The Philips Avent DECT SCD501/10 is a basic sound monitor with good sound clarity and is super easy to use. This product has a fairly good range and a longer battery life than most parents will need. The price of the DECT SCD501/10 is reasonable considering what you get. We think this product will work for most families and can easily act as a main or travel monitor. However, some parents will find the lack of two-way communication and other features to be a deal-breaker. Still, those features come at a price and a more complicated user interface that will make the monitor harder to use. If you are looking for a simple baby monitor that gets the job done with good sound, this is a good choice.Editor's Note: We updated this gear review on March 25, 2022, with new sections to help you find the right monitor for your needs.
Philips Avent DECT SCD501/10 Review
Pros: Good sound clarity, easy to use, budget-friendly
Cons: Limited features, average range
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Philips Avent DECT SCD501/10
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|Pros||Good sound clarity, easy to use, budget-friendly||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||Easy to use, good range distance|
|Cons||Limited features, average range||Harder to use, shorter range||Shorter battery life, not the best sound quality, few features for sound||Limited features, short battery life||Expensive for what it is, poor sound quality, short battery life|
|Bottom Line||A great option if you favor ease-of-use and good sound over features, at a relatively good price||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||This easy to use option has poor sound quality and disappointing features and battery life|
|Rating Categories||Philips Avent DECT...||VTech DM221||Hatch Rest+||VTech DM111||HelloBaby HB178|
|Sound Clarity (30%)|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Specs||Philips Avent DECT...||VTech DM221||Hatch Rest+||VTech DM111||HelloBaby HB178|
|Indoor Range Test (walls & feet)||5 Walls
169 Feet (WiFi)
|Open Field Range Test||1320 Feet||1325 Feet||155 Feet (WiFi)||1350 Feet||1330 Feet|
|Manufacturer's Claimed Range (*buyer beware!)||984 Feet||1000 Feet||NA||Not Listed||1000 Feet|
|Communication Technology||DECT Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology||WiFi||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology|
|Adjustable Mic Sensitivity||No||Yes||No||No|
|Sound Filtering Test Results||Poor||Excellent||Very Good||Very Poor||Very Poor|
|Max Sound||101 db||103.4 db||96.3||103.6 db||92.3|
|Battery Life||19 Hours Hrs||46 Hours Hrs||13 Hours Hrs||13 Hours Hrs||13.5 Hours Hrs|
|Nursery Unit Battery Backup||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|EMF @ 6 Feet Nursery Unit||0.95 V/m||3.11 V/m||0.43 V/m||2.63 V/m||0.43 V/m|
|Out Of Range Alert||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Warranty||2 Years||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Philips, a Netherlands company, is primarily a health technology company striving to improve health and healthy living. Their first product in 1891 was incandescent lamps and small electrical products. When Gerald's brother Anton joined his brother and father, they quickly became the leading producer of light bulbs. Over time they diversified into other electronics, including lamps, TVs, radios, shavers, and x-rays.
The DECT SCD501/10 offers better sound than most of the sound monitor competition.
The parent unit for this monitor has a maximum volume of 101 decibels. At this volume, the sound is crisp, clear, and bright. At 85 dB, the sound is clear with no distortion and easy to hear. If your only concern is hearing your baby, the sound is impressive and hits the mark. However, the sound filtering option isn't the best, and we could hear the fan in the baby's room through the parent monitor when the fan was on the highest setting.
Ease of Use
The DECT SCD501/10 is one of the easiest options to use in the group.
Easy to use often goes hand in hand with few features, something true of this product. With only a power button and volume adjustments, there is almost no way to make a mistake or press the wrong options in the middle of the night. Setup is also easy with a less than one minute process that includes unboxing, plugging in, and turning it on.
The DECT SCD501/10 offers a range distance compared to the competition in this category.
The manufacturer range claim is 984 ft, and our tests revealed a distance of 1320 ft. The last 100 ft had a fairly choppy connection and would lose signal with any interference or if the units weren't facing each other. This distance is a line of sight measurement outside without walls. Indoors the manufacturer claims 164 ft, but our tests showed only 90 ft through 5 walls. The connection started getting staticky at 75 ft and was completely unreliable after the 6th wall. It was still trying at 8 walls and 110 ft, but it wasn't a connection you could rely on for monitoring. These results will vary by home depending on construction and competing appliances.
This distance isn't the best range for a larger home or a home with a floor between rooms or more walls than 5. However, the best monitors worked at about 100+ ft and 8-9 walls. This metric is crucial for many parents because the monitor won't work if the range isn't enough.
The DECT SCD501/10 has below-average battery life compared to the other tested options.
This monitor has 1.5V R6 AA alkaline non-rechargeable or 1.2V R6 AA rechargeable batteries with a claimed run time of up to 24 hours depending on use. Our tests showed a run time of closer to 19 hours. This is a reasonable amount of time and more than enough for a whole night's sleep or napping monitoring during the day.
The DECT SCD501/10 offers few features and fluff without sacrificing what you need for a sound monitor to work.
The DECT SCD501/10 has one of our favorite features of sound activation. We like this feature because it keeps the parent unit silent when the baby is silent, which can help parents get a better night's sleep. Unfortunately, it is missing what many parents consider to be a necessity, the two-way communication feature so you can soothe baby from another room. However, we aren't convinced this feature is necessary and think many parents never use it or rarely use it after the novelty wears off. Some new parents would rather head to the baby's room than mess with chatting baby up from another space.
Other functions of the DECT SCD501/10 include:
- Low battery indicator
- Out of range alarm
- Sleep mode
- Sound level indicator
This Philips average EMF reading at 6 ft away from the unit is 0.95 V/m. This reading is one of the lowest averages in the group.
While this is a lower EMF reading, you can further decrease the baby's exposure by placing the baby unit farther from your baby. This high-quality option will still be able to pick up all baby sounds even if you put it across the room on an opposite wall.
Should You Buy the DECT SCD501/10?
If your main concern is easy to use and you want any sitter or grandma to be able to work it, the SCD501/10 is a good choice. This straightforward option with limited buttons and features is a good choice for high-quality monitoring almost anyone can maters.
What Other Sound Monitor Should You Consider?
This monitor is spendy for one with so few features. If your budget is tighter, the VTech DM111 is a good choice for simple monitoring with a more reasonable price tag. It offers a better range than the Philips, but the battery life is shorter, and it has even fewer features (however, features make things confusing).
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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