Ethics statement from John Chenger
Wildlife Acoustics SM2 384 SMXUS
Wildlife Acoustics SM2 384 SMXUT
Wildlife Acoustics SM2 384 SMXUT w/directional horn adapter
Wildlife Acoustics SM3 U1
Wildlife Acoustics Echometer Touch
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Impartial reviews of bat detector hardware, how they work, what issues we found, and what the seem best for.
Binary Acoustic Technologies AR125
Binary Acoustic Technologies AR125EXT
Binary Acoustic Technologies IFR-IV
Wildlife Acoustics SM2+
Wildlife Acoustics SM3
Wildlife Acoustics EM3
Wildlife Acoustics EM Touch
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.
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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.