WHERE TO HIDE A VOICE-ACTIVATED RECORDER IN A CAR
Voice-activated spy recorders are small, discrete pieces of equipment that are great tools to record audio without the speakers being aware that you are doing so.
Voice-activated recorders are triggered to start recording when a sound, such as when a person begins talking or when a car door slams, occurs around it.
Individuals often use a voice recording device when they have suspicions about another individual and want to learn more about their activities. Listening in on conversations and collecting audio surveillance for later usage is often a great way to see what they're up to.
See Related: Our Top Hidden Voice Recorders
But a good quality spy voice recorder won't just pick up conversations between two people sitting in a vehicle. It can also record phone conversations that are taking place in the car if your target is using their phone on speaker mode.
Plus, since voice recorders can pick up sound from a reasonable distance away, you may even be able to record sounds nearby the vehicle.
In the following article, you'll gain insights on how to place covert recording devices in cars, trucks, vans, and other vehicles to capture whatever it is you need to hear!
THE BEST HIDING PLACES IN A CAR
When choosing a spot to hide a voice recorder, there are two main factors you'll want to consider.
First, you'll want to pick a spot where your target cannot easily see the recorder. And, fortunately, a vehicle offers many great hiding places to choose.
Second, you need to find a spot where other noises won't interfere with the clarity of the audio. Therefore, never place your hidden recording devices near a speaker or window. Recording from these locations will likely cause them to pick up excessive background noise that can distort and ruin the conversations you are trying to hear.
See Related: How To Tell If Your House Is Bugged
HIDING PLACE #1 - UNDER THE SEAT
An ideal spot to hide a recording device is under one of the seats in the car. You can choose the driver seat, the passenger seat, or one of the back seats. After all, the only time people usually look under their car seats is when they've dropped something or when they're cleaning. Something like this Voice Recorder Spy Pen with 31 Hour Battery shouldn't raise suspicion during a clean, though!
Since most voice-activated recorders have an excellent range for picking up audio, you don't necessarily need it placed under the seat of the person you want to record.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that many seats have levers under them to adjust the position of the front seat. Place the recorder far enough away from this lever so that a person doesn't accidentally touch it when adjusting their seat.
You should also avoid placing your recording device on the tracks or near any other moving part. A sudden crunching sound or a jammed seat adjuster may cause your device to be found!
HIDING PLACE #2 - INSIDE THE SEAT POCKET
Both the driver and passenger seats often have pockets at the back for holding magazines and other items. These spots are two other great options for hiding spots, especially if there aren't usually any passengers in the back seat.
You can easily conceal a recording device here, which will keep it within earshot from your targets! Our World's Thinnest Micro Voice Recorder Voice Activated wouldn't even show a bulge!
HIDING PLACE #3 - IN THE BACK SEAT CONSOLE
The console in the back seat is yet another great spot to hide a voice-activated recorder. Not a great choice if there are often children or passengers in the back, but if the back seat is not often used, it's unlikely to be discovered if placed here.
Back seat consoles typically fold up and down in the middle of the seats. Whether in cracks or underneath the seat, you should be able to find a spot to discreetly attach a small voice-activated recorder, such as our World's Smallest Micro Voice Recorder 90 Hours of Storage.
HIDING PLACE #4 - ABOVE THE PEDALS
You can easily hide recording devices in the area above the pedals in front of the driver's seat. This area is not easily seen while seated in the vehicle, and people do not typically reach down in this area for any reason whatsoever.
Ensure that you securely attach the voice-activated recorder if you choose this spot. You don't want the device falling out and being found! Ensure it stays put with the SCOSCHE MagicMount Surface 2 or use strong tape to adhere to the recorder. Just make sure that it doesn't interfere with the microphone, which can impede the overall audio quality of your recording.
BEST HIDDEN SPY VOICE RECORDER FOR A CAR
Let's take a look at two excellent spy voice recorder units that are perfect for a bit of vehicular surveillance!
Fortunately, many mini spy recorders are designed to look like a cell phone, USB flash drive, car remote, or other small electronic devices. These disguises make them perfect for hiding in plain sight!
Some essential features to prioritize are voice-activated recording and long battery life. Both are must-have options for capturing the perfect moment without detection.
The LawMate Car Key Fob Recorder is an excellent choice when shopping for sound-activated spy recorders or audio recording devices. This secret voice recorder is small, discrete, and designed to look just like a key fob.
Plus, the LawMate Key FOB is lightweight and doesn't have any lights to draw attention to it. Weighing only 2 ounces and measuring 3 inches in length, these mini voice recorders are super easy to conceal, and they can record audio up to 40 feet away from the source.
This device takes only 2 hours to charge fully and has an excellent battery life! It provides up to 10 hours of continuous recording or roughly 50 hours of voice-activated recording. To top it all off, it comes with a 2 GB memory that offers you up to 35-hours of storage capacity for your audio evidence.
This recorder is straightforward to use, and you can easily switch from voice activation to continuous recording. Simply press one button to turn on the recorder and another button to stop. The recorder will gently vibrate to let you know it's working.
A time and date stamp feature is also available with this recorder that allows you to know precisely when conversations and audio events took place. Audio is recorded in MP3 format, which provides excellent sound quality and is compatible with both PCs and Macs.
A USB cable is included to transfer your audio recordings from your mini spy recorders to your computer. It also comes with headphones, which lets you listen to your audio directly from the device itself.
The Lawmate Key Fob Voice Recorder is sold for $99.99 and comes with a 1-year manufacturer's warranty.
This audio recorder is one of the best listening devices and audio recorders we offer, ideal for those covert surveillance missions where you need 100+ hours of recording time.
Some of the best features this device offers are its large memory capacity and the ability to double as a fully functional portable charger for your phone or other USB devices. It also has continuous recording capabilities with a super long battery life, which can last for 336 hours - an astonishing two whole weeks!
When put in voice-activation mode, this device's battery life should last for as long as 150 days without any sound to trigger it. It has 16 GB memory and can store 576 hours of audio in HQ or 288 hours in XHQ quality formats.
The USB Power Bank Recorder can capture audio up to 40 feet away with minimal background noise. If your goal is to place the voice recorder in a car to collect evidence, you'll be covered.
Another handy feature is that it comes with a detachable magnet that allows you to fasten the recorder to any metal surface. Placing the unit above the pedals or on the runners of a seat would be perfect.
Once you've collected your evidence and are finished recording voices, you can then download your recorded files to either a PC or Mac.
FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN A GOOD VOICE RECORDER FOR CARS
When it comes to choosing a voice recorder, there are many factors that you'll need to consider when shopping for the best product.
Long battery life, standby mode, and storage capabilities are most important for some. For others, the disguise of the physical design is essential. Still, some will rely on recorders having a headphone jack if they do not have a computer. You may need to consider many factors for using a voice recorder in a car.
Also, don't forget to consider your reasons for using a voice recorder in a car, which will help you choose the proper audio recorders for the job!
BATTERY LIFE - HOW LONG DOES YOUR VOICE RECORDER NEED TO LAST?
Voice-activated recorders differ in how long they will record and how long the battery will last. Therefore, you'll want to think about what kind of battery life your device will need.
For instance, maybe you need to record for several days at a time, waiting for an audio event to take place, or you may need just a few minutes of recording time.
Not all recorders have voice activation. You will need to start and stop the recording manually with some recorders. A recorder activated by voice automatically starts recording when it detects sound and stops when things go silent.
This feature doesn't automatically increase the battery life. The Pro USB Flash Drive Audio Recorder Voice Activated can go into sleep mode for up to 25 days without any noise to trigger it. However, the Voice Activated Sleek Audio Pen with 16 Hour Battery would not extend the battery life when set to sound activation.
So, for anyone hoping to hide a device in a car seat and wait for their moment, a device with standby voice activation is vital! But if you know precisely when you'll need to capture your evidence, a manual or active recording device may suit you just fine.
Different recorders have various internal memory capacities, which means they all offer varying recording times. Consider how much time you intend to record and how often you'll have the opportunity to transfer files to your computer.
If you do not have frequent access to the recording device, you will need a device with a more significant amount of storage space. Our USB Power Bank audio recorder has options to record continuously for 336 hours or last in standby mode for up to 150 days! It can store up to 576 hours of voice recordings on its 16GB memory.
Some voice-activated recorders will include a date and time stamp feature, which lets you know precisely when your recordings took place. If you need to know when specific conversations took place, make sure to choose a voice recorder with this feature. Some devices have time stamp programs that work only on Windows computers, but the World's Thinnest Micro Voice Recorder Voice Activated uses a text document to do it, which works with Mac's.
Date and time stamping are super handy if you're recording conversations as evidence that you will use in court. Divorce or custody proceedings are just a couple of instances where you would need this type of precise information about when a discussion occurred.
Suppose you intend to use audio recorders without the target being aware. In that case, the appearance of your voice-activated recording device is another crucial factor to consider. You'll want to look for a device that looks as inconspicuous as possible.
Thankfully, many spy gadgets are designed to look like something else. They've been hidden inside devices such as watches, USB's, and more, allowing you to capture the info you need without anybody else knowing!
Voice-activated recorders typically record files in MP3 format, which you can quickly transfer to your computer or device. An MP3 format is also an excellent option for saving space on your device since it's a compressed file designed to maintain the superior audio quality of your recordings.
Another common audio format is WAV (Waveform Audio), used by the Multi-Functional Digital Voice Recorder Watch with Bluetooth. You can use both MP3 and WAV files on Macs and Windows PCs.
If you need to record audio inside a vehicle, you won't worry about the recording range. But if you're hoping to catch a conversation from a distance, consider how close you'll be able to place your recorder to the person or people being recorded.
Almost any recorder will accurately pick up voices or sounds if it's close. However, suppose you'll need to place your device a bit further away from your targets. In that case, you'll want a device that has features such as a high-sensitivity microphone.
Many voice-activated recorders can pick up voices at a distance of 30-40 feet. Keep in mind, though; the audio quality will diminish the further away you get. Some devices have time stamp programs that also adjust microphone sensitivity, as does this Mini Micro Stick Voice Activated Recorder.
ALTERNATIVE: GPS TRACKER
Your investigation may have you considering a GPS tracker as an alternative or in addition to a voice-activated recorder. As personal safety devices, the obvious benefit of a GPS tracker is that it allows you to monitor location rather than relying on where they say they've been! Devices such as the GL Miniature GPS Tracker allow reporters out in the field to update their position via a push of a button. Much of the time, the battery will also last longer, such as with this Smartbox Lite GPS Tracker Kit that can get nearly 4 to 5 months of use on a single charge!
FAQs AND RELATED QUESTIONS - SPY CAMERAS AND AUDIO RECORDERS
Now that we've gone over some of the essential features to consider let's review a few other related questions.
HOW DOES A VOICE ACTIVATED RECORDING DEVICE WORK?
Voice-activated recorders are triggered when they detect sound waves in the air, often produced by someone speaking. These sound waves automatically alert the recorder to start recording.
When an individual stops speaking or making noise, the device shuts off automatically, which will sometimes help conserve the battery. The recorder then stores the voice recordings via external or internal memory for later review.
HOW FAR AWAY FROM THE SOURCE CAN AN ACTIVATED VOICE RECORDER WORK?
Different models of voice recorders will all have varying distances at which they'll still capture audio. Many device models can detect sound as far as 30-40 feet away from its source in ideal conditions with minimal noise.
Generally, the closer the recorder is to the speaker, the more precise the audio.
SO, WHERE SHOULD AN AUDIO RECORDER BE HIDDEN IN A CAR?
The answer: just about anywhere you can! The great thing about audio recording devices that look like something else is that they look like something else! Most often, the most significant consideration you'll have is how to place it without covering up the microphone or how much road noise will affect your recording quality.