards from 512 MB to 16 GB can be used. For optimum performance, it is advised to format the card the first time it is put in the recorder. If the card is being used for dictation and files are frequently erased, it is advisable to routinely download all of the files to a computer and format the card to keep it free of a build-up of artifacts of previous files. Occassional formatting of the built-in memory using the menu Format function is also advised.

One advantage of recording to removable media is that multiple cards can be used to organize content (e.g. one can hold podcasts and another can hold a music library).

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How is recording volume controlled?

By default, the LS-7 records automatically at 100% volume level to prevent accidentally recording with the volume set too low.

The recorder has three levels of microphone sensitivity:

  • High: The highest recording sensitivity, it is suitable for conferences with large crowds and recording audio at a distance or low volume.
  • Middle: Suitable for recording meetings and seminars with a small number of people.
  • Low: The lowest recording sensitivity, it is suitable for close-up dictation.

Microphone sensitivity is set via the MIC SENSE option in the recorder's menu.

The LS-7 also allows the user to manually preset a fixed recording level using the Rec Level Manual option in the recorder's menu. It also enables the Limiter and Compressor. The limiter automatically adjusts the recording level to prevent "clipping." Clipping occurs when the recording level allows sound levels beyond the dynamic range of the recording device to be recorded. The result is distortion in the louder parts of the recording. Microphone sensitivity is controlled using the + (plus) and - (minus) buttons on the four-way keypad.

The LS-7 features a recording level meter on the LCD screen so that recording levels can be monitored. If the level is too high and clipping may occur, the PEAK LEDs above the LCD screen light up to indicate left and right channel clipping. It is recommended to do a test recording before doing a final recording to set the manual recording levels appropriately.

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How is playback volume controlled?

The playback volume is controlled during playback by using the [+] (plus) and [-] (minus) buttons on the circular pad on the face of the recorder. Pressing [+] increases the playback volume. Pressing [-] reduces the playback volume.

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Can I rename my files when the recorder is connected to a computer in My Computer?

Files in the LS-7 should not be renamed when displayed in a computer's file-browsing software (e.g. My Computer) because the recorder's file-management software may not be able to find a renamed file.

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How does the Zoom Mic option work?

The Zoom Mic menu option employs the DiMAGIC Virtual Microphone™ (DVM) audio pickup system that allows more dynamic recording by focusing on sound from selectable directions. It enables expansive stereo recording to high directivity recording using the LS-7's built-in microphones.

The options available in Zoom Mic are: Off, Wide, Narrow and Zoom.

The Zoom option has the narrowest angle of reception and records only in monaural.

Because DVM technology is tailored to the recorder's microphones, Zoom Mic is incomaptible with Olympus accessory microphones and third-party microphones.

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How are files erased from the recorder?

Dictation and Music files can be erased from the recorder by selecting the file and pressing the [ERASE] button. The LCD screen will highlight Cancel. While Cancel is highlighted, press the [+] button to select File Erase, and then press the [OK] button. The LCD will display the File Erase screen with Cancel highlighted. Press the [+] button to select Start and then press the [OK] button. The LCD will then display Erase Done.

To erase all of the files in a folder, use the same procedure, but select Files in Folder instead of File Erase.

Note: Locked files and files that are set as read-only cannot be erased using this function.

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I want to clear my recorder and memory card of all files. How do I format the recorder and memory card?

The recorder should be formatted only by using the internal FORMAT function found in the menu. Formatting using the computer may corrupt system files needed to run the recorder and may delete the Voice Guide data files. When the recorder is connected to a computer, individual files can be deleted using its file-browsing program (e.g. My Computer) without negative effects.

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How do I charge the recorder's rechargeable batteries?

The two bundled BR-401 NiMH batteries can be charged in the recorder via a USB connection to a computer. The USB cable should be plugged directly into a computer USB port and not into a USB hub. USB hubs split up the USB current and the battery may not fully charge through a hub connection.

To charge the batteries through a USB port, first connect the USB cable bundled with this recorder to a computer. The LCD will display the message "Press OK to start charging." Press the OK button until Charging is displayed in the charging indicator at the top of the LCD screen and the right channel orange LED will be lit. The LED will go out when charging is completed.

The batteries can also be charged using the optional AC Adapter A-514, which has a USB plug on its cable. To set up the recorder to charge from the AC adapter, in the menu go to USB Settings > USB Connect > AC Adapter and press the [OK] button.

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How should the recorder be disconnected from a Windows computer?

Any USB device should be disconnected from a Windows® computer using the [Safely Remove Hardware] icon located in the Taskbar in the lower right corner of the Desktop screen. The icon features a green arrow suspended above a device and pointing to the lower left.

Any open files should be closed before starting the disconnect process. Simply removing the device from the USB port without using the recommended disconnect procedure can result in corruption of files or firmware.

Double-clicking on the (Safely Remove Hardware) icon opens a dialog box to shut down the USB connection so that the device can be safely disconnected. Select the device to be disconnected by clicking once on its name, and then click on the [Stop] button.


Clicking on the [Stop] button lauches another dialog box to confirm the devices that are to be stopped. Clicking the [OK] button closes the USB connection.

The Desktop screen will display a message balloon above the Taskbar indicating that it is safe to disconnect the hardware.

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How should the recorder be disconnected from a Macintosh computer?

Any USB device should be disconnected from a Macintosh computer either by clicking on the EJECT button or dragging the drive icon that represents the device to the Trash.

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Will using an accessory microphone with an extended frequency range improve the quality of my recordings?

Using an accessory microphone with an extended frequency range may not improve the quality of the recordings in the LS-7. The recorder has an overall frequency response of 40 - 44,000 Hz, but the different quality modes modify the detail of the saved file data by saving some frequencies and discarding others. This is how the recorder is able to vary the potential recording time and use the built-in flash memory more efficiently.

The table below shows the overall frequency response in each recording mode:

Quality Mode Overall Frequency Response
PCM 96 kHz mode 40 Hz to 44 kHz
PCM 88.2 kHz mode 40 Hz to 42 kHz
PCM 48 kHz mode 40 Hz to 23 kHz
PCM 44.1 kHz mode 40 Hz to 21 kHz
PCM 44.1 mono mode 40 Hz to 21 kHz
MP3 320 kbps mode 40 Hz to 20 kHz
MP3 256 kbps mode 40 Hz to 20 kHz
MP3 128 kbps mode 40 Hz to 17 kHz
MP3 mono mode 40 Hz to 13 kHz
WMA 128 kbps mode 40 Hz to 19 kHz
WMA 64 kbps mode 40 Hz to 16 kHz
WMA 32 kbps mode 40 Hz to 9 kHz
WMA mono mode 40 Hz to 3 kHz

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Does Olympus have accessory microphones for the LS-7?

Olympus has a wide selection of microphones for a wide variety of applications available at authorized Olympus dealers or from our Online Store. To view the range of microphones available and purchase microphones from the Online Store, click here.

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Is ther an Ac adapter available for the LS-7?

The LS-7 is compatible with the optional A-514 AC Adapter. The adapter can be used to power the recorder and also to charge the rechargeable batteries bundled with it.

The A-514 AC Adapter can be purchased directly from The Olympus Store by clicking here.

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I formatted the recorder using my computer and the Voice Guidance Data is gone. Can I restore it?

If you format the recorder and erase the Voice Guidance data by mistake, or if you want to change its language, the Voice Guidance data can be copied from the Olympus Sonority software to the recorder via either of the following procedures:

  • Uploading Voice Guidance Data Automatically

    Olympus Sonority automatically detects the languages supported by a connected recorder and uploads the corresponding files not stored in the recorder. Voice Guidance languages that can be downloaded into the DM-520 are Japanese, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Finnish, Czech, Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese, Greek, Danish, Polish, Dutch, Hindi and Urdu.

    Connect the recorder with the Voice Guidance capability to the computer and open Olympus Sonority.

    With the built-in Voice Guidance of the recorder turned on, Olympus Sonority will automatically check the state of the Voice Guidance files in the recorder. If the recorder lacks any of the required files, the Upload Files dialog box will appear.

    Click the [OK] button. The Voice Guidance files will be uploaded.

  • Uploading Voice Guidance Data Manually

    To manually upload the Voice Guidance in a desired language, perform the following steps: Connect the recorder with the Voice Guidance capability to the computer and open Olympus Sonority.

    Select the [Device] > [Upload Guidance Files] menu option. The Transfer Voice Guidance Files dialog will appear.

    Voice Guidance files that can be uploaded are listed in the drop-down list. Select the desired Voice Guidance language to upload and click on the [OK] button.

    The Voice Guidance in the selected language will upload to the recorder. The Voice Guidance file set to the primary supported language in the recorder will be overwritten with the new Voice Guidance file in the selected language.

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The battery ran out while I was recording a file, and now I can't find or play the file. Why?

When a recording session begins, a file is created to contain the incoming audio content. This file remains open throughout the session until the recording is manually stopped. If the recorder lasts longer than five minutes, the recorder will save the audio content at five-minute intervals.

If the battery runs out during a recording session, only the portion of the recording that has been saved will be available for retrieval. For example, if a recording session is interrupted by power loss at the 37th minute, the audio file of the recording will contain only the first 35 minutes worth of content. The remaining two minutes worth of content is not available because it was never saved to the file. In the case of recordings that are shorter than five minutes, the entire recording will be lost because the file is not able to close due to the lack of power. 

It is crucial to change the battery once the battery indicator shows only one hash mark of power remaining. Removing the battery while the recorder is in use may also corrupt a file.

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