As I reflect on the security cameras I’ve purchased for myself and my parents, I think about of the stuff I didn’t know to ask during the buying process. I knew that I needed one for my parents, and I wanted one my home, but I never stopped to think about all of the features I could get with a security camera. A quick story: My wife and kids live in a subdivision just off a main road in our city. Every summer we’ve lived in this house I could see and hear kids running around our house late at night. I was also concerned that there are times that my wife is home alone with the kids. I was concerned that someone was watching out house waiting for an opportunity to break-in or commit a home invasion. With these thoughts in mind, I began searching for security cameras.
To answer the topic of this blog post “can security cameras record voice,” yes, security cameras absolutely can record voice as long as a microphone is installed or connected to the device. In fact, some microphones are sensitive enough to record the wind blowing or garbage rolling down the street. Further, security cameras can provide both one way and two-way audio. Most security cameras voice recordings are triggered by motion activation or infrared sensors. This blog post will discuss some of the factors that go into a security’s cameras ability to record voices. Below are a few examples of top security cameras, and their recording ability
- Amazon Cloud Cam Security Camera: two-way audio
- YI Home Camera: two-way audio
- Zmodo Wireless Security Camera: one-way audio
- Zosi Security Camera System: two-way with additional purchase one-way otherwise
- Blink XT: one-way audio recording
Make sure you check local, state, and federal laws to make sure audio recording is legal in your area.
One-way audio vs two-way audio
Many security cameras feature a one-way audio functionality. With this feature, the audio usually flows from the camera recording to the recording software. There are a few security cameras in which the audio flows in the opposite direction.
One way audio is best for security cameras that are passively monitored. Some examples of passive monitoring include baby monitors, nanny cams, and some bullet cameras. Here are a few examples of security cameras that feature one-way audio:
- Blink XT
- Luowice Audio Wireless Security Camera System
Security cameras also provide a two-way audio functionality in which people can communicate on each end of the camera. With this functionality, the owner of the camera can communicate directly with the person or people in view the camera. The two-way audio is actively managed either by someone viewing the audio, or by notifications (text alerts, email messages).
Some examples of active monitoring include IP or WIFI security cameras. Here are a few examples of security cameras that feature two-way audio:
- Seasky Wireless Smart Home Security Camera
- Nettoly Security Cameras
About video recordings…
What can security cameras record
The audio recorded is based on when the security camera is “activated.” Once the camera is activated, the microphone can record almost anything around the microphone. For example, my current camera has recorded the wind blowing, dogs barking, can mufflers, and sound systems, and kids screaming. This audio occurred because the wind moved the security camera, giving the camera the impression that there was a change in radiation in the field of view. The other recordings occurred because the objects entered the security cameras field of view.
Where does the voice recording go?
The voice recording, combined with the video, will either go to cloud storage, a physical hard drive stored locally, or both. For the purposes of this blog post, cloud storage means is not stored on your computer. The manufacturer or third party stores the records until you decide to retrieve or delete them. The location of the recordings varies based on manufacture, and personal preference. Here are a few examples of where the recordings are stored:
- Ring Spotlight Cam: cloud storage, monthly cost
- Blink XT: cloud storage, free
- Zosi 8 Channel Security Camera System: physical hard drive
Can I separate the audio from the video?
Yes, you can separate the audio from the video, but you may need additional video editing software. In most cases audio and video and compressed together to save space on the hard drive or cloud storage. There are a number of free and premium software programs that can separate the audio and video into two files.
When does the recording begin?
In most cameras, the audio recordings begin when an object enters or leaves the field of view. This recording occurs because the infrared sensors detect a change of radiation in its view. Motion sensors are constantly calculating the current radiation and change in radiation within its field of view. If the change is big enough, then a motion alarm is triggered.
How can I make the audio recording happen sooner?
There are a few ways to make an audio recording occur sooner. The first way is to adjust the motion detection sensitivity settings, adjusting these setting higher or lower will allow your IR to trigger faster or slower, depending on the settings. Beware that adjusting these settings can have an impact on the battery life of the batteries in your security camera, or increase the amount of electricity consumed.
The second way to make the audio recording happen sooner is to purchase a security camera that has a wider field of view. A wider field of view will allow to see more area, thus triggering faster. Viewing angles range from 45 to 130 degrees, and the higher the number the wider the camera can see.
Which types of security cameras record voice?
After completing a little research, I found that all security cameras either have microphones preinstalled in the camera, or can be added for an additional price. Of all of the cameras I’ve researched, I found that cameras that were not standalone (Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), DVR kits) did not always include a microphone. In addition, CCTV and DVR kits only offered one or two inputs for adding microphones. For example, a Zosi 8 Channel Camera System only has two audio inputs, which means only two of the eight security devices could hear audio.
To conclude, security cameras can record voices in two ways: either built in microphones, or additional components plugged in to kits. Most security cameras provide either one-way audio or two-way audio. One-way audio listens and records the environment around the security camera. One-way audio is usually used in passive monitoring. Two-way audio allows the owner of the security system to directly communicate with objects that are within view of the camera. Two-way audio is usually used in active monitoring.
Voice recordings are either stored “in the cloud,” a physical hard drive, or both. Cloud storage can either be free or a small monthly cost. The cost can also very by the number of devices that are attached to the cloud account. Audio recordings begin when motion is detected by the infrared sensor attached to the security camera. There are two ways to make the recordings happen sooner: increase IR sensor sensitivity, or find a camera with a wide field of view.
- How to tell if security cameras have audio? While there is no easy way to tell if a security camera records audio, you can look for indentations that appear to be vents that are located toward the front of the camera. These “vents” are really locations for sound to “fall in” and recorded by the built in microphone. In addition, if you see a third cord that is angled toward the front of the camera, it is safe to assume that is a microphone cord.
- It is illegal to record sound on CCTV? Check out this site as it has the recording laws by state. It is very important to know and understand the recording laws at the local, state, and federal level!
- How to know if CCTV has audio? To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to tell if a CCTV camera has audio capabilities. One way to tell is if the camera has openings toward the front or top of the camera. If a camera has what appears to be vents at the font of the camera, those vents maybe a microphone. Another possible way to tell if CCTV has audio, is to see if there are any additional wires that appear to end at the font of the camera. These wires could lead to a standalone microphone to record the area. To be on the safe side, I would assume that every CCTV camera has audio recording capability