Olympus recorder stores 90 minutes of talk with...

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May 17, 1999

Olympus recorder stores 90 minutes of talk with clarity

Olympus continues to outdo itself with beautifully designed personal audio devices that sport innovative features. The latest offering is the Digital Voice Recorder V-90 ($99), a tiny silver object that looks like something from the future and weighs an almost imperceptible 1.6 oz.

Using flash memory (instead of a removable medium), the V-90 allows you to record up to 90 minutes (in "long play" mode) of audio notes that can be stored in three different folders. A single AAA battery provides 10 hours of recording time.

The audio quality is excellent. We experimented with recording under different ambient noise conditions, all with impressive results.

The V-90 also allows you to record reminder messages that can be played back at predetermined times, or to set an audible alarm without a message.

I've been reluctant to use memo recorders because they were obtrusive, required an unnaturally loud speaking voice and provided unacceptable audio quality. The Digital Voice Recorder V-90 has overcome these objections.

Note to self: Start dropping hints to wife that the V-90 makes an excellent anniversary present.

Information: 800-547-4027 or www.olympusamerica.com/disg

-- Gareth Branwyn

Discs sound good, your hair looks great with headphones

More than any other company, Sony understands me. They know that I'm shallow and easily distracted by bright, shiny objects made of cheap plastic and microchips. So when I went looking for replacement headphones for my new minidisc player, I went straight to the Sony catalog on the Web.

I was a bit overwhelmed with the choices until I saw ad copy that read: "Sony Street Style Headphones. Won't interfere with your hairstyle." Now there's a selling feature!

The $30 Sony Street Style 'phones have a behind-the-head design so that nothing goes over the top of your cranium. It's easy to wear a hat with the headphones on, and the smooth plastic doesn't get caught in your hair. The headphones connect to your stereo gear with a standard miniplug.

In terms of sound quality, I confess that I'm no audiophile. I can tell the difference between decent CD sound and a fuzzy FM radio, and that's about it. I do know that the Street Style 'phones can handle more power and sound better than the smaller ear-bud style sets. And at a mere two ounces, they're ultra portable and very cool looking.

Like it or not, personal tech is as much about fashion as function. Sony deserves credit for raising the sartorial bar in the same way it has set the standard for solid performance at affordable prices.

Information: 201-930-1000 or www.sel.sony.com.

-- Matthew Hawn

You can find full reviews of these and other neat gadgets at www.streettech.com.

Pub Date: 05/17/99

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