In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Angelcare AC327 Review

All around solution for every monitoring need from movement to sound and video
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Price:   $170 List | $151 at Amazon
Pros:  Video and audio, wireless sensor pad
Cons:  Higher EMF than wired, price
Manufacturer:   Angelcare
By Wendy Schmitz ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 17, 2020
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The Skinny

The Angelcare AC327 is a one and done monitoring solution that includes movement, video and audio capabilities. This monitor works with a sensor pad that goes under the baby's mattress and includes the ability to hear and see baby with a paired parent device that comes with the unit. This monitor could be a good solution for parents who want to buy a single monitor for their child, but still want to monitor movement (which is typically only good from 0-6 months old). This unit requires a hard board under the mattress and won't work with all mattress types. Also, the lack of wires creates more EMF emissions than previous wired Angelcare options. It is also a little on the spendy side, but the longevity might make that worthwhile depending on your goals. Overall, we think it might be a good choice if you plan to combine an audio or video option with a movement monitor.

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.

Performance Comparison



The AC327 comes with video  audio  and movement all in one purchase.
The AC327 comes with video, audio, and movement all in one purchase.

Reliability


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 sensor pad on the AC327 is wireless and has adjustable sensitivity for fewer false alarms.
The sensor pad on the AC327 is wireless and has adjustable sensitivity for fewer false alarms.

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.

The Angelcare has a dedicated parent device but it feels dated and isn't the most intuitive.
The Angelcare has a dedicated parent device but it feels dated and isn't the most intuitive.

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.

The AC327 parent unit has a lot of features  but the limited buttons make using it somewhat challenging.
The AC327 parent unit has a kickstand for easy viewing.

This monitor includes color video, voice activation, two-way talk, temperature alarm on the parent device, volume control, and low battery alarm.

The AC327 sensor pad requires a hard surface to rest on and not all mattresses are compatible. The pad is adjustable to help avoid false alarms from any nearby device that causes vibrations.
The AC327 sensor pad requires a hard surface to rest on and not all mattresses are compatible. The pad is adjustable to help avoid false alarms from any nearby device that causes vibrations.

Set Up


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.

Mattress Selection
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.

Portability


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.

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Wendy Schmitz