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Hidden cameras spy cameras and nanny cams with built-in microphones for audio recording FAQ

Do hidden cameras come with internal built-in audio recording or have a microphone built-in?

Almost all hidden cameras are available with microphones built-in but they are not available for sale to the general public. This is due to Federal regulations on "disguised audio bugging devices".

All sales of disguised hidden cameras with built-in microphones are limited to approved USA Government Law Enforcement division customers only. All orders for hidden cameras with microphone built-in must meet this criteria or they will not be accepted. Accredited Law Enforcement division customers please call (800) 618-7491 to order any disguised hidden cameras with microphones.

Do nanny cams, spy cameras, spy cams, or other covert surveillance cameras have built-in microphones?

Any disguised cameras are considered to be the same as hidden cameras (see above).

Can external microphones be used with a hidden camera?

If you do your research and you believe that you can legally record audio in your situation then technically yes there are lots of ways that you could record audio using an external recorder. From old fashioned tape recorders to the latest smartphones tablets laptops and other devices there are plenty of ways to record audio.

In addition most Security DVR's, Security VCR's, regular VCR's (and virtually every other type of video recorder ever made) has separate Video and Audio inputs. Technically any video camera could be connected to the video input of the video recorder and a separate microphone could be connected to the audio input if your goal was to record both.

The main point to understand is that ANY video camera (regardless of the device) when used in conjunction with ANY type of microphone (built-in or external) will be subject to all Federal and State video recording and audio recording laws. In other words all video/audio consent recording laws will still apply. Do not attempt to record audio or video using any device without the proper consent of all parties based on the state you are in. Talk to a local attorney about your intended use before recording any audio or video if you are unsure of the laws in your area.

Do security cameras or other video cameras have built-in microphones?

Security cameras that are not disguised may have built-in microphones but most security cameras do not have built-in microphones.
Click here to view security cameras with microphones built-in.

It is also possible to use an external microphone with any security cameras or video cameras by connecting a microphone to the audio input of the video recorder.
Click Here to view microphones

What steps should be taken before recording audio or video?

Since the laws vary greatly by state it is very important know know your local laws. Talk to an attorney before purchasing any equipment and comply with all Federal State and Local laws and regulations. For businesses it is also recommended to post signs to inform the public that video security cameras and audio recording in use.

Isn't audio recording needed for a Nanny Cam?

Most of the customers that contact us asking about audio are considering using a Nanny Cam.

  • Nanny cams with built-in audio are not legal to purchase or use due to Federal regulations regarding "disguised audio bugging devices"
  • Recording audio using other methods like external microphones or tape recorders would require the nanny's consent

Still think you "need" audio for a Nanny Cam?
Consider this:
1 Picture = 1000 words
1 Second of Video = 30 pictures
That means EACH SECOND of video is WORTH 30,000 WORDS

We have sold thousands of video-only nanny cams to our customers over the years.

We believe that a nanny cam is the ONLY WAY you will find out the true level of care and job performance that your nanny provides to your children.

To evaluate your nanny the video is all that is needed. You will see from watching just a few days or sometimes just a few hours worth video if your nanny is a good care provider or not. The video will show if the nanny is attentive or not and their body language will show you everything you need to see. Audio simply is not needed for this purpose.


If you are planning on recording audio that picks up someone's voice along with the video using ANY video recording device including cell phone cameras, digital video cameras, older camcorders, etc then you need to comply with audio-recording laws too.

Federal and State audio recording laws are much more restrictive than video recording laws.

Recording audio conversations requires 1 or 2 party consent (varies by state). Other audio and video recording laws may apply.

Do your research and talk to an attorney before recording any audio or video if you are unsure if your use is legal.

Read more about audio and video recording laws here

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