Which external cameras have audio...?
  • Which external cameras have built-in audio recording ability...? I'm looking for the quality of a NestCam in terms of video and audio.

    Thanks,

    Robert
  • Hi Robert,

    Not many external cameras have built-in microphones (due to the waterproof nature of the housings), but a few do - see our list of compatible cameras to find them.

    More common with external cameras is audio-input ports, so that you can connect a separate (powered) microphone, so this is another option.
  • I guess I'm spoiled by the on-board mic of the NestCam, I guess they figured out a way to make the mic and speaker weather-proof. When trying to be inconspicuous, I figure having audio on the camera would be best. However, with a separate mic, I guess you can get a high-quality model and that it could be placed in an optimum location. Do you have some external mic recommendations? Prefer active or passive?

    Thanks,

    Robert
  • Hi Robert,

    You'll need a powered mic that outputs a line-level signal. There are many that are designed for CCTV purposes, that accept a 12v input (so can be powered from the same source as the camera). With PoE cameras, you'll either have to run separate power for the mic, or make sure to find a camera that outputs 12v to power the mic (e.g. some Sunba cameras have this feature).

    Where possible, it's easier to use cameras with built-in microphones.
  • @robertbroussard: I've used the Nest cameras and love the audio recording so it was a requirement when I went to scale up my home security system. I'd recommend the turret cameras from Dahua. They're well supported in SecuritySpy and comes in many varieties.

    I have several 3MP and 4MP cameras that I've got from various sources. I've got the Dahua IPC-HDW4431C-A from Amazon for sub $100 many times and had good luck. Buyer Beware: Amazon isn't a supported reseller by Dahua so if anything goes wrong you're out of luck (you could end up with a Chinese firmware or an underperforming camera). If you want something officially supported, I'd recommend a similar Dahua from B&H Photo (search DH-IPC-HDW44A1EN). They run around $185.

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