Angelcare AC327 Review
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|Pros||Video and audio, wireless sensor pad||Portable, wearable, fewer false alarms||Portable, simple, vibration stimulus, no EMF||Alarm and lights, 2 sensor pads, no cords||App-enabled, comfortable button, budget-friendly|
|Cons||Higher EMF than wired, high price, requires hardboard under the mattress||Price, nursery only alarm, potentially scary for baby||No parent unit, difficult to attach, short battery life||Nursery alarm, no parent unit, no sensitivity adjustment||Easily lose or wash buttons, potential connectivity issues, less reliable|
|Bottom Line||Potential all-around solution for every monitoring need from movement to sound and video||Portable simplicity make it interesting but the higher price and loud alarm should be considered||Reliable clip-style wearable with a unique vibration stimulus||Straightforward option with two sensor pads but no parent device or adjustable sensor sensitivity||Interesting idea but the high EMF and lower reliability score gives us pause|
|Rating Categories||Angelcare AC327||Levana Oma Sense||Snuza Hero SE||Babysense 7||Monbaby Smart Button|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Specs||Angelcare AC327||Levana Oma Sense||Snuza Hero SE||Babysense 7||Monbaby Smart Button|
|Sensor Type||Sensor Pad||Wearable||Wearable||Sensor Pad||Wearable|
|Parent Unit||Yes, Dedicated||No||No||No||Smartphone|
|Monitoring Type||Movement, Sound, Video||Movement||Movement||Movement||Movement, Position, Activity|
|EMF (at baby)||.9 V/m||0.4 V/m||0.4 V/m||0.4 V/m||2.3 V/m|
|Recommended Age||Sensor Pad: 0-24mo
Audio & Video: 0mo+
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 one moves or rolls out of the coverage zone, the alarm will alert as it no longer senses movement. This may not be an issue when your baby is still an infant, but it could be more of a problem as they age and begin to shift, roll, and scoot. 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. Still, 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 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 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 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 sleep surface you'll encounter. Because this monitor requires a hard surface to sit on and is only compatible with some kinds of mattresses, you may not be able to use it with every hotel crib or friend's mattress. If you need to take it to grandma's, where you know the setup will work, then a setup without wires is arguably easier.
Electromagnetic Field (EMF)
The Angelcare AC327 emits more EMF than the 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 are 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 0.9 V/m compared to the previous version we tested with an EMF of 0.7V/m. Similar higher-ranking sensor pad monitors have EMF levels of 0.4 in our tests as well.
Should You Buy the Angelcare AC327?
We understand the appeal of a one-and-done solution and see why parents will be drawn to this monitor. However, we think there are better, easier-to-use monitors in all of the monitors we've tested across cateroires and think parents could create their own system by choosing a single product from each category of the best sound monitor, best video baby monitor, and best movement monitor.
What Other Movement Monitor Should You Consider?
The BabySense 7 is our favorite mattress sensor pad style of movement monitor. This option comes with two sensor pads and alerts in the nursery. It is easier to use and has significantly lower EMF. If paired with a video monitor, it will have the same features and functionality as the Angelcare. As neither option is particularly portable, we like the Snuza Go wearable movement monitor. This monitor attaches to the diaper, is easy to use, and can be used on any style of mattress.
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