Vtech DM111 Review
Pros: Easy to use, nice range, inexpensive
Cons: Limited features, short battery life
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|Pros||Easy to use, nice range, inexpensive||Excellent sound clarity, lots of features, long battery life, price||Great sound clarity, nice range, long battery life||Good sound clarity, easy to use, budget-friendly||Easy to use, good range distance|
|Cons||Limited features, short battery life||Harder to use, shorter range||Harder to use, fewer features||Limited features, average range||Expensive for what it is, poor sound quality, short battery life|
|Bottom Line||An affordable monitor set that includes two parent units and gets the job done without any fuss||An inexpensive, yet great sounding, monitor with loads of features that is a great choice for most families||Our favorite monitor if the price is not a barrier, that offers a longer range and great sound quality, making it a great choice for larger homes||A great option for those who favor ease-of-use and good sound quality over excess features, at a relatively good price for what you get||This easy to use option has poor sound quality and disappointing features and battery life|
|Rating Categories||Vtech DM111||Vtech DM221||Philips Avent DECT...||Philips Avent DECT...||HelloBaby HB178|
|Sound Clarity (30%)|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Specs||Vtech DM111||Vtech DM221||Philips Avent DECT...||Philips Avent DECT...||HelloBaby HB178|
|Indoor Range Test (walls & feet)||7 Walls
|Open Field Range Test||1350 Feet||1325 Feet||1350 Feet||1320 Feet||1330 Feet|
|Manufacturer's Claimed Range (*buyer beware!)||Not Listed||1000 Feet||1083 Feet||984 Feet||1000 Feet|
|Communication Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology||DECT technology||DECT Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology|
|Adjustable Mic Sensitivity||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Sound Filtering Test Results||Very Poor||Excellent||Excellent||Poor||Very Poor|
|Max Sound||103.6 db||103.4 db||102 db||101 db||92.3|
|Battery Life||13 Hours Hrs||46 Hours Hrs||31 Hours Hrs||19 Hours Hrs||13.5 Hours Hrs|
|Nursery Unit Battery Backup||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|EMF @ 6 Feet Nursery Unit||2.63 V/m||3.11 V/m||0.72 V/m||0.95 V/m||0.43 V/m|
|Out Of Range Alert||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||2 Years||2 Years||1 Year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Originating in Hong Kong in 1976, the Vtech company has expanded to over ten different regions worldwide. The company's mission still includes creating economical electronics that are both innovative and of nice quality. Vtech's North American operation is one of the top three companies in cordless phones. In addition, Vtech is also the manufacturer of many different baby monitors, both sound and video.
The DM111 is better than average for sound clarity.
The DM111 proves you don't need to spend a lot to get good sound quality. This monitor has very little interference and static, and the tones have a nice range without sounding tinny.
Ease of Use
The DM111 is easy to use, with only a few options scoring better.
This monitor is easy to use because there isn't much to it. It works right out of the box when you plug it in and turn it on. There is no need to pair the parent and child unit, and you can start using it right away. The child unit has a single power button, and the parent unit has power and up and down volume buttons. These buttons are easy to use and find in the dark, and there isn't much chance of making a mistake even in a sleep-induced haze. Keep in mind, however, that easy to use often also translates to minimal features. Grandma and Grandpa will have no trouble using this monitor with little coaching necessary.
The DM111 performs better than average for range distance.
The manufacturer doesn't make claims for the range of this monitor. In our tests, we were able to keep a connection of some kind up to 1,350 ft in a line-of-sight test. For indoor range, we maintained a connection through 7 walls and 98 ft. The connection was past the 6th wall, but it was still trying after the 9th wall. This distance is relatively impressive given the low, low price of this unit. This range should work for most families, with the longer ranges working through 8 or 9 walls and up to 165 ft.
The DM111 offers one of the lowest battery lives in the group.
This product uses AAA batteries as opposed to rechargeable batteries. So you will be replacing batteries regularly or investing in at least two sets of rechargeable AAA batteries that can be swapped out while charging one set. On the upside, the baby unit also has backup batteries to allow both parts of the monitor to run without electricity. This feature is relatively unique and makes this product a standout.
Unfortunately, the battery life of this product is only 13 hours. This is the second-lowest life in the group, with some product batteries lasting 30-46 hours. However, 13 hours is long enough for daytime napping and most nighttime monitoring if you start with fresh batteries. The assumption is you'll be using this monitor plugged in for the most part.
The DM111 has a no-frills design for simple, straightforward monitoring without the frustration of a complicated user interface or a plethora of features you are unlikely to use.
This plain Jane monitor doesn't have any advanced features, so you'll need to look elsewhere if you are looking for those. It offers features that help it operate and relay information to the parent like low battery alert, out of range indicator, mute sleep mode, belt clip, and sound level indicator.
What is missing that we think is important is sound activation. Sound activation ensures that the parent unit remains quiet unless the baby is actively making noise. This feature helps parents get a better night's sleep without listening to the white noise coming from the baby's room. This feature may not be important to you. If you sleep easily as soon as your head hits the pillow no matter what is happening around you, you may not think this feature is essential. It is also missing two-way talk-to-baby communication that some parents feel is a necessity. In our experience, many parents find they don't use this feature often or rarely after the novelty has worn off.
In terms of EMF emissions, DM111 performed relatively poorly, with the second-highest reading, an EMF of 2.63 V/m at 6 ft from the unit.
While a higher reading, you can decrease the baby's exposure to EMF by placing the monitor as far from the crib as possible and unplugging the unit when not in use.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz