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 this 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
In 2011 the company 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.
Audio and Video
In our comparisons, the video quality on the camera 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.
There is 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 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.
The major downside to this particular 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.
In our test, 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. 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.
This 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.
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 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.
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, or the customer support team can be emailed as well. The service team responded to us, and all of our questions were answered by the representative in a timely manner.
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.