Ambient Voice Recording — the Room Bug
Ambient Voice Recording, Surround Record, Room Bug: listen and record the surroundings of the target phone; hear what is happening around the phone. The ability to listen to the phone’s surroundings has been removed by apps that are based in the US due to a number of legal decisions, but mostly due to the StealthGenie decision.
Here is an example recording obtained using the ROOM BUG:
< Room Bug Example >
To use Ambient Voice Recording or “Recording the Surroundings” feature, the target phone …
1. MUST be connected to the internet (and a fast internet). In my experimentation, I have not been successful when attempting to use the room monitor when the target was on data internet. However, when connected to a WIFI, it worked great.
BUT REMEMBER, I was not able to get this and many other features to work when not installed on a BRAND NAME, high-end phone. NOT every phone is compatible.
2. Recording will be stopped for incoming or outgoing calls. If your target chooses to make a telephone call, or a telephone call is received while recording is on, the recording will be stopped immediately.
Who offers Ambient Voice Recordings?
TheTruthSpy/Ispyoo and all of its white-label re-sellers, such as exactspy, inospy, guestspy and mxspy. These all run on the same software, provided by ispyoo. Ambient room monitoring and recording is offered on their GOLD package, available for $126-$149USD per year, depending on which of their providers you purchase from.
Ambient Recordings can be for up to 20 minutes at a time. I have noticed a bug in the software however, as the listing in the control panel and the actual recording time do not match.
The above two entries are for the SAME recording that was created. The control panel shows the recording was for 12:13; however, when playing the audio, it is actually the full 2o minutes allowed by the software. This bug doesn’t affect use, but it confuses users into thinking that TTS isn’t recording the correct amount of time — when in fact, it is!
This is an example of my full control panel …
Begin at the bottom, listen to the audio. When finished, place a check in the audio you are finished with and press delete.
A REMINDER: Yes, its true. I have had lots of trouble with TheTruthSpy/Ispyoo. But it “improved” once I switched to brand name phones. But for $150 for THREE phones, with audio recording, it is a deal hard to beat — WHEN IT WORKS!
For the phone I am most worried about monitoring right now, I am using Flexispy. But once I change that phone to a Samsung, I will have to re-evaluation whether to keep flexispy or add the new phone to my TTS account.
CLARIFICATION!! After I wrote this I realized that I did not clarify that TheTruthSpy does NOT allow you to monitor the ambient surroundings in real-time. You must click on “record”, and then you can listen to the recordings.
Unfortunately I have to make ANOTHER clarification. TheTruthSpy lists the “auto-answer” feature as “REAL-TIME” room bug.
According to TheTruthSpy:
This wonderful feature help you turn your phone into a perfect bugging device. How it works?
The disadvantages are all the calls (spy calls) will be shown in the billing and you must pay costs to make calls. You can try to use function “Ambient Record“. It is new function since year 2013. It records all sound surrounding and you can listen lively (delay 3 to 4 seconds only) and especial after a live listening, you can have a audio file (to use as as prove for example). [NO AUDIO FILE RECORDED WHEN USING LIVE CALL].
To turn a phone into a bugging device, first you need to turn on Auto Answer feature and set a monitor number. Monitor number is the phone number you will use to make a spy call to target iDevice (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch – the phone which installed the application) and the target phone will automatic receive the call from this monitor number without the phone user awareness and you can hear all the sound and know everything happens surrounding the target phone. Only monitor number can make a spy call to target phone. There will be no record of this call in Call History of the target phone so there is no trace left.
When you call from your monitor phone to the target device your call will be auto-answered and you will be able to listen the device surroundings. Please note that this feature will work if the device is locked, if the device is in use (unlocked) your call will be rejected
I will try to test this before I return the phone, but the girls have a habit of changing to another messenger program, and in my experience, SMS’ are then received and shown.
I did try to call this phone and activate the “room bug”. EACH TIME, the phone answered the call. I changed the way my phone number was listed in the “monitor phone” setting, adding the country code, removing the code, adding the leading required zero, removing the zero, EVERYTHING … and never did the phone answer in “auto-answer” or “room bug” mode.
Ambient recording works ok on the Samsung S4, as long as it is on WIFI. On the new Samsung Tab 4, I have had problems with ambient recording. Sometimes it works on the first push of the record button, other times I had to stop and restart the recording 3 or 4 times to get it to begin recording.
TTS states that it will start recording in “3-4 seconds” after pushing the record button. I have found that allowing 20-30 seconds provides a better chance at getting a recording to work.
TIP: If you are trying to monitor a phone for more than 20 minutes, but you don’t want to sit at the computer, use your mobile phone. Because TTS doesn’t have any programmed recording settings, log-in using your mobile phone and the browser. Go to the “Ambient Voice Recording” page. Click Start. Make a mental note of the time.
Then click on your power button to put your screen in sleep mode. About 10 minutes from your start time, turn on your screen, which after entering any passwords should return you directly to the browser and the page you want.
If TTS is still recording, the page should not refresh. It should stay on the “recording” spinning icon.
If it has stopped recording, either due to the time out or the target has used their phone for calls (which automatically stops TTS), the page will refresh and you will know immediately that the recording has stopped.
If you are interested in continuing to record, press the start again and wait for the screen to refresh to the “recording” spinning icon.
You won’t be able to catch “every minute” with this method, but you will obtain a fair amount of audio for you to check later.
Flexispy offers it on the EXTREME package at $349USD/year. But I need to say some good things about Flexispy’s package. I am using the PREMIUM package, that does not include the recording features, because the phone I installed it on was not compatible.
When I found the help guide from Flexispy, I was shocked to see that Flexispy offers SCHEDULED AMBIENT RECORDING! No other spy app offers the ability to schedule when to activate the room monitor!
In other words, husband leaves home at 8:00am. Wife doesn’t leave until 9:30am. Husband sets room monitor to activate every day from 8-9:30am! (Technically, the system will only record for 60 minutes at a time, so husband would need to set TWO schedules, one from 8-9:00am and one from 9-9:30am to cover this entire period).
[Flexispy records either 30 or 60 minutes at a time; depending on which web page you believe. I can’t test it to find out].
Of course, that does not prevent you from pushing the RECORD button and making an immediate recording of the room surroundings, which is the same way TheTruthSpy/Ispyoo works.
CLARIFICATION!!: Although the Flexispy information details how to “record” and “schedule a recording” of ambient surroundings, I found (possibly outdated) information indicating that with SMS commands, you can listen to the ambient surroundings in real time.
[You MUST test sending SMS commands to the target phone before surrendering the phone! In my experience, the target phone DISPLAYS your sms command, which defeats the purpose of secrecy].
1mobilespy: Updated 10-24-15: When I initially wrote this, I had not had the chance to test “1mobilespy” yet ($39.99/year). Then, when I was able to test, the audio recording didn’t work. But a few days later and another phone reboot, and new features began working — including ambient recording / room bug feature. It allows you to capture from 1-10 minutes of sound from the phone’s micrphone. The quality was good.
TiSpy supposedly offers it on the $70USD/year package, but there is no independent confirmation that they still actually provide the service.
MSPY does *NOT* offer recording features! Regardless of what the signup pages say, mspy does not offer these features. As of January 2015, all recording features were removed, effectively neutering a strong contender.
Spyera show it still available on their $389USD/year package. Ownspy, which is supposedly what powers Spyera, also offers it on their $226USD/year package!
MobiStealth does *NOT* offer recording features any longer, regardless of the sales data you find online.
MaxxSpy shows that they still offer the recording features on their $119USD/year package, but we offer no confirmation. This software looks 95% like Ispyoo with a slightly different packaging. The demo displays pages just like Ispyoo.
SpyMasterPro does *NOT* offer recording features although some of their ad pages show it as a feature.