Waterproof camera with zoom in/out functions. Easy-to-navigate app and adjustable LED settings. Definitely a model geared toward those with dirty jobs or jobs in tight spaces. Popular for pipe inspection.
The app takes some getting used to, so install and learn it before you're in a situation where you need to use it immediately.
Scope can get into tight and darkly lit spaces. Accessories – such as magnet and hook – come with an storage case. Comes with 1.5 foot cable and waterproof camera. Picture is very clear. Saves hours of work for many users. Customer support is excellent.
The WiFi can be a bit spotty and may require an occasional reconnection. Battery runs out faster if using light on full power.
Offers picture in 3 resolutions. Compatible with Android and iOS. Dimmable LED lights help navigate even the darkest environments. Includes Li-ion rechargeable battery. Points for visibility for bright yellow cord.
There is a bit of a learning curve with the app. Wireless connection can be interrupted unexpectedly.
Can take pictures and record video, which is helpful for diagnostic work that needs to be explained or shown to customers. Zoomable focus. Takes high-definition videos. Good battery life.
Compatibility issues with certain iOS versions, so you’ll need to have the right one to use all recording and imaging capabilities.
Captures images from farther away than other scopes. Semirigid cable holds shape well. Metal attachments screw securely onto the head of the camera. User-friendly once it's set up. Works just as well as models several times more expensive.
Image will not be clear when extremely close up. Some users report problems with initial app installation, doing it several times before succeeding.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
There is more than meets the eye, especially if you need to examine or inspect hard-to-reach areas in your home or at a job site. Instead of contorting your body into uncomfortable positions or disassembling machines to reach these spaces, consider using a wireless endoscope.
Wireless endoscopes have a tiny camera at the end of a long, semirigid cable. They connect to devices like cell phones and tablets via WiFi to deliver real-time images and videos. You can even look into dark spaces thanks to an assortment of LED lights. Wireless endoscopes are often used to look inside engines, air conditioning units, and computers, just to name a few. Many models are waterproof, so they’re ideal for inspecting pipes, fish ponds, and aquariums as well.
If you’re ready to pick up the next great gadget for your inspection collection, take a look at our buying guide on wireless endoscopes. We explain all their specs and features and offer some recommendations to help make your decision a simple one.
Semirigid cable: This is a long, snake-like cable that is rigid enough to push through tight spaces without buckling. It has just enough flexibility to maneuver around pipes and other curved spaces. This cable can be anywhere from 10 to 35 feet long, but most are around 15 feet.
Camera: The commercial-grade camera takes high-definition pictures and videos in 640 x 480p, 1280 x 720p, 1600 x 1200p, and 1920 x 1080p resolutions. It has zoom and live-recording capabilities to capture better shots of the areas you’re inspecting.
Like choosing any other camera, there are also variations in focal distance, frames per second, and pixels to compare. Generally speaking, the longer the focal distance range, the better for sharp images. More frames per second means you’ll observe smoother motion in videos. As far as pixels go, the higher the pixel density, the crisper the image.
LEDs: In order to capture high-definition images, wireless endoscopes are equipped with a series of LEDs around the circumference of the camera to illuminate the area you’re examining. Many LEDs have adjustable brightness settings, though keep in mind the brighter the lights, the more quickly the battery drains.
Rechargeable battery: Wireless endoscopes are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Inexpensive models peak at about two hours of use time, whereas mid-range models can give you three to four hours. Some high-end wireless endoscopes last as long as five hours.
App compatibility: To view your images and videos in real time, you’ll need to download the dedicated app for the wireless endoscope. These apps are generally straightforward and user-friendly, though they have a bit of a learning curve. Another thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to confirm that your device’s software is compatible with the latest version of the app. Depending on the software, some older smartphones may not work with your wireless endoscope.
WiFi: In order to successfully use your wireless endoscope and app, you’ll need a WiFi connection. It’s easy to find a WiFi network if you’re using the endoscope at home, but if you’re a contractor at a jobsite, you might need permission to access the network. Some consumers report that wireless endoscopes lose the connection intermittently, so you might need to reconnect and start your inspection over.
Wireless endoscopes take both pictures and videos, which are viewable live or can be saved to your device’s memory or the cloud. Generally speaking, if you want to get the best images, you need to find a balance between zoom and brightness. If you zoom in too close, images can become blurry and degraded. Sometimes the highest level of brightness is far too bright and washes out images and details.
Wireless endoscopes come with helpful attachments besides the camera, typically hooks magnets. Note that not all attachments fit over the camera, so if you need to go on a fishing expedition down a drain or pipe, you might need to do so blind.
Hook attachments: These are ideal for securing items that have fallen into drains, such as jewelry, or they can work as a makeshift snake to dislodge a blockage.
Magnet attachments: These are helpful for reaching keys or nails.
Most wireless endoscopes are waterproof, especially since they’re often used to inspect pipes and drains. But “waterproof” is a relative term, and if you want to know how waterproof a model is, refer to its IP code. This index refers to a device’s protection against solid ingress, which is the first number, and protection against liquid ingress, which is the second number. On average, wireless endoscopes have waterproof ratings between IP67 and IP69. That means they’re dustproof and can protect against liquid at varying degrees of pressure. If you need to fully immerse a wireless endoscope, you need to look for a rating of IP68 or higher.
Home use: Wireless endoscopes are ideal for homeowners who are hands-on with repairs and home maintenance. You can inspect gutters, drains, beneath cabinets, and inside walls.
Hobbyists: Home mechanics, tinkerers, and horologists (clock aficionados) also appreciate wireless endoscopes. They’re able to diagnose and examine tight spaces in machinery and devices and magnify them to plan their next repair or modification.
HVAC: HVAC professionals use wireless endoscopes for diagnostic work on service calls. It’s not always possible or practical to take a unit apart to assess a problem, so the wireless endoscope keeps inspection swift and reduces labor time.
Plumbers: It’s no wonder that plumbers use wireless endoscopes in their line of work. It’s a great way to examine pipes and drains to find blockages, leaks, and rust instead of taking apart the entire system. More often than not, plumbers use IP69 waterproof models.
Mechanics: Those who work on cars, ships, planes, and trains use wireless endoscopes for diagnostic work as well. In addition to streamlining inspection, it also means less bending and crouching, which saves knees and backs.
Facilities managers: Facilities managers and building supervisors handle all mechanical and utility issues of a premises. Wireless endoscopes help them determine the nature of an issue more quickly, which means they’re able to call the right professional service to repair it.
Fish and reptile caretakers: If you’re one, you know it’s challenging to inspect tanks or ponds without disturbing the animals. With a waterproof wireless endoscope, you’re afforded a thorough look around without the need to temporarily rehome animals, drain the water, or move nesting places.
Wireless endoscopes cost between $20 and $80, depending on quality.
Inexpensive: For a budget-friendly wireless endoscope for occasional home use, you can find a decent model for $20 to $30. The image quality in these is fair because the cameras aren’t the best. The cable is usually between 9 and 12 feet long.
Mid-range: Spend a little bit more, between $30 and $50, and you can end up with a wireless endoscope that has multiple resolutions, as well as better device and software compatibility. These cables are usually between 15 and 35 feet long.
Expensive: For a professional-quality wireless endoscope, expect to spend closer to $80. These models have significantly better cameras and LEDs for impressive high-definition images and recording quality.
We like the straightforward operation of the Kyzee Wireless Endoscope. There’s no need to rely on Bluetooth with this model, so all you need is a simple WiFi connection to start your inspection. Its redesigned 2.0-megapixel camera captures the clearest images in dark areas thanks to the 6500 K daylight LED lights. This IP67 waterproof model is a favorite among plumbers and is enjoyed by those in the HVAC, mechanical contracting, and construction industries, too. For a budget-friendly waterproof model ideal for homeowners, the ILIHOME Wireless Endoscope is a smart investment. Its camera is compatible with every iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac device. With 5 meters of semirigid cable, homeowners appreciate the modest length that can inspect large fish tanks, air conditioning units, and gutters. It’s especially popular for STEM educators, because the recorded images and videos can be displayed on a smart whiteboard or PC-enabled overhead projector.
Q. I work on my own car. Would a wireless endoscope be useful?
A. Yes. In fact, investing in a wireless endoscope is a cost-effective option for mechanics and car enthusiasts alike. You’re able to see hard-to-reach areas to diagnose issues without removing larger parts that are time-consuming to take apart and reassemble. It also saves you the hassle of lifting your car to get beneath it, because you can simply inspect the bottom from a standing position once you manipulate the semirigid cable appropriately.
Q. Can I use a wireless endoscope on the human body?
A. Absolutely not. These devices are neither designed nor recommended for use to inspect body cavities. While they look similar to those used in medical offices, such as endoscopes used by otolaryngologists, they’re harmful because they may pose a choking hazard, especially with so many removable pieces. For your own safety, stick to the outside world with these wireless endoscopes.
Q. Am I able to inspect a beehive or inside a tree trunk with a wireless endoscope?
A. It’s not recommended that you disturb wildlife with a wireless endoscope. While you may be curious about the inner workings of a hive or an exposed trunk, you could disrupt or displace the insects or animals. If you need them inspected regarding removal or pest control, leave it up to a professional who has the tools that can examine without causing a disturbance.
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