For home security purposes we recommend the Arlo Pro and Arlo Ultra line of security cameras.
These cameras have an amazingly easy installation thanks to their wire-free design and long battery life – no wires needed!
They also offer stunning video clarity up to 4K (and HDR) and night vision, too.
But here’s another feature – they are all audio capable too.
In this article, we’re going to review the audio and sound features of the Arlo Pro 3 and Arlo Ultra camera lines.
We think you’ll agree – these are the most cost effective option for monitoring your home or business.
Let’s start with the basics – the microphone.
Arlo Camera – Microphone
All models of the Arlo Pro and Arlo Ultra have a built-in microphone.
That means when the video is recording, so is the audio.
And that means you can go back into a recorded clip and hear what was said – or hear things – like the sounds of an accident.
The microphone is a neat feature – it helps bring the video clips to life – and makes them more useful for all the reasons that you want or need a video recording.
By the way, all this audio is stored “in the cloud” along with the video from the camera. So, when you download a clip for long term safe-keeping you will have both audio and video.
Arlo Camera – Speaker
Historically, security cameras have been a one-way device.
But the Arlo Pro and Arlo Ultra line also include an audio speaker.
That’s right – you can use the microphone on your computer or smartphone to have a 2 way conversation with someone on the far end of the camera!
This feature works pretty well, but there are some caveats.
First of all, the speaker opening in the camera is pretty small.
This isn’t some booming voice from the heavens.
Your subject will have to be pretty close to the camera to hear it well.
Secondly, because the audio (and video) from the cameras have to stream “through the cloud” – there’s usually a little bit of delay.
That can lead to a disjointed conversation experience.
Having said all that – having the 2-way conversation capability would be a great way to remotely keep an eye on an elderly person or loved one.
If you check up on them, and witness any sort of trouble, you can communicate with them – with no phone call needed (maybe they can’t get to their phone!)
The 2-way audio will work quite well indoors – that’s because the camera will be closer to the WiFi base station, and there will be less background noise (wind, traffic, etc.) for the camera mic to deal with.
One more topic on this – previous iterations of the Arlo technology used half-duplex mics – meaning both sides can’t speak at the same time.
The newest Arlo Ultra and Arlo Pro 3 have full-duplex sound capabilities.
The Arlo Ultra also has some super-advanced noise cancelling techniques.
It actually has two microphones. They use beamforming for spatial filtering of sound.
This is useful for both noise-cancelling and wind noise reduction.
Siren (In the Base Station)
Here’s another cool feature – there’s a loud siren.
You can manually trigger this when you see trouble – and it should scare off any potential intruder or criminal.
To be clear – this loud siren (it can do over 100 dB) is in the BASE STATION – not in the camera housing itself.
By the way, 100 dB is loud – that’s hearing damage loud.
Having said that, it can be set for 3 different sound levels.
You couldn’t get a siren that loud in the camera itself – there’s not enough juice.
You could set an interior or exterior camera to sound the alarm on certain conditions – the thief will hear the siren/alarm sound – and hopefully turn tail before even breaking in.
You can also use audio triggers or motion detection to set off the siren automatically!
Arlo Sound & Audio – In Summary
As you can see (and hear!) the Arlo Pro and Arlo Ultra line of cameras are the most complete home security camera solution.
They combine high-def video, audio, sound (siren), motion detection, night vision – and more – in an incredibly easy to install wire-free design.
It’s not an understatement to say that Arlo has revolutionized the home security space with these cameras.
If you want to find out more about the capabilities of these cameras we recommend you review how night vision works.