In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

HelloBaby HB180 Review

Average monitor with no stand-out features and disappointing sound compared to similarly priced options
hellobaby hb180 sound monitor review
Credit: Manufacturer
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Price:   $33 List
Pros:  Wallet-friendly, easy to use, longer range
Cons:  Sub-par sound, the battery in parent unit is not rechargeable
Manufacturer:   HelloBaby
By Wendy Schmitz ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 21, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 5
  • Sound Clarity - 30% 5.0
  • Ease of Use - 25% 8.0
  • Range - 20% 9.0
  • Battery life - 15% 3.0
  • Features - 10% 8.0

The Skinny

The HelloBaby HB 180 is an easy-to-use and inexpensive sound monitor with a better range than some competitors. It is a straightforward, out-of-the-box, plug-and-play monitor that can get the job done, even if it doesn't do it well. During testing, the HB180 proved to be less impressive in the one metric where it should excel, sound quality. This HelloBaby monitor sound is a bit staticky and cuts out frequently. However, the issue is that there are no real sound filtering or useful sound activation features on this model, and that resulted in chronic white noise all night long. We think many parents will have trouble sleeping with a monitor that is always transmitting sound. This option also lacks rechargeable batteries in the parent unit, which is rare and not the best, in our opinion. Changing batteries frequently is not fun or cost-effective. Overall, it isn't a terrible monitor, but it also didn't perform as well as some of the higher-scoring products that cost about the same.

Compare to Similar Products

 
hellobaby hb180 sound monitor review
This Product
HelloBaby HB180
Awards  Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Value Award 
Price $33 List$190 List
$189.99 at Amazon
$40 List
$38.95 at Amazon
$90 List
$89.99 at Amazon
$30 List
$18.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Wallet-friendly, easy to use, longer rangeGreat range, lots of features, longer battery life, battery backup on the baby unitExcellent sound clarity, lots of features, long battery life, priceMultiple functions, app-enabled, better range, easy to use for the tech-savvyEasy to use, nice range, inexpensive
Cons Sub-par sound, the battery in parent unit is not rechargeableExpensive, battery backup on the baby unit is not rechargeableHarder to use, shorter rangeShorter battery life, not the best sound quality, few features for soundLimited features, short battery life
Bottom Line Average monitor with no stand-out features and disappointing sound compared to similarly priced optionsImpressive monitor with loads of features for fun and a better rangeAn inexpensive, yet great sounding, monitor with loads of features that is an excellent choice for most familiesAn app-enabled, multi-purpose monitor that is easy to use, but it has a shorter battery life and sub-par soundAn 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%)
5.0
8.0
10.0
6.0
7.0
Ease of Use (25%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
Range (20%)
9.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
7.0
Battery life (15%)
3.0
9.0
10.0
3.0
3.0
Features (10%)
8.0
10.0
9.0
6.0
3.0
Specs HelloBaby HB180 Phillips Avent Dect... VTech DM221 Hatch Rest+ VTech DM111
Indoor Range Test (walls & feet) 7 walls
170+ Feet
7 walls
170+ Feet
5 Walls
90 Feet
8 Walls
169 Feet (WiFi)
7 Walls
98 Feet
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
Sound Activation Yes Yes Yes No No
Adjustable Mic Sensitivity No Yes Yes No No
Sound Filtering Test Results Very Poor Excellent Excellent Very Good Very Poor
Talk-to-Baby Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Max Sound 87.5 db 88.6 db 103.4 db 96.3 db 103.6 db
Temperature Yes Yes No No No
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
Night Light Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Lullaby Music Yes Yes No Yes No
Out Of Range Alert N/A N/A Yes No Yes
Vibrate Alert No Yes Yes No No
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.

Performance Comparison



hellobaby hb180 sound monitor review - the sound quality and features on the hb180 are not as impressive as...
The sound quality and features on the HB180 are not as impressive as the competition.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Sound Clarity


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.

hellobaby hb180 sound monitor review - the parent unit for hb180 is easy to use, with the most frequently...
The parent unit for HB180 is easy to use, with the most frequently used features on the front.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

hellobaby hb180 sound monitor review - this hellobaby has a better range than most of the sound monitor...
This HelloBaby has a better range than most of the sound monitor competition.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Range


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.

hellobaby hb180 sound monitor review - the parent unit on the hb180 requires aaa batteries and is not meant...
The parent unit on the HB180 requires AAA batteries and is not meant for continuous battery use.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Battery Life


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.

hellobaby hb180 sound monitor review - the hellobaby has more features than you'd think with such an...
The HelloBaby has more features than you'd think with such an easy-to-use interface.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Features


The HB180 has more features than we would have suspected, given the straightforward user interface with few buttons.

hellobaby hb180 sound monitor review - the hb180 baby unit is small and unassuming, with an included night...
The HB180 baby unit is small and unassuming, with an included night light.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

This monitor has the following features:

hellobaby hb180 sound monitor review - the hb180 baby unit has a button for the night light for quick...
The HB180 baby unit has a button for the night light for quick nighttime access.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

  • Temperature sensor
  • Nigh light
  • Lullabies
  • Talk to baby
  • Sound activation

EMF


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
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