Angelcare AC327 Review
Pros: Video and audio, wireless sensor pad
Cons: Higher EMF than wired, price
Our Analysis and Test Results
Launching in 1997, Angelcare was one of the first companies to offer movement monitors to the masses. This Canadian company offers sound, video, and movement monitors for infants.
Sensor pad movement monitors can often have more false alarms than wearables. The pad can only cover so much area and if your little moves, or rolls out of the coverage zone then the alarm will alert as it no longer sense movement. This may not be an issue when your baby is still an infant, but as they age and begin to shift, roll, and scoot, it could be more of a problem. Some of the other sensor pads we've tested include more than one pad for better overall coverage and fewer false alarms which is why the competition ranks higher in our tests. We didn't experience false alarms while testing, but some users report that it does occur.
The breathing pad has adjustable sensitivity to help prevent false alarms, but the alarm happens inside the nursery, so you will be waking your baby if there is a false alarm.
Ease of Use
The AC327 isn't hard to use, but there is more going on here than with most of the competition. With a parent device with few buttons and adjustable sensitivity on the sensor pad, it isn't a turn on and walk away device like some of the competition. We are not big fans of the user-interface on the parent device and it feels dated that there are only a handful of buttons that are not intuitive and easy to mix up in the middle of the night. With advances in technology, we feel it shouldn't be too difficult to design a unit with easy to use buttons and features.
This monitor includes color video, voice activation, two-way talk, temperature alarm on the parent device, volume control, and low battery alarm.
The monitor requires more setup than some of the wearable options and has more parts than any other option in our review. With a parent device, camera, and sensor pad there are simply more components you need to deal with than some options that clip on baby's clothes and are good to go. While you don't need to pair the parent device like monitors of old, it does require mattress and bed set up, sensor pad positioning, camera installation, and ensuring a connection between the camera and the parent device.
The AC327 sensor pad requires a hard surface to rest on under the mattress to work properly. Also, the monitor doesn't work properly with all mattress types including most memory foam, straw, or hollow-core mattresses. If your mattress is non-traditional, you might want to consider contacting Angelcare for specifics before you purchase.
While this sensor pad is more portable than those with wires to worry about it still isn't the best choice for travel where you can't control the kind of sleep surface you'll encounter. Because this monitor requires a hard surface to sit and is only compatible with some kinds of mattresses, you may not be able to use it with every hotel crib or friends mattress. If you need to take it to grandma's where you know the set up will work, then a set up without wires is arguably easier.
Electromagnetic Field (EMF)
The Angelcare AC327 emits more EMF than previous Angelcare options we've tested. This is likely a direct result of the wireless pad compared to the previous version's wired pad. While fewer wires around a baby crib is safer, the higher level of EMF might give you pause. While the jury is still out on the cumulative effects of EMF on developing systems, we believe less is better and err on the side of caution when we can. The AC327 emitted 1.2 V/m compared to the previous version we tested with EMF of 0.7V/m. Similar higher ranking sensor pad monitors have EMF levels of 0.7 in our tests as well.
— Wendy Schmitz