Out of the box, the Song Meter Mini and Mini Bat will run on a set of four AA batteries. This includes the most common alkaline batteries, as well as rechargeable NiMH batteries and non-rechargeable lithium AA batteries. When running on four alkaline AA batteries, we expect about 210 hours of continuous sonic recording or up to 25 ten-hour nights of triggered ultrasonic recording. NiMH batteries tend not to last as long as alkalines for a single use cycle, while lithium AA batteries are often advertised as lasting longer. Refer to the battery manufacturer's data sheets for more detailed comparisons between different battery chemistries.
Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries will work with the SM Mini and Mini Bat with the built-in AA battery tray, but they are not to be confused with Lithium-ion batteries, which are rechargeable, larger, and work with the optional SM Mini Lithium Ion Lid, which can be purchased as an accessory in our store.
The graph shown below is taken from Energizer’s data sheet for their Ultimate Lithium AA batteries. It compares the performance of Energizer Alkaline batteries and Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries depending on how much current a device draws from the batteries. The SM Mini and Mini Bat draw very little current, only 10 to 15 milliamps on average. At this level of current usage, Energizer’s graph shows that the Ultimate Lithium batteries perform about 20% better than Alkaline batteries at room temperature. In our real-world testing, the advantage over Alkaline batteries was closer to 10%, but the Ultimate Lithium battery performance may further exceed Alkaline batteries at lower temperatures.