What are the Different Types of Eavesdropping Devices?

Autumn Rivers

Some people have a need for listening to the conversations of others, or perhaps recording their own chat with someone else for later use. For these occasions, there are a few types of eavesdropping devices available. One of the most common kinds is the audio transmitter, which can be hidden in objects or even on the body. A phone tap is another popular way to record conversations, and cannot usually be detected by others. Finally, audio amplifiers allow people to overhear conversations taking place nearby, such in a locked room.

A phone tap may be used on a land line.
A phone tap may be used on a land line.

One of the most popular types of eavesdropping devices is an audio transmitter. Some people choose to wear this item, such as under clothing, or on their ear, while others prefer to hide it in a room. This is because it is typically small enough to hide nearly anywhere, whether in a plant or behind books on a shelf. Of course, there are also items that are specially made to house audio transmitters so that they are unlikely to be found. For example, it is often possible to find phones, clocks, or pens that either come with an audio transmitter, or have enough space for one to be added.

Hidden listening devices may be used to record someone sharing secret information.
Hidden listening devices may be used to record someone sharing secret information.

On the other hand, some eavesdropping devices specialize in recording both sides of a phone conversation. This type of bug is called a phone tap, as it typically taps into the phone line. It can usually be used on both land lines and cell phones, and can sometimes even pinpoint where the participants in the conversation are located. While most law enforcement agencies go straight to the phone company to request a tap, most phone eavesdropping devices used by the public must be plugged into the line itself.

In some cases, the best eavesdropping devices for the situation are those that require the curious party to be nearby while the conversation takes place. Audio amplifiers are typically able to enhance the sound enough that it can be heard through a wall, which may be useful for listening in to a meeting in a locked room. These eavesdropping devices can also usually amplify the sound so much that the conversation can be picked up over a short distance, such as from the other side of a street. Before employing any kind of eavesdropping devices, however, it is essential to know the local laws on their use, as they are more strictly regulated in some areas than others.

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