Modern home focused consumer security cameras have very capable audio and video recording features nowadays. However there are some unique things to consider for recording audio that you don’t have to take into account with video recording…
Can home security cameras record sounds? Yes, but not all. There are three types of security cameras that can record sounds, to wit: cameras with built-in microphones, cameras that support an external microphone, and two-way cameras that allow you to speak with visitors, wanted or unwanted.
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of every type of sound recording camera is important because it allows you to choose which type is best suited to your homes.
Furthermore, there should be a discussion on the legalities of recording sound because you may actually be violating the rights of the person you are recording.
Lastly, we will review some of the best brands of camera because the quality of the video and audio footage greatly depends on the brand.
Benefits of Security Camera Recording Sounds
Having a security camera that records sounds at home is very useful for several reasons. Firstly, security will always be the number one benefit that you can derive from having sound recording security cameras. You can use the footage, along with possible dialogues of robbers or thieves, as evidence for the prosecution of the crimes in court.
Aside from chasing people who broke into your house, you can also use the footage for future references, such as discovering the common entry points of thieves.
Besides the security of your family and belongings from unwanted visitors, you can also greatly benefit from the sound recording cameras by using them as surveillance cameras for pets and babies.
It is common for most families, especially in the US, to leave toddlers in their own rooms. A camera that could watch over the babies while recording vital sounds like choking and crying sounds is a beneficial tool at home.
You won’t be needing to check up on your babies in short intervals anymore, just watch over the camera and physically check up on them on longer intervals.
Real Time Surveillance Over The House When You Are Away
Aside from the obvious benefits you can think of, you can also have the security cameras serve as a surveillance camera over your house.
So even if you are on work, on vacation, or just out for groceries, you can rig your cameras to give you live video and audio feed to your smartphone, via the internet.
You can have peace of mind whenever you leave the house because you can check up on it anytime.
The Average Audio Range Of Home Security Cameras
The average audio range for a typical sound recording camera is around 6 meters or roughly 20 feet. That is considerably long-ranged given the fact that you could set up at least two cameras per room to make sure the recordings are audible. Some expensive cameras can likely even go beyond the average six meters of sound range.
The six meter sound range is actually more than enough because you can always strategically place multiple cameras to cover more space. At least six sound recording cameras can cover an entire floor of the house if appropriately positioned.
You can also expand the range by hooking up external microphones because most security cameras support external mics. Lastly, most sound recording cameras can have up to 128GB of memory, which allows you to record up to months of video and sound recordings from the cameras.
The Three Types Of Home Security Sound Recording Cameras
Security Cameras With Built-In Microphones
The most popular and advanced type of sound recording cameras are the ones that have built-in microphones. Since the mics are already built-in on the device, you are no longer required or burdened to procure an external microphone to catch sound frequencies. These security cameras tend to be the most convenient option when considering their relative affordability.
Advantages of Security Cameras With Built-in Mics
Security Cameras with built-in mics are very easy to install because they do not require the installation of external microphones. You will not be burdened with common problems such as external microphones undetected by the security camera.
These types of cameras commonly come as wireless because they operate in consonance with the local area network.
These cameras are also relatively affordable because you only get to spend money on the camera itself, and nothing else. This gives you a sense of affordability in the long run because you don’t need to check up on the condition of so many devices, just the camera itself.
Security cameras with built-in microphones are the most accessible of the three types of security cameras because they are the most numerous in the market.
Disadvantages of Security Cameras With Built-in Mics
Of course, some disadvantages come with using security cameras with built-in mics. These cameras have a lesser audio range because the microphones are merely embedded inside the camera. This means it has less flexibility than a camera that has external microphones attached to it.
If the microphone of the security camera fails or is damaged, you are basically left with a security camera that cannot record audio.
Built-in cameras also have less filter of background noises because they are merely embedded inside the device. This could result in inaudible sounds when background sounds like thunder, noisy generators, etc., come into the picture.
Best Spots To Hook Up These Cameras
These security cameras with built-in mics are best positioned in places like room corners, overhead the doors, stairways, ceilings, and even corridors. Basically, you can mount these cameras everywhere because they can be ceiling-mounted, wall-mounted, or even pole mounted. Since they are wireless, you can easily hook these cameras everywhere, which allows you to place them around the house strategically.
Security Cameras That Support External Microphone
These cameras are the security cameras that do not have built-in microphones. Instead, they are programmed to support external microphones to detect and provide input concerning sounds and audio. These cameras may not be the popular choice, but some do prefer it for some reason.
Advantage Of Security Cameras That Support External Microphone
These security cameras can have more audio range than those that have built-in mics. This is because they can be stretched with the help of wires. It allows you to expand the scope of your security camera system without having too many cameras.
Disadvantage Of Security Cameras That Support External Microphone
Installation is very difficult when using security cameras that support external microphones. You will have to properly install a bunch of wires connecting the microphones and the camera.
You will also need to sync the camera with the microphones, or else you will have delayed audio on your video recordings.
With the proliferation of security cameras with built-in mics and cameras with two-way audio systems, security cameras that need external cameras are struggling in the market.
Most homeowners prefer not to use cameras that require external mics because of the hassle in its installation. Security cameras with built-in mics are more sleek, functional, and convenient.
Two-Way Security Cameras Are Now Popular Among Smarthomes
Two-way security cameras are now the new trend because of how amazing its features and functionalities are. It allows the homeowner to communicate through any person through the camera. It is a step-up to the built-in microphone in cameras.
Advantages of Two Way Security Cameras
With these cameras, you can communicate with guests, whether they are wanted or unwanted guests. You can also use the microphone to scare away robbers and thieves as you watch over them on the security camera.
Some are even using it for petty but fun reasons, such as scaring away porch-package thieves and raccoons eating away the birds’ feed.
You can also use the cameras to freely communicate with your children and pets at home. It’s like having a surveillance system for your kids where you can immediately scold them for their actions.
Or perhaps you can use the camera to instruct people at home for some errands.
Disadvantageous Price of Two-Way Cameras
Well, the main problem with two-way cameras is that it is expensive. Two-way security cameras will cost you around $150 to $160 per camera. This is almost $50 more expensive than a regular security camera with just a built-in microphone.
The Legalities of Recording Security Camera Sounds
You would need to check the current laws, whether municipal or national, regarding the legality of having security cameras at home. Most states in the US provide little to no restriction in having security cameras at home.
This is due to the belief that one expects people to respect their house’s privacy. Although, it would be best to have warning signs at home that you have security cameras that may record their doings or conversations.
However, when installing security cameras at home that include adjacent houses in its view and audio range, ask for your neighbors’ consent. At the very least, you could notify them by letter that you are installing a security camera, especially the ones with 180-degree vision, that may at times record their lawns or sometimes windows.
The letter should serve as evidence that you at least did your due diligence in affording your neighbor’s right to consent.
Privacy Issues Regarding Home Security Cameras
Privacy is a crucial issue in light of the proliferation of home security cameras. Institutions and organizations such as the EFF (electronic freedom foundation) have been keen on protecting privacy and other civil liberties that tend to be encroached by electronic gadgets, such as home security cameras.
For instance, in August 2019, Amazon’s Ring Doorbell Camera had to be updated with better features after severe backlash from EFF and Mozilla.
The Amazon Ring was reported to be violative of privacy because it tends to record even the innocent trespassers, such as the mailman and delivery guys.
That could be very dangerous because it might label innocent civilians as suspected robbers, not to mention the violation against their privacy and right to have consent over video and audio recordings.
Cloud Based Camera Systems
Due to the size of data being recorded by home security cameras, some have opted to just hook up their home security cameras into routers. The routers then proceed to upload the recordings online in a cloud system.
Prominent cloud-based camera systems like Nest, Wyze, Ring, and Arlo have been leading the movement from traditional security camera systems to cloud-based security camera systems.
Since it is a cloud system, many have wondered how airtight privacy security is from hacking. In this modern age, personal data and information are more valuable than some commodities.
In most cases, your data is safe because cloud systems are always trying to out-do cybercriminals. The government can access your uploaded information if the cloud system allows them, so verify the cloud systems company policies on security and privacy.
To wrap things up, there are existing security cameras in the market that could record audio sounds. You are allowed to install them at home, albeit there are some restrictions depending on which state or country you live in. So do exercise due diligence in researching the applicable laws in your locality.
Regardless, having a security camera that could record sound gives you a lot of benefits, whether it be for added security or for house surveillance purposes. It isn’t bad to go smart in your houses, especially if it gives you the opportunity to protect your houses and your families.
Home security and cameras are such a cool subject to read and write about. After you’ve finished reading this, you might want to checkout our article on Can Home Security Cameras Be Used in Court – What You Should Know TODO add link when published
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