Wildlife Acoustics Blog

What's new in the SM3M?

What's new in the SM3M?

Our new SM3M marine recorder is full of improvements on our popular SM2M model.

Wondering what’s changed?Here’s a quick rundown of a few of the features we’ve added to make this our most intuitive and dependable marine recorder and noise logger yet!

Reliability Improvements

  • Heavy duty hydrophone cage offers greater protection
  • Hydrophone waterblock prevents leakage into the device
  • New heavy duty carrying case for the SM3M submersible


  • Easier to program
  • Alerts you when you’ve made a mistake in loading, editing, or running a program
  • Complete control over all internal parameters
  • Automatic set up--simply connect your hydrophone(s), load a program, and press start
  • Status button lets you quickly check usage, battery voltage, and more
  • Metadata embedded in the files and enhanced self diagnostics

Advanced Technology

  • New circuit design
  • Improved battery life
  • Temperature-controlled clock crystal maintains clock accuracy at extreme temperatures
  • Native SDXC support, meaning no re-formatting needed
  • Nap mode allows recorder to improve battery life by up to 50%
  • Record on 2 channels up to 256 kHz or one channel up to 384 kHz
  • ...and more!

If you have any questions about our latest marine recorders, don't hesitate to contact us and we'd be happy to help!

How should I save, in .wac or in .wav?

How should I save, in .wac or in .wav?

If you have used our ultrasonic Song Meters before, you may be familiar with two different options for saving our recordings, triggered .wav, and our proprietary compressed format, .wac. While we recommend triggered .wav format in almost all cases, there are a few instances where it may benefit you to use .wac format instead.

  • First, we recommend our ultrasonic users record to triggered .wav format for several reasons:
    Triggered .wav format comes with noise scrubbing capability, which allows for more accurate triggers. This means you won’t be wasting card space with recordings that have been falsely triggered by non-animal noises, such as rain. Though .wac files takes up less space than .wav, this could actually offset the amount of space that would have been saved recording in a compressed format if you are in an area prone to ultrasonic noise.
  • Wav is 30% more energy efficient than .wac and can be used directly for ZC analysis
  • If you are using a Song Meter SM3, you will have automatically embedded metadata in your .wav files.

So when is it preferable to use .wac?

If you are interested in GPS tracking, you may find it more valuable to record to the .wac format. .Wac recordings take GPS information every second, allowing for continuous tracking data. While some GPS data is available with .wav, you will have fewer data points than in .wac.

Another advantage of .wac is independent triggering. If you are recording different species on different channels, you may want only one channel to trigger at once. For example, you may want to record birds on one channel, and bats on another. You wouldn’t want bats to trigger recording on both channels if there won’t be another birds to record for several hours. In situations such as these, the .wac format will be much more space saving than .wav.

"Should I Update My Firmware?"

"Should I Update My Firmware?"

What is firmware?

Firmware is software that is embedded inside of hardware. In this case, the hardware is a bioacoustics recorder.

What does a firmware update do?

Firmware updates often improve the function of the hardware in some way, such as making it compatible with other devices, debugging it, or adding new features.

Why should I update my firmware?

Updating firmware helps users avoid running into bugs that we have already identified and fixed or adds functionality.

Wildlife Acoustics is proud to support wildlife conservation efforts

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