(Last Updated On: April 1, 2019)

Perhaps, you or your kids are budding Sherlock Holmes or an actual, real-life detective. Either way, long range listening devices let you listen to conversations and observe events from a long distance without alerting your subject.

long range listening devices parabolic

However, as you would probably expect, prices for listening devices vary, much like their ability to cover long distances while amplifying sounds.

In this article, we reviewed the top ten long range listening devices or outdoor listening devices. We hope this list will help you pick out a listening device that will suit your needs.

1.  Best Sound Amplifier: Hausbell Long Range Listening Device

Spotlighting at #1 on this list is the Hausbell listening device – a spy gear that sparks kids’ imagination and lets them feel like an international spy or a highly regarded nature scientist.

Well, maybe not literally. However, the point is that kids will find a lot of fun and excitement from this listening ear.

The microphone of the Hausbell listening device amplifies sounds satisfactory and gives a good enough directionality that lets the user pinpoint where the sound is coming from.

This means that with the Hausbell listening device, you could hear the sound from crickets and the birds very clearly and quite distinctly.Hausbell Long Range Listening Device

Furthermore, the telescope function of the Hausbell listening device also works very well since the user can focus the knob on the eyepiece and images will appear very crisp, bright and clear.

As a bonus, the headphone is designed to fit kids head (maybe a kid of less than 10) perfectly plus the device itself can be used to record short sound clips.

Keep in mind that this device could pick up the surrounding noise.

Say you have kids who are really into spy gears or maybe you are not looking for something extraordinary or practical, the Hausbell listening device travels at just about the range and can return clear sound – the kind expected from a listening ear in its category.

Hausbell Listening Device Pros

  • Made with lightweight materials
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Picks up sounds at a long range
  • Produces clear sounds

Hausbell Listening Device Cons

  • The tendency of interference
  • interference from the user’s environment
  • Short recording time (12 seconds)
  • No playback functions

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2.  Best For Long Distance Hearing: Ex Electronix Express Outdoor Listening Device


Coming in at #2 on this list of the best long range listening devices is the Ex Electronix Express listening device.

The spectrum for listening is incredible as it lets the user hear individual sounds from quite a distance with little to no distortion.

Add that to its viewfinder with 10x prism optical system which lets the user zoom in closely.Ex Electronic Express

That said, some users have experienced difficulty using the volume control. Surrounding noise could sometimes interfere or overpower audio sound, or the device could be static altogether, which is why it’s not advisable to use this in a potentially loud location. These experiences, however, vary from persons to persons.

Also, the dome of the Ex Electronix Express listening device is a flimsy plastic so be careful not to break it.

Also, because users can hear things loud and clear from a very long distance, The Ex Electronix Express listening device works exceptionally well for bird watching and ghost hunting.

Ex Electronic Express Pros

  • Powerful ears and eyes to capture distant sounds
  • Easy to use
  • Long recording time (up to 120 seconds)
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable Headphones
  • Very directional and sensitive
  • Clear recordings of different sounds

Ex Electronic Express Cons

  • Tends to catch surrounding noise, and on a few occasions it could be static
  • Static control button could be hard to turn
  • Extra care is needed with the plastic dome

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3.  Best For Playback: Sumas SMH-3010 Bionic Ear Long Range Listening Device

Picking at #3 is the Sumas SMH-3010 bionic ear outdoor listening device which supports listening/observation up to a decent range plus the amplified sound is pretty clear.

As a plus over the Hausbell and the Ex Electronix listening devices, the Sumas SMH-3010 has a playback feature.

What’s more?Suma SH Bionic Listening Device

The Ex Electronix called it viewfinder, but Sumas called it scope. Either way, the scope of the Sumas SMH-3010 is an optical system that gives users an 8x closer look at far away subjects.

Also, worth mentioning is the fact that the use of an external recorder is possible with the Sumas SMH-3010 bionic ear listening device.

Which means whether you want to listen to the birds sing or want to collect the conversation of that neighbor of yours for Police evidence, the Sumas SMH-3010 bionic ear listening device will come in handy for this purpose.

Sumas SMH-3010 Bionic Ear Pros

  • Removable parabolic dish for the convenience of storage and transportation
  • An impressive range
  • Adjustable volume
  • Long recording time (up to 120 seconds)
  • Has a playback function
  • Reduces/minimizes background noise
  • Comfortable, high-quality headphones

Sumas SMH-3010 Bionic Ear Cons

●       Possible noise penetration/interference from the surrounding environment

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4.    Best Sound Isolator: Bionic Ear and Booster Set

Kicking strong at #4 on our list of best long range listening devices is the Bionic ear and booster set.

While the mic of the Bionic ear and booster set works quite well as a stand-alone, the dish helps with isoBionic Ear and Booster Headsetlation and amplification of sounds.

Additionally, the Bionic ear and booster set plays right into a recorder or a phone and still feeds to the headphones, which is a cool feature.

Although difficult to use in an urban setting, and made with less than perfect material, it still does the job. You should not expect to hear super clear conversations, but this device remains quite useful for detection purposes.

Overall a very good piece of equipment which can be used to record bird calls out in the wilderness, or to pinpoint where a single cricket or frog is calling from out of a chorus.

Bionic Ear and Booster Set Pros

  • Impressive range
  • Very sensitive and directional
  • Great at isolating and amplifying sounds
  • Good sound
  • Can accurately pinpoint the direction of a sound

Bionic Ear and Booster Set Cons

●        Possible noise penetration/interference from the surrounding environment

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5.  Best For Enhanced Hearing: CampCo UZI UZI-OD-1 Observation Outdoor Listening Device

Balling at number #5 is the CampCo UZI UZI-OD-1 observation listening device.

Similar to other items that have been previously reviewed, the CampCo travels far (around 25 feet or more) and reflects the quality and clear sounds.

It also makes use of an 8x optical system like the Sumas SMH-3010 bionic ear listening device and a parabolic sound collecting dish for enhanced hearing.Campco UDI OZI

The good thing about the CampCo listening device is that frequency response is very good for other than voice range such as if you want to listen to birds chirping, or crickets chirping or motors running.

It is reasonably directional enough to help isolate from or link sound to a source.

Adjusting tone helps immensely too since the user gets better sounds of different types (wildlife, humans, nature sounds, etc.).

Recording capability is a handy bonus feature.

You can think of the CampCo listening device as a good intermediate parabolic listener.

For someone who is looking for a little-above-a-basic dish for hearing further away, this is so much more. It works perfectly for domestic spying.

CampCo UZI UZI-OD-1 Observation Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Clear, audible reception
  • Quality headphones
  • Adjustable tones for incredible sounds

CampCo UZI UZI-OD-1 Observation Cons

  • Voice range frequency feedback is good but could be weak for listening to conversations.

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6.  Best For Outdoor: Sound Shark Long Range Microphone – Premium Kit

Standing tall at #6 is the Sound Shark Long Range Microphone. And yes, there are two models of the Sound Shark parabolic microphones. This model, in particular, comes with a lavaliere microphone while the other model does not.

Meaning if you already own a lavaliere microphone, you don’t have to get this premium model as you will save money this way. Just get the without-the-mic model, mount your mic inside the Sound Shark, and plug it into your camera.Sound Shark Long Range Microphone

Further, when you are trying to compare the Sound Shark with other long range listening devices, one standout distinction is that it is an outdoor long range listening device.

The Sound Shark covers distance well, in addition to cutting out all surrounding interference – most notably wind – without diminishing the sound quality or clarity.

It features a 9-inch dish and a 16-inch collector, which can collect sound up to at least 30 feet away.

An incredible audio capturing device, the Sound Shark is perfect for independent filmmakers, hybrid photographers, videographers, or anybody that wants great sound from a distance. If you are looking for a durable mic in the field, this is going to be money well spent.

Sound Shark Long Range Microphone – Premium Kit Pros

  • Strong, sturdy, rugged and durable
  • Picks sound at an outstanding range
  • Works well with an external recorder
  • Pick up pattern is more focused
  • Very easy to set up
  • Very easy to use even by people who may not have prior experience with audio capturing devices
  • Cuts out the wind, reduce voices and other distractions from the sides and behind the user
  • Long useful life (20 hours or more)

Sound Shark Long Range Microphone – Premium Kit Cons

  • No cons. The user experience is 10/10 as of the time of writing this.

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7.  Best Low Noise Amplifier: Amplified Mono-Stereo Parabolic Microphone

Talking tough at #7 is the Amplified mono-stereo parabolic microphone. This long range listening device is a thoughtful improvement over the items listed #1 to #5 because, for one, this listening ear has advanced features (low noise amplifier) to help keep noise at its lowest so that the user can capture clear, uninterrupted audio sounds while improving the way sounds are recorded.

Another unique feature of the Amplified mono-stereo parabolic microphone is its in-built mixer that allows three microphone channels to be mixed into two signals.

What’s more?

Amplified mono-stereo parabolic microphone, with its 3.5mm line-level output and hand-held recorders, can improve the recorder’s signal to noise ratio, thereby resulting in better sound quality and synchronizatiMono Stereo Parabolic Microphoneon.

Regardless, the Amplified mono-stereo parabolic microphone has found its use in nature recording, sports broadcasting, law enforcement, videography, surveillance, etc.

Needless to say, if you are a professional in any of those fields who want to achieve professional grade results, the Amplified mono-stereo parabolic microphone is a good investment.

Amplified Mono-Stereo Parabolic Microphone Pros

  • Increased audio gain
  • Broadened frequency response
  • Reduced mic self-noise
  • Improved isolation of the subject
  • Minimized handling noise

Amplified Mono-Stereo Parabolic Microphone Cons

  • The cone feels weak to the touch

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8.  Best For Tape Recording: Detect Ear Professional Listening Device

Sitting comfortably at #8 is the Detect Ear professional long range listening device.

Detect Ear Listening Device mounts on a tripod (not included) as does other devices on our list plus the manufacturer claims it has a range of about 900 feet.Detect Ear Microphone

Early feedback about this item has however proven the 900 feet claim not to be entirely accurate.

The Detect Ear has a 20-inch plastic dish, three band equalizers, an output jack for tape recording, and an input jack for communication.

Detect Ear Professional Listening Device Pros

  • Amplifies sound really well
  • Picks up sounds at a long range
  • Quick detection of sounds

Detect Ear Professional Listening Device Cons

  • The plastic segment is pretty flimsy

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9.  Best For Long Range Listening: CozyHomelover Portable Parabolic Microphone

Our #9 listening device is the CozyHomelover portable parabolic microphone.

The CozyHomelover’s viewing optics lets users view subjects 8x closer and has a telescopic pole which makes it ideal for bird watching and game hunting.

The manufacturers put the range at a maximum of 300 feet. That’s not exactly true, but with its relatively high sensitivity and focused sound pattern, it should support an okay range.Cozy Homelover Parabolic Microphone

The CozyHomelover portable parabolic microphone also features a sound recording system and a playback function which supports 12/30 second snippets

The best use cases of CozyHomelover portable parabolic microphone will be at a concert or in a seminar when you’re too far away from the stage.

CozyHomelover Portable Parabolic Microphone Pros

  • Comfortable full-size headphones for reducing surrounding noise
  • Lightweight, top quality headphones
  • Relatively high sensitivity and range

CozyHomelover Portable Parabolic Microphone Pros

  • Possible noise penetration
  • An internal recorder cannot be saved for later download; it records over itself

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10. Best For Kids: Hey!Play! Kids Hearing Dish Electronic Long Range Listening Device

Appearing at #10 is the Hey! Play! kids hearing dish electronic listening device.

The Hey Play kids hearing dish electronic listening device is yet another audio device in the category of items reviewed in #1 to #5 on this list.

It features headphones, volume control, an indicator light, a viewfinder hole, a sound collecting dish, and a microphone–all features of a beginner listening ear, and one that might be most suitable for domestic/indoor listening purposes.

The target group is quite apparent except for the range and effectiveness of the Hey! Play! kids hearing dish electronic listening device at managing sound and noise.

The manufacturers say it has a range of 200 feet tops, a claim which may or may not be true given the little feedback for this item.

However, this is a beginner spy gear, the kind you will want to get for your fun, nature-loving 6-year-old child.

Hey!Play! Kids Hearing Dish Electronic Listening Device Pros

  • Simple to set up
  • Easy to use
  • Supports sound up to a decent range
  • Great for sound experiments
  • Budget-friendly

Hey!Play! Kids Hearing Dish Electronic Listening Device Cons

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Overall, the long range listening device which managed to stand out to us was the Sound Shark long range microphone.

Thanks to its ability to cancel out interference and keep noise as low as possible, and ability to pick up audio at an astonishing long range while maintaining a focused pattern, choosing the Sound Shark long range listening device as our favorite pick wasn’t a difficult decision.

At the end of the day, you still want to buy the best you can afford and will give you value for your money.

Keep in mind that “long range” is relative. Parabolic microphones also can’t blast through walls or thick objects. They are dependent on having direct line-of-sight access to the sound source. Additionally, most listening devices use a 9-volt battery (Detect ear uses two AAA batteries) but don’t come with any. Be sure to check with the seller to know what accessories (if any) are inclusive with your purchase.

If you feel that we left out some other great long range listening devices, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comment section.

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