The VTech DM111 is a no-nonsense no-frills baby monitor 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 sound monitor is likely the ticket.Editor's Note: This review received an update to include new details on finding the right monitor for your needs on March 25, 2022.
VTech DM111 Review
Pros: Easy to use, nice range, inexpensive
Cons: Limited features, short battery life
Compare to Similar Products
$21.95 at Amazon
$38.95 at Amazon
$54.99 at Amazon
$89.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Easy to use, nice range, inexpensive||Excellent sound clarity, lots of features, long battery life, price||Good sound clarity, easy to use, budget-friendly||Multiple functions, app-enabled, better range, easy to use for the tech-savvy||Easy to use, good range distance|
|Cons||Limited features, short battery life||Harder to use, shorter range||Limited features, average range||Shorter battery life, not the best sound quality, few features for sound||Expensive for what it is, poor sound quality, short battery life|
|Bottom Line||An affordable monitor set that gets the job done without any fuss||An inexpensive, yet great sounding, monitor with loads of features that is an excellent choice for most families||A great option if you favor ease-of-use and good sound over features, at a relatively good price||An app-enabled, multi-purpose monitor that is easy to use, but it has a shorter battery life and sub-par sound||This easy to use option has poor sound quality and disappointing features and battery life|
|Rating Categories||VTech DM111||VTech DM221||Philips Avent DECT...||Hatch Rest+||HelloBaby HB178|
|Sound Clarity (30%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Battery life (15%)|
|Specs||VTech DM111||VTech DM221||Philips Avent DECT...||Hatch Rest+||HelloBaby HB178|
|Indoor Range Test (walls & feet)||7 Walls
169 Feet (WiFi)
|Open Field Range Test||1350 Feet||1325 Feet||1320 Feet||155 Feet (WiFi)||1330 Feet|
|Manufacturer's Claimed Range (*buyer beware!)||Not Listed||1000 Feet||984 Feet||NA||1000 Feet|
|Communication Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology||DECT Technology||WiFi||DECT 6.0 Digital Technology|
|Adjustable Mic Sensitivity||No||Yes||No||No|
|Sound Filtering Test Results||Very Poor||Excellent||Poor||Very Good||Very Poor|
|Max Sound||103.6 db||103.4 db||101 db||96.3||92.3|
|Battery Life||13 Hours Hrs||46 Hours Hrs||19 Hours Hrs||13 Hours Hrs||13.5 Hours Hrs|
|Nursery Unit Battery Backup||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|EMF @ 6 Feet Nursery Unit||2.63 V/m||3.11 V/m||0.95 V/m||0.43 V/m||0.43 V/m|
|Out Of Range Alert||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||2 Years||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.
The DM111 is better than average for sound clarity than much of the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More