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Bugging and listening devices serve an array functions and theres no definitive best choice; its all about what suits your needs.
These can range from very basic dictaphone devices used for record keeping and safeguarding to disguised and discreet voice recorders used for evidence gathering. As with most things, its senseless paying for more than you need and its risky cheaping out; always get the best you can afford that meets your needs. If you need to record a person or a conversation without the subject or subjects knowing, a disguised listening device may be your best choice. If you simply want to record a conversation, a digital voice recorder will do the trick. In order to avoid the need for you to be physically present when recording, most audio recorders are voice or remote activated. Call recording Call recording devices serve a different need to audio listening devices. Namely they capture a conversation that happens on a targeted phone line rather than in an ambient space. Therefore the audio capture needs and means of transmission (how you get the recording) are different. If you suspect criminal activity is being arranged or discussed via a phone line, call recording devices can assist in gathering vital evidence.
These are somewhat more advanced than audio recording devices. While an audio recording device may be disguised as a calculator or teddy bear, GSM audio listening bugs are disguised as room fixtures, such as plug sockets or power adapters. These sort of things are less likely to be inadvertently removed from a room. If you have a target area, such as office or a room in a house, this method of audio capture is likely to serve your needs the best. If you dont have a target area and instead are focused around a specific person or people, a digital voice recorder than you transport with you may be more adept. Devices that let you listen through walls When its too dangerous or too indiscreet to even attempt to gain access to a site or location, devices that listen through walls can be the perfect solution. Using highly sensitive directional microphones, infrared or in some cases even lasers, these devices enable you to keep a safe distance and a low profile while gathering evidential voice recording evidence. Some laser-guided audio recorders enable you to gather robust audio evidence from as far away as 500 meters while still maintaining pinpoint accuracy. Image credit - Wiki Commons