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From the early days of James Bond and Get Smart through to blockbuster movies and TV series, the spy listening device bug has been a fascination to many. Today there are many companies offering what they say are "high quality FM bugs" - though many either don't perform, or if they do, are no better that back in the "Cold War" spy gear when it was Russian spy bugs versus America government spy bugs in the race for technology superiority.

Here we beleive the only way to get your own super sensitive spy bug is to build your own. Yes, there are many FM transmitter style tiny spy bugs available for sale cheap, and yes, they may have "average" performance, nothing special though. Alternatively, there are also many "expensive" spy bugs available for sale. There ARE high quality and do perform well - but there is also this "grey" area of quite pricey spy equipment that falls inbetween which people spend good money on only to find out they have wasted their money.

Spy room bugs are on the come-back. Easy build spy bugs are a great way to get into the field of FM listening device game. So how much do spy bugs cost? Well - the components, around $20-$30, the technology - how ever much people want to put a price on it! Want to know how spy bugs work? They are no more than a component simplified, technology advanced wireless microphone - though referred to as a "spy bug remote listening device".

Spy Devices

To build or buy?

While we'd all like to think we can build micro-bugs, the truth is, the only way to do this is by robotics due to many factors, not the least being handling size and heat damage.

The plans presented here are perfect for the home-builder and DIY enthusiast. Their quality designs lend themselve to further experimentation and modification to suit individuals purpose.

For those not wanting to fiddle with electronics, we offer a limited range of listening devices and spy bugs for sale. While some bugs are cheap in price, they are a great introduction to the more expensive professional spy listening device bugs.

The truth about electronic bugs & spy gear listening devices

It may surprise you to know that many articles on remote listening devices for spying in magazines are quite flawed.

Unless you know the particular subject matter intimately, it is difficult to detect the mistakes but one area we know very well is security and when we read some of the things other writers say, we get quite a shock.

A short time ago a journalist telephoned us wanting to know some of the details of the homamade spy bugs and listening devices we produce and a few comments on the industry in general.

I talked to him at some length and also had another discussion at a later date, after he had spoken to other contacts.

Towards the end of the discussion I suggested he send me a copy of the text before it went to press to make sure the subject-matter was technically correct.

He flatly refused, citing his professional capability of being able to digest material and construct an accurate article around it.

His results appeared in a magazine last week and just as I had suspected, the technical facts were far from accurate. In fact they gave me a laugh.

I am not suggesting the faults are those of the author, he may have been given false information from his sources. How ever, the resultant article was filled with technical mistakes.

To save being sued for my critical analysis of the article, I have changed the details and incorporated items from other spy equipment listening bugs articles so that nothing can be related to any particular article.

You will understand the absolute necessity to do this as any form of criticism invites enormous law suites in America. You can go bankrupt by merely inferring someone is incompetent - we have already been threatened 6 times!

The first inaccuracy I would like to expose about real spy bugs is the description of one of the most amazing bugs to be invented. Believe me, if it were remotely possible, the inventor would be a multi-millionaire.

Every army and security agency in the world wanting nano spy bugs would beat a path to the inventors door.

It's a bug in a power point called a "burst bug." It collects 30 seconds of information and sends it down the 110v mains in very short bursts - one nanosecond - one millionth of a second.

To start with, one nanosecond is not one millionth of a second. It's one thousandth of one millionth of a second.

In other words the bug is operating at 1,000MHz. You can't get 1GHz down the power lines! So how can you get 30 seconds of audio into 1,000MHz? For spy voice bugs, you simply can't.

Next he says the most popular method of defeating a bug in a room is the "white noise generator." A white noise generator is similar to a radio turned up loud when it is off the station.

Anyone with the most basic understanding of audio will realize that if you can conduct a meeting with a noisy radio in the background, a tape-recording of the meeting will be equally easy to understand.

Obviously the author has never used or seen any of the fm spy bug transmitter listening device equipment he is describing and he falls into a big hole when he makes statements like this.

The ONLY 100% effective way of defeating "transmitting type" spy bugs is to use a multi-band, broad frequency signal jammer - a necessary part of your spy tools kit. Not something I carry around with me, and no doubt - highly illegal. In contrast, there are some that use different technology and do not transmit across the airwave, thus making them near impossible to detect. These may send the captured audio via telephone landline or via the AC power lines.

He also says a radio transmitter operating from the voltage of the phone line will transmit 400 yards. We would not, in our wildest dreams, ever specify 400 yards for this device. You may get 100 yards if you are lucky as the phone line is not an ideal radiator of RF energy and you cannot leech enough energy from the line to produce a guaranteed 400 yards. You may get 400 metres from the top of a hill to the valley below, but how many people live on a hill?

We only specify ranges that are obtainable under most situations, so that the purchaser of any of our devices is not disappointed with the results he gets.

This is not the case with overseas products. It seems they give things almost any range they can dream up. We have tested bugs with a supposed range of 400 metres and only managed to get 50 yards!

Yes, it's true that law enforcement agencies and "legal-type" spy agencies such as Homeland Security, FBI and CIA have access to the latest micro-technology, but you just can't beat the law of physics!

The author of another article states that some customers have paid $100,000 to plant a bug under a rival's board-room table. This is absolutely absurd. You can get a cleaner to leave something behind for $100. You can put a bug in a box and turn it on remotely so that it will never be discovered. So how much does a spy bug cost? A bug like this costs less than $500 - so why spend $100,000?

When you know the reality of the situation, it makes scary articles like this on spy bug transmitter listening devices just a load of hype.

There is, however, another bug mentioned in the article that will be available from us in the near future. It's a voice activated tape recorder, a bit like an answering machine, that picks up conversations in an office or other enclosed area. It is also connected to the phone line so that when you dial the number via a secret code, it answers the phone. You can rewind the tape remotely via a set of tones and listen to the tape - then reset it for the next day's recording.

For every device that is represented correctly in these type of articles, there is one that is over-rated. Take for instance the parabolic microphone or parabolic dish. It is stated that one supplier is offering a spy listening device unit that will detect conversations up to 150 yards away.

Yes, I agree, you can hear people talking with the naked ear up to 150 yards away on a cool, calm day such as at the beach, when the air is calm and there's no surrounding noises to distract you. But no parabolic dish has ever offered any better than a 10dB gain and this is almost worthless on the audio scale.

Cupping your hands behind your ears gets a 10dB improvement. So why pay hundreds of dollars on a spy voice listening audio bug to save cupping your ears? Check out some of the spy bugs on Amazon, our DIY and Build Your Own - type bugs well exceed the performance of many cheap units.

Instead of a dish bug, it's best to have someone take a transmitter up to the party in question and leave it behind. You can then tune a radio to the bug and hear the conversation.

Many hype articles also talk about equipment costing $1,000 or more; such as brief case bugs, long-range transmitters, car trackers etc. We have access to some of these high priced devices and even though we have been in business for more than 10 years, we have only been asked for them on very few occasions. But when it comes to seeing the customers money, we have never sold a single device.

Another article states an estimated $50 million a year is spent on hidden spy bugs, surveillance and counter-surveillance.

This figure could be plucked from anywhere. The article does not state where the information comes from or what specific spy listening bug items it relates to. It could include security and surveillance cameras at shopping centres or traffic control or even the video cameras required by investigators for insurance fraud etc. It certainly doesn't relate to room and phone monitoring devices or even bug detectors as the number of devices sold in this category is absolutely minuscule.

Last of all I laughed at this little inclusion: A writer states that many of the minature bugs are assembled by high school students. I don't know what he is trying to allude to but if you want to go the full hog, I can state that many of the overseas spy gear listening bugs are made by Chinese and Japanese children as young as 8 years of age and they haven't a clue about electronics at all!

It's amazing how many inferences and discrepancies are put into a story - especially a story on mini spy bugs and security devices. This is the sort of thing a journalist does when he is totally out of his depth.

Maybe you can send us other spy listening bug articles so we can pull them apart and expose them, and you can see what — other rubbish you are being fed on performance claims of the latest spy bugs.