Which baby monitor performed better than all of the other video baby monitors that we have tested? Why, the Infant Optics DXR-8 of course! It features excellent audio and video quality. It is easy and quick to get the monitoring unit set up, which is very important when you are busy and have many other things you need to do to prepare for your little one’s arrival. For these reasons and much more, we highly recommend the Infant Optics DXR-8 baby monitor unit above any other device.
|Pros||Cons||Max Range||Max Cameras|
|Extremely simple to use.||Indoor range is low.|
|Battery life is long.||Less features than some.|
A Brief History of the Infant Optics DXR-8 Baby Monitor
In 2011 Infant Optics started to develop and manufacture various kinds of baby monitors (like the DXR-5). These days, the company is continuing to advance its manufacturing techniques and designs, and incorporates feedback from its customers as part of these efforts. After a product is launched, the company continues to improve its reliability and functionality.
The goal of this company is to become the USA’s most trusted brand of monitoring devices for babies. The company has plans to introduce new monitoring units so that every gap in the market is filled. They continue focusing on their after sales customer support by having live customer service staff available 7 days per week.
The Audio and Video
In our comparisons, the video quality on the camera for the Infant Optics DXR-8 is far superior to all of the other monitoring units out there. It projects a very smooth and clear image onto the handheld parent unit. We conducted a test where the camera was set up in one room and the monitor was moved 30 feet away (not really a long range, but a decent range for testing). The images were still clear and smooth with each movement, with no lag or trails. At 3.5 inches, the screen itself is relatively small, with fairly low resolution. However, it doesn’t affect the video quality all that much.
As the lens that it comes with is completely interchangeable, you can swap out the lense that it comes with to a wider angled lense or a zoom based lens, which gives a lot of flexibility with your baby monitor. It’s a great little extra thing you can use to customize that video you’re getting based on the setup of your little one’s bedroom. The baby monitor itself comes with the extra zoom lens in the box when you order it, but if you want the wide angled lens you need to pick it up apart from this device (grab it here on Amazon.com). Swapping out the lens is as simple as unscrewing the current one and screwing the replacement on.
Now, the lens that it comes with has a great angle to it already, and is comparable to what comes with other baby monitors. This is totally fine if you need to cover an average sized space and see what’s around the crib.
With the zoom based lens you can change the placement of the camera to be much farther away from the crib and still see them clearly. Based on how big the room is, and how concerned you are about the potential health issues of a baby monitor when the unit is too close, this is a great option.
The wide angle lens that you can purchase in addition to the base Infant Optics DXR-8 unit allows you to have a complete panoramic viewing area of the room that it is placed in.
This is a huge viewing area, which means you won’t have any good views of your little one when they happen to be asleep. Because of this I’d recommend using this lens with a secondary camera unit. It’s also great if your kid is a bit older and you just want to watch them while they’re playing somewhere other than their bedroom.
For most the default lens will be plenty. There is also always a digital zoom on the parental unit for the monitor. However, it is nice to be able to move the camera as far away as you’d like with the zoom camera lense, assuming you are using a room that this would work in. Now, the wide angled lens is likely far too much for someone watching a newborn in their crib while they are sleeping, but it is a great option once your dear little one is running around playing all throughout the house (especially if you end up buying a 2nd camera).
Yup, You Can Use 4 Total Cameras
That’s right, with the Infant Optics DXR-8 there is also the option to hook up four cameras in total that can be monitored from the parental unit. However, the other cameras do have to be purchased separately (you can get them on Amazon.com here). You can control the camera itself from the monitor, to allow you to tilt the camera up and down, pan it from side to side, or zoom in so that you can see more detail – and do all of this without having to go into the nursery and disturb your baby.
These additional cameras are 100% the same as the one that comes in the original box with the original unit, so you can move lenses around as much as you desire. It is important to note that the additional cameras do not come with the zoom lens; that’s just when you purchase the entire monitoring packaged unit.
So, how is the quality of video on this baby monitor? After all, swapping out lenses and buying more cameras wouldn’t matter much if the quality was terrible. Happily, the Infant Optics DXR-8 has a great video and audio quality level, and is by far one of the best available out there. The image coming through on the parental unit is very clear, including during the nighttime. The quality of the sound is great too, and it picks up any noise going on in the room.
You’re of course free to adjust the volume and brightness on the parental display unit, and you can even flip the video off on the parental unit if you’d like (like if you’re going to go to sleep). Audio can stay turned on with the video being off.
The major downside to this particular baby monitor unit is that you are unable to take snapshots or record video with it. Although those aren’t the most important features for a monitoring device to have, they are certainly nice, and they do enable you to capture those precious moments that you pick up with the parental unit.
Functionality for the Infant Optics DXR-8
In our test for this review it was very easy to get the device set up. After we charged the parent unit overnight, all we did was plug the camera in and turn the monitoring device on. It picked the signal up almost immediately. We checked out the menu and explored the different options and then started to do our tests.
We did our 30-foot test, and then the camera was left in one room and the monitoring unit was taken to another room downstairs. This left around 50 feet in between the monitor and camera, along with some other obstacles. We did notice a slight lag in the audio and video, and that is why we only give it a 90 percent connection quality score – but that is still better than all of the other devices out there that we have tested.
We conducted another test to see how long its battery would last. We simulated a regular night with a baby for our review. The camera and monitor were kept running in power-saving mode for eight hours. Every two hours we made noise close to the camera. The monitoring unit was turned back on during those times to check everything. After we saw everything was fine we turned it back off. After eight hours, the parental device had around three-quarters of the total battery life left, which is the top result we have seen with our tests.
In addition, we tested the monitor’s range without any obstructions like floors or walls. We pushed this indoors to 120 feet approximately before the video and connection quality started to degrade. It is claimed by the manufacturer that the camera and parental device can work at a 700-foot range, however, that is without any obstacles outdoors.
This video monitoring system is simple, so there is no convenience of an AV output or Wi-Fi capability. With Wi-Fi capability, the device can be used via your smartphone, and AV output allows you to hook it up to your television to get larger images.
The Infant Optics DXR-8 monitoring system easily has one of the simplest user interfaces to navigate. It comes with straightforward and easy to use buttons. There is a shortcut button for brightness and volume, but this shortcut is nearly the same as navigating through the features on the menu. We do wish there were buttons on the parent unit’s body outside of the menu options. The only downside that testers reported was that the camera’s pan had a choppiness after a couple of weeks of continued use. It seemed like the image didn’t match the screen’s navigation. Turning the device off and then back on again was the only thing that rectified the problem.
Testing Signal Strength in our Review
As far as the range of the signal on the Infant Optics DXR-8 goes, it has a pretty decent one as briefly mentioned above. It uses a standard 2.4 GHz FHSS wireless signal, and this is said to reach as high as 700 ft when used outside (with no walls to interrupt the signal). Really, though, using it inside with walls like everyone does you’ll likely get around 80-90 ft based on placement and your home’s setup. Still pretty solid. Certainly one of the better long range baby monitors you’ll be able to find online.
Infant Optics Hacking and Security
The risk of any security issue coming from a hacked device is very low with the Infant Optics DXR-8. This is due to the fact that it uses an encrypted FHSS radio signal. No one would be able to hack this remotely through your WiFi; they’d have to be within the range of the monitor’s signal. They’d also have to be able to decrypt said signal, which is very secure.
Extras for the Infant Optics DXR-8
The temperature indicator was a nice added feature on the device. You don’t want to have to wake up your baby if he is sound asleep, but you might want to know if the temperature in the nursery is just right. So instead of potentially waking up your baby to check on the room’s temperature, you can just look at the parent unit to find out what the temperature is, and if necessary, adjust the thermostat.
The camera can be mounted on the wall in order to save space or it can be put on a shelf. There are also interchangeable lenses, as mentioned above, that come with the device so you can either get a wider view of the nursery or closer look at your child. A sufficient amount of light is produced by the infrared LEDs for video without it being enough to disturb your infant. The system doesn’t come with lullabies or a nightlight to comfort your infant, but those features are not critical enough to take away from the fact that it is the best option that we have tested to date.
The handheld parental display unit has a great split screen capability, allowing you to look at all shots of cameras you have installed at the same time. Of course, sound only comes in from a single camera at a time, but you’re free to switch between the different cameras for your audio choice. You can also have it set to cycle automatically through the different cameras for video/audio every thirty seconds or so. As far as the picture goes, it is about 320×240 pixels on the parental display unit.
As with many baby monitors, the Infant Optics DXR-8 allows you to speak to your dear little one through the camera if you need to. This 2-way radio is easy to use by pressing/holding the mic button on the parental unit. The audio from your voice will go to the camera selected, and none of the other attached cameras.
You can also move the viewing area on the camera as much as needed by panning, tilting, or zooming the camera. The camera can be tilted 135 degrees either right or left, and can be panned 95 degrees up and 25 degrees down. This is something many parents love to keep their child’s crib or play area in focus of the camera. Using the pan and tilt functions didn’t produce very much noise when tested.
How Safe is It?
Connected to the cameras through the above mentioned 2.4 GHz FHSS wireless connection, the parental unit for the Infant Optics DXR-8 does have an EMF, or electromagnetic field, constantly being emitted in order to receive the video and audio feed. This is true of all baby monitors out there.
In tests the camera showed an average EMF of 1.89 mG from 6 feet away, which is the suggested minimum distance for any camera you use. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) suggests no exposure beyond 2.5 mG at any given time, meaning this is under that and considered safe. Basically, the farther away you can place the camera from your dear little one the better off you are due to a lower amount of EMF exposure.
As for the parental unit on the Infant Optics DXR-8, it will generate 3.6 mG within 3 feet of placement. Meaning, we suggest not sleeping with it on your nightstand/table next to your bed. If possible, move it a bit away such as on your dresser (aim for 6+ feet away).
Support and Help
This company doesn’t provide the best warranty for monitoring systems. There are other manufacturers that offer better ones. However, you do receive one full year of protection on labor or defective parts. The manufacturer can be contacted by phone during regular office hours (if in the United States the phone number is (800) 291-0195), or the customer support team can be emailed as well at email@example.com. The service team responded to us, and all of our questions were answered by the representative in a timely manner. If you need the manual, you can find it right here, and the quick start guide is right here.
Although the DXR-8 model from Infant Optics is missing a couple of extra features and doesn’t offer Wi-Fi, it is the best of all of the video baby monitors that we have tested. It offers crisp, clear audio and image quality and its simple design make it very easy to use and get set up. We highly recommend this system to all parents.