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Song Meter SM4 Acoustic Recorder

Song Meter SM4 Acoustic Recorder

The Wildlife Acoustics Song Meter SM4 is the proven industry standard wildlife audio recording equipment, specially engineered to deliver quality sound recordings of birds, frogs, and other vocal animals in the wild.

With the ability to store terabytes of data and record birds and wildlife in the field for months at a time, the Song Meter SM4 gives scientists a flexible tool for conducting species inventory, presence/absence surveys, endangered species detection and habitat health monitoring.


High Quality Recordings

The SM4 features two second-generation built-in microphones that create higher quality recordings of birds and vocalizing animals than previous generations of Song Meter microphones. The low-noise microphones have a superior signal-to-noise ratio so you capture more wildlife sounds that matter to you.


Dual-Channel Recording Capability

Take advantage of the SM4’s dual-channel feature to ensure that recording continues – even after one microphone is disabled by wildlife-incurred damage. Record in stereo or mono using the built-in microphones, or connect one or two cabled microphones. Adding additional runs of cable to the external microphone gives you the ability to capture audio from far-off wildlife such as birds in the forest canopy or frogs at a nearby pond.


Easy-to-use Scheduling

To get you started quickly, the SM4 features easy-to-use Quick Start schedules, such as sunrise to sunset. You can also customize your schedules for specific wildlife sound recording needs. The free SM4 Configurator software can be used to configure settings and schedules from a computer. The SM4 Configurator software also provides a Security Lock option to prevent accidental changes to deployment and recording settings.


Large Storage Capacity

The SM4 has two SD card slots that accept SDHC and SDXC cards. When fitted with two 1TB cards, the SM4 can store up to two terabytes of data.

In addition, you can save card space by using W4V Compression. The format doubles the capacity of your SD cards with no noticeable degradation of recording quality. The resulting W4V files can be opened with and/or converted to uncompressed WAV files using the free version of Kaleidoscope software.



  • Industry-standard line of birds, frogs, and other vocal wildlife audio recorders, with over 20,000 SM4 family recorders sold to date
  • Proven and reliable, with only 0.64% of recorders requiring in-warranty repairs 
  • 3-year warranty
  • Weatherproof design suitable for any environment
  • Compact, at 8.6” x 7.3” x 3.1” (218 mm x 186 mm x 78 mm)
  • Built-in fail-safe and fault-tolerant technology, including two flash cards for failover and extensive internal diagnostics 
  • Two built-in, low-noise microphones allow for quality, stereo animal recordings
  • Flexible gain settings and high-pass filters for optimal performance in different recording environments
  • Record 510 hours scheduled over months using four D cell batteries, 305 hours using NiMH batteries or even longer using external power.
  • Choose a quick-start schedule or easily create your own
  • Strong anti-alias filters improve signal-to-noise ratios
  • Capable of storing terabytes of data to two SDHC/SDXC flash cards
  • Optional cabled microphones and hydrophones
  • GPS attachment allows you to set date, time and location for multiple recorders
  • Save card space via W4V compression, doubling the capacity of SD cards without degrading recording quality 
  • Compatible with Kaleidoscope Pro software to quickly scan recordings to help find species of interest


Technical Specifications


Recording Format:

Two-channel, 16-bit PCM .wav files or compressed .w4v files

Sample Rates:

The recorder supports the following sample rates in samples per second on one or two channels: 8000, 12000, 16000, 22050, 24000, 32000, 44100, 48000, 96000

Built-in Microphones (2):

  • Directional Characteristic: Omni-Directional
  • Sensitivity: -35 ±4 dB (0 dB=1V/pa@1kHz)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 80 dB Typ. at 1kHz (1 Pa, A weighted network)
  • Max Input Sound Level: 126 dB SPL Typ.


510 hours (typical at 24kHz stereo) with 4 D-cell Alkaline or 310 hours with NiHM batteries

Power Options:

  • Internal power using 4 D-size alkaline or rechargeable NiHM batteries
  • External power via optional SM3/SM4 Power Cable


*We recommend using SanDisk SDHC/SDXC cards. You can buy them from our store.

  • 2 SDHC/SDXC flash card slots (Class 4 or greater)*
  • More than 1 terabyte total capacity using 2 512GB SDXC cards
  • Compression is available to further increase storage capacity

Dimensions: Height: 8.6" / 218 mm; Width: 7.32" / 186 mm; Depth: 3.1" / 78 mm

Enclosure Material: Polycarbonate

Enclosure Environmental Protection: Fully weatherproof with integrated humidity control

Operating Temperature: -4°F to +185°F or -20°C to 85°C

Warranty: 3 years (4 years from us!) - microphones 3 years

  • Microphone Options

    SMM-A2 Acoustic Microphone

    The cabled SMM-A2 acoustic microphone is the cabled version of the SM4's built in microphones. As with the recorder's built-in microphones, this mic creates higher quality recordings than those from all previous Song Meter microphones models. The microphone is weatherproof and comes with a 3-meter cable. It can also be deployed up to 100 meters away from the recorder.

  • Audio Specifications


    Sensitivity built-in -35 ±4 dB (0 dB=1V/pa@1kHz)
    Sensitivity SMM-A2 -9 ±4 dB (0 dB=1V/pa@1kHz)
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio 80dB typical at 1kHz (1 Pa, A weighted network)
    Dynamic Range with Preamplifier 14dB - 100dB SPL at 0dB gain
    Dynamic Range without Preamplifier 39dB - 126dB SPL at 0dB gain


  • Accessories

    SM3/SM4 Power Cable

    The SM3/SM4 Power Cable allows the SM4 to run on external battery power or a complete solar panel charging system. Simply plug the cable into the recorder's power connector and connect the other end to the battery system using the included spade or ring terminals. The SM4 will handle external power sources from 4.5 to 17V DC and is protected against accidental reverse voltage.

    Marine-Grade Padlock

    This lock will ensure your recorder's cover is secured. The unit features a brass body and cylinder to provide extra resistance to the elements. The marine grade lock is keyed alike, allowing multiple locks to open with the same key.

    Weather Resistant Cable Lock

    The adjustable locking mechanism holds the 6'/1.8m cable tight in any position for a secure fit. The unit features a weather resistant lock and vinyl coated 5/16"/8mm braided steel cable. Note: Lock is keyed differently.

    SM4 Armor

    Made of indestructible steel and coated in a durable powder epoxy finish, this custom-designed case is the best solution for preventing prying teeth and claws from damaging your SM4. It provides visibility of the unit's LED light and also protects the unit's cable and power connections.

    Song Meter Surge Suppressor

    The Song Meter Surge Suppressor protects SM4/SM4BAT recorders from power surges that could harm your recorders. This accessory should be used wherever microphones are mounted at elevation. Combine the Surge Suppressor with the SMM-U2 Grounding Bracket for added protection.

    The suppressor is also compatible with the SM3 and SM3BAT.

    Song Meter SM4 GPS Option

    For researchers who have large geographic areas to cover, the GPS option is a valuable, time-saving tool. When deploying multiple recorders, use a single GPS accessory to set and synchronize the date, time and location settings on/between each of your recorders.

    SM4 Replacement Microphone Stub

    Replacement kit for internal acoustic microphone stub for SM4 recorder. Windscreen included.

    Replacement Windscreens

    One pair. Includes clips.

    SM3/SM4 Microphone Cable (3/10/50 meters)

    For SM3 and SM4 families. Compatible with SMM-A1, A2, U1, U2 microphones.

VAT Included
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