In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

VTech DM111 Review

An affordable monitor set that gets the job done without any fuss
vtech dm111 sound monitor review
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Best Value Award
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Price:  $30 List
Manufacturer:   Vtech
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Nov 21, 2022
65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 5
  • Sound Clarity - 30% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 25% 9.0
  • Range - 20% 7.0
  • Battery life - 15% 3.0
  • Features - 10% 3.0

The Skinny

The VTech DM111 is a no-nonsense monitor in our best baby monitor review. It is designed to transmit sound from one component to another without many features. This product does its job well with better-than-average sound clarity and an impressive range. This monitor is easy to use, but the lack of features may be a turn-off for some parents who may be looking for features like two-way communication for soothing your baby from another room. The best thing about this product is the $25 price tag that can often be found cheaper on sale, meaning all families can afford a monitor that allows them to hear the baby for a better night's sleep. If the budget is tight or you are looking for a nice second travel monitor for grandma's house, this top-ranking sound monitor is likely the ticket.
REASONS TO BUY
Easy to use
Nice range
Inexpensive
REASONS TO AVOID
Limited features
Short battery life
You can also get this monitor with two-parent units. Check out the VTech DM 112-2.

Editor's Note: This review received an update to include new details on finding the right monitor for your needs on March 25, 2022.

Compare to Similar Products

 
vtech dm111 sound monitor review
This Product
VTech DM111
Awards Best Value Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  
Price $30 List
$18.69 at Amazon
$190 List
$189.99 at Amazon
$40 List
$38.95 at Amazon
$90 List
$89.99 at Amazon
$33 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Easy to use, nice range, inexpensiveGreat range, lots of features, longer battery life, battery backup on the baby unitExcellent sound clarity, lots of features, long battery life, priceMultiple functions, app-enabled, better range, easy to use for the tech-savvyWallet-friendly, easy to use, longer range
Cons Limited features, short battery lifeExpensive, battery backup on the baby unit is not rechargeableHarder to use, shorter rangeShorter battery life, not the best sound quality, few features for soundSub-par sound, the battery in parent unit is not rechargeable
Bottom Line An affordable monitor set that gets the job done without any fussImpressive monitor with loads of features for fun and a better rangeAn inexpensive, yet great sounding, monitor with loads of features that is an excellent choice for most familiesAn app-enabled, multi-purpose monitor that is easy to use, but it has a shorter battery life and sub-par soundAverage monitor with no stand-out features and disappointing sound compared to similarly priced options
Rating Categories VTech DM111 Phillips Avent Dect... VTech DM221 Hatch Rest+ HelloBaby HB180
Sound Clarity (30%)
7.0
8.0
10.0
6.0
5.0
Ease of Use (25%)
9.0
8.0
6.0
9.0
8.0
Range (20%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
Battery life (15%)
3.0
9.0
10.0
3.0
3.0
Features (10%)
3.0
10.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
Specs VTech DM111 Phillips Avent Dect... VTech DM221 Hatch Rest+ HelloBaby HB180
Indoor Range Test (walls & feet) 7 Walls
98 Feet
7 walls
170+ Feet
5 Walls
90 Feet
8 Walls
169 Feet (WiFi)
7 walls
170+ Feet
Open Field Range Test 1350 Feet 2000+ Feet 1325 Feet 155 Feet (WiFi) 2000+ Feet
Manufacturer's Claimed Range (*buyer beware!) Not Listed 1082 Feet 1000 Feet NA 1000 Feet
Communication Technology DECT 6.0 Digital Technology DECT 6.0 Digital Technology DECT 6.0 Digital Technology WiFi DECT 6.0 Digital Technology
Sound Activation No Yes Yes No Yes
Adjustable Mic Sensitivity No Yes Yes No No
Sound Filtering Test Results Very Poor Excellent Excellent Very Good Very Poor
Talk-to-Baby No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Max Sound 103.6 db 88.6 db 103.4 db 96.3 db 87.5 db
Temperature No Yes No No Yes
Battery Life 13 hrs 40 hrs 46 hrs 13 hrs 13 hrs
Nursery Unit Battery Backup No Yes No Yes No
EMF @ 6 Feet Nursery Unit 2.63 V/m 0.95 V/m 3.11 V/m 0.43 V/m 0.43 V/m
Night Light No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lullaby Music No Yes No Yes Yes
Out Of Range Alert Yes N/A Yes No N/A
Vibrate Alert No Yes Yes No No
Warranty 1 Year 2 Year 1 Year 1 Year 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 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.

Performance Comparison



vtech dm111 sound monitor review - the sound clarity for the dm111 isn't super impressive, but for the...
The sound clarity for the DM111 isn't super impressive, but for the price, it is hard to quibble with no distortion and bright sounds with a sound filtering option that works well.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Sound Clarity


The DM111 is better than average for sound clarity than much of the best sound monitor competition.


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.

vtech dm111 sound monitor review - with a power button and volume adjust as the only features on the...
With a power button and volume adjust as the only features on the DM111 parent unit it is easy to use with almost no opportunity for mistakes.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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. However, remember that being easy to use often translates to minimal features. Grandma and Grandpa will have no trouble using this monitor with little coaching.

vtech dm111 sound monitor review - the range for the dm111 is better than most with only 2 products...
The range for the DM111 is better than most with only 2 products scoring higher in this metric.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Range


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. We maintained a connection through 7 walls and 98 ft for the indoor range. The connection was past the 6th wall, but it was still trying after the 9th wall. This distance is relatively impressive given this unit's low, low price. This range should work for most families, with the longer ranges working through 8 or 9 walls and up to 165 ft.

vtech dm111 sound monitor review - you'll want to leave the dm111 plugged in as often as you can as the...
You'll want to leave the DM111 plugged in as often as you can as the battery life is under 13 hours and it requires AAA batteries.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Battery Life


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 monitor parts 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.

vtech dm111 sound monitor review - the vtech dm111 doesn't offer many features, but it does have a...
The Vtech DM111 doesn't offer many features, but it does have a handy belt clip.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Features


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 necessary. In our experience, many parents find they don't use this feature often or rarely after the novelty has worn off.

EMF


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.

Should You Buy the DM111?


Yes! If you want a budget-friendly monitor that lets you hear what is going on in your baby's room, this will get the job done well. It is easy to use and has a decent range for the group. It would make an excellent bare-bones main monitor, a good side monitor for a movement monitor, or a travel monitor or option for Grandma's house.

What Other Sound Monitor Should You Consider?


If your budget has a little wiggle room, or you were hoping for an option with more features, the DM111 might not be the best choice for your needs. The VTech DM221 offers the best sound clarity in the group and only comes with a slight price bump. It has a super long battery life for the group and includes significantly more features. If you want a cool app-driven monitor with loads of baby-centric features, the Hatch Rest+ is your monitor.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
 
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