The batcorder was developed specifically for the automated use for nature consulting, conservation monitoring, FFH, etc. It is the only device available that records comparable data (between devices and sample nights). This is possible due to the calibration of each device and the highly omnidirectional properties of its microphone. Furthermore its technical properties are optimized for automated analysis of recordings. Large data sets, gathered for example in long term monitoring projects, couldn't be analysed as easily Without these optimizations. Due to its specializations, the batcorder is not suited equally well for all different detection tasks.
Different ways exist to asses bats with acoustical methods in the wild. Depending on the assessment goals, available techniques and knowledge of bat populations in the area one can choose to detect bats in a mobile or stationary manner. You can record bats while moving along transects (mobile) and cover large areas. You also can detect activity hot-spots while moving around. These for example you may then monitor with a stationary detection setup.
Depending on the available devices you can actively detect bats by using your ears and a typical bat detector (heterodyne, frequency division). In contrast passive devices may not necessarily give you audible feedback on bat presence, but record automatically whenever a signal triggers them (amplitude threshold or real bat calls). Both modes of operation have pros and cons.
Usually you choose passive detection devices if you need to monitor a single location for a prolonged time (at least one whole night), since a human operator can not be equally sensitive for such a long time. Passive detection in its optimal setup avoids subjective errors. You always have to take care about microphone setup in passive detection devices since directionality of the microphone may influence your recording count enormously. To get all bats, the microphone has to be sensible for sound from all directions. Only the batcorder offers a microphone specifically designed for this task.