Modern listening devices can have an effective range of up to 1640 feet, though there is significant variation depending on the make, model and configuration. Let’s look at how we can use typical listening devices before delving into the range of options on offer.

Listening Devices Uses

Listening devices can be used for a variety of purposes.  You can surveil unsuspecting people from a distance, listen through a wall, and even monitor your favourite wildlife. A little research indicates that the most common uses for listening devices is to bug a room, and also to catch a cheating spouse.

Using Listening Devices

Listening devices can be disguised as every day items and are therefore perfect for bugging rooms, when the unsuspecting person would never suspect. Common disguises for listening devices include : calculators, USB sticks and power adaptors.

disguised listening devices

They look legit don’t they? You’d never guess they are disguised listening devices

The more complex and expensive listening devices contain a transmitter and reciever and allow you to monitor conversations from greater distances – as we’ve said, up to 500 feet. Using these devices, you’d need to hide the transmitter as they are not as well disguised. Typically you would place the transmitter between books, behind an ornament etc – anywhere where the transmitter can be hidden but the mic can still pick up sound without obstruction.

wireless transmitter and receiver listening device

A typical wireless transmitter and receiver listening device (up to 500 ft)

These type of listening devices can typically record for about 16 hours straight. Of course, they are sound activated in many cases, so you won’t need to just leave them on continuously and hope for the best.

Because of this, you can record conversations for days, weeks and possibly months at a time without needing to worry about the battery life. It all depends on how long the conversations last (very few people talk for 16 hours straight!).

Some of these listening devices allow you to acivate manually via cell phone rather than waiting for voice activation. This is perfect for when you want to listen in on a conversation that you know will take place at a specific place and time.

Most modern listening devices run on Wifi so you don’t need to worrry about cables and wires.

Legality Of Using Listening Devices

13 US states forbid covertly recording conversations, period. They are listed below:

US States Where It Is Illegal To Record Audio Without The Subjects Consent:

  • Michigan
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania
  • Nevada
  • Washington

In every other state in the US it is OK to record audio as long as 1 person involved in the conversation gives permission. If you are using a spy camera with audio, you will obviously give permission since you are the person recording!

Examples Of Listening Devices

Car Remote Keychain Voice Recorder

car remore keychain voice recorder

Perfectly disguised as an everyday item, this stealthy voice recorder can be left without suspicion in any room of the house – front room, kitchen, dining room. No one would every suspect they are secretly being recorded!

These devices are voice activated and also serve as an MP3 player should you want to listen to your favourite tunes whilst you wait for the juicy conversations to occur.

Typical battery life is about 16 hours. Typical range is up to 150 feet.

Detect Ear Extreme Range Listening Device

detect ear extreme range listening device

The ultimate in long range listening devices, this device can listen in up to 900 feet away and has incredibly sensitive audio detection capabilities.

The device cannot hear through walls however and is only suitable in line of sight , outdoors situations where you want to record conversations from a long distance without being detected. It’s all very much like a Jason Bourne movie.

UHF Audio Bug Transmitter And Receiver

wireless transmitter and receiver listening device

This device can record an incredible 1640 feet away and is the longest detection range on this list.

Like most spy listening devices, the battery life is about 16 hours.


We hope you can see there are a range of listening devices available to suit any need or budget, from the cheapest disgused devices, right up to the more sensitive, long range professional listening devices with separate transmitter and receiver.

You must be careful to stick within the law whenever you think about covertly recording conversations, so bear this in mind when you begin your surveillance.

The 3 devices listed here are only an example of what is available. There are loads more to meet any need.

Happy listening!