Best Outdoor Security Cameras with Audio 2017 Recommendations

Your phone buzzes to let you know you have a message from your security camera. Someone’s at the door. You open the notification to see a live video stream of your front porch and you can hear them too. What’s more, you can have a conversation with the visitor. Except, you need not be at home. You can be at work, on vacation, or literally anywhere in the world. Sounds good? This is exactly what you can do with a security camera with a built-in speaker and microphone.

The beauty of the world of security cameras is that there is such an amazing range of models and features to choose from. However if you are new to this, you can easily get lost among the hundreds of brands and models available. The good news is that I have done all the hard work for you and have created this comprehensive guide into the best outdoor security cameras with audio features to help you.

The key learning for me over the course of my research is that the best outdoor security cameras such as the ones from Hikvision tend to not have an on-board speaker but allow you to connect one yourself. The more mainstream models such as the Nest Outdoor Cam and the Ring Stick Up Cam have an on-board speaker but then design the camera to be reliant on their paid cloud servers for what are standard features in the Hikvision for example.

So if you go for a ready-made cloud solution like the Nest Cam, you pay a monthly subscription to get the same features you get free with the DIY route (Hikvision / Dahua / D-Link). The choice is yours, but you know my suggestion – go DIY if you can and avoid the cloud.

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Best Outdoor Security Cameras with Audio 2017 Recommendations: Summary

Outdoor security cameras with built-in Microphone and Speaker for 2-way audio:

Fully Wired Pick: D-Link DCS-2310L with PoEWiFi Hardwired Pick: Toucan WiFi Outdoor Security CameraEasy to use: Nest Cam Outdoor Security CameraFully Wireless Pick: Ring Stick-Up WiFi Cam


Resolution720p720p1080p720p
Field of View70°116°130°80°
Communications InterfaceRJ-45 Ethernet, PoEWiFi, BluetoothWiFi, BluetoothWiFi
Power SourceAC, PoEACACAC or battery
Continuous video recordingYesNoYes with paid cloud subscriptionNo
Weather proof ratingIP65IP44IP65None
Cloud relianceNoneNoneHeavyHeavy

Outdoor security cameras with built-in Microphone only:

Best value: Reolink RLC-410WS 4MP WiFi BulletBest New Entry: Netatmo PresenceFeature-packed: Hikvision DS-2CD2542FWD-IWS WiFi Mini-domeAlso see: Dahua IPC-HDW4431C-A
Resolution4MP2MP (1080p)4MP4MP
Field of View80°100°106°110°
Communications InterfaceWiFi, RJ-45 EthernetWiFiWiFi, RJ-45 Ethernet, PoERJ-45 Ethernet
Power SourceACACAC, PoEAC
Continuous video recordingYesNoYesYes
Weather proof ratingIP66~IP67 (HXO)IP66IP67
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Methodology

Whenever I start researching products for myself, friends and family, or readers of my blog, I try to create a system of categorizing all the products. This is very useful when you are struggling to see some order and structure in the way products are designed and marketed.

So if I were to group the outdoor surveillance cameras with audio, I would do it this way:

  • Outdoor security cameras with built-in Microphone and Speaker
  • Outdoor security cameras with built-in Microphone only (may or may not have speaker out connection)
  • Outdoor security cameras with audio in and audio out connections only

The above order is reflective of the number of security camera models you can find in each category too – there are very few weatherproof or waterproof security cameras with both an on-board microphone and speaker. There are a few more weatherproof security cameras in the market with just a microphone, while there are tons of weatherproof security cameras on sale with audio in/out connections.

I will talk about the features I think are important for you to look for in each category, followed by my recommendations for the best outdoor security cameras with audio based on many days of intense research.

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Best Outdoor Security Cameras with a Microphone and Speaker

The most important must-have features to look for in an outdoor security camera with audio are:

  • Video Resolution – at least 720p resolution, 1080p Full HD resolution (2MP) for increased chance of positive identification of faces
  • Night vision – at least have InfraRed LEDs for true night vision with true IR cut filter
  • Field of view – at least 90 degrees, depends on focal length of camera lens
  • Weather proofing – Expressed in IP ratings, the first digit is the solid ingress rating and the second digit is the water ingress rating (higher is better always). An X instead of a number indicates a product is unrated for that component. An IP weather-proof rating is preferable, IP66 is the standard for good security cameras.
  • Audio – Microphone and speaker built-in
  • Live streaming so that you can check in any time to see what’s going on
  • Cloud reliance – Can the security camera function without an internet connection? Is this important to you? What happens if your Internet connection fails? Is there a local storage option to fall back on? Do you have to pay a monthly subscription for core features such as recording video clips, storing them, accessing them later on, for motion detection? These are the questions I will ask of each product.

The nice-to-have features to consider are:

  • Wireless – Support for WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Continuous Video Recording instead of just automatic event triggered or manual recording
  • Software features – Live view capability, Email alerts on motion detection, Push notifications to smartphone app ideal
  • Local storage – in the form of a microSD card slot, or internal flash storage
  • Motion detection method – PIR motion sensor is preferable to cut down on false alerts
  • Power source – Ethernet port preferable with PoE (Power over Ethernet) support, internal battery good for power backup purposes
  • Advanced features:
    • Preferably API available for interfacing with home automation controllers
    • Preferably RTSP stream capable, ONVIF support ideal

So here are my picks for the best outdoor surveillance cameras with a microphone and speaker in 2017:

The D-Link DCS-2310L looks like an indoor cube camera but it is a very capable outdoor camera too. This is the only camera equipped with an Ethernet port in our roundup today, and what’s more, it supports Power over Ethernet (PoE) – 802.3af PoE Class 2. So you have some added flexibility when it comes to positioning your camera. It can also take a power input of 5 V DC, 1.2 A.

Alas the resolution tops out at 1280 x 720 (720p) due to the 1/4” 1 Megapixel progressive scan CMOS sensor. It supports H.264/MJPEG encoding of the video streams. The focal length is an unusual 3.45 mm, while the aperture is a standard F2.0. Practically this means the closest it can focus is 500 mm in front of the camera. The field of view is 70 degrees which is very low but nowhere near the Nest cam’s 130 degrees.

The camera has infrared LEDs that can let the camera see in total darkness. It also has a true IR cut filter, so that daylight colours remain true to life without compromising sensitivity to infrared light at night.

A standout feature of the D-Link camera is a real PIR sensor with a 5m range. This should drastically cut down on false motion alerts, provided you are using the camera in an enclosed space like a porch. The DCS-2310L has an IP65 rating, thus earning it’s weatherproof credentials. It can operate within a temperature range of -25 to 45 °C (-13 to 113 °F).

Let’s take a look at the software features now. Right off the bat, the ability to provide an RTSP stream catches my eye. I hate being locked into any manufacturer’s proprietary video viewing or mobile app interface. With my Vera Plus home automation controller, I can easily pull the D-Link’s RTSP stream into my single unified smart home interface – my definition of smart home bliss! Moreover the camera is ONVIF compliant, which means plug and play compatibility if i want to do more than just pull the video stream from the camera. For example, my QNAP NAS can easily configure and setup the D-Link camera automatically due to the ONVIF protocol support.

What about activity alerts or event alerts? The D-Link is described as a cloud camera but unlike most cloud cameras, it actually does all its processing locally, not in the cloud. A free mydlink cloud account is available which allows you to view and manage D-Link cameras remotely. The advantage of the cloud account is that you can watch all your D-Link cameras in one place, which is very convenient if you have only D-Link cameras.

If you don’t want to use the cloud (like me), there is a local microSD card storage option. I would set up the camera to send motion and event triggered emails with attached snapshots and use a Sandisk 64GB SD card in this slot as a secondary record location. The camera can send alerts based on the defined motion detection rules and if it detects a sound. The camera also supports saving JPEG snapshots to an FTP location.

PROS:
  • InfraRed LEDs for true night vision, true IR cut filter
  • IP65 weather-proof rating
  • Local storage in the form of microSD card slot
  • Not reliant on the cloud for operation
  • PIR motion sensor
  • Has ethernet port and supports PoE (Power over Ethernet)
  • ONVIF support, RTSP stream capable

CONS:
  • Only 720p resolution
  • Only 70º field of view
  • No wireless connectivity
  • No internal battery
  • No API for interfacing with home automation controllers

View on Amazon

WiFi Hardwired Pick: Kuna / Toucan Wi-Fi Outdoor Security Camera (USB for power, built-in mic/speaker)

The Toucan brand is the result of a partnership between Toucan Solutions and the popular Kuna brand. A similar security camera is also sold under the Maximus brand at HomeDepot in the USA.

The Toucan outdoor security camera from Kuna is an interesting product – it is designed to be used in conjunction with an existing outdoor light fixture. There are two parts to the product – the camera itself and a screw-in part which Toucan calls a ‘smart socket’ which goes in between your existing light’s bulb holder (E26 holder) and the bulb (40W max / 10W LED). The screw-in ‘smart socket’ provides power to the camera via a 100cm/40 inches long microUSB cable. This solves the power supply issue and does away with the need for batteries. A bonus is that you can then remotely control the bulb that is screwed into the screw-in part, thus making the screw-in socket ‘smart’! It also has a dusk to dawn timer feature. Quite clever really.

Looking at the video features, the camera sports a wide-angle HD camera sensor, and a Passive Infrared (PIR) sensor. Again 720p resolution is below my recommended minimum of 1080p, but the saving grace is an expansive field of view (116 degrees diagonal). The camera supports live view so you can connect to the camera from the mobile app to check your front door any time. The PIR sensor allows you to configure the camera to send alerts only when there is real motion, not when a cloud passes overhead or branch moves slightly.

On the audio front, the camera features a 100 dB speaker/siren (to scare off intruders) and a microphone. So you can have 2-way audio conversations with someone at the door while you are vacationing in Ibiza! The camera doesn’t have an Ethernet port so all communications are wireless – it supports both WiFi and Bluetooth.

The mobile app is well designed and is a real highlight of the product. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the software side of things. However the only way to use the camera is from the app – there is no web browser interface.

The Kuna security camera is reliant on the cloud for its basic operations, it will stop working if your internet connection is interrupted:

“Kuna safely stores every captured event in our secure cloud, allowing for uninterrupted video in the case of network connection issues.”

The biggest downside I see with this camera is the lack of a continuous video recording feature as suggested by the lack of a local storage feature like an SD card slot. So you cannot watch a continuous recording of the last 24 hours for example. However this is mitigated slightly by the fact that it can pre-record 10 seconds of an event taking place, but only if you have a premium cloud subscription. So it is actually using the cloud to continuously record, not just store event clips. Why the company doesn’t then take the logical next step of allowing that continuous video to be accessed is not clear to me.

So what can you do with the camera if you don’t want to pay for a cloud subscription?

  • 720p HD Live View – you can check into the Kuna cam to see what’s going on
  • Basic motion sensing and push alerts to your smartphone
  • Any captured footage is stored on the cloud for 2 hours after capture
  • 3 complimentary cloud downloads per month
  • Two-way audio: Talk and listen through the built-in microphone and speaker

The following features are available with the optional cloud:

  • Events kept on the cloud up to 30 days
  • Smart Event Detection: 10 seconds pre-record and post-record for events
  • Unlimited HD downloads
  • Animated thumbnails
  • Lifetime theft protection
  • 5% discount off future devices
PROS:
  • 116 degrees diagonal field of view, camera lens itself adjustable by 40 degrees
  • IP44 weather rating
  • Supports both WiFi and Bluetooth
  • No continuous recording feature
  • PIR motion sensor
  • 100dB siren

CONS:
  • Only 720p resolution
  • No InfraRed LEDs for true night vision, true IR cut filter.
  • No local storage / microSD card slot
  • No continuous recording feature
  • Reliant on the cloud for operation/core features
  • No Ethernet port / PoE (Power over Ethernet), however powered over USB
  • No internal battery backup
  • No ONVIF support, not RTSP stream capable
  • No API for interfacing with home automation controllers

View on Amazon

Easy to use WiFi Hardwired Pick: Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera (Hardwired for power, built-in mic/speaker)

Everyone knows about Nest right? Well, that may well be true for the Nest Thermostat, but the Nest Outdoor Security Camera is the often overlooked member of the Nest family. If you already have a Nest thermostat, want to remain in the Nest ecosystem and most importantly want the easiest to use system, the Nest cam is an option.

But let me be clear, its not my top recommendation for the fact that its functionality is crippled unless you pay for a cloud subscription. Yes all the ease of use comes at a price. Sadly this is the trend among mainstream security products – the initial purchase price is quite attractive but then you become a source of recurring revenue for the camera maker.

Being a wired camera, it is capable of 24/7 video streaming, meaning you get live view, which purely battery powered cameras such as the Netgear Arlo can’t do.

Interestingly, the camera has a 1/3-inch, 3-megapixel sensor but the video tops out at 1080p resolution which is the bare minimum in my opinion for a security camera. It also has 8 InfraRed LEDs (850nm) on-board for night view, and a true IR cut filter for true-to-life colours during the daytime without compromising infrared sensitivity for night view. The 130° field of view is also very good. It has a built-in speaker and a microphone so you can have 2-way audio conversations.

Even though it is a mains powered security camera, it has only a wireless interface for data communications – it supports the Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n standards as well as Bluetooth Low Energy(BLE). So no Ethernet port or Power over Ethernet on offer here – you will need a power socket near the installation point. Since there is no Ethernet port, you can’t even use a passive PoE injector to get power to the camera which is a shame.

Nest recommends a minimum broadband upload speed of 2Mbps for using the live streaming and cloud storage features:

“With Nest Aware, your camera will stream all video to the cloud for secure offsite storage. At 720p, each camera could use 60 GB to 160 GB of upload bandwidth per month. At 1080p, each camera could use 140 GB to 380 GB of upload bandwidth per month.”

The Nest Cam has 128-bit AES with TLS/SSL security in case you are wondering about how secure it is with everything going to the cloud. The camera is weatherproof with an IP65 rating. While IP66 is better, water ingress to IP65 standards is acceptable. The temperature rating is very good, going from -4 to 104°F (-20 to 40°C).

The downside is that there is no local storage option – you have to pay for Nest’s cloud service called Nest Aware if you want the following features:

  • to record 24/7 continuously and to store that recorded video
  • advanced motion detection such as person detection which will be performed by Nest’s cloud servers
  • define specific activity zones for motion detection
  • timeline feature called ‘Sightline’ which helps you find recorded event clips quickly
  • time-lapse feature letting you see 24 hours video in a few quick seconds
  • automatic zooming into scenes with something worth seeing
  • create and share recorded video clips

Nest Aware comes as a free 30 day trial with any Nest product. After that it is $10 a month for a 10-day video history and $30 a month for 30-day video history. There are discounts for additional cameras you add to the cloud.

So what can you do with the camera if you don’t want to pay for a cloud subscription?

  • 1080p Full HD Live View – you can check into the Nest cam to see what’s going on
  • Basic motion sensing and push alerts to your smartphone
  • Two-way audio: Talk and listen through the built-in microphone and speaker
  • Public or password-protected live streams for friends, family or the whole Internet (not recommended for security purposes!)

Nest has been very stingy with the free cloud services as other camera makers provide something like video storage for clips fro the past day.

PROS:
  • 1080p Full HD resolution
  • 8 InfraRed LEDs for true night vision, true IR cut filter
  • Expansive 130° field of view
  • IP65 weather-proof
  • WiFi and Bluetooth supported
  • Works with popular home automation devices and hub controllers

CONS:
  • No local storage/SD card slot
  • Paid cloud subscription needed for continuous video recording, advanced motion detection and other cool features
  • No PIR motion sensor
  • No Ethernet port, no PoE
  • No internal battery backup
  • No ONVIF support, not RTSP stream capable
  • No API for interfacing with home automation controllers

View on Amazon

Fully Wireless Pick: Ring Stick Up Cam (Fully Wireless or Hardwired for power, built-in mic/speaker)

The Ring video doorbell is one of the most popular video doorbells around, but did you know about the Ring Stick Up Cam? It is a standalone security camera that is fully wireless thanks to its 5200mAh rechargeable battery that lasts a claimed 6-12 months under regular usage. If you would rather like it powered by mains power, a USB cable is included in the box. Again there is no ethernet port, so a passive PoE injector is not an option.

Most battery powered security cameras don’t have the juice to provide a live view feature. But the Ring Stick Up Cam manages to do the Live Streaming (or Live View) gig even on battery power. That’s pretty impressive if it can still last 6-12 months out in the cold. It can also do two-way audio while on battery power.

One major criticism is that the video resolution is on the low side, only 720p (HD). This is not acceptable in 2017 and I can only hope Ring plans to update it soon. So it misses one of my key requirements – 1080p Full HD video. The field of view is also on the narrow side with only 80 degrees field of view. Infrared LEDs are available to provide a well-lit night image.

While Ring doesn’t quote an IP rating, the Ring Stick Up Cam is weatherproof and will operate in a range of -20.56ºC to 48.89ºC.

One of the highlights is the 5-zone motion detection feature. You can set the sensitivity and range of each zone so that you can cut down on false alerts – the bane of a security camera user’s existence!

There is no local storage option, so if you want to take advantage of the very advanced motion detection features of the camera, you will have to pay a monthly fee for the Cloud Video Recording feature. (currently £2.50 a month or £24.99 annually). A 30 day trial is included but a free 7 day storage option would have been a nice to have. The premium feature will let you access and download motion-detection recordings up to 6 months old in a nice timeline based interface.

If you want to go green or simply don’t have a power socket near the intended installation location, there is a solar power option. So you can make the Ring Stick-Up Cam a solar powered outdoor wireless IP camera. The Ring Solar Panel can keep the internal battery topped up with just a few hours of direct sunlight everyday.

PROS:
  • Fully wireless with internal rechargeable battery, can be wired to charge battery
  • InfraRed LEDs for true night vision, true IR cut (ICR) filter
  • Wi-Fi supported

CONS:
  • Only 720p resolution
  • Only 80º field of view
  • No weather-proof rating
  • No local storage/SD card slot
  • Reliant on the cloud for operation
  • No PIR motion sensor
  • No Ethernet port/No PoE (Power over Ethernet)
  • No ONVIF support, not RTSP stream capable
  • No API for interfacing with home automation controllers

View on Amazon

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Best Outdoor Security Cameras with a Microphone for 2017

While there are not many outdoor surveillance cameras with a speaker and a microphone, there are plenty of cameras with only an on-board microphone and no speaker. So the range of options is huge and it can be quite difficult to separate the good ones from the rubbish ones.

Here are my recommendations for outdoor security cameras with a microphone only:

Best Value: Reolink RLC-410WS 4MP Wireless Outdoor Security Camera

Reolink is a rising star in the world of home surveillance. They have a wide range of models with almost any combination of features you may desire at reasonable prices.

The Reolink RLC-410WS is an outdoor bullet that has a very high resolution of 4 Megapixels from its 1/3″ CMOS sensor. This means you can get videos and snapshots of 2560 x 1440 (1440p) resolution. A substream for mobile view is also available at 640*360 resolution. The lens has a focal length of 4mm and an aperture of 2.0 which gives a field of view of 80 degrees.

It is also a wireless camera as it supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi using its dual antennae. It also has as many as 36 InfraRed LEDs which Reolink claims will provide a night view range of 100 feet. It also has an InfraRed Cut filter to give excellent night time images and true colours during the day.

The built-in microphone provides audio recording capability, but there is no on-board speaker.

On the software side, the camera supports motion detection email alerts and push notifications to the Reolink smartphone app. It can save 30 second event clips to its built-in 16GB SD card, attach snapshots to an email, FTP them to your server, and upload them to a cloud service. It also supports RTSP streaming and the Onvif V2.1 protocol – you can easily use it with any 3rd party security or home automation app, Synology or QNAP NAS or your DIY NVR.

The URL for grabbing the Reolink’s video stream is http://(ip address)/cgi-bin/api.cgi?cmd=Snap&channel=0&rs=(any combination of numbers and letters)&user=(user name)&password=(user password)

The metal housing is IP66 weather proof rated, which is great. This RLC-410WS model doesn’t have PoE but the RLC-410S model gains PoE and loses the WiFi feature. If you want a security camera that has both a PoE capable network port and WiFi, it seems you will have to go with the Hikvision that is next in the list below.

PROS:
  • 4MP video resolution
  • InfraRed LEDs for true night vision, true IR cut filter
  • IP66 weather-proof rating
  • Supports both 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi
  • Continuous recording feature
  • Local storage in the form of microSD card slot
  • Not reliant on the cloud
  • Has ethernet port
  • ONVIF support, RTSP stream capable
  • API available for interfacing with home automation controllers
  • Audio In/Out Connections
  • Alarm In/Out connections

CONS:
  • Doesn’t support PoE (Power over Ethernet)
  • No PIR motion sensor
  • No internal battery

View on Amazon

Best New Entry: Netatmo Presence

The Presence is Netatmo’s first foray into outdoor security cameras and like its weather stations, is absolutely different from anything else you may have seen before. Looking more like an 80’s flashlight than a security camera, its actually a security light with a camera built in. Or is it a security camera with a light built-in? Either way, if you need an outdoor light and a security camera, kill two birds with one stone and get the Netatmo Presence. It doesn’t have a built-in speaker, but it does have microphone on-board.

An aluminium body helps the Netatmo Presence to be weatherproof using a proprietary coating called HZO. It is a thinfilm nanotechnology coating which provides protection equivalent to IP67 which is very impressive.

What’s its signature feature, you ask? Person detection, or human detection as some other manufacturers crudely say. In fact, it can make out cars, animals and humans within 20 metres / 65 feet. Because these are the three types of creatures that your security camera will often encounter. In the day time, the camera looks like an innocuous lamp but you can check in and watch any time. Motion detection alerts can also be sent telling you whether it is a person, a car or an animal that has triggered the alert. In the night, you can watch using the built-in InfraRed lamps or turn on the floodlight if you want to annoy your neighbours! Note that although the Netatmo Presence has a mic, it doesn’t have sound triggered alerts.

You would be forgiven for thinking Netatmo would force you to use the cloud – it has a local storage option in the form of a microSD card. You can also use FTP to transfer images to a server for backup.

Apart from supporting Netatmo’s own eco-system (such as door/window sensors), the Presence supports IFTTT (IF This Then That) for integration with a wide range of devices and platforms.

View on Amazon

Feature-packed: Hikvision DS-2CD2542FWD-IWS

The Hikvision DS-2CD2542FWD-IWS is my front door camera since last summer and I have been very impressed with the excellent video clarity and sound features. It has an on-board microphone but no speaker. However you can always add your own external powered microphone and speaker.

PROS:
  • 4MP video resolution
  • InfraRed LEDs for true night vision, true IR cut filter
  • 106° field of view
  • IP66 weather-proof rating
  • Supports WiFi
  • Continuous recording feature
  • Local storage in the form of microSD card slot
  • Not reliant on the cloud
  • Has ethernet port and supports PoE (Power over Ethernet)
  • ONVIF support, RTSP stream capable
  • API available for interfacing with home automation controllers
  • Audio In/Out Connections
  • Alarm In/Out connections

CONS:
  • No PIR motion sensor
  • No internal battery
  • No ONVIF support, not RTSP stream capable
  • No API for interfacing with home automation controllers

Check out my in-depth hands-on review for more information:

Review: Hikvision DS-2CD2542FWD-IWS 4MP Mini-Dome IP Camera

For quite some now, I have been looking for an IP camera to watch my front door. I already have a Hikvision ...

7.8

Please ensure you are buying the camera from an authorized dealer if you are concerned about warranty issues – I am personally happy to take the big discounts I get on Amazon vs. the authorised dealers who often charge a lot more.

Also see: Dahua IPC-HDW4431C-A

Dahua is the second major player in the global security and surveillance industry. This turret or mini-dome IP camera from Dahua is one of the latest 2016/2017 models.

It has a 1/3″ 4 Megapixel sensor which is again the latest trend in the home security scene. At this resolution it can do 20 frames per second. At 2.8mm focal length and an aperture of 2.0, the angle of view is a very good 110 degrees. The focus can be adjusted manually. Check out the sample video below that also shows the performance of the built-in microphone:

After installation, the camera can be adjusted by up to 360° horizontally and up to 65° vertically. While I am not thrilled with the plastic base of this IP camera, it is IP67 weather proofing rated which is better than most. It has a single EXIR LED which is as good as a whole ring of the standard LED bulbs, it even has a claimed 50 metres range.

Coming to the software side of things, standout features are the true 120dB Wide Dynamic Range. The camera is also unique in that it can drive not just two streams at different resolutions, but 3 in total:

  • Main Stream: 4MP (upto 20fps)/3MP (upto 30fps)
  • Sub Stream: D1/CIF (upto 30fps)
  • Third Stream: 720P (Upto 8fps with WDR on, upto 18fps with WDR off)

Another interesting feature is that the Dahua IPC-HDW4431C-A can produce a video stream with a bitrate of up to 32Mbps.

It has advanced motion detection algorithms such as face detection, line (tripwire) detection, intrusion detection, missing/abandoned object detection in addition to standard motion detection. You can mask up to 4 separate areas for privacy or to comply with local regulations.

PROS:
  • 4MP video resolution
  • InfraRed LEDs for true night vision, true IR cut filter
  • 110° field of view
  • IP67 weather-proof rating
  • Continuous recording feature
  • Not reliant on the cloud for operation
  • Has ethernet port and supports PoE (Power over Ethernet)
  • ONVIF support, RTSP stream capable
  • API available for interfacing with home automation controllers

CONS:
  • No wireless connectivity
  • No PIR motion sensor
  • No internal battery

View on Amazon

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Outdoor security cameras with only audio in/out connections

As I said earlier, the majority of outdoor security cameras have audio in and out connections, to which you can attach your own powered external microphone and a speaker if needed. Most of the cameras reviewed in our 2016 IP camera roundup are capable of doing this.

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What about video doorbells?

The first thought that I had when I wanted a security camera with audio was – a video doorbell. A video doorbell would be ideal for a CCTV camera with audio right? After all, the most common use case for an IP camera with a mic and speaker is as a front door camera. And a video doorbell is specially designed for this purpose. Its true, a video doorbell will help you achieve a 2-way audio conversation, but there are certain challenges you need to bear in mind before getting a video doorbell:

  • The biggest issue I have with doorbells though, is that they are largely reliant on the cloud for all their smart features and lack local storage options.
  • A video doorbell has a specific purpose and that is to capture only what is directly in front of it, especially when the doorbell is pushed. So you don’t have a lot of flexibility in positioning them, such as angling them out and away from the wall they are fixed to. This also means the camera is vulnerable to tampering.
  • Most video doorbells top out at 1080p (2MP) resolution, which is just too bad if you were itching for a 3MP or 4MP camera.
  • Another drawback is that while they can provide a video stream on demand, video doorbells typically cannot continuously record video 24/7. This also means they do not have a pre-record feature where it can show you the 15 seconds or so before motion was detected.
  • Video doorbells typically do not provide RTSP streams – this makes them difficult to integrate with existing video monitoring systems, NVRs, NAS devices, and home automation systems.
  • You can’t put most video doorbells in direct contact with the elements.

Even so, if you think a video doorbell can work for you, please wait for my upcoming video doorbell recommendations for 2017.

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Conclusion

I hope this write-up has been helpful in discovering the world of outdoor security cameras with audio features. Please let me know what you think and especially if you have tried any of the cameras above, I would love to hear from you!

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Acknowledgements: Images are copyright of Amazon
8 Comments
  1. Reply
    Luis Vasconcelos August 14, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Many thanks for the review of outdoor security cameras with audio. Which camera would you recommend taking primarily into consideration the audio features? I live in a windy area and wind noise interference is a major concern in my case. Many thanks for your time.

    • Reply
      Mike August 30, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      Hello. Are there any full duplex ip cameras meaning that audio can be heard and talked to at the same time , no matter which one I tested there always seem to be problem with understand the person on the other end or them understanding me , which camera would you say have the best 2 way audio , the closest I am too is ring ,

    • Reply
      Daniel August 18, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      These security cameras are designed to minimize wind noise but its really unavoidable. The Hikvisions have a software feature which reduces wind noise but also makes the microphone less sensitive – there is always a trade-off for every software tweak.

  2. Reply
    Mike September 4, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Thank you so much my friend for your quick reply and help, Asi went up buy your recommendation I see that there is the newer model ( Hikvision DS-2CD2442FWD-IW 4MP 2.8mm IP PoE Indoor IR Wireless WiFi Cube Camera with WDR – English Retail Version) which is 4megapixel for same or lower price , do you think the audio will be just as good

    • Reply
      Daniel September 4, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Just one quick point – the Hikvision DS-2CD2442FWD-IW is not an outdoor camera though it may be fine under a porch and if the weather doesn’t get too cold or hot. For outdoor cameras with full duplex audio, look at my best doorbell camera reviews post.

  3. Reply
    Ryan October 15, 2017 at 1:08 am

    Any recommendations for a 2-way audio security cam now that D-Link has discontinued the DCS-2310L? There really aren’t many options for a front door camera with a speaker, especially with onvif and rtsp. Would really like to emulate the Ring or Kuna experience without having to get sucked into their architecture.

    Thanks for the help, this site is a breadth of information.

    • Reply
      Ryan October 15, 2017 at 1:12 am

      I suppose I forgot to mention I was mainly looking for something with PoE, as the Reolink Argus does fulfill my requirements but I’d much prefer to avoid batteries and wireless.

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