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If you think children should be heard and not seen (progressive!), the Philips Avent is our pick for best sound-only monitor this year. It boasts pretty much all the same features as top-of-the-line camera monitors, sans camera, including a night light, backup battery for power outages, lullabies, and even a “cry mode,” so you’re only alerted to cries for attention, not farts of contentment. What did the reviewers say? Here are a few of the highlights.
- As you would expect with an audio-only monitor, the high-quality sound receives high marks from both reviewers and Baby Gear Lab. In addition, the ability to adjust the mic sensitivity to filter out ambient noise is a big win.
- “It reaches at least a thousand feet and sometimes more!” writes one Babies R Us reviewer of the monitor’s range. A claim confirmed by BGL’s testing: “It’s always nice to find a monitor that has a range that outdoes the manufacturer claim. This monitor should work up to about 1,000 feet and in our tests in managed to keep connectivity almost up to 1,100 feet.”
- BGL goes on to drop the aforementioned mic, saying “The bottom line is this monitor blew away the competition and left the rest of the audio products in the dust.”
- Not many. Some may find it a bit on the high side price-wise for not having a camera, and one Amazon reviewer who doesn’t like the two-way feature of the SCD570 says, “I could use this more often to speak into the monitor and calm our child, but it is a bit scary, and so we have decided to use it very rarely.” What? How is a disembodied voice telling your child to go to sleep scary?
- “The flashing light was close to intolerable when I was trying to fall asleep,” writes another about the noise-activated light designed to let you know when your baby is crying. Much like your kid after eating a bowl of Frosted Flakes, apparently, it can’t be turned off.
- Finally, more than one user had issues with the parent unit not sitting squarely in the charger cradle (and as a result, not charging). And while BGL tested the battery life at over 25 hours, there were a number of complaints that it didn’t come anywhere near that range.