We know you’re busy (obviously, parenting), and the last thing you have time to do is read online reviews about baby gear. We, on the other hand, need a way to spend our days. We try to read every damn review (and gushing/crazed commenter) on the internet so you don’t have to, and then we compile the most salient points — both good and bad — for you to consider before purchasing. You can read review roundups of all the best baby gear, from jogging strollers to baby carriers, right here.
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.