In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

HelloBaby HB178 Review

This easy to use option has poor sound quality and disappointing features and battery life
HelloBaby HB178
Credit: Abriah Wofford
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Price:   $40 List | $39.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to use, good range distance
Cons:  Expensive for what it is, poor sound quality, short battery life
Manufacturer:   HelloBaby
By Wendy Schmitz and the BabyGearLab Review Team  ⋅  Sep 29, 2021
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54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 6
  • Sound Clarity - 30% 3
  • Ease of Use - 25% 10
  • Range - 20% 7
  • Battery life - 15% 3
  • Features - 10% 1

The Skinny

The Hellobaby HB178 is an easy-to-use sound monitor that offers better range distance than most of the competition. This unit is easy to set up and has a user interface most can manage without cracking the user manual. The battery life in the parent unit is about 13.5 hours in our tests, which is long enough for naps and most overnight needs. Unfortunately, this monitor has poor sound compared to most of the competition. It is hard to decipher with muffled and fuzzy background tones that make what a parent hears from the baby room a poor representation of what is occurring. It also lacks most features we think are helpful and sports a reasonable price that is still too high for what you get. Overall, we believe there are better quality options in this review, no matter your monitoring goals.

Compare to Similar Products

 
HelloBaby HB178
This Product
HelloBaby HB178
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Value Award 
Price $40 List
$39.99 at Amazon
$40 List
$39.99 at Amazon
$120 List$50 List
$42.74 at Amazon
$30 List
$19.41 each at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Easy to use, good range distanceExcellent sound clarity, lots of features, long battery life, priceGreat sound clarity, nice range, long battery lifeGood sound clarity, easy to use, budget-friendlyEasy to use, nice range, inexpensive
Cons Expensive for what it is, poor sound quality, short battery lifeHarder to use, shorter rangeHarder to use, fewer featuresLimited features, average rangeLimited features, short battery life
Bottom Line This easy to use option has poor sound quality and disappointing features and battery lifeAn inexpensive, yet great sounding, monitor with loads of features that is a great choice for most familiesOur 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 homesA great option for those who favor ease-of-use and good sound quality over excess features, at a relatively good price for what you getAn 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%)
3.0
10.0
10.0
8.0
7.0
Ease Of Use (25%)
10.0
6.0
7.0
10.0
9.0
Range (20%)
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Battery Life (15%)
3.0
10.0
6.0
4.0
3.0
Features (10%)
1
9.0
9.0
4.0
3.0
Specs HelloBaby HB178 Vtech DM221 Philips Avent DECT... Philips Avent DECT... Vtech DM111
Indoor Range Test (walls & feet) 7 Walls
123 Feet
5 Walls
90 Feet
6 Walls
95 Feet
5 Walls
90 Feet
7 Walls
98 Feet
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
Sound Activation Yes Yes Yes No
Adjustable Mic Sensitivity Yes Yes No No
Sound Filtering Test Results Very Poor Excellent Excellent Poor Very Poor
Talk-to-Baby No Yes Yes No No
Max Sound 92.3 103.4 db 102 db 101 db 103.6 db
Temperature No No Yes No No
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
Night Light No Yes Yes Yes No
Lullaby Music No No Yes No No
Out Of Range Alert Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vibrate Alert No Yes Yes No No
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.

Performance Comparison



The Hellobaby has disappointing sound quality that is not a good...
The Hellobaby has disappointing sound quality that is not a good representation of what is happening in the nursery.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Sound Clarity


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.

With almost no features and few buttons, the Hellobaby is one of the...
With almost no features and few buttons, the Hellobaby is one of the easiest monitors in the review to use.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Range


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 accepts batteries to the nursery and parent device...
The Hellobaby accepts batteries to the nursery and parent device making it one of the only ones we've seen that can be used when the electricity is unavailable.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Battery Life


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 relaying sound from one...
The Hellobaby has almost no features beyond relaying sound from one unit to the other. While this makes it easy to use, it also means it lacks helpful features like sound activation and microphone sensitivity adjustment.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Features


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 features an on/off button, volume buttons, and a...
The Hellobaby features an on/off button, volume buttons, and a visual sound indicator.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The HelloBaby also has the following features:

  • Visual sound indicator on the parent unit
  • Mute
  • Low battery light

EMF


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