Wildlife Acoustics Blog

How to choose a bat detector

How to choose a bat detector

With our new SM4BAT Full Spectrum and Zero Crossing recorders shipping soon, you may be wondering how to choose the best bat detector and recorder from our product line up.

What they all have in common

All of the Wildlife Acoustics bat detectors have the ability to record bats. They are all equipped with the low noise FG microphone element, making for superior recordings in a variety of climates and conditions.

Passive vs. Active

Our SM3BAT and SM4BAT are weatherproof passive bat detectors, meaning that you may leave them unattended while they record, sometimes for weeks or months at a time.

On the other hand, the Echo Meter Touch is best used for active bat detecting, meaning that you would likely hold it in your hand or stay with the device as it detects and record bats.

Our newest release, the SM4BAT, is a great choice of bat detector and our first recommendation for a passive bat detector. It is compact, lightweight, and built for long deployments. It will suit just about every need.

However, there may be instances in which one bat detector will meet your unique requirements better than others. For example, you may be looking for an active bat detector, in which case you would choose the Echo Meter Touch. Or, you may need to record birds and bats on the same device, in which case you would need the SM3BAT.

Here is a guide to choosing the best bat detector for you:

Choose SM4BAT If…

  • You are looking for a lightweight detector/recorder (It is just .64kg without batteries)
  • You are planning long deployments
  • You only need to record in zero crossing (SM4BAT ZC)
  • You are only recording bats and not other wildlife

Good for: Unattended monitoring, Transects, Citizen Science

Our SM3BAT is a versatile bat detector and recorder. It is capable of creating detailed custom schedules and can record everything in a soundscape, from aquatic life to birds and bats.

Choose SM3BAT if:

  • You are programming different schedules for different days
  • You would like to record in ultrasound as well as in lower frequencies
  • You will need to record with hydrophones

Good for: Unattended monitoring, Transects, Recording bats and other wildlife at the same time

Our Echo Meter Touch is not only a fun and easy product to use, but a bona fide professional bat research tool. Key features include a real time scrolling spectrogram, auto identification of bat species, real time GPS tracking, and a way to quickly share sound files directly from your iOS device.

Choose Echo Meter Touch if:

  • You want an active bat detector and recorder
  • You would like to see a live spectrogram of your recordings
  • You want instant identification of species
  • You would like to listen to bat calls in real-time expansion (RTE) or heterodyne mode (feature coming in version 2.0)
  • You want to be able to track your path in real time using GPS

Good for: Active Bat Detecting, Transects, Education walks, Citizen Science Projects

For a detailed comparison of the specifications of each our bat detectors and recorders, see our Bat Detector Comparison Chart!

Wildlife Acoustics is proud to support wildlife conservation efforts

Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation Orginization for Bat Conservation Bat Conservation International Bat Conservation Trust Wildlife Habitat Counsil