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iBaby M6S Wi-Fi Review

Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $180.00 List | $134.99 at Amazon - 25% off
Pros:  Internet connectivity, lots of features, great video
Cons:  Disappointing sound clarity
Bottom line:  Fun Wi-Fi option with lots of features that is easy to use and has true to life images we love
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   iBaby

The Skinny

The iBaby M6S Wi-Fi monitor earned a first place rank out of 9 monitors and an Editors' Choice award. With top scores for ease of use, range, and features, with a second highest score for video quality, it is easy to see how this monitor impressed testers and earned a high overall score. While this monitor tied scores with the Nest Cam Indoor Wi-Fi, we think it is the better choice for true baby monitoring because it is designed with baby in mind (unlike the other Wi-Fi cameras we tested). This monitor has sensors for temperature, humidity, air quality, and motion. It offers a variety of lullabies, stories and the option of adding your own voice or music. The iBaby is easy to use with an intuitive user interface and continues to work in the background even with other apps running on your device. All the features combined with a list price lower than the Nest Cam, it is easy to see how the iBaby quickly became a tester favorite.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Video Baby Monitors of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD
Mom-in-Chief
BabyGearLab

Last Updated:
Tuesday
February 14, 2017

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The iBaby M6S Wi-Fi monitor comes with everything you need to setup and use your monitor quickly. However  it does not come with mounting hardware and can only be used out of the box by setting it on a flat surface. if you plan to wall mount you will want to purchase the kit (see below in accessories).
The iBaby M6S Wi-Fi monitor comes with everything you need to setup and use your monitor quickly. However, it does not come with mounting hardware and can only be used out of the box by setting it on a flat surface. if you plan to wall mount you will want to purchase the kit (see below in accessories).

Established in 2012, iBaby Labs dreamed of changing the way parents monitor baby and created the first of its kind monitor using Apple's iOS platform with cloud technology. The iBaby Monitor M3 went on sale in late 2011 and eliminated the range requirement of dedicated monitors and extended monitoring reach to anywhere with internet. In 2012, the iBaby labs came out with 2 new models giving parents more freedom with rechargeable batteries and the ability to put a monitor anywhere. In the following years iBaby maked new improvements with new hardware, firmware, application, and simplified installation process. iBaby is planning growth with a new HD baby monitor, baby-centered wearable devices, and a new family oriented mobile app.

Tips for Wi-Fi Monitors
  • Buy where you can return it, just in case your Wi-Fi is not fast enough.
  • Test right away to ensure sufficient bandwidth. Even though you can stream Netflix and YouTube, you might have trouble as video monitors upload and download taking up more bandwidth than normal streaming.
  • Our strong recommendation is parents use a dedicated separate device for monitoring baby. We do not recommend using your main phone to avoid losing monitoring ability.
  • You must change the default password! If you don't you are leaving your child open to strangers hacking in and looking at baby.


The iBaby M6S Wi-Fi monitor comes with everything you need to setup and use your monitor quickly. However  it does not come with mounting hardware and can only be used out of the box by setting it on a flat surface. if you plan to wall mount you will want to purchase the kit (see below in accessories).
The various comfort sensors for the iBaby are located on the bottom of the monitor that then sits in the monitor base.
The iBaby M6S is a Wi-Fi monitor that earned the highest score for the ease of use metric thanks to a quick start guide and intuitive user interface most parents will feel instantly comfortable with.
 

Performance Comparison


This comparison chart shows the video monitors we tested in a chart format to visually demonstrate how each performed compared to the competition. The iBaby Wi-Fi (shown in blue) earned a top score tying with the Nest Cam Indoor Wi-Fi monitor. The impressive rank, high score, and unique features designed just for baby make this monitor an obvious choice for an Editors' Choice award for Best Wi-Fi monitor.


The details about monitor performance provided below are designed to give you insight into the iBaby monitor specifically and how it managed in each test for individual metrics.

Range


The iBaby earned a 10 of 10 for range, given its ability to work anywhere with internet connectivity. So while dedicated monitors can work within an average of 3-5 walls indoors, Wi-Fi options will work anywhere you can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi.


While great for homes where a traditional monitor simply will not work, Wi-Fi monitors are not without challenges including no coverage should your internet go out and potential delays or dropped signal depending on your internet connection speed (both download and upload time). So even if you can stream the latest Oscar flick without a glitch, you may not be able to use a Wi-Fi camera with the same level of confidence given that they require upload speeds that often do not match the typical download speed.

Whether viewing on a large or small screen  the iBaby camera offers nice quality video with easy to see images and details that stand apart from the majority of monitors we tested. The  images are so good  it might be hard to stop watching!
Whether viewing on a large or small screen, the iBaby camera offers nice quality video with easy to see images and details that stand apart from the majority of monitors we tested. The images are so good, it might be hard to stop watching!

Audio / Visual


The iBaby earned a 4 of 10 for sound clarity, on par with the other Wi-Fi cameras, but the lowest score for the sound clarity metric in the group. If you want better sound, you'll have to consider the Philips Avent SCD630, which is a dedicated monitor with the the best sound score of 8.


This monitor has one of the lowest maximum sound decibels in the group at 80 db. It also has poor sound activation and noise filtering, including disappointing sound sensitivity adjustment. White noise and static comes through at the loudest setting on both low and high sensitivity with little difference. You have to adjust the sound volume very low to stop white noise, and we worry some parents will sleep through baby crying with the sound this low. You can turn the sound off and still have the Sound Alert on, but then you don't hear baby you just hear the alert. You will still receive alerts if the app is running, even in the background. The overall sound is bright, but still clear.


The iBaby earned a 9 of 10 for video quality, which ties with the LeFun C2 720P Wi-Fi and is one point lower than the Nest Cam Indoor Wi-Fi, both Wi-Fi options.

While losing some detail when using the iBaby zoom feature  you can still clearly see baby's face and whether her eyes are open or closed.
While losing some detail when using the iBaby zoom feature, you can still clearly see baby's face and whether her eyes are open or closed.

Daytime image quality on the iBaby is very clear and has color that is accurate with real life. The camera is easy to pan, tilt and zoom, and offers the best picture in the group.

The iBaby night vision quality is also good with bright video that lacks some clarity and detail.
The iBaby night vision quality is also good with bright video that lacks some clarity and detail.

Night vision images are almost as good as day and on par with the best in the group. They are a little brighter overall than the Nest Cam Indoor Wi-Fi, but they lack the same level of crisp clarity we liked in that camera.

The iBaby M6S interactive menu is easy to use and intuitive for parents that regularly use a variety of apps and a smartphone. This monitor comes with a quick start guide that has you up and running fairly quickly.
The iBaby M6S interactive menu is easy to use and intuitive for parents that regularly use a variety of apps and a smartphone. This monitor comes with a quick start guide that has you up and running fairly quickly.

Ease of Use


The iBaby earned a 9 of 10 for ease of use, which is the highest score for the metric. This camera has a manual setup that requires parents to pair the camera with an account and their device. You need to download the app and plug the camera in to complete setup. While not as easy as a plug and play dedicated monitor, we think most parents familiar with smartphones and downloading apps will feel right at home and not have any troubles. Grandma and Grandpa might be a different story however.


This is the only Wi-Fi option we tested that allows you to listen with another app running. We were even able to use it with Spotify on, though it was hard to hear what was going on it baby's room, and while we assume we would be able to hear a baby screaming, we don't recommend it. The app doesn't run when you use the phone however (none of the Wi-Fi monitors do), so we recommend having a dedicated device for monitoring so you never miss a thing. When we answered a call while running the app, the app froze and we had to restart to continue monitoring when the call was over.

Commonly used features have icons on the iBaby standard viewing screen for quick and easy access.
Commonly used features have icons on the iBaby standard viewing screen for quick and easy access.

We did not experience any delay with this camera and most of the frequently used features are on the screen and easy to use without clicking into a menu.

Battery Life


The iBaby earned a 10 of 10 for battery life. The camera plugs in and does not require batteries, so this score relates to the parent device.


We did not run tests on the devices we used as parent units because this will vary both on what device you choose to use and how you use the device in addition to monitoring baby with the iBaby camera app. If you are looking for a longer battery life, you should use a device just for monitoring and avoid using our primary phone. We also recommend that you avoid running any other apps in the background that might suck up battery life without your knowledge.

The iBaby offers a variety of features including 10 lullabies  recording  picture taking  two way talk and pan/tilt/zoom.
The iBaby offers a variety of features including 10 lullabies, recording, picture taking, two way talk and pan/tilt/zoom.

Features


The iBaby earned a 9 of 10 for features, which is the high for the metric. This monitor sports more features than any other unit we looked at, Wi-Fi or dedicated. Plus, it has several features designed for baby in particular, which is different than the other two Wi-Fi options we tested that are really more surveillance cameras you can use for baby. Multiple people can monitor baby at the same time (up to 4 at once) and unlimited cameras can be connected to the same account.


This monitor is one of the few with a temperature sensor, and it is the only one with air quality and humidity sensors. When we tested the temperature sensor it was off by almost 2 degrees with a room temperature of 73.7 degrees and a reported camera temperature of 75.2 degrees. While not a deal breaker, it does mean parents should be aware that using the temperature sensor to keep baby's room within the best temperature range to avoid SIDS is difficult unless they know the temperature difference between their monitor and the actual room temperature. None of the monitors with temperature sensors were accurate in our tests.

This monitor also has the following features:
The various comfort sensors for the iBaby are located on the bottom of the monitor that then sits in the monitor base.
The various comfort sensors for the iBaby are located on the bottom of the monitor that then sits in the monitor base.
  • Two way talk to baby
  • Motion detection
  • Sound activation
  • Zoom
  • 360 degree Pan / 110 degree Tilt
  • 10+ Lullabies and bedtime stories (add or record your own voice and music)
  • Sound and motion alerts
  • Night vision
  • Record video or take pictures

Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Levels


The iBaby camera has an average EMF reading of 1.34 with the reader placed 6ft from the camera. This is the highest of the Wi-Fi monitors and is more on par with the dedicated monitors we tested. As with most of the monitors we tested, the EMF readings decreased the further we moved away from the camera. We didn't test EMF with any devices we used as parent units because the level will vary for each device and may not correlate to EMF emissions with your chosen device. Note that no matter which device you choose, EMF exposure will decrease as you move further away from the device.

Security/Privacy Concerns


All Wi-Fi monitors come with an inherent security risk not present in the dedicated monitors given their connection to the internet. While most manufacturers have made significant efforts to prevent, limit, or mitigate these risks, it is important to consider when you buy a baby monitor.

In an effort to research and comment on the security and privacy of all Wi-Fi monitors we found information pertaining to a different version of the iBaby monitor, the iBaby M6. This monitor was found to have inherent risks built into the design and functionality of the monitor. While this doesn't necessarily pertain to the M6S, that we reviewed here we did reach out to the company to help us better understand their take and the steps they have made to improve their security.

After several failed attempts at contact, including 4 emails and 2 phone calls, we finally received a statement from the co-founder directing us to a 2015 statement posted on their website. You can read their statement here. You can also read the article we did about the security risk, and the research and testing done to determine the security risk.

At this point we do not know of any security risks related to this particular unit, but we do caution parents to use their best judgment and follow safety guidelines when using this or any Wi-Fi connected camera.

Safety Tips to Avoid Hacking
  • Update firmware for camera if applicable
  • Change the default password
  • Choose a password at least 8-10 characters with a combination of lower/upper case letters, numbers, and special characters
  • Change passwords routinely
  • Limit what the camera can see
  • Unplug camera when not in use; many cameras can be remotely activated

Manufacturer Video




Accessories


While the iBaby M6S comes with everything you need to use it straight out of the box, they do offer some accessories that can be helpful for everyday use, the most useful of which is their wall mount kit.
  • The iBaby wall mount kit is required if you plan to use this monitor in a position with no shelf for it to sit on. The monitor itself does not come with any kind of wall mounting hardware.
    iBaby M6/T/S Wall Mount Kit — This wall mount kit is almost a necessity depending on how you plan to set up your nursery. While the iBaby monitor works fine when set on a shelf or other piece of furniture, being able to wall mount it increases location options which could mean the difference between acceptable field of view and the perfect field of view.

Other Versions


For a little less money (about $20 on average list price) you can get a similar monitor from iBaby that offers a few less features and a little less impressive video.
  • iBaby M6T Wi-Fi
    The iBaby M6T Wi-Fi monitor
    This monitor is very similar to the M6S, but it lacks the air quality sensors on the S version (it still has humidity and temperature sensors). It also only has 720P HD capability, as opposed to the 1080P of the M6S, but this will save you a little bit of money and you aren't likely to notice the difference while monitoring. Possibly the most important difference is the M6S is a dual band camera that prevents modem compatibility issues, but most homes will find their modem works fine with the M6T. So if you can do without an air quality sensor, and don't mind 720P images, then you can save yourself about $20 by purchasing the T version of this camera.
Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

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Most recent review: February 14, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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