The 9 Best Spy Listeners
This wiki has been updated 7 times since it was first published in March of 2020. Spy listeners can be used by children and adults, amateurs and professionals alike, wherever local laws allow them. Whether you wish to play at secret agent, amplify the sounds of nature, such as bird calls, or use one for more clandestine activities, there are models to suit all requirements. We have ranked the best according to their range, sensitivity, accessories, and recording ability. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 14, 2021:
By the time we were finished sorting through our existing choices, re-sourcing vendors for several existing picks and finding a few new items to add to our list, it wound up being quite a busy round of updates. In the end, most of our former selections made it through, but we did eliminate the SpyX Micro Super Ear and Spy Gear Satellite Listener due to a combination of availability questions and quality concerns.
We also bumped the Suqua Contact Amplifier to the bottom of our list, recognizing that although it does lend itself to applications that our other picks do not – specifically, listening through walls and doors – it also doesn’t offer any abilities as a recording device, which we viewed as a major negativism.
Among our new picks, the Toobom V82 and Sstwunake M6 – which present as a simple pen and necklace – stood out as models that look particularly well disguised, but the Youhe Mini Voice Recorder offered the most impressive utility, with a diehard battery that can standby for up to a year and record continuously for 15 days.
The AttoDigital LightRec, which looks like a common lighter, is another lowkey option that made its way onto this roster today, but I can’t help but feeling that it’s a bit less practical, as it can’t actually function as a lighter, which could feasibly wind up seeing your secret mission foiled part way, if somebody asks to borrow it while it’s lying on the table. By contrast, the Toobom V82 actually works as a pen.
I probably should have led with this, but I suppose that now’s as good a time as any to remind you that we in no way condone the use of any of these devices for illegal or otherwise malicious applications. Before you proceed with your intended use for this purchase, make sure that it’s well within your legal and moral rights to do so. For more slick gadgetry aimed at clandestine operatives, check out our lists of spy glasses, camera pens and spy kits for kids.
April 03, 2020:
The Spy listeners ranked here fall into two categories: Those used for fun, and those used for serious endeavors. The Hausbell Listening Device might fall into both categories, but is more suited to casual pursuits, such as bird watching.
On the fun end of the scale, models like the Satellite Listener and the Micro Super Ear encourage children to expand their imaginary skills through role-play, and are welcome additions to any toybox. However, when using amplification devices, care must be taken not to damage the child’s ears, especially when they are playing around household appliances and other potentially noisy environments. For this reason, the SpyX Micro Listener includes a limiter to reduce the output volume at dangerous noise levels.
Other devices, such as the Mini Voice Recorder and the Small Digital Audio Recorder are more adult-oriented. These feature magnets to secure them in place under metal objects, and voice activation technology, as well as extra-long battery life and large recording capacities. The intention here is to leave them in a room while an unsuspecting person's voice activates the recorder. The “spy” can then monitor the results later on, having transferred the audio files to a phone or laptop computer.
Lornet Elvira Bug Detectors It's all fun and games until you're the one worried about whether there's a hidden microphone capturing the things you say. This company offers a variety of machines that can help you search for unwanted monitoring devices that might be listening in. lornet-elvira.com
SpyGuy This website offers a variety of clandestine surveillance solutions, as well as bug detectors to help bolster your counter-surveillance operations. They even stock GPS trackers, in case you need to keep tabs on a mark that's on the move. spyguy.com