There are many reasons why you may want to resort to a spy microphone. Usually, these are private investigations and espionage, but these are not the only uses that can be made of these devices, because their use is also widespread among nature lovers, or among students who have to take notes in class and fix them later.
Although, in one way or another, we are somewhat familiar with these objects thanks to their widespread exploitation in the world of cinema and literature, choosing a spy microphone is not an easy task.
For this reason, we have prepared this complete guide in which, in a simple and fun way, we will show you their most important features.
Right below we had listed out the best spy microphones.
Everything You Need to Know About Spy Microphones
When buying a spy microphone, you will need to consider a number of important features. Do not forget that there are various models of spy microphones and that each of them is designed for different use. For this reason, in this section, we aim to answer the most common questions of buyers.
What Exactly Are Spy Microphones?
Spy microphones are small electronic devices designed to capture and record sounds in various environments. Many of them are usually camouflaged in different objects so as not to be detected. Others, however, are used to listen or record remotely, so they don’t need to be hidden.
For What Reasons Do You Buy a Spy Microphone?
The reasons and people who may need to buy a spy microphone are many and somewhat varied. These devices are ideal, both for investigative professionals as much as for journalists.
A spy microphone may be needed to gather evidence to prove a crime. Another possible application of spy microphones is to take notes in the classroom.
These devices can also be an interesting security measure for the home, office, or business. Another interesting application of spy microphones is the observation of nature, in particular the observation and study of birds. For example, unidirectional microphones are usually used in ornithology.
Is It Legal to Record Conversations with A Spy Microphone?
From a legal standpoint, you are allowed to record any conversation you participate in, whether you notify the other or other people, or you do not. In this way, registrations can be accepted in court as evidence, the important thing is that you are present at the time of registration.
In fact, it is forbidden to record video and audio leaving a ‘spy’ on the spot without your presence. In practice, what you are not allowed to do unless you have a judicial authorization to do so, is to record other people’s conversations.
In the case of non-presence of the registering subject, this can be configured for a crime according to art. 615-bis of the Italian Criminal Code (“Illicit interference in private life”).
When buying a spy microphone, you should know a number of basic purchasing criteria. To help you choose, we have selected the ones we believe are most important. We hope that they serve as a guide for your purchase and that they allow you to get the best value for money.
- Audio quality
- Scope and coverage
- Dimensions and shape
The first question you should ask yourself when buying a spy microphone is the intended use. As we have seen, there are different types and models and each of them is designed specifically for one function or another. So if what you want is a personal safety device, you may be interested in a spy watch.
If, however, you need to record or listen to conversations in a certain place, you may be interested in buying a spy microphone to be fixed in that space and that goes unnoticed. On the other hand, you may need a microphone just to listen to conversations or one that also allows you to record them.
Logically, sound quality is a fundamental aspect of choosing which microphone to buy. In this sense, a number of parameters need to be considered. One of these is sensitivity, which is the level of electrical voltage at the microphone output which gives us an idea of its precision in detecting weak sounds.
Another parameter to consider is the noise level. This is measured in sound pressure decibels using the A-weighted network (dBA SPL). A good level is around 40 dBA SPL. Equally important is the impedance, which is the measure of the resistance offered by the microphone according to its frequency.
Another important aspect is the autonomy of the microphone. In this regard, you should consider both operating autonomy and that in standby mode. In any case, it is important not to forget that greater autonomy implies a larger battery and, therefore, also larger device dimensions.
However, today it is possible to find very small devices that offer an autonomy of over twenty hours, more than enough time for most activities. Furthermore, in general, the loading times are generally rather short: some spy microphones do not exceed the hour.
Scope and Coverage
For some uses, such as recording remote conversations or the sound of birds in the wild, the range is a key aspect. The same goes for coverage, which will depend on the type of microphone and integrated technology. In the case of UHF spy microphones, the maximum coverage is usually about 100 meters.
Dimensions and Shape
When choosing a spy microphone, size matters a lot. In general, the smaller their size of these devices, the better. In this way, it will be easier to hide them and the chances of them being detected will be less. Fortunately, today the size is getting smaller.
The forms that spy microphones can have instead are really varied. They range from typical pens to the most innovative microphones camouflaged in a power plug or computer mouse. Of course, you can also find spy microphones in the shape of a USB stick or keychain.
Most spy microphones can be connected to the computer through a USB port through which audio files are transferred. However, some of these devices can be connected via WiFi or Bluetooth, while those that work with a SIM card logically connect via the telephone network.
The applications of spy microphones are increasingly varied and numerous. The same goes for the benefits that these devices, greatly improved in recent years, bring. In addition, today there is a wide range of models available on the market.
For various reasons, more and more people decide to buy one of these devices, but buyers often don’t know what are the most important aspects they need to be aware of when evaluating their purchase and choosing the best spy microphone for their needs. Undoubtedly, the two main criteria to be evaluated are the use that will be made of it and the sound quality.