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New Olympus WS Series Digital Audio Recorders Offer Cutting-Edge Innovation at Highly-Competitive Prices

New Features Include Removable MicroSD Compatibility, Multi-format Recording and Playback (MP3, WMA, PCM), Scene Select Modes, FM Radio, Larger LCD Screen and Noise Cancellation

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., July 1, 2010 – Olympus, the market leader for portable digital voice recorders and professional dictation devices, has launched a new WS Series of digital audio recorders that offer cutting-edge innovation with incredible high-quality stereo recording. The WS Series, which is comprised of WS-600S, WS-700M and WS-710M models, boasts multi-format recording and playback functions, scene select modes, an intuitive design with a 30-percent larger LCD screen and enhanced font size for improved functionality and usability. Great innovative features include removable microSD storage compatibility on the WS-700M and WS-710M at highly-competitive prices. The WS-710 also offers a new FM radio function allowing you the option to listen to your favorite radio station along with your favorite MP3s.

“Whether you’re at work, school or play, the WS Series audio devices are perfect for capturing important notes, storing critical files or listening to your favorite artists,” said Amy Leslie, associate manager, Product Marketing, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “The improved design coupled by an enhanced LCD screen make these digital recorders a dream to use, while increased memory capabilities enable longer recording than ever.”

EASE OF USE
Known for their intuitive design, the new WS Series devices are equipped with a simple, yet remarkable dial thumb pad that enables the user to easily play or stop a recording, adjust the volume level, fast-forward and rewind with the touch of one button. The Erase/Index and Menu buttons are positioned individually below the thumb dial for easy access during use.

A new 30-percent larger backlit LCD screen adds to the user experience with its simple to navigate menu screen. The screen reveals file information, recording time and events with clarity. Larger font size further improves ease of use.

The WS Series once again features a retractable USB port that slides out for easy access to personal computers. Transport files directly to and from a computer just like a USB flash memory drive, no USB cable required, no need for a docking station. Once audio files are downloaded, they can be archived or emailed to friends and family. When not in use, the USB port neatly tucks inside the recorder.

The WS-700M and WS-710M models also serve as MP3 players. Simply download music files to the device and play them like any other MP3 player. A designated Music Folder helps users manage music files with ease.

Finally, WS-700M and WS-710M models use a single, rechargeable AAA alkaline battery that recharges by simply plugging the device into a USB. This handy feature saves time and money, and helps the environment by reducing waste.

MORE FOR LESS
The WS Series offers more for its customer’s dollar. The WS-600S has 2GB of internal memory with 529 hours of recording time, doubling its predecessor. WS-700M and WS-710M models have done the same, featuring 4GB and 8GB of memory, respectively, with more than 1058 hours and 2122 hours of recording time. In addition, both WS-700M and WS-710M devices have a microSD card slot with the potential to hold up to 16GB of additional memory – an astounding feature at this price.

Another key attribute of the new WS Series devices is that they offer multiple recording formats and playback features. They offer the ability to record in MP3 and WMA (Windows Media Audio) format, and the WS-700M and WS-710M record in PCM format as well.

The Rolls Royce of the WS Series, the WS-710M, has additional features entirely of its own. Users will be able to listen to – and record – radio through a built-in FM tuner. The WS-710M device also is equipped with Olympus Sonority software, which assists in the management of audio files, provides advanced editing functions and hosts Web services, like RSS Information and Podcast Channels.

Built-in stereo microphones give users premium sound quality. The WS Series features two higher-quality recording modes, including super standard play (SSP) and super high quality (SHQ) for optimum recordings. This quality of audio allows users to work more efficiently as their recordings will play back with better clarity. In addition, users of the WS Series will continue to benefit from fast and slow playback settings that make note taking and transcription as easy and efficient as possible.

INNOVATION
A new key feature in the new WS Series is Scene Select modes. This function helps achieve optimal recordings through preset environmental settings that can be selected based upon surrounding conditions. The WS-700M and WS-710M devices combine this technology with a Noise Cancellation feature that creates premium recordings regardless of the environment, whether at a recital or in a classroom.

Other important attributes of the WS Series are its Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA), Multiple Language and Index Marks functions.

VCVA sets the audio device to record automatically only when sound is detected at a pre-set level and stop when sound drops below the threshold level. The purpose of this function is to eliminate "dead air" during recordings, conserving memory and shortening file times.

The Multiple Language feature gives users the option of having their interface display in English, French or Spanish.

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 reference points. This eliminates guesswork on where a particular sound byte resides within a recording.

WS SERIES PRODUCT FEATURES

WS-600S features:

  • 27.5 x 23.9mm LCD screen (30-percent increase)
  • 2GB of internal memory
  • 529 hours of recording time
  • WMA and MP3 recording formats and file divide
  • Built-in USB port for direct connect to PC
  • Scene Select function
  • High-quality stereo microphones
  • Playback speed control
  • VCVA, Multiple Language and Index Marks functions
  • Colors: Metallic silver

WS-700M features:

  • 27.5 x 23.9mm LCD screen (30-percent increase)
  • 4GB of internal memory
  • 1058 hours of recording time
  • microSD card slot (up to 16GB)WMA, MP3 and PCM recording formats and file divide
  • Built-in USB port for direct connect to PC
  • Scene Select function
  • USB battery charge
  • High-quality stereo microphones
  • Playback speed control
  • VCVA, Multiple Language and Index Marks functions
  • Noise Cancellation feature
  • Colors: Metallic gray, navy or red

WS-710M features:

  • 27.5 x 23.9mm LCD screen (30-percent increase)
  • 8GB of internal memory
  • 2122 hours of recording time
  • microSD card slot (up to 16GB)
  • WMA, MP3 and PCM recording formats and file divide
  • Built-in USB port for direct connect to PC
  • FM Tuner
  • Scene Select function
  • USB battery charge
  • High-quality stereo microphones
  • Playback speed control
  • VCVA, Multiple Language and Index Marks functions
  • Noise Cancellation feature
  • Olympus Sonority Software
  • Directional microphone
  • Colors: Metallic black

AVAILABILITY
WS-600S, WS-700M and WS-710M digital audio devices will be available in September 2010. Each will include a carrying case, one rechargeable AAA alkaline battery, an instruction manual and an Olympus warranty card. The WS-700M and WS-710M also will come with a USB extension cable and earphones.

U.S. PRICING
WS-600S Estimated Street Price: $79.99
WS-700M Estimated Street Price: $99.99
WS-710M Estimated Street Price: $149.99

Journalists interested in further information, product review units and/or high-resolution images should contact David Saba, public relations counselor, at (484) 821-0920 x705 or saba@sparkcreatives.com.

ABOUT OLYMPUS IMAGING AMERICA INC.
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances people's lives every day. These include:

  • Digital Cameras
  • Professional Digital SLR Imaging Systems
  • Related Underwater Products and Accessories
  • Digital and Microcassette Recorders
  • Digital Media
  • Binoculars

Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com.