Why add audio to your video surveillance system

add audio to cctv

While advances in video surveillance technology have resulted in more intelligent surveillance systems that help first responders deal with situations more effectively, relying only on video for surveillance has its limitations. According to a blog post from Axis Communications, adding audio to the mix helps in many ways; from deterring crimes to a more effective first response.


Audio systems can act as a major deterrent when it comes to crimes. One of the most effective deterrents is live announcements. For instance, when an intruder is detected via the video surveillance system, the operator can use the live announcement system to issue a real-time warning. This will make the warning specific and also communicate effectively to the intruder that someone is watching them. For instance, a warning like “The man in the blue shirt and green hat needs to move away from the private property right now, you are trespassing and will be caught and prosecuted” works much more effectively than a standard siren warning which is what a non-audio surveillance system would use.

Pre-recorded audio clips are also far more effective than standard sirens. For example, when the video surveillance system detects that a person is trespassing on a forbidden area, it automatically triggers a prerecorded message warning the trespasser to move away from the property. This reduces the need for guard call-outs and may even lower costs and effort of human resources.

Detection – using audio’s ability to hear

Audio systems have the ability to detect certain kinds of sounds that are undesirable. For example, the alarm going off, a gunshot, the sound of breaking a glass and so on. This gives an added warning to the operators who are monitoring the surveillance and can allow them to respond faster and more effectively. They can use live audio systems to make the first response and threaten the intruders and make quick deployment of security staff when needed.

This detection system is also useful not just to threaten intruders but also to issue instructions regarding staying calm and exiting in an orderly manner to the general public that gets caught in the midst of the situation. It provides a sense of security to the public and prevents mass panic.


Video surveillance systems make it very difficult to detect whether it’s a false alarm or the real thing. Now video verification is mandatory in most cities before dispatching security personnel to check if the alarm was a false one. Audio makes this process even easier. The audio detectors can be used to determine if the alarm is false or actionable. Moreover, an audio system also allows the operators to communicate with those at the scene of the surveillance to check if someone inadvertently triggered the alarm.

Preventing shoplifting

There are two signs that indicate potential shoplifting; when a shopper is exiting from the wrong side or is lingering too long at a particular display. In both cases, an effective live announcement can warn the shoplifters that they are being watched and can prevent shoplifting from happening.

Worth the investment

An audio enhancement comes with all-in-one speakers systems that combine all the elements into a single unit and can easily be integrated into the VMS (Video Management System). With important benefits like deterrence, detection and guidance to the public, an audio enhancement is well worth the time and money spent on integrating it into your current surveillance system.

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