Summer Infant Baby Wave Deluxe Review
Pros: Lower price, nice range
Cons: Distorted sound, short battery life
Manufacturer: Summer Infant
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
William Lockett III started the Summer Infant company in 1985, naming it after his baby Summer. The new father wanted somewhere to set his baby down while he did other things, so he created the original bouncy seat. Since the original bouncy seat, Summer Infant has made a wide range of baby gear including monitors, strollers, cribs, and bathtubs.
The Baby Wave has relatively poor sound clarity. Being able to clearly hear what is happening in your baby's room is the whole point of a sound monitor. A product that fails to offer clear sound is likely to cause frustration and wasted trips to the baby's room.
The Baby Wave had a maximum decibel level of 103.6 db, which is similar tot he other items we tested. However, it has a distorted staticky sound unless it is set to the quietest volume. This means deep sleeping parents may not hear baby at all. It also didn't perform well for noise cancellation or sound filtering with noise being transmitted to the parent unit of four out of the six settings.
Ease of Use
The Baby Wave is below average for ease of use and far below the higher scoring options in the test. The Baby Wave is easy to set up and is plug and play with no pairing required.
There isn't much to the Baby Wave. The power button is located on the front with the nightlight and talk button on the left side of the parent unit with the volume adjustment on the right. Adjusting the volume includes an audible beep that seems unnecessary and there is no indicator on the unit what the volume is or if you are moving it up or down, which would have been more useful than a beeping sound in the middle of the night that could wake up the other parent who is trying to sleep. With no other features, the Baby Wave is simple and straightforward without much guessing and should be easy to use in the middle of the night even when sleep-deprived.
The Baby Wave earned its top metric score for range with an 8 of 10. The manufacturer claimed a range of 650 ft which is usually a line of sight measurement, though Summer Infant didn't specify this. In our tests, the Baby Wave worked up to 1350 ft outside in a line of sight with some static beyond 1000 ft. Indoors the Baby Wave worked through eight walls and 100 ft, though this might vary by depending on the kind of construction and other appliances that may interfere. The average distance was closer to five walls and 90 ft.
This makes the Baby Wave a potential option for larger homes with greater distance between the nursery and master bedroom. However, given the poor sound clarity, we think parents are still better off with a different unit.
The Baby Wave has lower battery life than the competition. The parent unit battery life is about 9 hours on average after multiple uses. The manufacturer only claims 4-5 hours so it did perform better than expected, but all of the competition worked at least 13 hours with some as high as 20 or 30 hours before dying.
The Baby Wave has an average number of features compared to the rest of the monitors. The Baby Wave offers a remotely activated nightlight and talk to baby two-way communication. It also has a room temperature sensor that wasn't very accurate in our tests with a variance of up to 8 degrees from the actual room temperature in one test.
The Summer Infant Baby Wave offers the following additional features:
- Belt clip
- Sound level indicator
- Feeding timer
- Low battery alert
- Out of range alert
The average EMF reading for the Summer Infant monitor is 2.36 V/m at 6 ft from the unit. This is about average for the group. While not high or low this reading can be decreased by placing the baby unit as far from the baby as possible and still be functional. Unplugging the unit when not in use will also help limit your baby's exposure to EMF during other activities like diaper changes and playing.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz