Bugging Devices can be hidden in anything. As technology progresses so does the listening and filming equipment available. However…….although increasingly difficult, this doesn’t mean they can’t be located.

We have all seen the movies where someone checks into a hotel and promptly starts checking for bugs (listening devices).

But what are bugs? What do they look like and can they be detected?

Some common examples of items that have bugs fitted into them.

The Wall Socket

Every room has a wall socket, they would never arouse suspicion.

In fact the opposite it true……a room without any electronic sockets would be weird.

This is the reason that they are often used.

The bonus is………they can be used in a completely empty room.

But how do they work and how does the spy retrieve the audio logs?

That is the clever bit.

Standard Uk Wall Plug

Simple Standard UK Wall Socket………..or is it?

The wall socket contains a SIM card. This is placed in during installation and never needs to be removed.

The recordings can be accessed by dialling the number and then you can then listen to whatever is going on in the room…… it’s that simple.

The SIM card can be accessed anywhere in the world and can transmit conversations that occur within 30ft of the wall socket….which covers most rooms.

Also, the technology within the socket filters the audio to ensure improved audio clarity.

The additional fact that surprised me was that is also a fully functional plug socket so there is absolutely nothing to give the game away.

Air Freshener Bug

On the continuing theme that bugs can be anywhere, enter the very inconspicuous air freshener.

Have you ever walked into a room and noticed an air freshener?

No, me neither and that’s why they make such good bugging devices.

GSM Air Freshener Bug

GSM Air Freshener Bug

This particular bug can be configured so that it will send an SMS whenever it detects sound.

Once you have been notified, you can dial the number and listen to the conversation.

Although small this also includes a large battery which can last over 4 weeks.

This is ideal if it is in a location where you want to listen but cannot visit on a regular basis.

Wall Clock Bug

This is one of my personal favourites for one key reason. The great filming and listening position.

Unlike the other devices, this does not have to be placed on a desk where the only conversation captured is close by.

This bug in its elevated position will able to capture conversations in the whole room.

Wall Clock with a Bug

Wall Clock with a Bug

Very much like the previous bugs featured, this is activated using a remote mobile phone.

The bug notifies the owner as soon as it detects sound.

From that point on the owner can simply dial in and listen.

This has a six-week battery life which is particularly important as it might be arduous to remove and charge.

Detecting the devices

Now that we have established that the bugs can be placed anywhere…..how are they detected?

Your chances of finding the offending bug are greatly affected by the tools at your disposal.

In order of preference, I would rank them

  1. Specialised bug detection equipment.
  2. Android phone with Spy Camera detection software.
  3. Manual checks.

So, taking each one, in turn, let’s see what is possible.

Specialised bug detection equipment

As you might imagine these are expensive, bulky and hard to get hold of.

You will have to order them in advance and part with a substantial wad of cash.

Once delivered, in the example of the hotel room, pack the device in your luggage in advance.

Not exactly convenient, especially if you have an ad-hoc “something isn’t right” feeling and want to bug check the room.

However…….despite all these downsides.

There is nothing to compare when it comes to the success of actually finding the bugs.

My personal favourite is the JJNDigital PRO-W10GX as it is small and compact which goes some way to addressing the mobility concerns.

A picture of the JJNDigital PRO-W10GX

Small and very effective JJNDigital PRO-W10GX

The PRO-W10GX is a very small and effective bug detector. It has been designed and built in the UK and is able to detect and locate signals from even the best hidden spy cameras. This includes any listening devices.

With a very recent hardware update, you can see why many regard this as the ultimate handheld RF detector.

This latest hardware enables the device to work in a 0–10 GHz RF frequency range. Most impressively this now means that this can detect most digital and analogue signals. This includes the previously undetectable 6GHz range.

All the information is shown on a concise handheld 20 element bar graph.  This allows the holder to locate exactly the source of the detected signal.

I was also very impressed by the massive 1000 event memory log. This allows the user to store all the detected signal information including their frequency and duration.

The information is stored in a very easy to read list and can even be viewed on a Live graph.

Another very useful tool was the ability to plug in headphones and listen to the detected signals. This would be invaluable when seeking the bug as you do not want to alert the listener to the fact that you have found the device.

The reason for this is outlined in this post How to Detect Hidden Cameras Using Android

Android phone with Spy Camera detection software

What app to use and how to do it is covered in detail in this article – How to Detect Hidden Cameras Using Android

Manual checks

Again, the manual checks have been covered at length in this article – How to Detect Hidden Cameras Using Android


There are some very clever devices out there to bug a room and ensure that you can hear everything that goes on.

Trying to find these devices although difficult is not impossible.

The better the tool, the better the chance you have of locating the offending bugs

The PRO-W10GX is the best tool and will ensure peace of mind that you are in a bug-free room

The Android apps are less effective but can still find badly hidden bugs.

Finally, manual checks can help find the bugs but if they are well hidden then your chances are slim.

The golden rule is that if you suspect a room is bugged then be careful what you say and keep any private conversations to a minimum. These are best had in a safe environment.

Stay Safe and Happy Spying.