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Baby monitors review

We've tested audio-only, video monitors and Wi-Fi monitors priced from $70 to $399.
 
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01.Introduction

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Here, we have test results for 31 baby monitors, priced from $70 to $399.

On test are a mix of audio-only monitors and those that have video capabilities too. Three models are compatible with Apple and/or Android devices and can be used via Wi-Fi and 3G networks.

We've assessed baby monitors for:
  • Sound range
  • Picture range
  • Sound sensitivity and sound quality
  • Picture sensitivity and picture quality
  • Carer unit sound volume
  • Immunity from interference

On this page, you'll also find:

Baby monitors allow you to hear (and in some cases see) your baby from several rooms away, giving you peace of mind and allowing you the chance to get on with other activities knowing you’ll be alerted when your baby calls. A couple come with a movement monitor or sensor pad which goes under the mattress to sense your baby's movements. It will sound an alarm if no movement is detected after a certain period of time.

Simply position the monitor about one metre from your baby and then make sure the receiver (carer unit) is in a place where you can hear and see it. Some models come with handy clips that allow you to clip the receiver on to your belt or a neck strap.

Can you rest assured that the monitor will alert you when your baby wakes or becomes unsettled? Since we test a range of audio and video monitors, our overall score is only based on the sound performance score and ease of use, so that all results are comparable. Monitors with video capabilities get a separate score for picture performance - see our comparison table for the scores.

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Turn your smartphone into a baby monitor

Several models we tested are compatible with mobile devices – you just connect to a Wi-Fi or 3G network and download an app to your phone to use it to monitor your child. This ability to connect to 3G and connect multiple devices to the monitor also means family and friends can connect and stay in touch all over the world.

How far you can use the Wi-Fi signal on the carer unit depends on the strength of your Wi-Fi. Once the Wi-Fi signal is lost, the 3G signal will kick in for the carer unit. However, be wary of areas in the house where both Wi-Fi and 3G signals may be poor - you wouldn’t want the signal to drop out without you noticing. Also bear in mind that the actual monitor only connects to Wi-Fi, so you need to make sure monitor’s in a spot with a good Wi-Fi signal. The app can also crash, meaning you’ll have to restart the program.

In this test, models compatible with mobile devices are the:

  • Withings Smart Baby Monitor WBP01(compatible with Apple and Android devices)
  • Belkin WeMo Baby Monitor (compatible with Apple devices)
  • iBaby monitor M3 (compatible with Apple devices and you can also monitor via PC).

Check our comparison table to see how these monitors compare to the more conventional types.

Brands and models tested

  • Angelcare Movement & Sound Monitor AC401
  • Angelcare Video, Movement & Sound AC1100
  • # Angelcare Video and Sound Digital Baby Monitor AC1120
  • # Baby Solutions Sound & Video Monitor 2.4 GHz LCD wireless baby monitor, JY209
  • # Belkin WeMo Baby Monitor F8J007xea
  • Fisher-Price Sounds & Lights Monitor V4340
  • # Hestia Wireless Monitoring System H100-MFSA
  • # iBaby Monitor M3
  • # Love n Care Digital Wireless Video Baby Monitor 401-000675-00TTD-4161
  • # Luvion Grand Elite Premium Digital Baby Monitor
  • # Motorola Digital Audio Baby Monitor MBP 11
  • # Motorola Digital Wireless Video Baby Monitor MBP 36
  • Motorola Digital Baby Monitor MBP10
  • Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor MBP30
  • # Oricom Secure210-2 Premium Digital Baby Monitor Twin Pack
  • Oricom SC610 Secure 610
  • Oricom SC700 Secure 700
  • Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor SCD525
  • # Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor DECT Audio, SCD505
  • # Philips Avent Digital Video Monitor Day and Night Digital Video, SCD600
  • Roger Armstrong Sleep Easy 689 Digital Audio Monitor
  • Roger Armstrong Sleep Easy 338 Compact Digital Video Monitor
  • Safety 1st 08814-1 High-Def Digital Monitor
  • Signet QC-3638 2.4GHz Digital Wireless
  • Signet QC-3621 2.4GHz Digital Wireless
  • Sony Baby Monitor NTM-V1
  • # Target Digital Wireless Video Baby Monitor D4161B
  • Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature 441000/1082 Simply Intuitive Monitoring
  • # Tommee Tippee Digital Reassurance Monitor 403232
  • # Uniden Digital Wireless Baby Video Monitor Baby Watch, BW 2101
  • # Withings Smart Baby Monitor WBP01

# Newly tested models.

How we test

Performance Our testers, Antonio Bonacruz and Matthew Tung, assess each baby monitor for performance for the following aspects:

  • Sound range gives an indication of how well the baby unit and carer unit can maintain acceptable sound monitoring at various distances with obstacles separating them.
  • Picture range gives an indication of how well the baby unit and carer unit can maintain acceptable picture monitoring at various distances with obstacles separating them.
  • Sound sensitivity and sound quality gives an indication of how well the baby unit can pick up soft sound and how well the carer unit can reproduce the sound (and produce visual indication if applicable).
  • Picture sensitivity and picture quality gives an indication of how well the baby unit can capture images at various light levels and how well the images are displayed on the carer unit.
  • Carer unit sound volume measures the highest sound level that the carer unit could produce. This gives an indication as to how loud the sound could be at the carer unit.
  • Immunity from interference this describes how much interference the baby monitor could cause to a common household appliance, and how much the baby monitor could be affected by interference from a common household appliance. 

Ease of use Antonio and Matthew assess each monitor by looking at the controls, labels, indicators and ease of setting up.

For more reviews of Babies & Kids products, see our Furniture section.

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