HelloBaby HB180 Review
Pros: Wallet-friendly, easy to use, longer range
Cons: Sub-par sound, the battery in parent unit is not rechargeable
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$33 List||$190 List|
$189.99 at Amazon
$38.95 at Amazon
$89.99 at Amazon
$18.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Wallet-friendly, easy to use, longer range||Great range, lots of features, longer battery life, battery backup on the baby unit||Excellent sound clarity, lots of features, long battery life, price||Multiple functions, app-enabled, better range, easy to use for the tech-savvy||Easy to use, nice range, inexpensive|
|Cons||Sub-par sound, the battery in parent unit is not rechargeable||Expensive, battery backup on the baby unit is not rechargeable||Harder to use, shorter range||Shorter battery life, not the best sound quality, few features for sound||Limited features, short battery life|
|Bottom Line||Average monitor with no stand-out features and disappointing sound compared to similarly priced options||Impressive monitor with loads of features for fun and a better range||An inexpensive, yet great sounding, monitor with loads of features that is an excellent choice for most families||An app-enabled, multi-purpose monitor that is easy to use, but it has a shorter battery life and sub-par sound||An affordable monitor set that gets the job done without any fuss|
|Rating Categories||HelloBaby HB180||Phillips Avent Dect...||VTech DM221||Hatch Rest+||VTech DM111|
|Sound Clarity (30%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Battery life (15%)|
|Specs||HelloBaby HB180||Phillips Avent Dect...||VTech DM221||Hatch Rest+||VTech DM111|
|Indoor Range Test (walls & feet)||7 walls
169 Feet (WiFi)
|Open Field Range Test||2000+ Feet||2000+ Feet||1325 Feet||155 Feet (WiFi)||1350 Feet|
|Manufacturer's Claimed Range (*buyer beware!)||1000 Feet||1082 Feet||1000 Feet||NA||Not Listed|
|Communication Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology||WiFi||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology|
|Adjustable Mic Sensitivity||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Sound Filtering Test Results||Very Poor||Excellent||Excellent||Very Good||Very Poor|
|Max Sound||87.5 db||88.6 db||103.4 db||96.3 db||103.6 db|
|Battery Life||13 hrs||40 hrs||46 hrs||13 hrs||13 hrs|
|Nursery Unit Battery Backup||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|EMF @ 6 Feet Nursery Unit||0.43 V/m||0.95 V/m||3.11 V/m||0.43 V/m||2.63 V/m|
|Out Of Range Alert||N/A||N/A||Yes||No||Yes|
|Warranty||1 Year||2 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
HelloBaby doesn't have much information about the company on its website. What we can say is they haven't been on the scene for long, and other monitors we've tested in the past have scored about average.
The real issue with the HB180 is that it doesn't offer the best sound. Given that a sound monitor's main job is to provide clear and consistent sound, this sub-par performance is disappointing to us. With one of the lowest scores in the group, this makes it a monitor we don't love.
The sound has some static that comes through, and there is chronic white noise despite the sound activation feature, it claims. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep when there is any kind of background noise, then this is likely not the monitor for you.
Ease of Use
The HB180 is easyto use. The user interface on both units are simple and straightforward, with icon-labeled buttons. While there is some menu diving on the parent unit with multiple button pushes for certain features, the main features you'll most likely use in the middle of the night are easy to find.
The setup of this monitor is easy, and the parent and baby unit come paired.
The range is one area where the HB180 excels. With one of the best test results in the group for range at 7 walls and over 170 ft. This is an ample distance likely suitable for most homes. If you need more distance than this, you'll likely need a WiFi video monitor instead.
The parent unit on the HB180 is AAA batteries. It is one of the few that aren't rechargeable, and we think you should consider this carefully moving forward in your selection. Because at least a portion of your day will be spent using this unit away from an outlet, the batteries could frequently die, seriously increasing the lifetime cost of this monitor over other similarly priced units. In our tests, it only lasted 13 hours. This means every 5-6 days, you could be potentially changing batteries if you don't keep it plugged in during nap times. The manufacturer claims an 18-hour run time, but ours started beeping low battery at 5 hours and quit at 13.
The HB180 has more features than we would have suspected, given the straightforward user interface with few buttons.
This monitor has the following features:
- Temperature sensor
- Nigh light
- Talk to baby
- Sound activation
Some parents have concerns about the level of EMF emitted by products around their babies. While there is no definitive study on the impact of chronic low-level EMF on developing systems, there have been indications and other related studies that indicate a potential for impact. To err on the side of caution, we recommend choosing the option that meets your needs andhas the lowest levels of EMF. The HB180 EMF is about 0.43 V/m on average at a distance of 6 ft from the baby unit.
To further decrease your little one's exposure to EMF, you can turn the monitor off when you aren't using it, and you can put it as far from the baby as possible to still be useful. With sound monitors, this could easily be across the room from the crib.
Should You Buy the HB180?
We think there are better options in this lineup of sound monitors. In short, there are two award winners with similar prices and better performance in most metrics. Alternatively, for the price, we've tested impressive video monitors with better or similar sound. These factors make the HB180 feel disappointing compared to competitors, which is why we don't think it should be anyone's first choice.
What Other Sound Monitor Should You Consider?
We think either VTech option in our lineup are better choices. Depending on your budget or goals, both are straightforward and are easy to use with similar prices to the HelloBaby. The VTech DM221 is a great option with good sound and useful features. The VTech DM111 will save you a few dollars, and it is so easy anyone can use it.
— Wendy Schmitz
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More