Do Dashcams Have Audio? Can They Record & Play Back Sound?
Written by Nick
Updated On 
Jan 31, 2022 @ 12:55 pm

Does a Dashcam Record Sound?

Dashcams have always been primarily used for recording footage but you might be wondering if dash cam records audio too? 

Some dash cam models can indeed record audio as well as a video however this audio recording can lead to legal issues depending on the country you are in meaning you might have to turn the audio recording off. 

In our guide below, we will cover why dash cam audio recording can be illegal, how to use one legally and when recording sound can be useful in terms of traffic issues. 

Why Is Dash Cam Audio Recording Illegal? 

Some dash cams do have audio recording inside of them, this is done by a microphone inside of the cam which typically isn't in plain sight.

Dash cam recording with audio is not illegal, but it can be if you don't get consent from passengers, in this case, you would either have to press the mute button to not make your dash cam guilty or ask the passengers if it's okay for your dash cam to record audio. 

Eavesdropping is illegal in many states which we will discuss later, for now, we've listed out the ways to make sure your dash cam audio is legal below. 

  • Tell the passengers - The best way to avoid any disputes with recording audio inside of your car is to ask for passengers consent before letting it record, this is very essential if you are a taxi driver for example, but the same goes for family and friends too. 
  • Press mute - If you are not sure whether or not it's okay to record dash cam audio in a situation then simply press mute on the cam, this will typically be located as a small button.
  • Remember outdoor conservations - For people who have high-quality dash cam audio, they can often pick up audio outside of the car too, so if you are having a conversation out the window you should make sure to inform whoever you are speaking to.
  • Make sure it's visible - It is important to have your dashcam out of your line of vision, but it should also be visible in the car to you and your passengers so that they can see where they are being recorded.
  • Inform the other driver - Whether your car is used for car hire or you share your car with a partner, you should inform that there is a dash cam inside which automatically records video and audio.

Which Countries Is Dash Cam Audio Recording Illegal In? 

Illegal recordings vary from country to country, for example in the US in states such as California and Florida there are many laws against eavesdropping with dash cam audio. 

In the UK you also need dual consent from passengers before using dash cam videos and audio otherwise you can be prosecuted. Some European countries such as France and Belgium need any dash cam model video sent to the police, in Germany it is illegal to upload them on social media.

Even if you use a dash cam in the UK then use it in countries such as Austria or Portugal you can be fined since it's illegal there.

What Are The Benefits Of Recording Audio On a Dash Cam?

Now we've got the negatives to using audio with a dash cam out the way let's discuss the benefits of using dash cam video and audio recording at the same time. 

  • It makes evidence more solid - Supplying the police with both dash cam video and dash cam audio gives excellent evidence and detail to what happened, this can help to take bad drivers to a court or prosecute rather than just video.
  • It catches sound - Dashcams don't just record audio but they can pick up the important sound too, whether there was an issue with the car or any other audio which can help to piece the evidence together.
  • Stops fraud - A dash cam with audio can record conversations of people who have done accident fraud, it adds specific details to help prosecute rather than just dashcam video.
  • Helps with other incidents - Some incidents of not paying your fare or abuse at taxi drivers can be caught on audio rather than video, this provides essential evidence to send them to court.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dash Cams & Audio

Is it okay to record a conversation between people with a dash cam? 

There is no reason as to why you can't record conservations with a dash cam as long as you have consent between both parties, this can be fun for personal use and essential evidence for incidents.

Can you put an exciting dashcam clip on social media? 

You can post your dashcam clips to social media but they should never contain details such as number plates, you should however know that posting this footage online before sending it to the police makes it much less credible.

Can you get prison time for recording without consent? 

Yes, you as the driver can also get into serious trouble if you are recording audio inside of your car without getting consent as this is considered eavesdropping.

Do police use dash cam audio? 

Police look at both dash cam audio and video to get more information about the accident.

Should have dash cam audio switched on?

Whether or not you have dash-cam audio switched on is down to personal preference, having it on has a huge range of benefits but without consent, it's much better to keep it on mute.

Can you get in trouble for your dashcam being hidden?

It's a good idea to keep your dashcam in a visible place so that people can see they are being filmed and give consent.

Should you inform friends you are recording with your dash cam? 

Most of the time friends are fine to ride without getting consent about your dash cam recording, however, to be on the safer side you should always let people know or show the dash cam in a visible place.

Final Words 

Overall, some dashcams do have audio depending on the model you buy, this should also have a mute button option to give you a choice whether you want audio on or off. Be careful about recording audio if you have strangers in your car as you need consent otherwise it's illegal.

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About the author
My name is Nick and I am a self-diagnosed tech-geek! I am the owner of DashCamExperts.UK where we review various dash cams. Having owned a dash cam store where we sold and installed them, starting a website around the subject seemed to be a no-brainer, so here we are! Hope you guys enjoy my reviews!
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