However, modern programmable sound recording devices are now the better option for logging animal vocalisations.
Scientists lead by the University of Göttingen have investigated this using studies of birds as an example.
The results were published in the journal Ecological Applications.
"Data collection by people is less reliable, provides only approximate values, and is difficult to standardise and verify," says first author Dr Kevin Darras from the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Göttingen.
For comparison purposes, the international research team prepared a systematic overview based on data from previous bird studies.
"In a previous meta-analysis, we found that recording devices could detect and identify at least as many species as traditional ornithologists using standard techniques," says Darras.