Best Baby Monitor Review

  • #1 Best-selling high-quality video baby monitor.
  • HD video, built-in nightlight, temperature and humidity sensors.
  • The only baby monitor that shows a graph of your baby's breathing.
  • Affordable baby monitor featuring up to 1,000 ft of Range, 5-Level Sound Indicator & Belt Clip.
  • High-quality video baby monitor for parents on a budget.

This article has been updated on

New parents love to be with their baby, but it’s impossible to be with your child at all times. A reliable baby monitor lets parents keep an eye on their baby at all times, even from work!

You can go about your day, cleaning the house or working in the garden while knowing that your child is safe in their bed. Getting one of the best baby monitors is a must-have for all parents!

If you head into the store, you’ll notice a huge variety of baby monitors, as well as a wide range of prices. They can range in price from $40 up into the hundreds! Baby monitors have a variety of features, like long-range monitoring, dual cameras, and WiFi connectivity.

So, let’s break down what you need to know and our pick for the 5 best baby monitors.

5 Best-Selling Baby Monitors in March 2019

1. Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

Infant Optics earned a spot on our list because of the over 20,000 – seriously – reviews from parents! It’s not often you see a baby gear reviewed so much, but parents rave about the features and quality, so you know there has to be something here.

Infant Optics DXR-8 gives parents the capability to zoom in extra close to their baby, even if the camera is further away from the crib. You are able to remotely adjust the camera with the receiving monitor. There is more to love, so let’s check it out!

Infant Optics DXR-8 Baby Monitor Overview

  • Type of Monitor

The Infants Optics is video and audio monitor that is very high quality in both daytime and nighttime. Parents do have the options to just use the digital audio portion rather than both. It has a 700 feet range, which is adequate!

  • Power Source

Parents love that you can leave the monitor on for up to 10 hours in the power-saving mode. This mode means you don’t have to worry about leaving it plugged in overnight, but it does offer the option to leave it plugged into an outlet. The power-saving mode provides sound monitoring only, leaving the display off. If you leave the display working, it will last for six hours.

It does use batteries, and we found that it was one of the few monitors that can last through the night unplugged with the display off. Then, it lasted a few more hours throughout the day before needing a charger.

The manufacturers claim that the batteries can last 10 hours with the display, and we can attest to the fact that they last even longer.

The model can charge via USB connection, which is something other models don’t offer.

  • Expandability and Receivers

Parents can expand the Infants Optics up to four cameras, so you have the option to place cameras throughout your house. When you use the receiver, you just press a button to toggle and move through the various camera locations. Unfortunately, this receiver doesn’t allow you to see all of the screens at one time, which is a bummer. Toggling through them isn’t difficult though!

We should note that each camera is expensive, so if you were to add three more cameras, you are investing a few hundred dollars. If your goal is to have several cameras throughout your house, that might not be the most affordable choice.

  • Wireless Encryption

Infant Optics does feature wireless encryption, so parents can feel comfortable using this baby monitor.

  • Extra Features

The Infant Optics stands out on our list because of its the multitude of features. First, it features a two-way intercom that lets the parent talk or sing to your baby.

Next, we love the ability to pan, tilt, zoom the camera; you can pivot the camera remotely up to 270-degrees left to right. You also can tilt the camera up and down to 120-degrees. That’s fantastic!

Parents also like the baby room temperature sensor that displays the reading on your receiver. Speaking of the parent unit, it is simple, easy-to-use, and basic. It doesn’t have a touchscreen, but rather a group of four buttons to navigate through the options.

The Infant Optics sounds amazing, so is there a catch? You’ll pay for all of the fantastic features; it’s not the cheapest choice! The quality, reliability, and features make the DXR-8 one of the top choices.

PROS:
  • Remotely adjustable
  • Power-saving mode for 10 hours of battery life
  • Room temperature display
  • Great battery life

CONS:
  • Expensive extra cameras
  • Pricey

Read Verified Customer Reviews

2. Nanit Smart Baby Monitor

Some parents want to have stats and analyzed data. If that sounds like you, the Nanit Smart Baby Monitor offers a camera that watches your child’s every moment. Then, the system analyzes the data and lets you know what it means.

All of the data is sent to your smartphone, which happens to also be your handheld receiver, and it lets you know when your child wakes up, is fussing, or falls asleep. The information is analyzed, and the Nanit gives a sleep score to let you know how many hours your baby actually slept that night.

The Nanit also keeps track of how many times you entered your child’s room and how long it took your baby to fall asleep.

Nanit Smart Baby Monitor Overview

  • Type of Monitor

The Nanit is a wireless network monitor, capable of streaming live videos and audio directly to your smartphone. Parents can check on their child even if they aren’t home. It streams in high-definition digital video and digital audio. You just have to download the app to your Android or iOS device. Nanit needs to be connected to your home’s existing router.

  • Power Source

Unfortunately, the Nanit must be plugged into an outlet for it to work. The receiver is your smartphone, so it can run either way. Frequent watching of the live stream can cause your battery to die quicker on your smartphone.

  • Expandability

If you want to monitor more than one baby, Nanit offers twin and triple packs. You can switch between each camera with the click on a button. If the app isn’t open, you can still get real-time sound and motion notifications for both babies. The cost is significantly higher though!

  • Wireless Encryption

Nanit is extremely safe for parents and babies. All data and communications are encrypted and unidentifiable. Nanit uses AES 256-bit symmetric-key encryption. What that means is only you can see your baby.

Nanit doesn’t use an IP address that could be hacked. Instead, the system pushes an encrypted video to right their servers and your authenticated device. Talk about safety! That Nanit is awesome!

  • Extra Features

Nanit offers several extra features aside from its ability to analyze data. It includes a nightlight, a temperature sensor, and a humidity sensor. The camera features a digital zoom, so you can zoom in and out from your app to get a better view of your baby.

Nanit also includes a wall-mount, so you can have an overhead view of your baby. The kit includes the wall mounting hardware and cord hiding strips.

One thing to consider is that, if you want to receive the stats, you need to download the Nanit Insights app. It’s a subscription-based service. The first year is free with your purchase, but then its $100 per year to get all of the stats.

PROS:
  • Sends analyzed sleep date
  • High-definition video and audio
  • Nightlight
  • Temperature sensor
  • Wall-mounting hardware included

CONS:
  • Costly subscription app for stats
  • Must wall mount
  • Expensive

Read Verified Customer Reviews

3. Cocoon Cam Baby Monitor

SIDS is real and scary, and new parents often need a bit of comfort to sleep better at night. The Cocoon Cam sends a graph to your smartphone that shows your child’s breathing patterns by watching the rise and fall of your baby’s chest. If the Cam senses that something might be wrong, it sends an instant notification to your smartphone.

The system also sends notifications if your child falls asleep, cries, or when he starts to stir before waking up.

Cocoon Cam s Baby Monitor Overview

  • Type of Monitor

Cocoon Cam is a wireless network monitor that live streams video and audio over the existing Wifi network in your home. Unlike other options, Cocoon does let you connect with an ethernet cable! That means you can watch your baby wherever you want. It features 720p high definition videos that come in crisp and clear.

  • Power Source

The camera does, unfortunately, require to be plugged into an outlet. The receiving unit is your phone, and streaming the video does take up some of your battery.

  • Expandability

You can’t expand with the Cocoon Cam. It is meant just to work with the one camera and monitor your child. The alerts are sent for one child.

  • Wireless Encryption

A video feed is sent wirelessly over to your phone, and the live stream is encrypted so that no one else can access the feed. That should make you feel better!

  • Extra Features

We like that the Cocoon Cam comes with wall mounting hardware. Unfortunately, if you want to mount it elsewhere, you have to purchase a stand for it. That means it might not be the best choice if you can’t drill into the work for the mount. Some rentals don’t allow that, so consider the rules of your housing.

One of the main negatives of the Cocoon Cam is that you have to manually adjust the lens. You can’t use your phone to get a better focus on your baby. So, that means, you want to make sure you mount it correctly.

PROS:
  • Monitors baby’s breathing problems
  • Live streams video and audio over WiFi
  • Streams in high-definition
  • Works with an ethernet cable

CONS:
  • Require a wall mount
  • Cannot remotely pan or tilt

Read Verified Customer Reviews

4. VTech DM111 Audio Baby Monitor

Are you in the market for something simple? The VTech DM111 is the perfect choice for you then! Most cheap video monitors, you get what you pay for, but the VTech DM111 is a quality audio-only monitor.

We love the crisp, clear sound and the talk-back function which is better than other options. It has a longer range and easily beats out other audio-only monitors. The thousands of positive reviews prove that this monitor, despite its basicness, is a worthy contender.

VTech DM111 Baby Monitor Overview

  • Type of Monitor

VTech DM111 is a basic, audio-only monitor. You are only able to hear your baby, not see him, but VTech did add a talk-back function. VTech advertises that it has a 1,000 feet range, and that’s also impressive.

Chances are you can head out to the garden with the receiver and hear your baby just fine. You just have to decide if the loss of a video is a huge deal to you or not!

VTech uses DECT 6.0 digital technology that helps to eliminate any background noise or interference. That means the transmission you hear of your baby will be clear without static. It makes it easier to determine if your baby is fussing or actually crying.

  • Power Source

The battery lasts around 19 hours when on a full charge; that’s pretty impressive. It has one of the strongest battery lives in any of our tests. You really can’t compare this battery life compared to a video monitor, but we do like that you don’t have to worry as much about keeping it plugged in all day and night. It does use 2 AAA alkaline batteries that are sold separately.

  • Expandability

Because the VTech is just an audio monitor, there is no ability to expand it. If you want to monitor two rooms, you’ll need two sets.

  • Wireless Encryption

While the VTech doesn’t work on the wireless network, it does use DECT technology which sends a secure, encrypted signal. That means you never have to worry that the weird neighbor down the road can tap into the feed and hear if your baby is awake.

  • Extra Features

On the side of the transmitter, there is a set of five LED lights that let you know how loud your baby is crying. These lights are helpful because some babies fuss and make noises in their sleep. He may let out a cry or two in the middle of sleeping.

Seeing the lights let you know if you need to go get him. Also, it means you can turn down the monitor when you’re watching a movie and still can tell if your baby wakes up.

VTech added a simple built-in belt clip that lets you move around the house freely and hands-free, taking advantage of the extended range.

VTech does have one issue – connectivity. Parents do note that sometimes it has difficulty linking up or randomly dropping signal. That doesn’t happen to everyone though! However, despite the lack of features, it’s a great budget-friendly baby monitor. It’s also a great choice for a caregiver!

PROS:
  • 1,000-foot range
  • LED lights to indicate sounds
  • DECT technology
  • Long-lasting battery

CONS:
  • Lack of features
  • Cannot expand
  • Issues with connections

Read Verified Customer Reviews

5. Babysense Video Baby Monitor

The last baby monitor on our list is the Babysense Video Baby Monitor, which is a great bang-for-your-buck choice. It won’t break your bank, but it also has solid features.

You might notice that this monitor is sold under two names: Babysense and Smilism. They’re both the same thing with different logos. We aren’t too sure why the company sells under two brand names.

So, let’s take a look at what’s so great about this monitor.

Babysense Video Baby Monitor Overview

  • Type of Monitor

Babysense is an audio and video monitor that offers parents crystal clear sound quality and a high-quality LCD screen to keep an eye on your baby. The camera has infrared night vision that detects dim lighting. That means the video quality is always clear, even in a dark room, so you will always know what your baby is doing. You can monitor your baby from as far away as 900 feet in open space.

  • Power Source

To save battery life, Babysense added an “eco” mode that keeps the screen off unless your baby starts to make sounds. On top of the unit, a little flashing light lets you know that it’s on eco mode. The monitor screen will automatically turn back on, light up, and start transmitting sound and video signal when your baby starts to make sounds. Parents can control the sound activation level – low, medium, or high.

  • Expandability

This monitor is expandable! You can add up to 4 cameras and use the same base unit. Using the base unit, you can cycle through all 4 cameras at any given time. Unfortunately, you aren’t able to simultaneously view all of the cameras at one time.

  • Wireless Encryption

Babysense uses a secure connection to transmit the signal from the transmitting cameras to the receiving unit.

  • Extra Features

For us, the extra features stood out, especially at this price range. Babysense added a two-way intercom so you can talk to your baby, as well as room temperature monitoring. If your baby’s room gets too cold or hot, it sends out an alarm to let you know. It alerts if the room is too hot – above 90 degrees F – or too cold – below 55 degrees F.

You can use the receiver to remotely zoom onto your baby and the transmitter plays a few music options to soothe your baby. It has a 2x digital zoom that shows everything in detail.

It comes equipped with a 2.4-inch HD LCD color screen and a 2.4 GHz digital wireless transmission. We also like that you can set up a feeding, medication, and diaper changing scheduled alerts. It helps you stay in touch and connected to everything!

A few other features that we like include the sound activated LED indicators that let you know your baby is crying even if the monitor is on mute. It has fully adjustable brightness and volume

The camera is missing a few features, like remote tilt and pan. You have to make sure you position the camera the right way. Also, the range isn’t super impressive. If you try to head outside, the signal will drop intermittently. Even with a few features missing, the Babysense is a great budget-friendly pick for the best baby monitor.

PROS:
  • 900 feet range
  • Temperature Indicator
  • 2.4-inch HD LCD screen
  • Expandable up to 4 cameras
  • Eco mode to save batteries

CONS:
  • No remote tilt or pan
  • Signal drops

Read Verified Customer Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions about Baby Monitors

How Do Baby Monitors Work?

Baby monitors send sound and/or video from your baby’s room to a receiving device over a selected radio frequency band or internet connection. No matter the type of monitor you purchase, it will come with a transmitter, that stays in your baby’s room, and a receiver, that you take with you. Some transmitters can be mounted to a wall. Receivers are handheld devices, and some use your smartphone as the receiver!

Is a Baby Monitor Necessary?

We know that some parents are minimalists and don’t want to purchase items that aren’t necessary. A baby monitor isn’t a necessity, but it can be a great purchase for some parents.

If you live in a small space or co-sleep, you might not need one. Those with larger houses or who opt not to room share will definitely want to consider purchasing a baby monitor. That way, you always know that you can hear your baby.

If you like to peek at your baby when he is sleeping, a monitor is helpful as well. It always seems as if they wake up as soon as we try to ninja our way out of checking on them. It’s like they know we are close! Also, parents who work might want to consider a baby monitor because they can double as a nanny cam.

How Long Will You Use a Baby Monitor?

How long you use a baby monitor will depend on what type you pick and your needs. Sound and video options can be used for years!

Video monitors will provide the longest period of use because you can use them to keep tabs on your children when they are playing in separate areas of the house. Wi-Fi options have extended use because you can use them as a nanny cam.

Some brands can be used for security purposes as well. So, if you go for a versatile pick, you can use a baby monitor for years!  

How Much Do Baby Monitors Cost?

Baby monitors can range in price from $20 upwards of $200. The high priced monitors tend to have all of the latest bells and whistles. Don’t feel as if you HAVE to spend $200 to get a good one. You can get decent video monitors for $100, but you might lose some video resolution.

Basic, audio-only monitors cost the least amount and typically have the least amount of features.

Be cautious about using cheap video monitors. Some of them are known for their lack of security, and they can be hacked. Always change the default password.


Criteria for Picking the Best Baby Monitor

Best baby monitor review

Baby Monitor Type

Before you look at any other features, you have to decide what type of monitor you want. No matter the type you pick, all monitors work on a selected radio frequency band that transmit sounds from your baby’s room to a receiver, which is typical with you. Here are the types of monitors you will find.

  • Audio Monitors

Audio monitors are the simplest kind you can purchase. Prices range from $25 up to $150. Most have lights on the receiver that get bright as your baby cries louder. If budget matters most to you, audio may be the best choice.

  • Video & Audio Monitors

Often called combo monitors, video and audio monitors range in price from $80 to $300. Most parents love this style because you can see and hear your child, so you can observe them if they are awake or sleeping.

  • Wireless Network Monitors

Wireless network monitors use the existing network in your house or apartment to transmit sounds and video to the receiver. Often times, parents can use their phone as the receiver. Once you locate the wireless network on your transmitter, the monitor sends encrypted videos to your computer, iPad, Android, or iPhone.

Remember that these monitors are fully dependent on your WiFi, so if it goes down, so does your monitor. If you want high definition video, your internet has to be fast enough to stream live. Also, without unlimited cellular data, you may want to reconsider it. It can eat up your data fast if you are on 4G LTE cellular service!

Power Source

Baby monitors either run on an electrical outlet or batteries. Typically, the transmitter uses non-rechargeable batteries, and the receiver uses rechargeable batteries. You don’t want a monitor that will drain your batteries super fast. Typically, a transmitter unit will be fine plugged into your child’s wall since the baby bassinet or crib isn’t mobile. A receiver, on the other hand, will go with you, whether that’s to the kitchen or outside. It will likely run on batteries, and you don’t want to replace them weekly.

So, when we looked at options, we looked for a monitor that could last overnight, or at least 8 hours, without being plugged in. Models that idle the display screen to conserve batteries are good picks, and ideally, they would recharge quickly.

Expandability and Extra Receivers

Do you want more than one receiver? Two receivers are convenient because you can keep one plugged in your bedroom and carry the second one with you while you complete chores around the house. Okay, let’s be honest; you’re catching up on shows – we know!

Certain monitor systems allow you to add up to four cameras! If you have more than one child to watch, expandability is a must-have. Extra cameras are great if you are a working parent and have a caregiver coming to the house. You can mount multiple units throughout the house for an overview of what is happening. That gives you peace of mind while you’re gone.

Wireless Encryption

This feature only matters if you decide you want a wireless network baby monitor. Wireless encryption makes sure no one else can tap into your monitor’s feed and see what’s happening inside your house. This style of monitors is more susceptible to hacking.

Security is a huge factor for parents. You might be skeptical about the stories of people hacking into baby monitors, but the truth is some pose more of a risk than others. Wi-Fi enabled monitors are more vulnerable, and encryption is vital.

Extra Features

Monitors come with a variety of features. Some of them may not be important to you. Everyone is different, so take a look at some of the features you may encounter.

  • Temperature Sensor: Do you worry about the temperature in your child’s room? Some monitors include a temperature sensor for your child’s nursery. Babies do best between 68 to 72 degrees F.
  • Sounds and Lights: Many parents prefer lights on the receiver that turn on when your child starts to make noises. More lights mean that your child is crying louder. It lets you know that your child is awake even if you have the volume down low. If you are talking on the phone and have to turn down the volume, you can still know if your baby woke up.
  • Adjustable Camera: Do you want to have to sneak into your child’s room to adjust the camera if it’s out of focus or range? Of course not! An adjustable camera lets the parent pan, tilt, and zoom. It’s a convenient and useful feature. If it doesn’t have an adjustable camera, wide-view cameras are the next best bet.
  • Out of Range Indicator: If you like to head outside when your child takes a nap, an out-of-range indicator lets you know that you won’t be able to hear your child if he wakes up. Some models only emit static, but others have a light or a beeping sound. That is much more obvious and convenient.


Baby Monitor Buying Guide

With so many baby monitors from which to choose, parents or caregivers may have difficulty deciding the one best for their child’s needs. What are the different baby monitor types? What do baby monitors do? What are the differences between each type? What features do I need? Should it be wireless or should it be used through existing household electrical wiring using x10 protocol? By answering these sorts of questions, parents or caregivers can determine the best baby monitor for their home or environment.

Baby monitors can be summarized in four different categories: Baby Sound monitors, Baby Video monitors, Baby Motion monitors, and Prenatal Sound monitors. They also can be divided into wired and wireless types. Baby monitor features come with many options; hence, it’s important to know what’s available and how to take full advantage of a baby monitor’s capabilities.

BABY SOUND MONITORS

Baby Audio MonitorWhen people think of baby monitors, a baby sound monitor is what commonly comes to mind. The most widely used of the four types, they are equipped with a microphone to capture any sounds made from baby’s nursery and uses a transmitter to send sound signals to the receiver, which is in close proximity to the parent or caregiver.

This device permits those supervising baby to hear when baby awakes or if baby is crying or if the baby is in distress without being within immediate proximity of the child. These monitors are likely to be battery operated with multiple receivers for portability throughout the home.

BABY VIDEO MONITORS

BABY VIDEO MONITORSFor those parents or caregivers who want more information than just mere sound, the baby video monitor or “baby cam” provides extra peace of mind. In addition to a microphone, the baby video monitor includes a surveillance camera or cameras that transmit images to a receiver, which can be a portable, dedicated LCD screen, a television or a computing device like a tablet or laptop.

Most baby cams have a “night vision” mode, which allows the camera to work in low light levels. By using infrared LEDs connected to the front of the camera, the parent or caregiver can see the baby “in the dark.”

Video baby monitors outfitted with night vision capability use photosensors that automatically switch to this mode as a baby’s nursery darkens.

Models with extra features may incorporate built-in nightlights, ultra-high picture resolution, room temperature sensors or programmable lullabies.

BABY MOTION MONITORS

BABY MOTION MONITORSInstead of transmitting baby’s sounds or images, a baby motion monitor is used to detect baby’s movement in the crib. A sensor is placed under the mattress of baby’s crib. As babies move nearly continuously while asleep, the monitor tracks baby’s movement.

Should baby not move after 20 seconds from the previously recorded movement, the receiver sounds an alarm. More advanced models can also to detect baby’s breathing and crying. Baby motion monitors are frequently used for premature babies and those with health issues.

Many parents, mindful of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), will use these tools to track baby while sleeping.

PRENATAL SOUND MONITORS

PRENATAL SOUND MONITORSEven before baby’s birth, many parents want to hear heartbeats, hiccups and other prenatal sounds from the mother’s womb.

A prenatal sound monitor is placed over the mother’s belly. The listener uses earbuds to hear the sounds baby (or the fetus) makes from the womb. Many models have a recording option so parents may save the sounds for posterity or keepsakes.

It should be stressed that these devices are not intended for diagnostics or any other medical purpose.


Tips for Parents to Choose the Best Baby Monitor

For many parents, the price is no object when it comes to the health and safety of their children. Therefore, they want the “best” baby monitor money can buy. However, what’s best for one home and baby may not be appropriate for another. With the choices available on the marketplace, parents can find a baby monitor loaded with all the features needed to customize an application ideal for their specific needs.

Consider these features:

Combine Sound, Video and Movement into One Monitor

Some deluxe models enable two-way communication so the parent or caregiver can verbally soothe and comfort baby without journeying into the nursery. Some parents may want to record and store images and sounds of baby’s surroundings and caregivers’ actions (think “nanny cam”) for an extra level of security and surveillance. There’s even the capability of monitoring multiple cameras from one hand-held receiver; this technology is compatible with standard wireless security cameras.

Smartphone Apps

The latest innovation in baby monitors is a smartphone app for iPhones and Androids that facilitates wireless surveillance of baby. Monitor a camera-equipped device such a tablet, smartphone or laptop with a smartphone app. Or with wi-fi, the caregiver can simply use a wi-fi modem to transmit video images from a surveillance camera to a personal computing device or wi-fi equipped LCD monitor or TV, thereby eliminating the use of a smartphone or similar item in the nursery.

Wireless Portability

Older model monitors used power cords, making the receiver stationary, and limited caretaker mobility to one room. Nowadays, most monitors are equipped with a wireless, battery-powered receiver with a LCD screen. Its small size (many fit comfortably into one’s pocket) allow the caregiver to carry the monitor throughout the home yet still be vigilant to a baby in the nursery.

Be aware that radio interference can degrade the quality of the transmission between monitor and receiver. To eliminate this possibility (and improve security) choose monitors with Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) 6.0 signaling. Originally developed for cordless phones, this technology is ideally suited for baby monitors.

Monitor Transmission Range

Many parents are blessed to dwell in a large, comfortable home. Some live on larger-sized properties or apartment complexes. For these parents, the transmission range of a baby monitor is definitely a consideration. Monitors are available that transmit up to 2,000 feet without interference, permitting the caregiver the freedom to move without worry anywhere in the home or garden and yet still be within the range.

Other Options

A low battery light is essential for wireless models. If the batteries of your baby monitor suddenly deplete overnight, a baby may be exposed to several hours without parental monitoring. A low battery indicator on the receiver unit will warn caretakers that battery power is weakening before the monitor shuts down. Look for models with power-saving sound activation; this option sends the monitor into standby mode if  no sound is detected.

Also handy is a silent or vibrating option, useful when excessive noise hinders the caretaker from keeping a close eye on the receiver  unit. Should one be vacuuming, working outdoors or immersed in a raucous environment, a receiver can vibrate to indicate that the monitor senses sound from the baby’s nursery. No one wants to miss baby crying because the TV or stereo is on.

Another convenience is lighted models. When a quiet atmosphere is required, the receiver can indicate via LED displays the emanation of soft, moderate or loud sound levels from the baby’s nursery. Many parents find it much more convenient to use visual alerts instead of audio for monitoring baby’s activities.

Depending upon how noisy or quiet a child is when sleeping, an adjustable sensitivity control allows the caretaker to regulate sound levels to accommodate baby’s sleeping habits and decrease the chances of false alarms.


About Video Baby Monitors

Video baby monitorsRaising children has always been a challenge. Today, with so many more demands on our time and the emphasis placed on multi-tasking, it’s all but essential to have virtual eyes and ears on our youngsters for their safety and security and our peace of mind. Baby video monitors allow parents and caretakers the freedom to undertake other duties in different areas of the home while remaining vigilant to the children’s activities in the nursery, bedroom or play area. A baby monitor with camera is especially beneficial for “preemies’ or the child with serious medical or health conditions when continuous surveillance is needed.

Today’s video baby monitors do much more than watch and listen. Available options include room temperature monitoring, IR (infrared) LEDs to “see in the dark” and Wi-Fi, video recording and Skype capabilities, just to name a few. Most models include “parent talkback” so that the caretaker can soothe baby without walking into the nursery. Some are so-called “3-in-1” monitors with video, audio and sensor pad capability. We’ll take a look at the features available on the latest and most popular models of the top rated baby monitors later in this article.

The Benefits of Video Baby Monitors

Why should parents consider a video baby monitor? There are a number of advantages, not least of which is the peace of mind one gets from actually observing one’s child. Baby video monitors save the parent or caretaker from having to physically walk into baby’s nursery or the toddler’s playroom when an unfamiliar noise can be cause for alarm. A mere glance at the monitor’s receiver can reassure the parent without chancing the possibility of spooking baby from a nap or play. From the comfort of one’s recliner or bed you can watch baby breathe and look for any potential hazards before they occur.

With parents’ well-founded awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a baby monitor with camera permits more periodic surveillance of naps, particularly those brief and frequent snoozes that baby (and parents) need. And if baby drops a pacifier, traps a limb in the crib or somehow loosens swaddling, the caretaker will be alerted even while the child slumbers. Video baby monitoring via web

Thanks to today’s technology, parents who work or travel away from home can monitor their children by using the web. Smart devices can stream video across the internet and allow two-way communication between distant locations so parents can keep current with baby’s activities or sing a lullaby to serenade baby to sleep. With the multi-camera functionality of some models, baby video monitors can also serve as a “nanny cam,” allowing parents to keep tabs on the caretaker or nanny while they’re shopping or out for the evening.

Other uses for video baby monitors include sleep training for toddlers and surveillance of older children. As many toddlers find it difficult to sleep without a parent present, a video monitor can reassure caregivers that, despite the caterwauling from the crib, the child is actually safe and needs sleep rather than attention. This use alone gives a video monitor a leg up over traditional audio monitors. Too, transitioning older children from the crib to a bigger child’s bed can be an ordeal. Instead of staying in bed for sleep, older children are wont to repair to the playroom or make a visit to their parents’ bedroom. With a video monitor, children can be detected the moment they crawl out of their bed and before venturing down the hall — thus taking the fun out of wandering around the house unsupervised.

 Choosing the Best Video Baby Monitor

Of course, nobody wants a second-rate baby video monitor for their children. With all the features available on today’s models, parents can customize applications for their home and baby’s needs.

The Most Common Features:

Screen SizeWi-Fi ConnectivityBattery LifeAndroid Application
Multi-camera ExpandabilitySnapshot CapabilityBelt ClipMulti-Device Application
Video Sleep (aka Standby Mode)Signal IndicatorsCamera Wall-Mount CapabilityEthernet Connection
IR Night VisionVolume ControlsA/V OutputiOS Application
Multi-positional/Swivel Camera (aka Pan and Tilt)Sound-Activated LightsOut-of-Range IndicatorWarranty Length
Color ScreenBuilt-In MicPower LED IndicatorEmail Support
Brightness/Contrast ControlsTwo-Way TalkStandard Battery CapabilityOnline Manual
Zoom FeatureVOX modeLow Power IndicatorWebsite Contact Form
Skype CapabilityAudio-Only ModeRoom ThermometerOnline Live Chat
Video Recording CapabilityTransmission Frequency NightlightMaximum Range of Monitor

Many parents may find the plethora of options bewildering. For example, what does “A/V (audio/video) output” or “VOX” (voice operated transmitter) mean? What do these features do? What’s the difference between an analog and digital monitor? More importantly, how can I customize the “best” baby video monitor for my home? Thus, the parent should “mix and match” these options when choosing a model that best serves baby’s needs. Wireless video baby monitor

Some of these options are indispensable. A baby video monitor that doesn’t have IR night vision will be useless without sufficient ambient lighting and who wants to keep a room’s lights on just to use the baby cam? Another necessary feature is the “Low Power Indicator — no parent wants to leave baby unprotected for potentially several hours before discovering that the unit’s battery was depleted.

With hired caregivers or nannies, video recording may be needed for insurance purposes. If the home is in a densely populated urban area, a digital monitor will most likely be needed, as it uses encrypting technology. An analog video baby monitor is prone to intercepting signals from other devices that use analog signals, such as other video monitors or cordless phones that share the same 900 MHz (typically) frequency. (Digital monitors usually use 2.4 GHz wavelength.) It’s conceivable that a criminal could set up an analog monitor to capture the video feed from your home! The point is, a great deal of thought should be given when customizing the video baby monitor’s applications for one’s individual environment and situation. Baby video monitor iPhone

Many parents give strong consideration to brand value and indeed there are a number of online sources that rate manufacturer’s video baby monitors based on price, features and product support. Some trusted names in the industry include Withings, Angelcare and Levana. While all manufacturers make video baby monitors that have at the very least cameras, transmitters and receivers, there are critical differences between various models concerning video and audio specifications and capabilities, product design and customer support.

In short, the best video baby monitors provide all the elements necessary to make parents or caregivers feel as though baby is sharing the same room with them. Monitors allow the parent to observe baby from a number of camera angles and in a variety of lighting conditions. They use two-way “parent talkback” to soothe and assure baby when needed. And they provide certain diagnostic features like low battery indicators, out-of-range indicators and brightness/contrast controls to further assure baby’s comfort and security.


Top Rated Baby Monitor Brands

Angelcare

Angelcare baby monitorsMontreal-based Angelcare is a purveyor of a variety of products aimed at juveniles, children and infants. Currently the manufacturer offers 15 baby monitors including three models with video capability. The Angelcare AC1100 is a three-in-one (video, sound and sensor pad) model while the AC1120 is a video and sound monitor and the latest offering, the AC1200, is an upgrade over the AC1100.

The AC1200 comes in the wake of the disappointing reception the AC1100 received from industry observers. Baby Gear Lab, a leading baby products review website founded by a mother who happens to be a pediatrician, gave the AC1100 three out of five stars when it hit the market in early 2012. While noting the “gobs of features” and excellent sound quality of the monitor, BG Lab groused that “the functions offered actually work much better in products with more focus.” By contrast, BG Lab gave Angelcare’s Deluxe Movement and Sound monitor (AC401 Deluxe) their “Editors’ Choice” award. Criticisms include the fact the AC1100 has a small screen and only middling image quality. Moreover, the AC1100’s camera has no pan/tilt, no wall-mount option and no additional camera support.

However, a number of websites including celebbabylaundry.com, coolmomtech.com and Pregnancy & Newborn (pnmag.com) have given the AC1200 glowing reviews. The most important difference the AC1200 has over its predecessors is the smartphone and Wi-Fi features available through the downloaded Angelcare app. It works with both iOS and Android platforms. Note that AC1200 has internal communication via a Wireless Access Point, in effect making the nursery transmitter a router. Thus, no internet connection is needed.

More About AngelCare Baby Monitors

Angelcare baby monitors

Angelcare Company Overview

Founded in 1997 by Maurice Pinsonnault, who currently serves as president of the company, Montreal-based Angelcare markets a variety of juvenile-oriented products including a portable “playyard” (playpen), bassinets and of course angel baby monitors. They also sell a highly recommended wooden board accessory that helps to properly install a movement sensor pad on a rigid surface.

Among the 15 Angelcare baby monitor models offered, their line of products are divided into five categories:

  • 3-in-1 or all-in-one monitor (video, audio and movement sensor)
  • 2-in-1 monitor (movement sensor with sound monitor)
  • 2-in-1 video monitor (video and sound monitors)
  • sound-only monitor
  • movement-only monitor.

Their products, which vary by availability and price, can be purchased at brick-and-mortar outlets like WalMart, Target and Sears as well as from online retailers like Amazon, Baby Earth, Monitor Your Baby, diapers.com and others.

One factor to note is that while the upscale Angelcare models have the latest refinements such as tilt and zoom and a “letterbox” vertical view for better observation of baby’s crib, only the AC1200 has the smartphone app for streaming video of baby across the internet. Other features unique to AC1200 that separate it from its lesser brethren include the capability to expand to four simultaneous users on the same camera, lullaby music streaming to soothe baby, photo/video of baby’s images and the convenience of a USB power source.

Important — note that the Angelcare movement monitor’s sensor pad can be used with any standardized baby mattress regardless of size or thickness. But it cannot be use with a memory foam mattress, a dual-sided mattress, a mattress with a hollow frame or a Purflo® cot mattress due to its hollow core.

Below are Angelcare  monitors by model listing main features and brief descriptions by Eva Baby Gear.

Angelcare AC 201 / AC201-2P Movement and Sound Monitor

The AC201-2P includes two portable “parent units” as opposed to only one for the AC201.  Attractively designed, it combines a sound monitor and highly sensitive movement detector in a unified system. Sounds an alert within 20 seconds if no movement is detected from baby’s crib.

Features

  • Under-the-Mattress Movement Sensor Pad
  • Optional Audio “Tic” Feature — by activating this feature the caregiver will hear a “ticking” sound, confirming that the monitor is working normally when baby is asleep.
  • Adjustable Movement Pad Sensitivity — allows caregiver to select an appropriate movement sensitivity level.
  • Nursery Unit operates on AC adapter or backup batteries
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • Portable Parent Unit
AngelCare baby monitor AC-201
Angelcare AC 201
AngelCare baby monitor AC-201 2P
Angelcare AC 201-2P

Angelcare AC300 Movement Monitor

This Angelcare movement monitor is useful for two babies, twins or triplets sleeping in separate cribs in the same room.

Features

  • Under-the-Mattress Movement Sensor Pad
  • Optional Audio “Tic” Feature
  • Adjustable Movement Pad Sensitivity
  • Battery Powered Only & Low Battery Indicator
  • Compatible — can be used in conjunction with any Angelcare sound monitor or any other sound monitor.
  • Ideal for Multiple Babies — Angelcare recommends adding the AC300 to the AC401, AC1100 and AC601 Movement and Sound Monitor models if there is more than one baby to monitor in the same room.
AngelCare baby monitor AC300
Angelcare AC300

Angelcare AC401, AC 401 Deluxe & AC 401 Deluxe Plus Movement & Sound Monitor

Winner of numerous awards including the Practical Parenting Best Buy, the P&B Editor’s Choice, the ‘FQ’ magazine Top Gear award and the Baby Gear Lab Editors’ Choice award. The AC401 Deluxe comes with two portable Parent Units and a “Parent Unit” locator in case unit is misplaced. The AC401 Deluxe Plus includes all the features listed below plus an extra under-the-mattress sensor pad.

Important: Note that the Deluxe Plus model is designed for one child only as both sensor pads are connected to the same circuit. Hence, alarm does not sound if movement is detected by just one sensor pad.

Features

  • Under-the-Mattress Movement Sensor Pad
  • Full Color Digital Display — displays nursery room temperature, sound lights and various user settings such as sensitivity level.
  • Temperature Display and Control (F°)– see above. Displays room temperature and alerts caretaker if temperature is too high or low.
  • Optional Audio “Tic” Feature
  • Portable & Rechargeable Parent Unit  — compact enough to carry from room to room.
  • Nursery Night Light — “a gentle little glow” that guides the caregiver when entering baby’s nursery.
  • Crystal Clear Transmission — the monitor operates on the 927 MHZ and 2.4 GHz frequency bands.
  • Out-of-Range Indicator — indoor range between 262 feet (80 meters) and 328 feet (100 meters; outdoor (open field) range up to 820 feet (250 meters). An alert notifies the caregiver when the Parent Unit is too far away to receive baby’s sounds and movements from the Nursery Unit.
  • Sound Lights — allows caregiver to see and hear baby’s sounds.
  • Batteries or Adapter Operated — automatically converts to battery mode in case of power failure. Parent Unit operates with three NIMH rechargeable batteries or AC adapter; Nursery Unit operates with four AAA alkaline batteries (not included) or AC adapter.
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • Volume Control & Vibration Alert — vibration mode option for noisy environments or to maintain peace and quiet. Available on Deluxe and Deluxe Plus.
  • Adjustable Movement Pad Sensitivity
  • Parent Unit locator
AngelCare baby monitor AC401
Angelcare AC401
AngelCare baby monitor AC401 Deluxe
Angelcare AC401 Deluxe
AngelCare baby monitor AC401 Deluxe Plus
Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Plus

Angelcare AC403 and AC403-2PU Movement & Sound Monitor

The AC403 and AC403-2PU are the same product; the only difference is that the latter comes with two Parent Units instead of one.

Features

  • Under-the-Mattress Movement Sensor Pad
  • Full Color Digital Display
  • Temperature Display and Control (F°)
  • Optional Audio “Tic’’ Feature
  • Portable & Rechargeable Parent Unit
  • Nursery Night Light
  • Crystal Clear Transmission — operates on 927 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequency bands.
  • Out-of-Range Indicator  — up to 820 feet (250 meters) in open field.
  • Sound Lights
  • Batteries or Main Adapter Operated
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • Mute Function
  • Volume Control & Vibration Alert
  • Adjustable Movement Pad Sensitivity
AngelCare baby monitor AC403
Angelcare AC403
AngelCare baby monitor AC403-2PU
Angelcare AC403-2PU

Angelcare AC420 Sound Monitor

Features

  • Full Color Digital Display
  • Temperature Display and Control (F°)
  • Portable & Rechargeable Parent Unit
  • Nursery Night Light
  • Crystal Clear Transmission
  • Out-of-Range Indicator
  • Sound Lights
  • Batteries or Adapter Operated
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • Volume Control & Vibration Alert —  Available “on selected models only.”
  • Adjustable Movement Pad Sensitivity
  • Parent Unit locator
AngelCare baby monitor AC420
Angelcare AC420

Angelcare AC601 Movement Sensor with Sound Monitor

Features

  • Under-the-Mattress Movement Sensor Pad
  • Optional Audio “Tic’’ Feature
  • Portable & Rechargeable Parent Unit
  • Nursery Night Light — “a gentle little glow” that guides the caregiver when entering baby’s nursery.
  • Out-of-Range Indicator
  • Sound Lights
  • Batteries or Main Adapter Operated — battery power makes ideal option for travel away from home.
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • Adjustable Movement Pad Sensitivity
AngelCare baby monitor AC601
Angelcare AC601

 Angelcare AC605 Movement Sensor with Sound Monitor & Two Parent Units

The AC605 is essentially the same product as the AC601 except that it comes with two Parent Units instead of one.

Features
  • Under-the-Mattress Movement Sensor Pad
  • Optional Audio “Tic’’ Feature
  • Portable & Rechargeable Parent Unit
  • Nursery Night Light
  • Out-of-Range Indicator .
  • Sound Lights
  • Batteries or Main Adapter Operated
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • Adjustable Movement Pad Sensitivity
AngelCare baby monitor AC605
Angelcare AC605 2PU

Angelcare AC701 Touchscreen Movement & Sound Monitor

The AC701 includes innovative features like the adjustable night light remote-controlled from the portable Parent Unit and the low-emission “Eco” mode.

Features

  • Under-the-Mattress Movement Sensor Pad
  • LCD Touchscreen — adjustable settings via user interface on touchscreen.
  • 2-Way Talk-Back Feature — walkie-talkie feature allows caregiver to vocally soothe baby.
  • Temperature Display and Control (F°)
  • Eco – Low emission setting
  • Digital Transmission with Minimized Interference — utilizes 1.8 GHz with automatic FHSS (Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum) technology that alternates between different channels, virtually encrypting data for greater security and privacy.
  • Portable & Rechargeable Parent Unit
  • Adjustable Nursery Night Light
  • Optional Audio “Tic” Feature
  • Out-of-Range Indicator
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • Mute function
  • Adjustable Movement Pad Sensitivity
  • Parent Unit Locator
  • Multifunctional — works on movement and sound, sound only or movement only.
AngelCare baby monitor AC701
Angelcare AC701

Angelcare AC1100 Digital Video, Movement & Sound Monitor

It was previously noted that American R.J. Spurrier of Baby Gear Lab described the AC1100 as having functions that “actually work much better in products with more focus.” On the other hand, this product won the United Kingdom’s FQ Top Gear Gold award for 2010 and the Bizzie Baby Gold Award. It also won the Bronze award from ‘Mother & Baby’ magazine’s “expert panel” in Australia. This product receives glowing reviews from parents but typically they don’t have the resources to compare all baby monitors available (an expensive endeavor, to be sure). Spurrier notes that the AC1100 has only a fraction of the range of the award-winning AC401 and opines that “the video capability performs poorly relative to competing video monitors.” For example, the 2 ¾ in. monitor screen is smaller than the more-or-less standard 3 inch screen used by most Angelcare competitors.

Features

  • Under-the-Mattress Movement Sensor Pad
  • Color Video Transmission
  • Day & Night Vision (Infrared Camera)
  • LCD Touch Screen —   adjustable settings via user interface on 2 ¾  in. touchscreen.
  • 2-Way Talk-Back Feature
  • Temperature Display and Control (F°)
  • 2.4 GHz Digital Transmission with Minimized Interference — utilizes 2.4 GHz with automatic FHSS (Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum) technology that alternates between different channels, virtually encrypting data for greater security and privacy.
  • Portable & Rechargeable Parent Unit
  • Nursery Night Light
  • Optional Audio “Tic” Feature
  • Out-of-Range Indicator — up to 650 feet (200 meters) in open field.
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • Zoom In / Zoom Out — see baby up close, even from a distance.
  • Adjustable Camera Angle — position Angelcare video monitor for the perfect view and safely away from baby’s reach.
  • Adjustable Movement Pad Sensitivity
  • Parent Unit Locator
  • Timer — helps caregiver keep tabs on baby’s sleep, time awake, feeding, etc.
AngelCare baby monitor AC1100
Angelcare AC1100

AC1120 Digital Video & Sound Monitor

The AC1120 is essentially the same product as the AC1100 without the movement monitor.

Features

  • Color Video Transmission
  • Day & Night Vision (Infrared Camera)
  • LCD Touch Screen —  adjustable settings via user interface on 2 ¾  in. touchscreen.
  • 2-Way Talk-Back Feature
  • Temperature Display and Control (F°)
  • 2.4 GHz Digital Transmission with Minimized Interference
  • Portable & Rechargeable Parent Unit
  • Nursery Night Light
  • Out-of-Range Indicator
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • Zoom In / Zoom Out
  • Adjustable Camera Angle
  • Adjustable Movement Pad Sensitivity
  • Parent Unit Locator
  • Timer
AngelCare baby monitor AC1120
Angelcare AC1120

Angelcare AC1200 Video, Movement & Sound Monitor for Smartphone

The latest and greatest from Angelcare, the AC1200 is an award-winning, three-in-one video, audio and movement sensor monitor combining the most innovative features from earlier models while adding new functionality to this flagship product. Gripes: the manual emphasizes maintaining a distance of three feet between the crib and monitor, yet the electrical cord is relatively short. Unfortunately, camera video and audio are not available while the camera runs on batteries. Only movement monitoring and alarms work on battery power.

The breakthrough feature: An app for smartphones or personal computing device to stream two-way communications between parent and baby over the internet. The Angelcare app for the AC1200 is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android based smartphones and tablets.

Features

  • Under-the-Mattress Movement Sensor Pad
  • Adjustable HD Infrared Camera (Day & Night Vision)
  • 2-Way Talk-Back Feature
  • Nursery Night Light
  • Wi-Fi Internet Communication
  • Internal Communication via Wireless Access Point (WAP) — no internet connection required at home.
  • Up to four simultaneous users on the same camera — up to four can view baby from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. For security and privacy, each user has an individual connection (no party lines!) and requires parent or caregiver consent to stay connected.
  • Take photo or video of baby
  • USB power supply or battery
  • Secure configuration for better privacy — uses QR scanning and “quest management” for a secure connection to Wi-Fi.
  • Facebook or email login
  • Play lullabies – stream lullabies to baby from a smartphone.
  • Adjustable Movement Pad Sensitivity
AngelCare baby monitor AC1200
Angelcare AC1200

Summer Infant

Summer Infant baby monitorsIn business for over 25 years, Summer Infant (named after the founder’s daughter) sells a panoply of baby products “from the crib to the bathtub and everywhere in between.” Their comprehensive baby monitor products include models with internet, video, audio and prenatal monitoring capabilities.

One of their products, the Baby Touch® 2 Digital Color Video Monitor, ranked #10 in toptenreviews.com ‘Best Baby Video Monitor Reviews and Comparisons.‘ Top Ten Reviews noted that the Baby Touch 2 allows the parent or caregiver to automatically follow baby’s movements with motion tracking and compliments the model for its user-friendly touch screen interface and temperature gauge. On the other hand, it has no VOX capability to extend battery life; this means that the battery stays active even when there’s no action to follow. But the battery life in the Baby Touch models last as long as 10 hours.

The Baby Touch 2 has many in-demand features like pan, tilt and multi-level zoom capabilities as well as two-way talk and a wall-mounting option.  Top Ten Review’s verdict? 8.73 out of 10.

More About Summer Infant Baby Monitors

Summer Infant Baby Monitors

Company Overview

Summer Infant traces its corporate history back to 1985 in Rhode Island when William Lockett III wanted a safe method of soothing his infant daughter Summer and noticed that she would become calm as he bounced her in his arms. From such inspiration came his first brainchild, the original Bouncy Seat, a product now so ubiquitous that most baby gear companies have duplicated a “bouncy seat” for their own merchandise lines. In the years following the introduction of the Bouncy Seat, Summer Infant saw spectacular growth as the company racked up ~$10 million in annual sales during the middle of the next decade. However, Summer Infant fell on hard times by the end of the century and sales shrunk to just over $1million by 2001.

Monitor your babyEnter Jason Macari, the former CEO of Summer Infant, who discovered the company while VP of Product Development and General Manager of Safety 1st Inc., a maker of child safety products such as car seats, high chairs and strollers. Looking to run his own business, Macari bought the company and, with his experience in the industry along with his mechanical engineering degree and MBA, began developing patented products for Summer Infant. Macari also improved the company’s bottom line by shifting manufacturing to China. The company is now a leading designer, marketer and distributor of  health, safety and wellness products for infants and toddlers, totaling $250 million in sales. Summer Infant products can be found at Target, Babies R Us, Amazon and Home Depot, with company divisions now in Canada and the United Kingdom. Macari stepped down as Summer Infant CEO earlier in 2014 but remains with the company as consultant and director.

Remember this safety precaution: all monitor manufacturers including Summer Infant stress the importance of keeping all cords and camera at least three feet away from baby’s crib. Not only is the electrical cord a strangulation concern, a distance of three feet or one meter optimizes the camera’s picture quality. Also note that all Summer video monitor systems can support up to four cameras simultaneously.

Summer Infant offers numerous baby monitors, categorized into four categories:

  • A. Internet
  • B. Video
  • C. Audio
  • D. Prenatal

They also sell accessories such as extra cameras and batteries as well as replacement parts including wall mounts and adapters. Summer Infant monitor brand names include: 

Baby TouchDay & Night
Baby ZoomBest View
Baby LinkSafe Sight
Peek/Connect PlusSecure Sight
Slim & SecureSure Sight

A. Internet 

Summer Infant has five products listed in this category. They are as follows:

Summer Infant Connect Internet Camera System
Connect Internet Baby Camera Set
Summer Infant Peek Plus Internet Baby Monitor System
Peek Plus Internet Baby Monitor System
Summer Infant Connect Plus Internet Monitoring System
Connect Plus Internet Monitoring System
Summer Infant Baby Link WiFi Internet Viewing Camera
Baby Link WiFi Internet Viewing Camera
Summer Infant Baby Touch WiFi Video Monitor and Internet Viewing System
Baby Touch WiFi Video Monitor and Internet Viewing System

The unifying quality among all of these products is of course their internet capabilities. Other features  common to these items are the inclusion of hardware wall mounting kits, AC adapter cords and security clips for securing power cord to walls or furniture. For those products that have monitors, one 3.7V rechargeable lithium/ion battery is included. Some standard features on Summer video baby monitors include a 3.5 inch color touchscreen, a kick-stand recharge base, a belt clip for portability, remote brightness, motion tracking and volume controls and a video on/off button.

The camera features include:

  • infrared LEDs for night vision capability
  • two-way talkback communication
  • a multi-positional/multi-directional microphone that focuses on baby’s voice while filtering out ambient noise
  • five-level sound lights (useful in noisy environments)
  • pan/scan/multi-level zoom
  • split screen
  • temperature sensor
  • internet status lights
  • can take snapshots or video of baby to be stored on smartphone or tablet
  • system can use up to four cameras simultaneously

Both the Connect Internet Baby Camera Set and the Peek Plus Internet Baby Monitor System include a gateway for internet connectivity. The Summer baby monitor supports multi-platform computer architecture for iPhone, iTouch, iPad, Android and Blackberry with Wi-Fi apps available from Google Play and iTunes.

B. Video

Summer Infant monitors in this category include:

  1. Slim & Secure Plus Digital Color Video Monitor
  2. Complete Coverage Plus Digital Color Video Monitor Set
  3. Best View Digital Color Video Monitor
  4. Baby Touch Plus Digital Color Video Monitor
  5. Safe Sight Digital Video Monitor
  6. Secure Sight Digital Color Video Monitor
  7. Multi View Digital Color Video Monitor Set
  8. Baby Touch 2 Digital Color Video Monitor
  9. Baby Touch Boost Digital Color Video Monitor
  10. Baby Touch Digital Color Video Monitor
  11. Day & Night Digital Vi deo Monitor
  12. Complete Coverage Digital Color Video Monitor Set
  13. Best View Choice Digital Color Video Monitor Set
  14. Dual Coverage Digital Color Video Monitor Set
  15. Sure Sight Digital Color Video Monitor
  16. Slim & Secure 2 Digital Color Video Monitor

No doubt the observant reader will see a redundancy between the names of some of these Summer video monitors. So what exactly are the differences between the digital color video baby monitors found in (4) Baby Touch Plus, (8) Baby Touch 2, (9) Baby Touch Boost and (10) Baby Touch? Or (1) Slim & Secure Plus and (16) Slim & Secure 2 Digital Color Video Monitors? Look at the images below:

(9) Baby Touch Boost Digital Color Video Monitor

Baby Touch Boost Digital Color Video Monitor features Baby Touch Boost Digital Color Video Monitor features 2

(10) Baby Touch Digital Color Video Monitor 

Baby Touch Digital Color Video Monitor feature Baby Touch Digital Color Video Monitor features 2

 (4) Baby Touch Plus Digital Color Video Monitor

 Baby Touch Plus Digital Color Video Monitor feature Baby Touch Plus Digital Color Video Monitor feature 2

A brief glance shows that all these models are virtually identical; the only differences are that (4) Baby Touch Plus has a nightlight on the camera while the others do not and (9) Baby Touch Boost has a temperature sensor while the others do not. The verbiage in the manuals may be slightly different but all other functions are the same.

(8) Baby Touch 2 Digital Color Video Monitor

Baby Touch 2 Digital Color Video Monitor features Baby Touch 2 Digital Color Video Monitor features 2

 All images: Summer Infant

Thus, as the last image depicts, the (8) Baby Touch 2 is the deluxe model of all four, combining features from the lesser three versions while including flourishes like motion tracking, multi-level zoom and a feature control menu (as opposed to menu bars).

Before moving along, we’ll compare the (1) Slim & Secure Plus and the (16) Slim & Secure 2:

(1)  Slim & Secure Plus Digital Color Video Monitor

Slim & Secure Plus Digital Color Video Monitor

(16)  Slim & Secure 2 Digital Color Video Monitor

Slim & Secure 2 Digital Color Video Monitor

Again, both of these models are quite similar. The major difference between the two monitors is that (1) Plus does not have the pan/scrolling capability of (16) S&S 2. Also, (1) Plus comes with an Audio/Video (AV) cable included as well as an antenna built into the camera while (16) S&S 2 does not. Note that the AC Adapter Jack is on the bottom of (1) Plus’ camera unit while the AC Adapter Jack on (16) S&S 2 is on the side and back of the camera unit. Both models come with two adapters, six security clips and a hardware wall mounting kit. Also, both share these features below:

  • Video Sleep Mode
  • Sound Lights
  • Quick View/Video On/Off Button
  • Night Vision
  • Two-Way Conversation — Talkback
  • Multi-Position Camera/Microphone
  • Digital Zoom

However, (16) S&S 2 has a Pan/Scan camera capability while (1) Plus does not.

As one readily discerns, Summer Infant has numerous models with a high correlation of similarities in this category. It is up to diligent parents to sift through the manuals to find the right product for their baby and their home situation.

Find More Summer Video Baby Monitors details:

Summer Infant Slim & Secure Plus Digital Color Video Monitor
Slim & Secure Plus Digital Color Video Monitor
Summer Infant Complete Coverage Plus Digital Color Video Monitor Set
Complete Coverage Plus Digital Color Video Monitor Set
Summer Infant Best View Digital Color Video Monitor
Best View Digital Color Video Monitor
Summer Infant Baby Touch Plus Digital Color Video Monitor
Baby Touch Plus Digital Color Video Monitor
Summer Infant Safe Sight Digital Video Monitor
Safe Sight Digital Video Monitor
Summer Infant Secure Sight Digital Color Video Monitor
Secure Sight Digital Color Video Monitor
Summer Infant Multi View Digital Color Video Monitor Set
Multi View Digital Color Video Monitor Set
Summer Infant Baby Touch 2 Digital Color Video Monitor
Baby Touch 2 Digital Color Video Monitor
Summer Infant Baby Touch Boost Digital Color Video Monitor
Baby Touch Boost Digital Color Video Monitor
Summer Infant Baby Touch Digital Color Video Monitor
Baby Touch Digital Color Video Monitor
Summer Infant Day & Night Digital Video Monitor
Day & Night Digital Video Monitor
Summer Infant Complete Coverage Digital Color Video Monitor Set
Complete Coverage Digital Color Video Monitor Set
Summer Infant Best View Choice Digital Color Video Monitor Set
Best View Choice Digital Color Video Monitor Set
Summer Infant Dual Coverage Digital Color Video Monitor Set
Dual Coverage Digital Color Video Monitor Set
Summer Infant Sure Sight Digital Color Video Monitor
Sure Sight Digital Color Video Monitor
Summer Infant Slim & Secure 2 Digital Color Video Monitor
Slim & Secure 2 Digital Color Video Monitor

C. Audio

In contrast to the large selection of Summer video baby monitors, there are only four Summer Infant audio monitors:

  1. Slim & Clear Digital Audio Monitor
  2. Slim & Clear Dual Receiver Digital Audio Monitor
  3. Baby Wave Digital Audio Monitor
  4. Baby Wave Deluxe Digital Audio Monitor

(2) has two monitors while (1) has but one. The Slim & Clear monitor includes handy features like low battery and out-of-range indicators and comes with a convenient belt clip. Meanwhile, both Baby Wave monitors share the following features:

  • sound lights
  • sensitive mic
  • out of range indicator
  • low battery indicator
  • belt clip

The (4) Deluxe has these additional elements:

  • two-way communications — talkback
  • night light
  • temperature monitoring
  • adjustable volume

Find More Summer Audio Baby Monitors details:

Summer Infant Slim & Clear Digital Audio Monitor
Slim & Clear Digital Audio Monitor
Summer Infant Slim & Clear Dual Receiver Digital Audio Monitor
Slim & Clear Dual Receiver Digital Audio Monitor
Summer Infant Baby Wave Digital Audio Monitor
Baby Wave Digital Audio Monitor
Summer Infant Baby Wave Deluxe Digital Audio Monitor
Baby Wave Deluxe Digital Audio Monitor

D. Prenatal

The prenatal Summer Infant baby monitor is the Heart to Heart Digital Prenatal Listening System. See manual here. Note that it is not a medical device and should not be used for diagnostic or any medical purposes. It does not substitute for a physician’s prenatal care. 

This monitor can begin detecting baby’s heartbeat at the beginning of the third trimester or about 28 weeks. It comes with a sensor unit, ear buds and a positioning belt.

Summer Infant Heart-to-Heart Digital Prenatal Listening System
Summer Infant Heart-to-Heart Digital Prenatal Listening System

Summer Infant is a well-known and entrenched player in the child consumer products industry. While it has a fairly respectable reputation, it’s certainly not purveying the highest rated baby monitors. For example, Baby Gear Lab’s R. J. Spurrier calls Baby Touch a “solid perform(er)” but claims the similarly-priced Motorola Digital Video monitor “outperforms” the comparable Summer Infant model. Rob Pegoraro of  ‘PC Magazine‘ says of the Baby Touch system that its baby monitor and webcam “does neither job all that well” and prefers the Withings Smart Baby Monitor. However, newegg.com gives the Baby Touch Boost four out of five stars while babygoespro.com rates the Baby Touch at 4½ out of 5 stars.

The skinny? Baby Gear Lab’s Spurrier evaluates the Baby Touch as having good image quality, above average range and easy to use with great pan/tilt/zoom. On the other hand, it has no sound activation and relatively few features. He deems it a good baby video monitor but not a great one; user reviews on the Baby Gear Lab web page are not nearly as sanguine. One of the upscale Summer Infant video monitor models will cost in the neighborhood of approximately $250.

Samsung

Samsung baby monitorsOne of the best-known South Korean multinational conglomerates in the world, Samsung of course is involved in all sorts of businesses from electronics to shipbuilding to insurance to advertising. They make a line of quality baby monitors; one of particular note is the SEW-3037. This model was ranked #7 in toptenreviews.com ‘Best Baby Video Monitor Reviews and Comparisons,’ meriting 9.13 out of 10.

It has many desirable features found in most of the leading baby video monitors including a two-way talk feature (“parent talkback”) and has pan, tilt and zoom capabilities. Like all the SEW-303 models, it has 2x zoom but no additional focus. Yet it can be wall-mounted and expandable to four cameras. It also has the handy VOX feature that sends the monitor into sleep mode, conserving battery power. Other models in the series include the SEW-3034, 3035 and 3036.

More About Sumsung Baby Monitors

Samsung baby monitors banner

Founded in 1938 by Lee Byung-chul as a trading company, Samsung is now one of the world’s leading multinational business conglomerates and South Korean’s largest. Entering the electronics industry in the late 1960s, Samsung has of 2012 become the world’s largest information technology company as measured by revenues. It counts approximately 80 companies under its corporate umbrella. While a consumer electronics behemoth, Samsung is a relative late arrival to the niche baby video monitor market.

Samsung Video Baby Monitors Overview

According to samsung.com, the electronics branch of the company currently manufactures only two video baby monitor models and a wireless baby monitoring camera. However, third party vendors apparently still sell legacy or discontinued Samsung baby monitor products, including audio monitors. The flagship product is the SafeVIEW Baby Monitoring System (SEW-3037W), ranked #7 in toptenreviews.com ‘2014 Best Baby Video Monitor Reviews and Comparisons’, earning a score of 9.13 from a possible 10. Other industry observers share similar impressions of the SEW-3037; babygoespro.com accords the product five stars out of five while topbestreviews.org rates it 4¼ stars out of five. However, consumers are a bit more critical. According to amazon.com customer reviews, the SEW-3037W (W for wireless) has an aggregate rating of slightly over 75%. Customers from toysrus.com gave the product four stars out of five, based on nine reviews. The reviews from WalMart customers were five stars out of five.

Samsung SEW-3037W Wireless Pan Tilt Video Baby Monitor
Samsung SEW-3037W Wireless Pan Tilt Video Baby Monitor
Samsung SEW-3036WN Wireless Video Baby Monitor
Samsung SEW-3036WN Wireless Video Baby Monitor
Samsung SEP-1001R Night Vision Additional Wireless Baby Monitoring Camera for SafeView (SEW-3037)
Samsung SEP-1001R Night Vision Additional Wireless Baby Monitoring Camera for SafeView (SEW-3037)
Samsung UltraVIEW 2-Camera Baby Monitoring System (SEW-3038W)
Samsung SEW-3038W UltraVIEW 2-Camera Baby Monitoring System
Samsung Secure View Baby Monitor
Samsung Secure View Baby Monitor
Samsung Night Vision Additional Wireless Baby Monitoring Camera for BabyView and SafeView
Samsung Night Vision Additional Wireless Baby Monitoring Camera for BabyView and SafeView
Samsung SmartCam HD Pro 1080p Full-HD Wi-Fi Camera
Samsung SmartCam HD Pro 1080p Full-HD Wi-Fi Camera
Samsung SEB-1014R Night Vision Additional Wireless Baby Monitoring Camera for SmartView (SEW-3034) and SecureView (SEW-3035)
Samsung SEB-1014R Night Vision Additional Wireless Baby Monitoring Camera for SEW-3034 and SEW-3035
Samsung SEW-2001W Secured Digital Wireless Baby Audio Monitor
Samsung SEW-2001W Secured Digital Wireless Baby Audio Monitor
Samsung SEW-2002W Secured Digital Wireless Baby Audio Monitor
Samsung SEW-2002W Secured Digital Wireless Baby Audio Monitor

The Samsung SEW-3037W has nearly all of the bells and whistles most discriminating consumers expect today from a premium model video baby monitor. Advanced features include an infrared night vision camera with remote pan, tilt and zoom capabilities (300° pan, 100° tilt and 2x zoom) and visibility in darkness up to 15 feet (4.572 meters). The camera can also be wall-mounted. It includes 2-Way talkback audio, a built-in microphone and speaker with a VOX quiet mode filter and adjustable sound sensitivity that removes superfluous background noises.  There’s even a remote-controlled nightlight built into the camera for baby’s comfort. The 3.5 inch color LCD display monitor has a total pixel VGA of 640×480 with 320×240 CIF resolution. The system transmits over a secure and static-free digital 2.4 GHz signal which extends up to 900 feet (274 meters). The monitor uses AC power and a rechargeable battery (parent unit only), a low battery warning and monitor LEDs with five sound level indicators. According to Karina Fabian of Top 10 Reviews, the monitor panel “looks and feels a lot like a smartphone.” There’s also a power-saving ‘Sleep Mode‘ that detects sound around the camera while the monitor screen is off. It has a convenient flip stand and belt clip. The system can be expanded to include up to four cameras. Sells on Amazon for approximately $200 and comes with a one-year warranty.

Technical Details

Item Weight1.1 pounds
Product Dimensions4.5 x 11.2 x 9.5 inches
OriginThailand
UPC855726002513
Item model numberSEW-3037W
Safety warningSTRANGULATION HAZARD
Batteries requiredNo
Standing screen display size3.5 inches
Display typeLCD

The only other baby monitor product Samsung currently sells is the SEB-1019R camera, which is the additional camera meant for the SEW-3037 should users need a replacement or choose to expand their current system. Available from Amazon and soltechsecurity.com for US$79. Also available from Amazon is the discontinued SEB-1014R Night Vision camera purposed for the legacy SEW-3034/3035/3036 models at US$99. Note that this “simplified” camera is not compatible with the SEW-3037W. For those looking for a version with virtually the same features and a lower price, the Samsung SEW-3036W is a good choice. The biggest difference is that this model’s camera lacks the PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) capability of its more expensive brother. The system’s range is less at 800 feet (243.84 meters) and there is no built-in night light. At present an Amazon reseller has the model available at US$163; Amazon sells it for US$170. Note that Amazon customers rate the product at approximately 72%. There are gripes; users have reported that the system “overpowers” the home WiFi network and is susceptible to periodic “blacking-out” during night vision operation.

Both Target and soltechsecurity.com carry older legacy Samsung Video and Audio baby monitors. For example, Soltech has the SEW-3022 EzView for US$129 and the SEW-3036 for US$169. Note that the SEW 3034 and 3035 both come with a temperature sensor and an AV output (allowing connectivity between the video monitor and a TV), features that the 3036 and 3037 apparently lack. Moreover, the 3035 seems to be the only model with a USB port for Skype connectivity.

For those who require only an audio baby monitor, Target carries the Samsung Audio Baby Monitor and One Receiver for US$50. (Regrettably, Target does not include manufacturer model numbers, citing only an “Online Item # 13987305” and a “Store Item Number (DPCI) 030-04-0017.”) This audio monitor transmits on a digital 1.9 GHz digital frequency with a range of 900 feet (274.32 meters). The wireless receiver includes a belt-clip, a sound-activated light and an out-of-range- and low-battery-indicator. Weighing only a half pound (226.8 grams), the dimensions are 4.5 inches (11.43 cm) high by 2.75 inches (6.985 cm) wide by 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) deep.

Conclusion

As is the wont of many mega-corporations, Samsung manufactures video baby monitors with built-in obsolescence (note the incompatibility of the 3037W camera with previous versions). The observant consumer will discern a gradual tendency toward “new and improved” models with more fringe features — and each succeeding model comes with a higher price tag compared to its predecessor. The hefty cost of the SEW-3037W would be easier to swallow if it had all of the features included in prior incarnations such as the temperature sensor and the USB port. Undoubtedly, the next “latest and greatest” video baby monitor model from Samsung will have all these features at an even greater cost.

Withings

Withings baby monitorsA relative newcomer to consumer electronics, the French company Withings specializes in designing internet-connected devices. Naturally, their video baby monitor has Wi-Fi compatibility and connects to iOS/Android devices. They even have the “Health Mate Web” dashboard for the parent’s home computer or laptop.

Per Top Ten Reviews, the Withings Smart Baby Monitor “is the best and most innovative baby video monitor out there.” Accordingly, it is their top-rated baby video monitor and recipient of the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award. They further gush that “this has one of the most feature-rich packages of any monitor” — high praise for a product competing in a very crowded field. It does everything one would expect; pan, tilt, zoom, video recording, screen snapshots and the list goes on. While it’s definitely a high tech device, the setup procedure is one of the easiest to be found. Mom or Dad can immediately begin monitoring after installing the Withings app on the smartphone.

The Withing Smart Baby Monitor is perhaps the most flexible model on the market. So many settings are fully customizable. It has alerts for baby’s noise and movement as well as a unique night light that can be adjusted for color and brightness to suit baby’s preference. It even has a humidity sensor, a feature not to be found with any other monitor. Little wonder that Top Ten Reviews ranks it a 10.

More About Withings Baby Monitors

Wthings baby monitor banner

Withings Company Overview

A French consumer electronics company based in the Paris suburbs, Withings was founded in June 2008 by three technology and telecom executives who wanted to design and market products featuring internet connectivity. It is a well-capitalized concern, having received $3.8 million in funding from Ventech in September 2010 followed by a $30 million capitalization from Bpifrance, Idinvest Partners, 360 Capital Partners and Ventech in July 2013. Their first product was the WiFi Body Scale, which measures both weight and fat mass and uploads data via wireless to the company’s site. Withings also has apps for evaluating the scale data for Apple iOs, Android and Blackberry PCDs. The company also makes a blood pressure monitor.

At the January 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Withings announced its intention to make a baby monitor compatible with smartphones and other connected devices. In Europe the Withings Smart Baby Monitor became available the following November; the product made its North American debut in February 2012.

Gold Award 2014To its credit, while the Withings baby monitor is one of the most expensive monitors on the market, they manufacture and sell only one model. It has received lavish praise from industry observers, named as the best baby monitor by Australia’s ‘Reckoner‘ and Top Best Reviews and won the 2014 Gold Award from Top Ten Reviews. However, consumers as a whole have a decidedly lower opinion of the product. It only averages 3.2 stars of 5 based on reviews from Amazon. An aggregate of reviews similarly garners the Withings baby monitor three of five stars from Apple Store.

Withngs baby video monitorWhy the discrepancy? Since the gap between parental and professional reviews of the product is considerable, one must wonder if some websites receive compensation for their glowing recommendations. Consider Simon Mateljan of reckoner.com.au, who trumpets that the one baby monitor “left standing was the Withings.” He cites two reasons: one, “it was a single unit that had video and audio capabilities, and also acted as a nightlight.” At this point, skeptics may begin to question Mr. Mateljan’s motivation since the consumer pays a premium price for a product without a standalone monitor. Many also include built-in nightlights. His second reason? “We all have a mobile device which is either a phone or a tablet near us … at all times.” Withings is not the only product available with Wi-Fi connectivity to PCDs. The reader of Mr. Mateljan’s review is left thinking that the Smart Baby Monitor is a product with features that are unique compared to its competitors — cursory comparison of other top-of-the-line baby monitors soon reveals that this impression is, charitably speaking, misleading at best. Effusive commentary such as this often sways vacillating consumers. As a reader commented, “We are going to get one thanks to your review… but the reviews about it on Amazon are terrible… We are going to get one thanks to your review….

Speaking of Amazon, a fair number of reviewers slam the Withings with complaints regarding the product’s design and quality. A thoughtful parent noticed that the monitor base gets in the way of the image unless the camera is pointed straight forward, has “really sub-par” night vision and, worst of all, the unit is “unstable,” e.g., “it disconnects and buffers endlessly on occasion.” Other reviewers at Amazon claim that it does not work on Android devices, has product quality issues such as the power adapter mini-USB port tends to “easily” fall out of the back of the unit and connections are frequently lost and the system will not reconnect. In fact, one reviewer pointed out that his product had a very “serious and dangerous flaw,” viz —

At least once every one or two weeks the connection with the video feed will freeze, but instead of giving you a warning that the connection is frozen you will get a still image while the sound continues to work. So if the image freezes at a point when the baby is sound asleep and not moving you will continue to get this image regardless of what the baby is doing! My wife removed our baby from the crib and I was looking at the monitor and it continued to show me my baby sleeping in the crib!

As both professional reviewers and parents are quick to note, the Withings Smart Baby Monitor has a panoply of eye-catching features that, if the product were reliable, would make it worthy of its partisans’ plaudits. Paul Banas of ‘Pregnancy‘ magazine touts the monitor’s “simple clean design” and recommends it for “smartphone users wanting lots of features in a small package.” Gordon Meyer praises the design as “inoffensive and minimalist,” saying that it “doesn’t make you feel like you’re running a peep show.” Another positive aspect of the Withings is the fact that the monitor doesn’t need a computer to be commissioned, as it is easily configured with an iPhone using Bluetooth, allowing easy portability and connectivity to local WLANs.

Withings Smart Baby Monitor
Withings Smart Baby Monitor

Withings Smart Baby Monitor Features

Below is a summary of the Withings Smart Baby Monitor’s features lifted from the company website:

  • PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) HD camera with up to x4 zoom
  • Infrared night vision LEDs automatically illuminate as needed, providing clear images in “pitch black”
  • High quality audio feed with two-way talkback capability
  • Remote-activated, multi-colored LED nightlight allows the choice of a particular color or rainbow animation and a choice of seven lullabies to lull baby to sleep
  • Track temperature, humidity, noise and movements via built-in sensors
  • Fifteen minute recorded buffer of baby’s sound and movement variations
  • Maximized connectivity options from Wi-Fi, ethernet or Bluetooth with secure audiovisual feed
  • Tactile command buttons
Dimensions & Weight
  • Length x Width x Height = 92mm x 92mm x 63 mm
  • Weight = 293 g (includes 23 g battery)
Atmospheric Conditions
  • Operating Temperature from 10° C to 35°C (50° F to 95° F)
  • Storage Temperature from 0° to 50°C (32° F to 122° F)
Video
  • 3 megapixel high definition video sensors (2048 x 1536 pixels)
  • Intuitive camera angle adjustment and zoom x4 via virtual PTZ
  • Wide angle shot (90° horizontally, 120° diagonally
  • LED infrared night vision up to 5 meters (15 feet) with automatic activation system
  • H264 encoding: 512*384, adaptive bandwidth
Sound
  • Dual input microphone, 16 bit sound sampling at 44.1 kHz, AAC 32kbit/s encoding
  • Built-in loudspeakers (AAC, 22 kHz)

Note that the Withings Smart Baby Monitor does not come with its own stand-alone monitor; a smartphone or tablet must be used for video reception from the camera. Not to be overlooked is the hefty price: the product sells for about $250. As of this writing, Amazon has it available for $217.39 with free shipping. As the product is available for free returns from Amazon, one might consider evaluating the monitor based on its reported quality and Android issues.

Levana

Levana baby monitorsCleverly named after the Roman goddess connected with childbirth, Levana is the brainchild of  Canadian entrepreneur Rajesh Jain, an expert on video security. The company is an offshoot of SVAT Electronics, created when Jain found fault with his sister’s analog audio monitor. Jain has a penchant for giving Levana’s products names with import. For example, there is a model called “Jena,” which means “endurance.” Another is “Astra,” which would seem to reference a telecommunications satellite. “Stella,” the model surveyed here, is the Latin and Italian word for “star.”

Levana’s Stella PTZ video monitor is a highly regarded product, as evidenced by a number of rhapsodic reviews from sources like Toys ‘R’ Us and Staples. Top Ten Reviews compliments Stella’s 4.3 inch screen, significantly larger than most other video baby monitors, its clear, high-res image and its screen and multifunctional remote scanning. Like other deluxe models, Stella has remote pan and scan capabilities. Its expansive 750 foot transmission range is among the strongest of its competitors. Thus Top Ten Reviews deems it among the top-rated video monitors available, placing it #9 in the ‘2014 Best Baby Video Monitor Reviews and Comparisons,’ and ranks it 8.8 out of 10.

More About Levana Baby Monitors

Levana baby monitrsUsing a name inspired by the Roman birthing diety, Levana was founded by Rajesh Jain, a video security expert and owner of Canadian-based SVAT Electronics. Jain started Levana in 2002 when he was dissatisfied with the sound quality and range of his niece’s analog baby monitor. Today the company manufactures and markets highly regarded audio, video and movement monitors for infants and small children. Both Top Best Reviews (for the Jena 32111 model) and Karina Fabian of Top Ten Reviews (for the Stella PTZ 32018 model) award Levana high ratings; Levana products fare similarly well when rated by Amazon reviewers.

There is an exhaustive list of Levana baby monitors currently for sale at their website — note that the company mixes and matches video, audio and movement monitors to be sold as separate products. For example, the Ovia PTZ Baby Video Monitor is also sold as the Ovia with Oma+, combining baby video monitor and movement sensor. Levana also sells accessories for their products including additional cameras, charging cradles, wireless camera dock and power adapters.

Levana Jena Video Baby Monitor
Levana Jena
Levana Astra Video Baby Monitor
Levana Astra
Levana Ovia Video Baby Monitor
Levana Ovia
Levana Lila Video Baby Monitor
Levana Lila
Levana Sophia Video Baby Monitor
Levana Sophia
Levana Stella Video Baby Monitor
Levana Stella
Levana Ayden Video Baby Monitor
Levana Ayden
Levana Keera Video Baby Monitor
Levana Keera
Levana Oma + Baby Movement Monitor
Levana Oma+

Levana Ovia with Oma+ Baby Monitor Review

Concerning the Ovia with Oma+, it is the priciest model in Levana’s line of high-end products and thus is worth examination as it contains most of the features aggregated from the company’s less inclusive monitors. The Oma+ is a movement sensor that stays in constant contact with baby as it clips snugly to the child’s diaper. This innovation is highly preferable to most other movement sensors that are under-the-mattress monitors which are more likely to register false alarms. Should the sensor detect complete stillness from baby for longer than 15 seconds, the monitor will gently vibrate against baby’s tummy to stimulate the resumption of regular abdominal movements. Then, if no movement is detected for more than 20 seconds, a noticeably loud alarm sounds that attempts to arouse baby while alerting the caregiver that the child requires immediate attention. The movement monitor also can detect weak and irregular abdominal movements; should abdominal movement occur less than eight times per minute, the movement indicator flashes an orange light and a different warning tone sounds. Note that this default feature of the sensor can easily be disabled. For safety reasons (i.e., strangulation hazard), safety experts stress that no wires or cords be within three feet of baby’s crib. Thus Oma+ is completely wireless with convenient indicator lights and reliable, long-life battery power.

Ovia, the video camera/monitor part of the product, comes with a large 4.3 inch (10.16 cm) color LCD 860×480 resolution quad screen and touch panel controls. The dynamic screen icon menu facilitates easy setup and customization of the monitor. Ovia‘s PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) remote-controlled camera has 270° horizontal pan adjustability, 110° vertical tilt and 2x zoom magnification for comprehensive coverage of baby’s crib and nursery. The wall-mountable camera also features built-in photo and video recording with a micro SD card included for data storage. Transfer to computer is easy with the SD adapter or play back photos and videos instantly with the parent unit. The Ovia monitor has a 24-hour rechargeable battery life with the power-saving PEEP (Power on/off Energy Efficient Picture) which lights up the monitor screen when baby makes noise.

Other notable features of the Ovia with Oma+ include

  • 750 feet (228.6 meters) — optimally 150 feet (45.72 meters) — with a secure 2.4 GHz digital signal transmission range
  • Two-way talkback capability
  • Automatically activated, invisible infrared LEDs for nighttime vision up to 15 feet (4.57 meters)
  • Smart LED indicator ring; ring color changes when volume is turned down and features adjustable sensitivity;
  • Pink: Disconnected
  • Blue: Low volume/whispers
  • Green: Low-medium volume/murmurs
  • Yellow: Medium volume/cooing
  • Orange: Medium-high volume/chatter
  • Three remote-controlled lullabies
  • Expandable up to four cameras

Oddly enough for such a feature-laden product, the Ovia with Oma+ inexplicably has no room temperature sensor, no programmable feeding timer and no nightlight (offered on the Levana Melody audio monitor; see below). Some may grouse that the PTZ camera only has 2x zoom magnification whereas some competitors offer a camera with 4x magnification.

Levana Melody Baby Monitor Review

For those parents content with just the capabilities of a digital audio monitor, Levana offers the Melody. This is a five piece product that includes one baby unit, one parent unit, one parent unit recharging base, two power adapters and assorted mounting hardware. The portable and rechargeable parent unit has a range of up to 2,000 feet (609.6 meters), two-way talkback intercom, temperature monitoring, three popular lullabies, a programmable feeding timer, a soothing nightlight and a handy LED flashlight built into the parent unit. The Melody also includes an energy-saving ECO mode and VOX (voice activation) technology that puts the system into hibernation mode when sounds are not detected. It has out-of-range warning and low battery alerts, LED volume levels that permit the caretaker to monitor baby’s sounds silently and an integrated belt clip and wall mount.

As noted previously, reaction to Levana’s products is almost uniformly favorable. While rosy testimonials at the company website are to be expected, customer feedback from retail customers is generally positive as well. Baby Goes Pro lauds Levana’s Jenna 32111 Baby Video Monitor, calling it “a good deal for parents.” Some consumers have reported problems with battery life and charging, video quality, static/interference, poor transmission and night vision issues but most seem to consider it a good value. Some of the “pros” users mention include the Levana monitors’ simplicity to set up and use, the number of features they offer and their clear and extensive signal range.

Levana baby monitors are available online from the company website and on Amazon. They’re also found at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Toys ‘R’ Us, WalMart, Best Buy and Target retailers and can be ordered online from these establishments as well. Levana offers a one year warranty on their products and lifetime customer support as well as replacement parts including the Oma and Oma+ battery.

Lorex Technology

Lorex baby monitorsAnother Canadian company, Lorex sells a wide variety of video surveillance systems with an established presence in retail stores across North America. Lorex Baby Monitors sells three model lines: “Sense,” “Sweet Peek” and “Care ‘N’ Share.” The model line surveyed here, “Live Sense,” rates #8 in Top Ten Reviews’ 2014 Best Baby Video Monitor Reviews and Comparisons.

Among its standout features include a built-in lullaby library and remote temperature monitoring. It has Wi-Fi and Skype capability, making it ideal for parents who travel away from home. It even includes a micro SD memory card for recording video and two-way “parental talkback” so parents can pacify baby no matter where they might be. With this and many more features found in leading brands, Top Ten Reviews rates it 9.1 of 10.

More About Lorex Baby Monitors

Lorex video baby monitors

Company Overview

Acquired by FLIR Systems of Portland, Oregon in December, 2012 for a reported $60 million, Lorex Technology is an Ontario-based pioneer in DIY video surveillance systems and a purveyor of video surveillance products for security system integrators, including Lorex baby monitors. No doubt FLIR coveted Lorex’s (namely the Lorex and Digimerge brands) distribution network of merchants such as Amazon, Best Buy, Costco and niche wholesalers specializing in large-scale security applications. The acquisition appears to be a good fit for FLIR’s self-described core business of designing, manufacturing and marketing of “sensor systems that enhance perception and awareness,” particularly in thermal technology and imaging.

Lorex Video Baby Monitors

Lorex markets a variety of top shelf video baby monitors that offer next-generation wireless technology with a panoply of features consumers have come to expect from the latest models. They sell «Sense,» «Sweet Peep,» «Starlight» and «Care ‘N Share» Series Video Baby Monitors.

Their newest addition to their product line is the «Care ‘N Share» 4.3-inch Video Baby Monitor with pan/tilt camera and WiFi cradle (model no. BB4325X). It comes with a bevy of features including:

  • Portable Handheld LCD Color Monitor. A wider viewer screen than many of its competitors.
  • Remote Connectivity Capability. By using the free downloadable app for a PCD or tablet, one can view their child at home from anywhere in the world with a WiFi connection.
  • Supports a PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) Camera with Motion Tracking. Motion tracks a child’s movements so that the camera automatically follows the child across the crib or the nursery.
  • Snap ‘n Share Technology. Easily snap still photos of a sleeping child and store images in the computer’s file system for later viewing.
  • Sleep & Soothe Sounds. The built-in speaker plays back tranquil sounds from nature that relaxes child while enhancing a sense of calm in baby’s crib.
  • Crystal Clear Night Vision. When baby’s nursery is dark, the system provides a “clear-cut” video feed in black and white with infrared LED technology.
  • Video On/Off. Turn off video feed and use unit as audio monitor to extended battery life.
  • Two-Way Talk. A built-in, high-sensitivity microphone allows parents to soothe baby from across the house or across the world.
  • Built-in Nightlight.
  • Room Temperature Sensor. Gives quick summary of temprature changes in nursery.
  • Four Room/Angles Viewing. By purchasing additional cameras, caregivers can monitor up to four separate spaces simultaneously or position four cameras at different angles in the same room.
  • Up to 450 feet (137 meters) Wireless Range. Digital audio and video feeds from across the home and beyond to the surrounding yard.
  • Up to Eight Hours of Battery Life.
Lorex BB4325X LorexBaby Care 'n' Share+ 4.3-Inch Video Baby Monitor and Wi-Fi Cradle
Lorex BB4325X LorexBaby Care ‘n’ Share+ 4.3-Inch Video Baby Monitor and Wi-Fi Cradle
Lorex BB3525 Care 'n Share Baby Monitor with Auto-Tracking Pan/Tilt Camera that Follows Baby Movement
Lorex BB3525 Care ‘n Share Baby Monitor with Auto-Tracking Pan/Tilt Camera that Follows Baby Movement
Lorex BB2411 2.4 inch Sweet Peek Video Baby Monitor with IR Night Vision and Zoom
Lorex BB2411 2.4″ Sweet Peek Video Baby Monitor with IR Night Vision and Zoom
Lorex BB7011 LorexBaby StarBright 7-Inch Video Baby Monitor and Wireless Camera
Lorex BB7011 LorexBaby StarBright 7-Inch Video Baby Monitor and Wireless Camera
Lorex BB3521 LorexBaby Care 'n' Share Baby Monitor with Snap, Store and Share
Lorex BB3521 LorexBaby Care ‘n’ Share Baby Monitor with Snap, Store and Share
Lorex LW2451 Wireless Video Monitor
Lorex LW2451 Wireless Video Monitor
Lorex BB3525PK22B Care 'n' Share Baby Monitor with 2 Pan/Tilt Cameras
Lorex BB3525PK22B Care ‘n’ Share Baby Monitor with 2 Pan/Tilt Cameras
Lorex BB1811 Wireless Baby Monitor with Color Screen and Talk-to-Baby Intercom
Lorex BB1811 Wireless Baby Monitor with Color Screen and Talk-to-Baby Intercom

Lorex Baby Monitor Reviews

Readers shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the Care ‘N Share Model BB4325X receives mostly rhapsodic reviews on the company webpage. What few complaints are to be found include observations that the Lorex overwhelms local WiFi networks with static and interference (e.g., network strength drops from ~16 meg to <1 meg) and has a drastically reduced range after only a short time in service. Many users have discovered that other baby monitors have significantly longer battery life than the eight hours provided by the BB4325X. Others have noted that none of the Lorex cameras have mounting hardware for wall installation. Should the parent conduct a thorough search on competing video baby monitors, it will be discovered that the Lorex baby monitors have a relatively paltry transmission range of 450 feet (137 meters); some competitors have a range twice as far.

Top Ten Reviews considers the Lorex Live Sense Series one of the best available on the market; however, it has a smaller monitor (3.5-inches) and a shorter, four hour battery life compared to the BB4325X. Karina Fabian of Top Ten Reviews is quick to note the short battery life of the Lorex and suggests using the AC charging dock for overnight and long-term monitoring. She also reports that a common complaint of the Live Sense Series monitors is that the sound quality is found lacking, even when the monitor is at full volume.

Besides the minor differences listed above, all the Live Sense Series models seem to share the same basic features and functionality with not only themselves but with the Care ‘N Share Series.The Live Sense Series includes these models:

  • LW2401, LW2401F and LW2401PK21B
  • LW2451 and LW2451F
  • LW242B
  • LW2400
  • LW2450

Note that some of these models refer to cameras only.

The Sweet Peep Series includes these models:

  • BB 2411, BB2411T and BB2415
  • LB211 and LB215

This model series is distinguished by the size of the LCD monitor (2.4-inches) and monitor battery life (e.g., 8 hours with video/12 hours audio only mode for BB 2411, BB2411T and LB211; 6 hours with video/10 hours audio only mode for BB2415 and LB215).

Those shoppers who search Lorex on Amazon will find some steep discounts on selected products. For example, the older Care ‘N Share Series BB3525, the Sweet Peek Series BB2411 and the StarBright Series BB7011 are all virtually half off listed retail prices. Speaking of the BB7011, this is also a new addition to the family of Lorex baby monitors and features a whopping 7-inch screen on its monitor. On the debit side, the rechargeable battery lasts for only 1.5 hours, a huge disappointment for those who would otherwise like to have a monitor screen that is perhaps the largest currently available on the market.

Despite these design limitations, Lorex baby monitors nonetheless receive high marks from Amazon and Best Buy customers. Some reviewers deems the Sweet Peek Series as possessing “superior imaging” and favors its comparatively small size of 1 by 5.4 by 3.7 inches (2.54 by 13.72 by 9.4 cm).

When searching through Lorex products, choose from among these features:

  • Monitor Size
    • 1.8-inch
    • 2.4-inch
    • 3.5-inch
    • 4.3-inch
    • 7-inch
  • Battery Life
    • 1.5 hours
    • 3 hours
    • 4 hours
    • 5 hours
    • 7 hours
    • 8 hours
  • Baby Monitor Features
    • Built-in Nightlight
    • Baby Sound Monitor
    • Battery Operated
    • Expandable Cameras
    • Lullabies
    • Monitor on Android
    • Monitor on iPhone
    • Night Vision Video
    • Play Lullaby Songs
    • Two-Way Talk

Lorex also sells accessories such as extra cameras, AV (audio/video) cables for the Care ‘N Share Series monitor, an accessory stand and rechargeable camera batteries. There are also a number of informative videos on various Lorex baby monitors found on YouTube.

VTech

VTech baby monitorsFrom the world’s largest manufacturer of cordless telephones, Hong Kong-based VTech also markets a line of video and audio baby monitors. They offer two models — the VM333 Safe&Sound® Pan & Tilt Full-Color Video Monitor and the VM321 Safe&Sound® Full-Color Video and Audio Monitor.

The VM333 has received enthusiastic reviews from babysavers.com and momcentral.com. And for good reason — it has most all of the features found in other deluxe baby video monitors. Some may find fault with a 2.8 inch screen, smaller than most of its competitors, but the small screen is to be expected considering its overall compact size. The VM333 reputedly does an outstanding job at filtering out background noise until baby whimpers or cries. Given its feature package, it undoubtedly has earned a place among the top rated baby monitors.

More About VTech Baby Monitors

VTech baby monitors

Company Overview

A publicly traded company based in Hong Kong, VTech started business as “Video Technology Limited” in 1986. Its first product was a home video game console. The company rebranded in 1991 as “VTech Holdings Ltd” in recognition of its diversified product lines. During the same year VTech unveiled the world’s first fully digital 900 MHz cordless telephone and in 2000 the company acquired Lucent Technologies’ consumer telephone business with exclusive rights for 10 years to market AT&T- branded wireless phones.

Today VTech is the world’s largest manufacturer of cordless phones and supplier of electronic learning products (ELPs). Globally it ranks as one of the top 50 electronic manufacturing services providers, supplying a large variety of consumer electronic products under contract, branded for numerous SME businesses. Thus baby monitors are but one of VTech’s many product lines.

VTech Baby Monitors Features

VTech baby monitors are available in both audio and video versions in essentially four models. Each model has a YouTube video that explains the functions and capabilities of the product.

VTech® VM333 Safe & Sound® Pan & Tilt Full-Color Video Monitor

The VM333 comes with a PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) camera (baby unit) and a high resolution, 2.8 inch     (7.1 cm) color LCD monitor (parent unit). The PTZ camera pans up to 270° side-to-side and tilts 124° up-and-down with a 2x zoom. Up to four total cameras are supported from one parent unit. Available viewing modes include single view/one camera, split view (cycles through cameras on single view before stopping on split view) and patrol (single view that transitions to a different camera every 7 seconds). Two infrared LEDs and a low-lux camera automatically detect dim light, providing clear video even when the nursery is dark. Other features include:

  • Temperature sensor
  • 1,000 feet (305 meters) range
  •  Digital 2.4GHz transmission and FHSS technology prevents outside interference from other electronic devices
  • Wall-mount bracket
  • Vibrating/Sound alert on parent unit with volume control and five level sound indicator
  • Low battery alert indicator on parent unit

Note that the User’s manual is specific to VTech VM333/VM333-2/VM303 baby monitor models. The VM333-2 consists of one monitor (parent unit) and two cameras (baby units); the VM303 is the PTZ camera (baby unit) only.

VTech VM333 Safe & Sound video baby monitor
VTech VM333 Safe & Sound Video Baby Monitor

VTech® VM321 Safe & Sound® Full-Color Video and Audio Monitor

Winner of the 2013 Top Choice Award from ‘Creative Child’ magazine and the Silver winner from the 2013 National Parenting Publications Awards, the VM321 consists of one parent unit (monitor) and one baby unit (camera). Other components of the VM321 include AC power adapters for both units, parent unit rechargeable battery and wall mounting bracket/hardware. The VM321 camera (baby unit) features infrared LEDs for night vision, microphone, antenna, light sensor, temperature sensor, five-way power indicators, speaker for two-way talkback with baby, adjustable volume, lullabies (five from which to choose; total duration of 20 minutes) and a 2x zoom camera with angle tab. The monitor (parent unit) comes with sound level, signal strength connection, power, camera view and temperature alert status indicators. The 2 inch (5 cm) color LED screen can be automatically set to sound activation.

Note that the user’s manual is specific to the VTech VM321/VM321-2 baby monitor models. The VM321-2 consists of one monitor (parent unit) and two cameras (baby units).

VTech VM321 Safe & Sound video baby monitor
VTech VM321 Safe & Sound Video Baby Monitor
VTech VM321 Safe & Sound 2 Camera video baby monitor
VTech VM321 Safe & 2 Camera Sound Video Baby Monitor

VTech® Safe & Sound® DM221 Audio Baby Monitor

The DM221 consists of a baby unit, a parent unit, a battery pack for the parent unit and two AC power adapters. Two handy features available on the baby unit include a nightlight and a page button that is used to find lost or misplaced parent units. The parent unit with display screen has sound/vibration, signal strength connection and battery indicators. Five levels of sound sensitivity are included with two-way talkback capability. A built-in belt clip allows for easier portability. As with the video monitors, maximum range is 1000 feet (305 meters) and a maximum indoor range of 150 feet (45.7 meters).

Note that the user’s manual is specific to the VTech DM221/DM221-2 baby monitor models. The DM221-2 consists of two parent units and one baby unit.

VTech DM221 Safe & Sound Digital Audio baby monitor
VTech DM221 Safe & Digital Audio Baby Monitor
VTech DM221 Safe & Sound digital audio baby monitor with two Parent Units
VTech DM221 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor with 2 Parent Units

VTech® Safe & Sound® DM111 Audio Baby Monitor

While this model is very similar to the DM221, it comes without nightlight and paging features and lacks volume control. It does include a visual sound and low battery indicators.

Note that the user’s manual is specific to the VTech DM111/DM111-2 baby monitor models. The DM111-2 consists of two parent units and one baby unit.

VTech DM111 Safe & Sound Digital Audio baby monitor
VTech DM111 Safe & Digital Audio Baby Monitor
VTech DM111 Safe & Sound digital audio baby monitor with two Parent Units
VTech DM111 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor with 2 Parent Units

Customer Reviews

Overall, VTech baby monitors receive praise from both institutional reviewers and consumers. A specific model such as the DM121 audio monitor has received a four star rating aggregated over several hundred reviews on Amazon. However, the same model has averaged only two stars based several dozen reviews at the Canadian Toys ‘R’ Us website. Walmart shoppers, in a sample of over 200 reviews, rated the DM221 at slightly over 4¼ stars, or 88%.

Based on 13 reviews, Amazon customers rated the VTechVM333 video and audio monitor at 4¼ stars. Meanwhile, 10 of 12 consumers who bought the model at Walmart gave it 5 stars; the other two awarded it 4 stars. The VM321received four stars from 240 Walmart reviewers or 83%. This model is apparently unavailable from Amazon but can be found at Toys ‘R’ Us.

A number of sponsored reviewers — geekygamermom.com, ourfamilyworld.com, watchmytot.com, busymommymedia.com, ohsosavvymom.com etc. all uniformly rave over the VTech baby monitors, particularly the VM333 and the DM221. However, only Walmart gives a side-by-side comparison of all four models. One question that may occur to the discerning shopper: why does the flagship DM333 model (read most expensive) not have features found on the DM321 (lullabies) and the audio monitors (night light and vibrating sound alert)? Also note that none of the VTech products are internet capable; viz, a parent can’t use a smartphone app to check on baby from across town or across the country with a VTech baby monitor.

Some users report that the VTech baby monitors have very limited range (while others claim that the product works to its full advertised distance), sound level indicator glitches and limited service life. Powered by both AC and an included rechargeable battery (with a “short” operating time; the manual recommends using the parent unit on AC power), the VM333 parent unit (monitor) has a diminished battery life compared to many of its competitors. Also note that the VM333 baby unit (camera) does not run on batteries and hence is not rechargeable.

VTech Baby Monitor Buying Tips

VTech baby monitors are distributed through a wide network of consumer retail stores such as Walmart and Toys R Us as well as online from Walmart, Amazon, No Better Deal and the VTech company website. All VTech baby monitors come with a one year warranty, extended by three months if the warranty is registered online. To their credit, VTech service reps monitor Amazon customer feedback, inviting customers with complaints to contact them at 800.595.9511

Bottomline

While not as pricey as many video baby monitors but also without smartphone capability, VTech Baby Monitors deliver reasonable quality with fine customer service. VTech monitors, in particular the VM321, offer a reasonable compromise between price, number of features offered and reliability and are appropriate for babies, bed-bound senior citizens and other household surveillance needs. According to the reviews surveyed, VTech has many more satisfied than disgruntled customers. Since the company backs its products with a strong warranty and responsive customer service, one can feel comfortable with purchasing and using VTech baby monitors.

Infant Optics by Genexus

Infant Optics baby monitorsGenexus, maker of a line of eclectic consumer products, also markets the Infant Optics DXR-5 baby monitor system. For over two years it’s the number one top seller of baby monitors on Amazon.com. They recently rolled out an upgrade, the Infant Optics DXR-8, which Genexus claims is the world’s first monitor with “interchangeable lens technology.” This feature — with three separate lens types (normal, wide angle with 170° panoramic view and zoom) allows the parent to “customize camera perspective for the appropriate environment.” Like its competitors, it has all the bells and whistles that consumers have come to expect from a video baby monitor. Remote camera pan/tilt, IR night vision, parent talkback, room temperature sensor — all the usual suspects are present in this product. It also comes with a full range of accessories.

More About Infant Optics Baby Monitors

Infant Optics video baby monitors

Company Overview

Infant Optics baby monitors are made and marketed by Genexus LLC, an American company based in California. In addition to baby monitors, Genexus sells handheld evaporative fans and light therapy lamps with “full spectrum” lighting. Currently, Genexus is a defendant in a patent infringement suit brought by Alberta, Canada-based The Litebook Company Ltd. regarding Genexus’ light therapy device.

For years, Genexus marketed only one video baby monitor model, the Infant Optics DXR-5. It is a highly-regarded product, competitively priced, that dispensed with superfluous features that many parents didn’t need: lullabies, nightlights and a 2-way talkback feature. It was a hit with Amazon customers, who made the Infant Optics DXR-5 the best-selling monitor on Amazon’s best seller list for baby monitors in 2012 – 2013.

Building on the success on the DXR-5, Genexus debuted the DXR-8 in September 2013. which features interchangeable lens capability. This flexibility allows the camera to switch to a wide-angle lens for better viewing of the child when baby becomes a toddler and becomes more mobile.

Infant Optics DXR-5 2.4 GHz Digital Video Baby Monitor with Night Vision
Infant Optics DXR-5
Infant Optics DXR-8 Pan/Tilt/Zoom Video Baby Monitor With Interchangeable Optical Lens
Infant Optics DXR-8

Infant Optics Baby Monitors Features

Infant Optics DXR-5

The DXR-5 consists of a parent unit (monitor) and a baby unit (camera).

  • The parent unit has a 2.4 inch (6 cm) color display monitor with 320×240 resolution, auto-tuned and virtually encrypted by FHSS between 2400 to 2483 MHz frequencies for static-free, wireless digital transmission. Its range covers distances of up to 800 feet (244 meters) in open areas and 150 feet (45.7 meters) in enclosed areas.
  • Capable of supporting up to four cameras simultaneously, the monitor has a voice activated (vox) battery saving mode with a low volume auto mute feature. It can be activated either manually or by vox.
  • The monitor’s LED indicators covers power, signal coverage and reception statuses with ten step increments for volume control and six step increments for brightness.
  • Powered by AC, the monitor also comes with a rechargeable, high-performance lithium-ion battery and a 6V 1A DC adapter with 110v – 240v input that allows the unit to be used worldwide.
  • Battery life lasts for up to 3 – 4 hours. It also includes a convenient waist clip for use when the monitor is not standing on its own.
  • The DXR-5 baby unit (camera) has a Cellular Management Operation System (CMOS) sensor with a Video Graphics Adapter (640×480 pixels; 1.33:1 aspect ratio). It has an Effective Focal Length (EFL) of 2.95 mm and a Back Focal Length (BFL) of 2.48 mm.
  • Automatic infrared (IR) vision LEDs adjust to dimming light and shows images from up to ten feet away.
  • The DXR-5 camera has a lateral angle range of  +/- 15° and a vertical angle range up to 90°.
  • It also includes a built-in, high sensitivity gain microphone.
  • As with the monitor, the baby unit is powered by AC and also comes with a rechargeable, high-performance lithium battery and a 6V 1A DC adapter with 110v – 240v input that allows the unit to be used worldwide.
  • Mounting options include tabletop, wall-mounted or upright-stand mounted and mounting screws are included.

Take a look at the Infant Optics DXR-5 instruction manual here.

Infant Optics DXR-5 Video Review

Infant Optics DXR-8

  • Reputed to be the first baby monitor with interchangeable lens technology, the DXR-8 Video Monitor has three separate lens types — normal, wide angle (sold separately) and zoom.
  • The camera streams real-time video to a compact 3.5 inch (8.9 cm) color display monitor, which is larger than the DXR-5. It includes all of the features found in the DXR-5 and extras including 2-way talkback and room temperature sensor.
  • Also new to the DXR-8 are dual USB chargers with an additional power cord to charge from both a computer or an AC outlet.
  • Battery life has been extended to ten hours in power-saving mode and six hours with the display screen continuously on. One would be hard pressed to find a video baby monitor with a longer battery life.
  • The wide angle lens available with the DXR-8 covers a panoramic 170°, which is helpful for monitoring active babies and toddlers who wander the nursery. There’s also an extended vertical turning angle (95° up, 25° down) and an extended horizontal range up to 135° both left and right. It is a  true PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) camera with 2x zoom.

Take a look at the Infant Optics DXR-8 instruction manual here.

For the DXR-8 add-on camera quick start guide, see here

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Review

Accessories

Both DXR models come with a full range of accessories including additional monitor and camera unit AC adapters, additional lithium-ion battery packs and add-on cameras. The optical wide angle lens is compatible with the DXR-8 only. Note that each model has separate accessories that are not interchangeable with the other.

Customer Reviews

As noted above, the Infant Optics DXR-5 has been a favorite of Amazon shoppers with over 2,800 customer reviews as of August 2014. While the aggregate rating on Amazon is 3.8 stars, half are 5 stars. The DXR-8, seventh on Amazon’s top rated baby video monitors, fares somewhat better with Amazon customers, rating 4.4 out of 5 stars based on slightly over 200 reviews.

One respected and independent reviewer is author Rob Pegoraro of ‘PC Magazine,’ who has reviewed a number of video baby monitors. While he deems the Infant Optics DXR-8 a notch below the Editors’ Choice Withings Smart Baby Monitor, the DXR-8 still merits a “Good” rating. Pegoraro sums up the DXR-8 as “a decent, simple monitor” and the “optical zoom lens is a stand-out feature that adds flexibility.”

Other reviewers laud the DXR-8 including bestbabyvideomonitors.com, kidsafetyfirst.com (with a 90% rating and a “Best in Class” award), thebestvideobabymonitors.com and bestbabymonitorsguide.com while the DXR-5 is praised by toptenreviewratings.com, diapers.com, and babymonitorexpo.com.

Infant Optics Baby Monitor Buying Tips

For those looking for the best prices on Infant Optics video baby monitors, as of August 2014 Amazon has the DXR-5 available at under $100 with free shipping and free returns with gift wrapping available. The DXR-8 comes with a considerably higher price tag. Both come with a full one year warranty with support and service available seven days a week.

Bottomline

The Infant Optics DXR-5 may be the best value of all video baby monitors on the market and the DXR-8 is a quality product as well. In fact, one could expect to pay the same amount for a high quality audio-only baby monitor as one would for the DXR-5. However, both have limitations. Perhaps most significantly, neither support Wi-Fi; several other video baby monitors in the DXR-8 price range have Wi-Fi capability. Other gripes: some users report “glitchy” reception and a “jerky” appearing video at times from the DXR-5, the DXR-8 emits a “beeping” noise when it goes into sleep mode and there is no battery backup for the camera — viz, it must be plugged into an electrical receptacle to work. Also note that the DXR-5 uses camera batteries which are substantially different from the batteries used by other baby monitors.

All in all, both Infant Optics DXR models are high quality baby products, easy to commission and to use. If one doesn’t need every single feature that are available on other models, users should be happy with the value the DXR delivers.

There are a number of good reasons to invest in a video baby monitor for the peace of mind one provides to the parents. With the latest wireless technology incorporating smartphone apps, now Mom and Dad can soothe and placate baby even while away from home. The fierce competition between manufacturers has been a boon for consumers as each new product that enters the market adds more features useful for the parent who has to balance a career with the demands of parenting. We’ve only tasted the some of the baby video monitors available; further and more detailed examination of these products will be presented so that parents can choose the best monitor for baby’s needs.


Final Word about the Best Baby Monitor

How to choose the best baby monitor

Baby monitors may not be a necessity, but they can help ease your fears and keep your baby safe. You don’t have to spend your entire paycheck on one!

There is a style and brand in every budget range, and we think they’re a pretty important purchase for parents. Who doesn’t want to sit outside at night around a fire? We know you probably do and having a baby monitor means you can walk outside and know your baby is safe. Peace of mind is worth the money.

  • #1 Best-selling high-quality video baby monitor.
  • HD video, built-in nightlight, temperature and humidity sensors.
  • The only baby monitor that shows a graph of your baby's breathing.
  • Affordable baby monitor featuring up to 1,000 ft of Range, 5-Level Sound Indicator & Belt Clip.
  • High-quality video baby monitor for parents on a budget.
EVA Baby Gear