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11 VOTES

The Panasonic RR-US591 is a handheld voice recorder with a number of advanced functions for filtering out background noise.

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Pros

long battery life

2 agree

easy file navigation - features 21 different speed control options

2 agree

small and compact - great for traveling or undercover work

1 agrees

massive capacity - records over 1000 hours of audio

1 agrees

produces clear recordings in noisy environments

1 agrees

records MP3s - doesn't rely on a proprietary audio format

1 agrees
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Cons

appearance - unappealing 2-tone design

2 agree

lacks a rechargeable battery

1 agrees
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Edit

 

The Panasonic RR-US591 is a handheld voice recorder with a number of advanced functions for filtering out background noise and reviewing recorded sound. This is similar in design and function to the Panasonic RR-US571 and Panasonic RR-US571, but has a larger recording capacity of 4GB. The built-in zoom microphone allows for adjustable filtering of all sounds outside of the range of human speech, and noise reduction functions are included as well. Using the included stand the microphone can be aimed properly without accidental sounds from your hand.

Sound is recorded into MP3 format, and can be copied to another device with the included USB cable. You can also review the files using the built-in speaker, and a 21-step playback speed control function allows for fast play-through.

Features
  • Built-in Zoom Microphone
  • Noise Reduction Function
  • 4GB of internal memory
  • 21-step playback speed control
  • External MIC, Headphone jacks
  • Built-in speaker
  • USB 2.0 port
  • Records in MP3 format
  • Stand included
  • USB cable included
Post Review
Anonymous
02/19/2011 06:21

does the panasonic recorder RR US591 have Voice activated recording?

Anonymous

Anonymous

02/20/2011 10:34

Yes, it does.

Anonymous

Anonymous

02/20/2011 10:36

I recently purchased both a Panasonic RR-US591 and an Olympus VN8100PC. The Panasonic typically costs about twice as much as the Olympus, but I was fortunate to find the Panasonic on sale for 50% off. I did a few tests on both, using just the basic features of each. Here is what I found:

Olympus Pros:

1. More features than the Panasonic. These include the ability to split files and set index mark points in the file. (But the index points are not transferred with the file if it's loaded onto a computer.)
2. Carrying case included.
3. The specification for low frequency response is better than the Panasonic (80Hz versus 180 Hz).
4. Record in either MP3 or WMA format. (The Panasonic only permits MP3).
5. Five scene settings, compared with only three zoom settings (including manual) for the Panasonic.

Olympus Cons:

1. The manual has poor grammar and is not easy to understand in a few places.
2. The USB cable is very short. This is OK for plugging into a laptop, but for a desktop PC, the Olympus might be left hanging in mid air if the USB socket is more than six inches above the bottom of the desktop case.


Panasonic Pros:

1. Stereo capability. (But I personally see little value in this, since the two microphones are withing an inch of each other.)
2. Easy to change the mic function (zoom, wide). However, changing the mic sensitivity still requires using a menu item, just like the Olympus.
3. Includes a small, built-in, fold-out stand that raises the front of the unit up about 1/4 inch. This is intended for use with the mic zoom feature, but it also seems to help slightly with audio echo when the unit is on a hard surface like a table.
4. The maximum mic sensitivity produces higher volume that the highest setting on the Olympus.

Panasonic Cons:

1. Retail cost
2. Recording hiss (see below)

General comments:

1. Panasonic's mic zoom feature is similar to the scene capability of the Olympus. However, the Panasonic zoom seemed to do a little better job of keeping out unwanted noise in the two different situations which compare directly with two of the Olympus' scene settings.
2. The Panasonic's EQ capability can be set to reduce high range noise only or both high and low range noise. The Olympus Low cut filter only reduces low range noise. However, the Panasonic EQ capability is only used during playback, whereas the Olympus Low Cut is used during record. This means that the Panasonic EQ has no effect in reducing noise on the audio file itself. If the file is loaded onto a computer, the noise is still there. So these two features really don't compare with each other.
3. The Olympus specifies that NiMh batteries will work, but Panasonic only specifies alkaline. I tested NiMh in both, and they work fine.
4. The Panasonic does a better job of recording low-volume sounds, probably because it has higher mic sensitivity (more volume). But using the highest mic sensitivity on the Panasonic produces a lot of high-frequency hiss. This hiss is very noticeable during quite times on the recording. The EQ feature definitely reduces it, but this works only if the recording is played back on the Panasonic and not on a computer.
5. I judged the overall sound quality of the Panasonic to be better than the Olympus. Recordings on the Olympus sounded somewhat muffled and untrue to the original source, whereas the Panasonic sound was full and was nearly like the original sound. Recorded music on the Panasonic was bright, and the high frequency notes were crisp, almost as if it was not a copy of a copy. Even though the low frequency response of the Panasonic is not supposed to be as good as the Oly, I could tell no difference in music low notes. Even the bass notes came through OK on both. (I did this comparison on a computer with headphones.) Voices were easier to understand on the Panasonic, although both exhibited some echo on voices recorded across a room.
6. Both units are very sensitive to being handled while recording. Just the movement of fingers and palm on the cases created loud rubbing sounds that would overwhelm any recorded audio. If you need to hold it to take dictation, do it such that the fingers don't move at all and such that the unit does not move around in the hand.
7. Both units have the ability to speed or slow the playback. Such a feature always degrades the playback quality and makes the voices slightly garbled. But I thought the Panasonic quality at 50% speed was better than the Olympus.


Bottom line for me: I decided to keep the Panasonic and return the Olympus for a refund. The reason is that my main use is recording music during a jam session with several instruments situated around a large living room. Panasonic's sound is much better in that situation. For voice lectures, the Olympus would probably be a fine choice. I would not pay twice the price for the Panasonic, even with the better sound quality. But since I got it on sale for half off, the better sound was worth sacrificing the few extra features of the Olympus. Plus, the Panasonic has twice the memory.


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