Most hidden spy cameras only record videos, so people wonder can they record audio also? We know that technology has advanced so much that we live in a world where almost anything is possible. So why do some brands have cameras with built-in microphones to record sound and others don’t? Let’s find out!
Can a Hidden Spy Camera Record Audio Sound?
So Can a Hidden Camera Record Audio Sound? Yes, hidden spy cameras have the technology to record audio. The cameras have the built-in microphones that can record conversations, but the reason why most spy cameras lack audio is cause it is not legal to record oral conversations. To record sound legally, other parties must give their consent.
When you are protecting your home, it is also quite important to hear what is happening in the protected area, and each suspicious noise can be tracked not only with video but with audio also. Therefore, many hidden surveillance cameras are already available with a built-in microphone.
These types of microphones can record not only human speech but also all the noise of the pets in the house. Video surveillance with sound can also be organized using external microphones that can be connected to the video camera. If you want to learn more, continue reading this article.
You can also read this article, How Do Hidden Spy Cameras Work.
Can Audio Recording Be Turned Off?
Audio recording on hidden spy cameras can be turned on/off by the use of cameras app software on your mobile, PC, or tablet. You just need to log-in from your smart device to the camera’s software and switch it off. The procedure is identical if you want to turn it on. You need to have in mind that recording the audio voice of someone without their permission could get you in trouble with the law, so you need to check privacy laws in your area. One of the famous brands for audio recording is Qsee.
What Is The Audio Range Of The Cameras?
The average audio range of hidden cameras is 4 to 6 meters (13-19 feet) from the camera. This means that the voice is clear enough and that it can be understood. Every brand is different so the specific features of what is the audio range of hidden cameras differ. The video quality of the hidden cameras and the audio range differs according to the brands. Therefore, if the audio range is your most important feature, then you should consider a model that has the best quality of audio. One of the most reputable brands for hidden cameras is Qsee.
How To Place Hidden Spy Camera To Get Best Audio?
- When choosing a location for the microphone, place it closer to the sound sources that are being monitored.
- If you need to control specific objects located in a certain place, you should choose directional microphones that “cover” the controlled objects.
- Choose cameras and software with support for at least one “music” codec (AAC, MP2L2, etc.);
- When determining the number and location of cameras and microphones in one room, clarify the possibility of creating combined channels and sound mixing.
- When choosing external microphones and methods of their power supply, proceed from considerations of minimizing the length of the cables connected to the microphones.
Are There Legal Issues With Recording Audio?
The privacy laws of audio recording from hidden surveillance cameras range from country to country. Therefore, when installing a hidden spy camera it is recommended to check the laws. No matter that the camera is installed in your house, if the other person does not know that is being recorded, you can be prosecuted in some countries. So the privacy laws regarding audio recording exist for a very long time.
Two Types Of Hidden Cameras With Microphone
Technology for converting sound waves into electrical signals is not the only type of microphone classifications. Also, microphones can be built-in or external.
1. Built-in Microphone
In most cases, the electret microphone is located close to the lens. Another advantage is the ability to control microphone parameters from the interface of the camera itself. On the other hand, the solution is limited – in principle, it is impossible to change the location and orientation of the microphone without moving the camera.
2. External Microphone
The opposite of the previous one. Here the camera and microphone are two different devices connected to each other. Here are the pros & cons of external microphones:
- The microphone can be positioned regardless of the camera location
- The ability to arbitrarily select a microphone model, regardless of the model of the selected camera
- The ability to use multiple microphones in conjunction with the same camera
- It is almost always necessary to provide a power source for the microphone and therefore requires power and signal cables to be routed to each microphone
- Remote microphone control is not possible
- There are questions about the method of mounting the microphone
How Often Audio Recoding is Used?
The audio recording on hidden spy cameras is still rarely used today, because for you to hear the conversation of someone, that person need to be close to the camera. If the person who is being recorded stands a few feet from the camera, the audio recording would be muddy and useless in some cases. Of course, the sound quality depends primarily on the microphone, so there are various camera models that have a better microphone than others.
Why And When to Record Audio?
The sound should be recorded where conflict situations may arise. If the possibility of disputes or conflicts is implied, then the picture alone does not always help to understand the situation. The areas where it is used are very wide: from shops, service enterprises, offices to private houses or apartments.
Objects stand apart, where continuous monitoring and analysis of sounds take place. This is done both to control the quality of work (for example, they record live communication with a client) and to identify various threats.
How to Tell If Hidden Camera Have Audio
However, there are few ways you can tell if your newly bought hidden camera has audio:
- Look through the tech specifications to see if your hidden cameras have audio recordings listed as a highlight.
- For the hidden cameras that have an audio recording, generally, you can find a small hole (microphone) in the camera housing.
- Record something and playback the recorded footage to see if the camera has audio.
The last way to tell if your hidden camera has audio is to ask the support team of your camera seller.
There are several technologies that microphones are based on. Without going into the principles of operation, we list the distinctive properties of microphones based on the technology of converting sound waves into electrical signals:
- Dynamic Microphones
A fairly well-known and common (but it is not used in camera surveillance industry) type. The range of perceived frequencies is relatively small (especially high frequencies), but there is a good margin of overload resistance. It also has a relatively low level of intrinsic noise.
- Electret Microphones
Essentially a simplified condenser type. As a result, electret microphones are very common. Power for the microphone itself is no longer required, the physical dimensions can be very small. However, the quality of the received audio signal is also inferior to the capacitor type.
- MEMS Microphones
The most common type based on the so-called. micromechanical (MEMS) devices. Microphones of this type are not inferior in the width of the range of condensers, and in terms of the dynamic range dynamic. The technology also makes it possible to create very miniature (of the order of a few millimeters) models. The downside is the relatively higher price.
I hope by now you have found useful tips and know much more about audio recording on hidden spy cameras and how it all works. Sound recording for home security surveillance is becoming increasingly popular. Ten years ago, there was a completely different picture: then they were limited to only video surveillance cameras, but today you can record not only images, but also sound. If you have some experience also, about hidden cameras with audio recording, please don’t hesitate to share some ideas with us and the community.