For audio/video products, this is made up of picture performance (30%), sound performance (40%) and ease of use (30%). For audio-only products, the overall score is made up of sound performance (70%) and ease of use (30%).
Note: Some Wi-Fi enabled baby monitors use a smartphone or tablet as the carer device, or give owners the option to use an app. Where applicable, our scores are based on the app that is associated with the product.
When determining the sound performance score, we put the monitors through a series of tests to determine how well the baby unit can pick up soft sounds, and how well the carer unit can reproduce that sound. We also test the range of the unit and see how well it works through walls. For Wi-Fi-enabled models, results may vary depending on your Wi-Fi coverage.
For app-based products, we define the carer unit as the tablet/phone.
We look at ease of using the controls on both baby and carer unit, labelling, ease of setup including handling, positioning and adjusting settings and ease of accessing the batteries and connecting the adaptors. For apps we class the tablet/phone as carer unit.
In 2016 we began to include picture performance in the overall score for baby monitors, if that monitor has video. The picture performance score consists of picture range (50%), picture sensitivity/picture quality (25%) and picture immunity from interference (25%).
Quality of the baby monitor picture in dark lighting conditions. Many video-enabled baby monitors have an infrared feature that allows you to see baby in the dark, albeit at high contrast and in black and white. Monitors that don't have this feature (such as ones which use your phone/tablet) will score zero for visibility.
Some baby monitors sound an alarm if the temperature is outside a certain range. (Regardless of the temperature, it's still important to follow safe sleeping guidelines such as putting baby to bed on their back, with face uncovered and minimal bedding.)