Laser based listening devices work by bouncing the beam off of a window. Sounds in the room cause minute vibrations in the window. These vibrations modulate the laser beam. The laser beam is then converted back into sound at the receiver. Hack-A-Day reader [Aaron v] decided to build one of these devices. It worked, but needs some improvement. He followed plans found here (Coral CDN cache). I’ve also got a local copy of the receiver schematic since there doesn’t seem to be too many of these projects with decent hosting. Williamson Labs has a good discussion of the problems these systems can run into and more advanced setups like interferometry.