How to Find a Listening Device

By Elyse Twist

Listening devices, which usually consist of a miniature radio transmitter with a microphone, are small, compact and difficult to detect. Used lawfully—with a warrant—by police and intelligence agencies to surreptitiously listen to and record conversations as part of investigations, they may also be used in such a way as to result in unlawful invasion of privacy. A few steps may help you detect the presence of such a device.

Things You'll Need

  • flashlight

Step 1

Search the room where you believe the listening device has been hidden. Be detailed in your search and look in every nook and cranny. Check around paintings, mirrors, plants, stuffed animals, smoke detectors, lamps, books and picture frames.

Step 2

Check for wires. If you find a cord that is not plugged into any of the outlets in the room it may be attached to a microphone. Wireless devices, however, are common.

Step 3

Turn off all known sources of noise, such as a computer or a fan. Listen for static, clicks or other electronic noises.

Step 4

Turn off all the lights in the room and look for a red or green light. Some devices have a power light that lets the user know they are recording.

Step 5

If there is a telephone in the room you are searching, disconnect it and take it apart. Check around the phone as well; listening devices may be hidden in an object near a phone.

Step 6

Purchase a listening device detector. Available products range in price from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.