Do Security Cameras Record Sound

When it comes to camera technology, the answer definitely is YES!

Their built-in microphones are sensitive enough to be able to pick up on the sound in monitoring zones, and IP cameras can record both videos and audio. Some security cameras have an audio input, and they can allow you to also add on an external microphone to record sound, like Reolink RLC-423, or another quality outdoor security camera.

Security cameras that come with audio provide you with benefits that are unparalleled. For example, they allow you to listen to your visitors, pets, or baby from a distance without having to be there physically. However, it is an unavoidable fact that a CCTV camera that has sound recording ability if it isn’t used properly can infringe on the privacy of people. Check out this article on how long do home security cameras keep footage.

That leads to this question that we need to discuss: From a legal perspective, can sound be recorded by a security camera?

Do Security Cameras Record Sound

Can A Security Camera Legally Record Audio – It Depends

None of the information provided on this article or site should be taken as legal advise.
The laws on audio surveillance vary from one state to the next and generally are stricter than regulations on video monitoring.This also explains why audio is not included with every security camera. In order to help you learn whether or not it is illegal having security cameras that have sound in your area, the following are a couple of factors that you need to look for.

  • Where is voice recording installed on a CCTV camera?

    • If a security camera that has audio is put inside your house for the purposes of security, then your CCTV cameras can definitely record audio legally. In places where individuals expect privacy, like bathrooms, dressing rooms, and bedroom, neither video or audio recordings are prohibited. When it comes to audio recordings in public places, the legalities are a lot more complicated and you will need to consider other factors also.
  • Has the subject consented to audio recording?

    • In most states, according to their privacy laws, CCTV cameras are not able to record sound unless the consent is obtained of at least one of the parties that are involved in a conversation.
    • In places like Washington, Utah, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nevada, Montana, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Kansas, Illinois, Hawaii, Florida, Delaware, Connecticut, and California, all-party consent must be obtained in order for your security cameras to be able to legally record sound. Also, in most states, putting signs up specifying that an audio recording is occurring may be considered as consent. For example, usually small business owners will place a sign that indicates they are using security cameras in their retail stores.

The best way to know if a security camera is able to have audio is by searching related federal, state, and local laws or consult directly with your attorney before having a camera installed.

How You Can Tell If There Is Audio On A Security Camera

camera manualIf you see an IP camera when you are in a public place and would like to check if audio is being recorded with the CCTV camera, you can ask the owner of the camera since the microphones are usually not noticeable from afar.

However, there are numerous ways for you to be able to tell if the CCTV camera you bought has audio.

Search through the product page and the technical specification to find out if they list audio recording as one of the highlights of the security camera. Usually, there is a small phone (which is a microphone inside the camera housing to pick up sound for those security cams that have sound recording or audio.