A recent species, only distinguished from the common pipistrelle (P pipistrelles) in 1999 based on different-frequency echo-location calls. The common pipistrelle uses a call of 45 kHz, while the soprano pipistrelle echo-locates at 55 kHz. The two are sometimes called the 45 kHz pipistrelle and the 55 kHz pipistrelle, or the bandit pipistrelle (common) and brown pipistrelle (soprano).
Often chooses habitats with semi-natural woodland or tree lines; and along riverbanks. Summer roosts are in cracks and crevices in buildings, behind panelling, shutters and eaves, in trees and in bat boxes. Winter roosts, inhabited by both sexes from mid-November to early March, are in trees and buildings. Female nursery roosts of 25-50 individuals form from April, significantly larger than those of the common pipistrelle. Males occupy territories year-round and defend them during the mating season when special social calls are emitted and the bats smell strongly of musk.