Here, we review 15 baby monitors, six of which also have video capabilities, priced from $70 to $399.
We've assessed their:
- 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:
A baby monitor will allow you to hear (and in some cases see) your baby from several rooms away, and gives you a chance to get on with other activities knowing you’ll be alerted when your baby calls.
You simply place the monitor around one metre from your baby and then make sure the receiver (parent unit) is in a place where you can hear and see it, or clipped onto your belt.
But can you rest assured that the monitor will alert you when your baby wakes or becomes unsettled?
In this test, the overall score is based only 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. You'll find the scores for the models we've tested in our comparison table.
Update - Sony releases its first baby monitor
Baby monitors now come packed with features, and this first-ever baby monitor from Sony doesn't skimp on them either. It has a 2.3-inch colour display screen, 2x digital zoom, night vision and four LED sensors that indicate when your baby is unsettled. Temperature sensors sound an alert if it gets too hot or cold in the baby’s room and it claims to work up to 100m away, with a warning alarm if the range exceeds 100m or if the battery is running low. It also comes with an installation kit that allows you to mount the camera transmitter to the wall.
To see how it performs against the rest, see our comparison table.
These days baby monitors do more just let you know when your child is making noise. Some models have extra features like temperature monitors, night lights, tunes and features where you can talk to your baby while you’re not in the room.
The Oricom SC610 Secure 610 from this test even comes with a lightshow where images are projected onto the ceiling.
You can also get a monitor that tells you if your child is moving, and more and more are now coming with video capabilities so you can watch your baby too.
But do you really need all these extra features? The top-performing model in this test is quite basic, easy to use and has a reasonable price tag.
Brands and models tested
- Angelcare AC401 Movement & Sound Monitor
- Angelcare AC1100 Video, Movement & Sound
- Fisher-Price V4340 Sounds & Lights Monitor
- Motorola MBP10 Digital Baby Monitor
- Motorola MBP30 Digital Video Baby Monitor
- Oricom SC610 Secure 610
- Oricom SC700 Secure 700
- Philips Avent SCD525 DECT Baby Monitor
- 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
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature 441000/1082 Simply Intuitive Monitoring
How we test
Performance Our tester, Antonio Bonacruz, assesses 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 assesses 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.