HelloBaby HB178 Review
Pros: Easy to use, good range distance
Cons: Expensive for what it is, poor sound quality, short battery life
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|Pros||Easy to use, good range distance||Excellent sound clarity, lots of features, long battery life, price||Great sound clarity, nice range, long battery life||Good sound clarity, easy to use, budget-friendly||Easy to use, nice range, inexpensive|
|Cons||Expensive for what it is, poor sound quality, short battery life||Harder to use, shorter range||Harder to use, fewer features||Limited features, average range||Limited features, short battery life|
|Bottom Line||This easy to use option has poor sound quality and disappointing features and battery life||An inexpensive, yet great sounding, monitor with loads of features that is a great choice for most families||Our favorite monitor if the price is not a barrier, that offers a longer range and great sound quality, making it a great choice for larger homes||A great option for those who favor ease-of-use and good sound quality over excess features, at a relatively good price for what you get||An affordable monitor set that includes two parent units and gets the job done without any fuss|
|Rating Categories||HelloBaby HB178||Vtech DM221||Philips Avent DECT...||Philips Avent DECT...||Vtech DM111|
|Sound Clarity (30%)|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Specs||HelloBaby HB178||Vtech DM221||Philips Avent DECT...||Philips Avent DECT...||Vtech DM111|
|Indoor Range Test (walls & feet)||7 Walls
|Open Field Range Test||1330 Feet||1325 Feet||1350 Feet||1320 Feet||1350 Feet|
|Manufacturer's Claimed Range (*buyer beware!)||1000 Feet||1000 Feet||1083 Feet||984 Feet||Not Listed|
|Communication Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology||DECT technology||DECT Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology|
|Adjustable Mic Sensitivity||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Sound Filtering Test Results||Very Poor||Excellent||Excellent||Poor||Very Poor|
|Max Sound||92.3||103.4 db||102 db||101 db||103.6 db|
|Battery Life||13.5 Hours Hrs||46 Hours Hrs||31 Hours Hrs||19 Hours Hrs||13 Hours Hrs|
|Nursery Unit Battery Backup||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|EMF @ 6 Feet Nursery Unit||0.43 V/m||3.11 V/m||0.72 V/m||0.95 V/m||2.63 V/m|
|Out Of Range Alert||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||2 Years||2 Years||1 Year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Hellobaby brand is a sub-brand under VideoTimes.co, Ltd. VideoTimes was founded in April of 2006 and is a certified manufacturer of a variety of products sold in over 30 areas and regions worldwide. Hellobaby sells various kinds of baby monitoring devices, though it does not appear as though these are being manufactured by VideoTimes or Hellobaby.
The sound quality and clarity for the HelloBaby are some of the worst we've seen during testing in the last eight years. This unit has a very muffled sound that left us wondering if someone was talking, crying, or just making gurgling noises on the other end. Overall, it had a fuzzy overlay to the sound and was not a good representation of what was happening in the nursery. The maximum sound level for this product is only 92 dB in our tests, making it one of the lowest in the group. This product also lacks features designed to make the sound better, like sound activation and microphone sensitivity, which means you could be listening to a staticky/white noise sound all night long with the Hellobaby.
Ease of Use
The HelloBaby earned a high ease of use score in our tests mainly because it has no features to learn or set. This unit is a plug-and-play design that self-pairs and needs no real setup beyond playing each unit where you'd like to use it. There are on/off and volume buttons and a mute button on the parent unit, but there is not much else to learn or do with this monitor. While this might make it a good choice for grandparents or those who lack technical savvy, we still think there are better options with higher scores in most metrics to choose from that are also easy to use.
The HelloBaby has a better range distance than most of the competition, with a distance of 123 ft and 7 walls. The manufacturer claims a distance of 1000 feet, an open line of sight range, and not a good indicator of what you can expect inside a home with walls and other products that could interfere with the transmission between the two units. We wish manufacturers would at least make an effort to provide more accurate range distances so parents might be able to discern if the product will work for their needs. Our line of sight tests worked up to 1300 ft, which at least indicates the manufacturer is accurate for this test, but we suspect most people will not be using their monitor to leave a baby in an open field.
The HelloBaby battery life is long enough but nothing to crow about at just over 13 hours for the parent device. We started getting a low battery warning at close to 12 hours. We didn't test the battery life on the nursery unit as this component is typically left plugged in. However, it is worth noting that this monitor can be run with nursery and parent devices on batteries making it one of the few we've ever seen with this capability.
The HelloBaby has almost no features beyond transmitting sound from the nursery unit to the parent device. The bright spot is probably the ability to use each unit with batteries making it one of the few in our lineup you could use camping or where electricity might be spotty.
The HelloBaby also has the following features:
- Visual sound indicator on the parent unit
- Low battery light
When placed 6 ft from the baby unit for testing purposes, the EMF reader got an average reading of 0.43 V/m with the Hellobaby. This is one of the lowest in the group and a leading plus of this monitor. However, at least one other option had a similar reading and a higher overall score, making it a better choice if finding a monitor with the lowest possible EMF is important to you.
If EMF levels are concerning to you, you can lower the EMF exposure by placing the nursery unit as far from the baby's crib as possible while still functioning. This could be up to 15 ft or more, though you'll test your monitor and nursery to find the best placement for your situation.
— Wendy Schmitz and the BabyGearLab Review Team