In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Summer Infant Slim and Clear Review

A good monitor for the price, but faces strong competition
Summer Infant Slim and Clear Digital Audio Monitor comes in single parent-unit and dual parent unit versions
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Price:   $50 List
Pros:  Above average range and interference immunity, 2.4GHz digital technology, two parent units available
Cons:  No sound activation feature, sound clarity could be better, bare bones, poor user interface
Manufacturer:   Summer Infant, Inc.
By RJ Spurrier ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 2, 2012
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The Skinny

The Summer Infant Slim and Clear has been discontinued.

The Summer Infant Slim and Clear Digital Audio monitor delivers above-average range and interference immunity for a reasonable price. Using 2.4GHz digital technology, it has a leg up on lower-cost monitors that rely on analog technology and offers less static hiss and issues with interference. We had high hopes for this monitor, but our tests left us a bit disappointed. The Slim and Clear was not as clear as other digital 2.4 Mhz monitors, such as our Editors' Choice winner the Philips AVENT DECT, and didn't offer nearly the same range either. The lack of sound activation was also a drawback, and the user interface is not our favorite. Overall though, this is a solid quality monitor and sold for a reasonable price.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Summer Infant Slim and Clear uses the same digital communication frequency, 2.4GHz, as the top performing monitors we tested. Unfortunately, it did not match their performance.

Likes


This monitor is very simple to use. There's not much more to it than turning it on and adjusting the volume.

It delivers above-average range and immunity to interference, owing to its use of digital 2.4GHz technology. However, range was not nearly as strong as other digital 2.4GHz monitors we tested.

Sound volume level was nice and loud if you crank it up full.

We love the fact that Summer Infant offers a reasonably priced two-parent version of the monitor. We think that can be very helpful in practice.

Dislikes


Sound clarity fell a bit short of our expectations, which were perhaps set too high by the product's name and the clarity of competing 2.4 GHz digital monitors like the Philips AVENT DECT and Motorola Digital Audio. While the Slim and Clear was much better than low-cost analog monitors in terms of sound clarity, it was no match for the crystal clear sound of other 2.4 GHz digital monitors. That said, the sound clarity is perfectly functional for hearing the baby cry, and eliminates the hiss and static of analog monitors.

We didn't really like the user-interface design of the Slim and Clear. They rely on the power button to also serve as an indication of sound activity. The power button is the fairly large blue circle with a vertical line located in the middle of the monitor. It's fairly bright at night, and when baby makes noise it becomes brighter still. The size of that light, and its level of brightness is enough to annoy and even keep you from sleeping (especially as your sleep-deprived brain obsesses with thoughts about the baby). Some parents deal with this by placing the monitor out of sight (under the bed or behind a book), or by putting a piece of black tape over the light. While these techniques are effective, we can't help but fault Summer Infant for this design issue. Many competing monitors, such as the Sony BabyCall, integrate more elegant and informative interface in their product design while maintaining low-cost.

Lastly, we were disappointed that this monitor didn't include a sound activation feature, something we feel can help you get more sleep. That said, since the monitor eliminates much of the hiss and static typical of analog monitors, there is less annoying noise to contend with.

Conclusion


The Summer Infant Slim and Clear is a fine monitor offered at a reasonable price. While bare bones in terms of features, it performs well compared to similarly priced monitors. It also faces some still competition from quality monitors like the Sony BabyCall and the Angelcare Sound both of which offer more features and scored higher in our testing.


RJ Spurrier