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Ethics statement from John Chenger
I began Bat Conservation and Management in 1999 in an effort to supply homeowners with an alternative to the low-end "nature shop" bat houses. I quickly became obsessed with the unique challenges posed by any attempt to study bats. So my mission evolved. I began to acquire, modify, test, sometimes abuse, sometimes invent, and sometimes influence manufacturers on a number of tools used for bat research. Realizing there was a need to make these tools available in one location, I hand-picked the best of the obscure bat equipment to make available on this web site. Although BCM works closely with many organizations and agencies, we are in no way affiliated, managed, or funded by them.

I am a reseller of Pettersson Electronik, BatBox, Binary Acoustic Technologies, Elekon, SonoBat, and up until December 2014, Wildlife Acoustics bat detectors and software. As such, it is in my best interest to promote the items these manufacturers produce. But, I only recommend equipment I use and think suits a bat study or research application. I also rely upon numerous peers and colleagues for their opinions and suggestions. Sometimes they help me to see new advantages and applications for gear that I would never have imagined.

I've asked a cadre of my associates to assist with the product reviews on this site. I feel they have come to the effort honestly, professionally, and without bias. It's a confusing world out there . . . one that I'd like to help others navigate. It's my sincere hope that buyers new to the world of bat work can benefit from the wisdom of our collective experience.

Happy batting!

Microphone Shootouts
Sound Quality Comparisons

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We demonstrate real-world, side-by-side comparisons of popular bat detector
microphones using real bats approaching from random directions; just like a real field survey would present.

Anabat SD1
Elekon BATLOGGER
Pettersson D240x
Pettersson D500x
Wildlife Acoustics SM2 384 SMXUS
Wildlife Acoustics SM2 384 SMXUT
Wildlife Acoustics SM2 384 SMXUT w/d
irectional horn adapter

Wildlife Acoustics SM3 U1
Wildlife Acoustics Echometer Touch

© Bat Conservation and Management, Inc. 1998-2014. Absolutely no rights of distribution by sale or other transfer of ownership or by rental, lease or lending, preparation of derivative works, or reproduction, in whole or in part, is granted. No text, graphics or photos may be downloaded and used on another Internet site, without express permission of BCM, Inc. For information on obtaining photo usage and rights, please see our contact page. BCM, Inc. reserves the rights to actively protect against infringement.

Software - Automated
Bat Call Analysis Apps

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We look at how the analysis apps work, what they tell you, what they lack. Most importantly with the auto-classifiers, we show which ones best reflect reality.

Echoclass
BCID
Kaleidoscope Pro
SonoBat 3

 

Hardware
Bat Detector Reviews

alldetectors2013TImpartial reviews of bat detector hardware, how they work, what issues we found, and what the seem best for.

Anabat SD1
BatBox Baton
Binary Acoustic Technologies AR125
Binary Acoustic Technologies AR125EXT
Binary Acoustic Technologies IFR-IV
Elekon BATLOGGER
Elekon BATSCANNER
Pettersson D100
Pettersson D200
Pettersson D230
Pettersson D240x
Pettersson D500x
Pettersson D1000x
Wildlife Acoustics SM2+
Wildlife Acoustics SM3
Wildlife Acoustics EM3
Wildlife Acoustics EM Touch

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Bat Detector Comparison Chart

BCM's bat workshop staff with over 60 years of combined bat acoustic experience has created this simple chart to more quickly match users needs with devices. Staff does not like marketing hype of features that don't actually work, caveats that manufacturers don't mention until directly pressed, or watching people struggle with stretching a machines capabilities into places it was not really intended to go. If you believe our charts to be biased, observe our highest rated device is not sold thru BCM at this time. All units were purchased from manufacturers except for the EM3 which was a gift for testing. These charts will expand as we include more detectors and complete individual detector reviews.

Bat echolocation is one of the most sophisticated animal adaptations in the natural world. And the electronics created to eavesdrop on sounds, well above the range of human hearing, are equally sophisticated. Twenty years ago we only had one or two choices for bat detectors that could transform what bats did in fractions of a second, in a soundscape foreign to us, into something illustrative of their prowess. Today there are dozens of ultrasonic solutions, each with advantages, disadvantages, and practical applications.

As the choices for bat detectors continue to widen, bat-workers are faced with the prospect of investing tens of thousands of dollars in equipment for which there is often no opportunity to "test drive" or even browse side-by-side comparisons. Moreover, the learning curves for the various makes and models of detectors varies due to unequal user aptitude, the always unpredictable nature of the bats being investigated, and the often challenging recording locations or situations.

Not only is there a significant monetary investment to purchase bat detectors these days, but it pales in comparison with the time investment of actually learning how to get the most from each manufacturer's product, troubleshooting cryptic buttons and manuals, attempting to deploy multiple units together in the field, and then dealing with the data burden to finally be able to discuss something meaningful from the data recorded.

This site is an attempt to wade thru the technical jargon from manufacturers specifications, vet the marketing claims each uses to promote their equipment, and distill the complex features of each bat detector's settings, features, and capabilities into just the facts.

Sign up to receive our newsletter containing important information on upcoming workshops, SonoBat updates, new bat detector products, and firmware updates. We will also provide tips and tricks for installing bat houses, getting bats out of houses, and other professional survey techniques.

Bat Detector and Analysis Software
Review and Comparison

To better appreciate these comparisons, please review our Ten Minute Bat Acoustic Monitoring School sections
if you do not have a working knowledge of bat detectors.

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