Has Anyone Had Any Luck With Outdoor Audio Surveillance?

I am looking for recommendations for outdoor microphones that can connect to a line input on an outdoor IP camera. The camera would be viewing an outdoor courtyard area, where many altercations occur, of residential treatment center. I am looking for something that can capture conversations, but compensate for the surrounding noises (wind, trees, etc.)

Brett, how far away do you need to hear? How wide of an area is it? I think dimensions will help giving an answer.

Thanks for the quick reply. The distances would be anywhere between 20ft and 50ft in the various locations around this campus. Target areas would be about 20ft wide.

Background noise would be the greatest challenge. Also, ensuring the audio gain is appropriate for different times of day would be a hurdle to cross. A student walkway on the campus is likely to have a much greater level of background noise during the day than at night. Unless multiple audio profiles are available in the equipment utilized you may be best using professional grade audio equipment versus the inexpensive microphones built into cameras.

I am looking for something that can capture conversations...

Unlike video recording in a public place, audio recordings of conversations of what people could reasonably expect to be private seems tricky. Add to that the fact that because of the venue, a lot of the conversations would likely revolve around personal/medical issues... What are you expecteting to learn from the conversations themselves? Who started the altercation? Only forensic use, or live monitoring?

Great response.

Be careful of the legality of what you propose - jurisdictions vary widely! For example, I know that in Texas, audio recording is okay so far as one party to a conversation knows it is being recorded, while in California both parties must be aware. In your situation, the recording party is not involved AT ALL in the conversation -- that's where very careful review of the laws, required signage, prior permissions, etc come into play. Tread carefully.

This was an old post but now I have a similar application. Any updates in technology since 2014 that would bring new solutions to this? I've heard that the Axis 3003 performs well in outdoor situations. Has anyone tried it? What distance can it be heard?

Meghan, see: Axis Network Horn Tested (C3003-E). Ethan, et al can answer questions on it.


We have used a couple of their items with success.