The Olympus LS-P2: a hi-res recorder that proves size isn’t everything

Olympus LS-P2 recorder

Whether you want to record conversations, gigs you go to (no bootlegging, okay?) or the mating call of the great tit (White cheeks, olive upper parts and yellow underparts, with some variation amongst the subspecies – Twitcher Ed.), or just love the sound of your own voice, the Olympus LS-P2 hi-res audio (96khz/24 bit, techie boy) recorder might be just what you’re looking for.

For something so small and so light – it’ll fit in a pocket without spoiling the cut of your jib – it packs a surprisingly big punch in terms of what it can do and how well it does it. In fact it’s such a multi-tasker there’s only space here to give you the briefest of highlights, so if you really want to know what it can do you should shuffle over to the Olympus website (below).

The in-a-nutshell version goes something like this. The LS-P2 has not two but three on-board microphones: two directional ones for recording high-quality stereo sound, and an omni-directional centre mic that picks up the lower frequency bass sound, enabling an impressively accurate stereo sound capture. That’s the meat, here’s the veg: you can listen to your recordings via a headphone socket or Bluetooth connectivity to a compatible speaker, and it has a slide-out USB for transfering files. It also has what Olympus call a ‘Normalization’ function which you can use to easily boost the levels of under-recorded files without having to use a computer. Also rather cool is that you can install an app on a smartphone (android only) and use it as a controller for the recorder.

No complaints about its looks (which shouldn’t matter but, let’s face it, does these days), the sleek, robust casing is metal so it won’t crack when you sit on it, and unless you’ve got fingers like ham shanks and the intelligence/common sense of a halibut the buttons are nicely spaced and positioned and the menu is easy to navigate. Last but not least, it runs on a single AAA battery, so you don’t have to worry about charging the thing, and comes with an adapter so it can be mounted on a camera tripod, which is handy for stability and having it pointing in the right direction.

£169.99. More info at

Paul Henderson

Classic Rock’s production editor for the past 22 years, ‘resting’ bass player Paul has been writing for magazines and newspapers, mainly about music, since the mid-80s, contributing to titles including Q, The Times, Music Week, Prog, Billboard, Metal Hammer, Kerrang! and International Musician. He has also written questions for several BBC TV quiz shows. Of the many people he’s interviewed, his favourite interviewee is former Led Zep manager Peter Grant. If you ever want to talk the night away about Ginger Baker, in particular the sound of his drums (“That fourteen-inch Leedy snare, man!”, etc, etc), he’s your man.