Review of The LunaBat DFR-1 Pro Bat Detector From Animal Sound Labs
Part 1 of 2 - Hardware, User Manual, and other considerations.
The LunaBat DFR-1, with Non-Illuminated Keys, is priced at 849 Euros.
The DFR-1 Pro bat detector is feature-rich. It has all of the useful features one would find helpful (especially while doing field surveys). And none which might be considered useless, or gimmicky.
- High dynamic range, full-spectrum recording onto standard SD cards.
- Built-in sensors for temperature and humidity.
- Optional built-in GNSS (GPS) with convenient blue LED indicator.
- FD detection for listening through speaker or headphones.
- The (Pro Version) of the detector may also be powered via MicroUSB socket, via an external 5V source, such as a power bank.
- Information displayed on the LCD when the unit is powered up.
- Automatic recording triggered by signal level (performance of this feature is constantly evolving with firmware updates).
Some features I find unique and particularly fascinating are:
- The built-in high voltage generator, which uses 200V to polarize the membrane of optional electrostatic microphones (Model #'s MC-1, MC-2).
- The volume setting is remembered when the unit is powered back on.
- The FD processed signal may be recorded, if one chooses to.
The DFR-1 Pro is very easy to use, straight out of the box. It also has plenty of features to keep you busy customizing it 'till your heart's content. As always, I advise readers to download and peruse the User Manual, available in PDF format (direct link above). It will give a complete account of all features, great and small.
While it boasts Professional-level performance, it also has the appearance of what I've come to refer to as - the quintessential bat detector.
During my extensive testing (Summer 2020) I found The DFR-1 Pro to be a very accurate instrument. Listening to bat calls (live/FD mode) in the field was always a pleasure.
- Robust design, including microphone and (optional) GNSS module. 3 modules to choose from.
- Excellent sensitivity, and pick-up range.
- Outstanding (384kHz) full spectrum recording quality.
- Frequency division sounds great, and is customizable.
- DFR-1 Pro FS recordings produce excellent spectrograms...
- No live sonograms.
- No proprietary software (as with The Batlogger(s) from Elekon, et al).
The LunaBat DFR-1 Pro may be ordered directly from The Animal Sound Labs website.
For those who like the look and feel of The DFR-1 Pro, I'd like to mention the entry level (affordable) version of The LunaBat: The DFD-1