iBaby M8 2K Smart Baby Monitor Review
Compare to Similar Products
iBaby M8 2K Smart Baby Monitor
$169.95 at Amazon
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$93.92 at Amazon
$299.99 at Amazon
$35.98 at Amazon
|Pros||Great video quality, lots of features, low EMF reading||WiFi range, lots of features, great images, easy to use||High-quality video, clear & loud audio, can be paired to multiple cameras, infinite viewers||Easy to use, WiFi range, lower EMF||Budget-friendly, good video quality, WiFi connectivity|
|Cons||Delayed camera control is annoying, no precision adjustment to camera, connectivity issues||Sub-par sound, higher price, internet dependant||No baby-specific features, requires a Google account, a barebones app that isn't intuitive||Sub-par sound, expensive||Past security concerns, no baby-specific features, must physically move the camera, poor sound quality|
|Bottom Line||The great video quality and tons of baby-help features make this a standout pick, but the delay in the camera control causes a big setback for this model||Cool WiFi option with all the bells and whistles that is easy to use||A great option for those looking for sharp video and crisp audio who aren't as concerned about baby-specific features||A relatively expensive option that is easy to use and has many features with lower EMF||This barebones model is easy on the wallet and doesn't compromise on video quality|
|Rating Categories||iBaby M8 2K Smart Baby||iBaby Care M7 WiFi||Google Nest Cam 2nd...||Nanit Pro||Wyze Cam V3|
|Sound Clarity (20%)|
|Video Quality (30%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Battery life (10%)|
|Specs||iBaby M8 2K Smart Baby||iBaby Care M7 WiFi||Google Nest Cam 2nd...||Nanit Pro||Wyze Cam V3|
|Communication Technology||2.4/5GHz||802.11 b/g/n||2.4 / 5 Ghz||2.4GHz and 5GHz||2.4 GHz|
|Indoor Range Test||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity|
|Open Field Range Test||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity|
|Manufacturer's Claimed Range (*buyer beware!)||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity|
|Max Sound||85 db @ ~1ft||82 db @ ~1ft||110 db @ ~1ft||89 db @ ~1ft||100db @ ~1ft|
|Max # of Cameras||Not Listed (Unlimited?)||Not Listed (Unlimited?)||Not Listed (Unlimited?)||Up to 5. If you plan to use more than 5 cameras contact customer support||5|
|EMF @ 6 Feet from Camera||0.23 V/m||1.42 V/m||0.6 V/m||0.37 V/m||1.47 V/m|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
iBaby Labs hoped to change baby monitoring by using technology related to Apple's iOS cloud. Their first monitor launched in 2011, providing a range to anywhere with WiFiconnectivity. iBaby continues to create new and innovative baby monitors with improvements to hardware, firmware, and their app.
- Buy from a location with an easy return policy. If your WiFi isn't up to the challenge, you'll be glad you have hassle-free returns.
- Run a test as soon as you can after you get it. Trouble-free movie streaming doesn't always translate to successful camera monitoring due to bandwidth needs.
- We recommend using a device that is not your primary smartphone for monitoring to avoid app interaction problems and ensure long battery life.
- Change the password frequently to avoid potential hacking concerns.
As a WiFi-connected camera, the range of the iBaby is only limited by your internet connectivity. This makes it a good choice for larger homes or locations with more than 4-5 walls between the nursery and the parent device.
How well your iBaby works will depend on your internet capabilities, so you should set up and check your connectivity within your window of potential returns, as internet demands for monitoring are different than those for other things like streaming movies.
Audio / Visual
Interestingly none of the video monitors offer stellar sound, which is what you need to alert you to look at the video monitor, but certainly, it only needs to be good enough to rely on crying or other concerning noises.
This monitor offers decent quality compared to the competition, and we think it is good enough that most parents will be impressed. It can pick up vocals and make them sound human (shockingly not true of all monitors), and other is only a little bit of a tinny quality that is significantly lower than competing monitors.
This monitor has a general quiet fuzz sound all of the time, no matter how we adjusted the sensitivity. To us, it didn't seem disruptive to sleep, and it was fairly good at filtering out room noise for a quieter monitor when the baby is sleeping. NO matter what there was always a soft fuzz sound being transmitted. There is a sound alert option where you turn the sound off, but we worry it is something parents would sleep right through as it is not ongoing. We do not recommend using this feature, especially at night.
iBaby offers exceptional daytime video images, some of the best in the bunch, no matter what kind of monitor you are looking for. It isn't quite as good as some of the WiFi competition, but it only lost a point based on the poor camera control that lacks a more concise movement. It is hyper-sensitive to movement, and it is difficult to fine-tune your view remotely. The images are crisp and clear, and the zoom feature works well without diminishing the image much. The color is also relatively good and similar to real life.
Nighttime images are also very good and clear, with details that provide enough information to know what is happening in the nursery. While zooming in, we were almost able to read the fourth line on the text image sheet. Once again, the pan and scan can be frustrating, but for most parents and the wide field of view, you will not be regularly moving the camera about, and zoom will be your go-to.
Ease of Use
Ease of use for the M8 is about average with some of the headaches you might expect from an app-driven monitor, but it isn't a nightmare, just more challenging than a simple plug-in-and-go dedicated monitor.
To set up the monitor, you need to download the app and plug the USB end of the charger cord into your device, then follow the steps on the screen, or alternatively, after the camera is plugged in and the app is downloaded, you can scan a QR code with the camera from your phone for a faster set-up process. There are voice prompts to guide the entire set-up process. It's astonishingly easy to follow. The app is simple and easy to navigate, even though there are loads of features and menus to shuffle through. When we set it up, it required a new app on day two, and then we couldn't connect to the old app or the new app. We also experienced significant camera lag when moving it around. These instances hurt its overall ease of use score.
Our battery life testing is on the parent device only. Given that your specific device will vary, we gave the WiFi monitors higher scores than the dedicated ones because, in general, they should last longer than others. The camera is plug-in only.
That being said, we think it is best to use an alternate device outside your smartphone when monitoring from home. This provides a dedicated unit that is not impacted by competing apps, calls, texts, or social media alerts. With no other applications running, the device should have a long-running battery life.
This monitor has more baby-centric features than the majority of the WiFi competition. With sensors for reporting on the room temperature and humidity to lullabies and projection, we can say this monitor offers a feature for just about everyone and every need you maybe didn't even know you had.
While these kinds of features aren't truly necessary for keeping tabs on your baby, some parents like the idea of having them, even if they don't use them.
- 2-way talking
- Digital Zoom
- Songs, white noise, and bedtime stories
- Moonglow projection on the ceiling
- 360-degree pan and 140-degree tilt
- Remote camera control
- Air quality/temperature/humidity sensor
- Timers for diaper changes and feeding schedule
- Motion detection and sound alerts
- Save photos and record video
Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Levels
Studies are still considering the effects of EMF on human development and health, but we like to err on the side of caution by limiting EMF exposure to little ones. For this reason, we test the EMF levels emitted by all monitors we test, so parents who have concerns can make informed decisions about what is important to them.
With an average reading of 0.23 V/m, the iBaby has one of the lowest readings in the group of WiFi monitors. It is also one of the lowest overall. You can further limit exposure by placing the monitor as far from your baby as possible without impacting its usefulness and unplugging it when not in use (good for security, anyway).
WiFi monitors include security risks that are not a consideration with dedicated options. Despite any manufacturer's efforts to limit, prevent, or mitigate potential security/privacy-related problems, there will always be potential risks to consider when choosing your monitor.
In February 2020, Bitdefender and PCMag published security concerns they identified with the online structure of the Baby M6 monitor that potentially enabled hackers to access information and monitor controls. After attempting to contact iBaby for nine months, Bitdefender decided to publish its concerns. iBaby's response included acknowledging the problem and providing a solution. The company claimed they didn't know about the issue, had no knowledge of real-life breaches, and had not received the Bitdefender communication. iBaby quickly fixed the security issue, but we have lingering concerns about their customer service contacts being ineffective over a nine-month period and consumers potentially having similar challenges. We have not needed to contact iBaby for help, so we aren't sure what kind of issues the average user might have compared to Bitdefender's experience. Read more about this security concern and contact problems here.
For more information, you can read this relatedarticle we found.. For more on testing security, you might be interested in reading this article.
We aren't aware of any security concerns for the M8, but you should use your best judgment and follow safety protocols.
- Keep firmware up to date
- Change passwords frequently
- Use an 8-12 character password with lower/upper case letters, numbers, and special characters
- Use the smallest field of vision possible
- Unplug the camera when not in use to help avoid the potential of remote camera activation.
Should You Buy the iBaby?
If you want a WiFi camera that is designed with babies in mind, this is your jam. This excellent monitor has wonderful video and a lot of baby-centric features with an easy-to-use app. While there are less expensive WiFI monitors, you'll be hard-pressed to find a cheaper one with so many fun features for little ones that make monitoring and soothing easier.
What Other Video Monitor Should You Consider?
If you want something less expensive, aren't worried about baby-specific features, or hope to find a monitor you can use for security when your baby is grown, then the iBaby might not be the best pick. Both the Wyze Cam V3 and the Google Nest Cam 2nd Gen are straightforward video monitoring devices that are more budget-friendly and are discrete options you can use for other monitoring needs without the clutter or cost of the baby features. You can always get a separate top-ranked night light for kids or white noise and lullaby machine to supplement your camera.
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