I am often asked about cameras that have built in microphones. When thinking about it, they seem like an excellent idea and they solve two issues at once. However, if you’re considering cameras with built-in audio or implementing audio period, there are a few things to consider.
Make sure that the DVR that is being used has adequate audio inputs. Microphones require an audio input on the DVR even if the microphone is built into the camera. For example: if you are planning on purchasing 6 cameras that have built in microphones but the 8 channel DVR only has 4 audio inputs, this will present a problem.
Familiarizing yourself with the actual specifications of the DVR is essential and will help to avoid future issues. If you are doing separate audio such as microphones, it is imperative that the placement of the microphones is considered. Very similar to the importance of placement of cameras, the strategic layout for audio will ensure that the audible recordings are clear and useful. When implementing audio, indoor settings are very popular.
Typically, if there is only one camera that is being used to survey an entire room, the most likely place for that camera to be installed would be in a corner of the room looking out into the room. However, if a separate microphone is being used, the most ideal place for that microphone’s placement would be in the center of the room. This will help to gain quality recordings and retrieve as much audible information available in that setting. An omni-directional microphone would be best suited for this type of application. Typically, an omni-directional microphone picks up patterns within 15 feet in all directions.
Being that there are so many things to consider when implementing audio, including the size of the room or area that is to be monitored, many times using separate microphones instead of using cameras that have built in microphones is recommended. When considering implementing audio, regardless of whether it is built in or separate, there are very important legal guidelines to consider and familiarize yourself with. These laws and stipulations vary from state to state and it is imperative that before implementing audio, you check with the specific laws of the state you are operating in.