Last updated: June 30, 2020

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There are many reasons why you might be considering purchasing a spy microphone. The most common uses are for spying and investigative work. However, they are other reasons for purchasing this type of device. They are useful for a wide-range of purposes, such as for students taking notes in class, recording staff meetings or public lectures. If you need a tiny audio recorder for any reason, then a spy camera could be the perfect solution for you.

Thanks to the common use of covert microphones in spy films and novels, most people have a basic idea of what a spy microphone does.However, choosing a spy microphone is definitely not a simple task. That’s why we have prepared this complete guide, in which we clearly and simply explain everything you need to know about these devices.

Key Facts

  • Spy microphones are primarily designed to be used for security, espionage and criminal investigations. Thanks to their tiny size and special features, they can easily be camouflaged and go completely unnoticed. However, the range of uses for these devices continues to grow, and lately they have become very popular with students who want any easy way to take notes in class.
  • Depending on the intended use of a spy microphone, it may be important that it is capable of performing certain functions. Some users may require remote listening, while almost all applications will require that the microphone is capable of recording audio internally.
  • According to surveillance experts, spy microphones are the most common type of security device used for surveillance applications by both businesses and private individuals.

The best spy microphones on the US market

Here are the best spy microphones currently available on the market. We have included a wide-range of different devices, suitable for any task. All the products on our list are quality products, that offer great value for money. So just choose the spy microphone that suits your needs, and be sure you are getting a great deal.

Atto Digital Mini Voice Recorder

Designed to be subtle and practical, this amazing digital audio recorder has a slew of high end features that place it miles ahead of conventional voice recording devices. It has voice activated recording, is tiny in size, offers recording in multiple audio formats and can even be attached to a key chain.

Users love this device because it is so easy to use and tiny in size. It is perfect for anyone who needs to record audio, using a simple and convenient device. This product is a top seller, with great reviews from buyers who highly recommend this device.

Atto Digital Small Voice Recorder

Here we have another great spy microphone from Atto Digital. It is less expensive than the Mini Voice Record, and as a result offers less features. It does not offer voice activation recording, which may be important for people using the device for surveillance. However, it has the same audio quality as the more expensive option, and is perfect for someone who simply needs to record office meetings or take notes in class.

This product has great reviews and is popular with users. It is super easy to use, reliable and small enough to take anywhere.

EViDA Mini Voice Recorder

This spy microphone has a USB stick design and is very easy to use. Simply insert it into a USB hub of your computer and the device will charge while you transfer your files. Built-in rechargeable 110mAh Lithum battery, supporting 13 hours continuous recording. 8GB of internal memory which can store up to 36 hours of recorded audio.

The reviews of this product are glowing. It has a sturdy build quality, is easy to use, and is small and discrete. It looks just like a regular USB stick, so is perfect for covertly recording audio. This is also the cheapest option on our list, so perfect for anyone wanting great value for money.

TOOBOM Digital Voice Activated Recorder Pen

This voice activated spy microphone is fully integrated into a functional pen. It is perfect for secretly recording conversations due to its design, as it looks just like a normal pen. However, it also offers great sound quality, is highly functional and easy to use. The 16GB storage capacity allows you to store more than 190 hours of recorded audio. The design of the clip is convenient for you to attach it to your coat pocket, onto a book cover or just leave it sitting on a desk or a shelf.

Great reviews of this product. People love the sound quality, and also how well the pen writes. With DSP powerful noise reduction technology, sonic cancellation and filtering for different environments, this spy microphone is perfect for lectures,meetings and interviews.

Jiusion GSM USB Cable Charger Audio Surveillance Device

This is a spy microphone that uses a SIM card for remote listening. Simply dial the number of the SIM card on you mobile phone and you can listen in to what is happening from anywhere in the world. This spy microphone looks just like a normal USB cable, so it is unlikely to ever be detected. This design is highly practical as well, as the unit is powered by the USB port into which the cable is plugged. If you want the ultimate spy gadget, this unit is definitely worth a look.

User report that this device functions perfectly and is so easy to use with your mobile phone. Just keep in mind that this spy microphone will only worked when powered by a USB port, which limits its possible applications.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about spy microphones

When it is time to buy a spy microphone, it is important that you consider a number of key criteria. Keep in mind that there are many different models of spy microphones on the market, and each one is designed for a different use. To help make your choice easier, in this section we answer the most frequently asked questions about spy microphones.

There are lots of different spy microphones available on the market.
(Source: Martin: 36609836/

What are spy microphones exactly?

Spy microphones are tiny electronic devices that are specifically designed to capture and record sounds in different environments. They are usually hidden somewhere out of sight to avoid detection, or else can be camouflaged in different objects such as pens, picture frames, toys or even jewelry.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a spy microphone?

There is no doubt that spy microphones offer lots of big advantages. For starters, you can improve the security of your home or office, or use it for your own personal safety. The big advantage is due to the fact that they can be hidden, so nobody will know that you are using a spy microphone. And all this from a device which is super easy to use.

Advantages Disadvantages
Improves the security of your home, office or personal safety. There is always the risk, no matter how small, of it being discovered.
The installation process is really simple, with no prior knowledge necessary. They are very easy to use. In the case of it being discovered, the unauthorized recording of certain conversations can be considered a crime.
They have a wide-range of applications. From surveillance and security tasks to bird watching. The best models require a significant economic investment.
There are different types of models, that can be used for different applications.
They can be camouflaged in all kinds of objects. Some are even hidden in computer mouse devices or work stations.
They are the perfect tool for recording a conference or meeting, or for taking notes in class.
They are generally very lightweight, and tiny in size.  

What are the reasons for purchasing a spy microphone?

The reasons why people may need to purchase a spy microphone are many and varied. They are perfect for both research professionals and journalists. It could be that you need a spy microphone to collect evidence to prove a crime, or for your own personal protection. Other possible applications include taking notes in class, or recording an office meeting or conference for people unable to attend, or for your own future reference.

It can also be an important security device for your home, office or business. Spy microphones are great for animal lovers, especially for ornithologists who are experts in the study of birds.

Charles McCarryAmerican writer

“Espionage and counterespionage go together like horse and carriage.”

What types of spy microphones exist?

At the moment there is a wide variety of different spy microphones available on the market. The types of gadgets include GSM bugs, unidirectional microphones, spy clocks or devices that can even listen through walls. In the following table, we summarize the main features offered by the most commonly used devices.

Type Characteristics
GSM bugs Possibly the most popular type of device these days. Must be used with a SIM card. You just have to make a phone call to the card’s phone number to start listening.

Since their size is very small, they can easily be hidden. The biggest advantage is that you can use them from anywhere in the world, all you need is access to a phone.

Spy microphones and voice recorders These are devices that allow monitoring and recording of audio. They can be hidden in many different types of objects, such as watches, pens or jewelry – the most common being USB sticks.

They can be used indoors or outdoors.

Wall contact microphones These devices work when they come in contact with a surface and can listen through walls, windows or even heating pipes. They have great sound quality.

They can allow listening through walls up to 24&#8243

UHF spy microphones Operate on different UHF frequency bands. This means they can be used at a distance of up to 100 yards. They can easily be hidden in lots of different types of objects.

It is possible to place them inside a computer mouse or keyboard, a calculator or a pen.

VHF microphones They operate on the VHF band. They are comprised of a transmitter and a receiver. They are highly sensitive devices.
Unidirectional microphones They are especially sensitive to sound coming from a specific direction. They are able to capture great quality audio.

They are often used outdoors and for the study of birds.

Is it legal to record conversations using a spy microphone?

Under the Federal Wiretap Act, it is illegal for a person to secretly record any verbal, telephone, or electronic communication that other parties reasonably expect to be private. (18 U.S.C. § 2511.). There are exceptions to this law, however in general, any conversation that is a person considers to be private in nature is protected by the federal Wiretap Act. If you record someone talking in public in front of several people for example, that would not be considered as private. However recording a conversation in a private place, between a small number of people, may well be. Anyone caught violating this law can be fined, jailed or subject to a civil lawsuit.

Technological advances allow us to record conversations covertly.
(Source: Welcomia: 20543887/

Shopping Criteria

When purchasing a spy microphone, there are several criteria that you should keep in mind when deciding which product is best for you. To help make you choice easier, in this section we cover the most important factors you need to consider before buying a spy microphone. We hope this guide you helps you buy the device that is best suited for your needs.

  • Intended use
  • Sound quality
  • Battery life
  • Range and coverage
  • Shape and size
  • Connectivity

Intended use

The first question you should really be asking yourself when buying a spy microphone, is how you to plan to use it. As we mentioned previously, there are many different types and models of spy microphones available on the market, and each of them is designed with a specific function or intended purpose. Therefore, if you want a device for your own personal safety, you might be interested in a spy watch.

On the other hand, if you need to record or monitor conversations in one specific place, you should buy a spy microphone that can remain hidden in that location and go completely unnoticed. Finally, you may only need a microphone for remote listening, or one that also has a record function.

A spy microphone is a tiny device that can help us in a variety of ways.
(Source: Tiero: 13572058/

Sound quality

Sound quality is clearly a fundamental aspect when choosing which spy microphone you should buy. To get an indication of the sound quality of a particular device, there are a few different parameters you need to take into account. One of them is the sensitivity, which is the level of electrical voltage the microphone outputs. This gives us an idea of how precisely the device will capture quiet sounds.

Another parameter you should consider is the microphone’s level of noise. This is measured in decibels of sound pressure using the A weighting curve (dBA SPL). A decent level is around 40 dBA SPL. Another important specification is the impedance, which is the amount of AC resistance offered by a microphone depending on its frequency.

Battery life

Another important factor to consider it the battery life of the microphone. You need to consider how long the device is capable of operating, both when in constant use and when in standby mode. It is important to remember that greater battery life means a larger battery, and therefore a device of larger dimensions.

However, today it is possible to find devices with very small dimensions that offer a battery life of more than twenty hours, which is more than enough for most tasks. Additionally, recharging times are generally quite fast. In fact, some spy microphones can be charged in less than an hour.

Range and coverage

For certain uses, such as recording conversations at a distance or the sound of birds in nature, range is a key aspect. The coverage offered by a particular device will depend on the type of integrated microphone and the technology system it uses. In the case of UHF spy microphones, they usually have a maximum coverage of about 100 yards.

Shape and size

When it comes to spy microphones, size is something that really matters. In general, devices with smaller the dimensions are obviously much more useful. They are easier to hide it, and have less of a chance of being detected. Luckily, these days the dimensions of spy microphones are constantly being reduced, as smaller and smaller units become available.

The shapes and designs of the models available vary greatly. They range from the most typical, concealed in pens, clothes or jewelry, to the more elaborate – such as in computer devices and clocks. Other designs often used are USB sticks, key rings and picture frames.

Methods for spying have changed over time.
(Source: Stokkete: 33050634/


Most spy microphones connect to the computer via a USB port to transfer their audio files. However, there are devices that are also able to be connected via WiFi or Bluetooth. Devices that work using a SIM card obviously connect to a telephone network.


The applications of spy microphones are becoming more and more varied and best of all, they continue to grow. This means they are therefore becoming more useful, due to the advanced technology integrated into these devices. Today there is a wide variety of different models and designs available on the market.

Spy microphones are becoming increasingly popular and more people are deciding to purchase one for themselves. However, most buyers often do not know what criteria they should follow in order to get something that best suits their needs. Without a doubt, the two main things to consider are the intended use and the quality of the sound the device is capable of delivering.

If you think that this guide has helped you in your process of buying a spy microphone, please leave us a comment or be sure to share it on social media.

(Source of featured image: Aldana: 86520432/

Why you can trust me?

Jaiden Sattlemeyr Cameraman & Tech Nerd
After a lot of work and studying, Jaiden has achieved his dream of building his own home cinema. Through his profession as a cameraman, he knows his way around technology very well. Meanwhile he regularly gives advice to his friends and family and writes about his technical hobby.