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Hands-on Gear Review
Summer Infant Baby Wave Deluxe Review
Price: $50.00 List | $25.99 at Amazon - 48% off
Pros: Lower price, nice range
Cons: Distorted sound, short battery life
Bottom line: Inexpensive with disappointing sound and battery life that isn't as nice as cheaper options
The Summer Infant Baby Wave Deluxe is an inexpensive sound monitor that offers some standard features and great indoor range working through 8 walls and up to 100 ft. This product is straightforward without a lof of fluff, but it isn't the best thing going, not even for the price. With the worst sound clarity in the group that is distorted unless you have it on the lowest volume setting, we suspect it isn't going to meet your needs for clearly hearing baby, especially during a deep or deprived sleep. Even if you need the maximum range possible, there is still a better option for you than the Baby Wave, making it a monitor we don't recommend.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Sound Baby Monitors of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on 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.
This comparison chart includes the overall scores for the sound monitors tested in this review. The Baby Wave Deluxe came in the last place out of 9 options.
The sections below include information on how the Baby Wave performed during testing. Individual metric scores determine the overall total with an emphasis on sound clarity and ease of use.
The Baby Wave earned a 4 of 10 for sound clarity. Four is the lowest score in the group for this metric. Alternatively, the Vtech DM222 earned a 10 which has a similar price point. 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 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 earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use, which is below average and far below the Vtech DM111 that earned a 10 in this metric. 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 int he 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 Angelcare AC401 earned an 8 for range and 7 for sound clarity making it a better choice for long distance range needs.
The Baby Wave earned a 2 of 10 for battery life, which is the lowest score for this metric in the group. 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 earned a 6 of 10 for features. This is about average for the group. 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 Baby Wave also has the following:
The Summer Infant has an average EMF reading of 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
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