Infant Optics DXR-8 Review
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Infant Optics DXR-8
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|Pros||Easy to use, long battery life||WiFi range, lots of features, great images, easy to use||Great video quality, lots of features, low EMF reading||High-quality video, clear & loud audio, can be paired to multiple cameras, infinite viewers||Budget-friendly, good video quality, WiFi connectivity|
|Cons||Limited range, fewer features, price||Sub-par sound, higher price, internet dependant||Delayed camera control is annoying, no precision adjustment to camera, connectivity issues||No baby-specific features, requires a Google account, a barebones app that isn't intuitive||Past security concerns, no baby-specific features, must physically move the camera, poor sound quality|
|Bottom Line||Spendy monitor that is easy to use, but has a limited indoor range||Cool WiFi option with all the bells and whistles that is easy to use||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||A great option for those looking for sharp video and crisp audio who aren't as concerned about baby-specific features||This barebones model is easy on the wallet and doesn't compromise on video quality|
|Rating Categories||Infant Optics DXR-8||iBaby Care M7 WiFi||iBaby M8 2K Smart Baby||Google Nest Cam 2nd...||Wyze Cam V3|
|Sound Clarity (20%)|
|Video Quality (30%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Battery life (10%)|
|Specs||Infant Optics DXR-8||iBaby Care M7 WiFi||iBaby M8 2K Smart Baby||Google Nest Cam 2nd...||Wyze Cam V3|
|Communication Technology||2.4GHz FHSS||802.11 b/g/n||2.4/5GHz||2.4 / 5 Ghz||2.4 GHz|
|Indoor Range Test||4 Walls
|Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity|
|Open Field Range Test||650 Feet||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity|
|Manufacturer's Claimed Range (*buyer beware!)||700 Feet||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity||Anywhere You Have Connectivity|
|Max Sound||86 db @ ~1ft||82 db @ ~1ft||85 db @ ~1ft||110 db @ ~1ft||100db @ ~1ft|
|Max # of Cameras||4||Not Listed (Unlimited?)||Not Listed (Unlimited?)||Not Listed (Unlimited?)||5|
|Battery Life||11.5 hrs||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|EMF @ 6 Feet from Camera||1.89 V/m||1.42 V/m||0.23 V/m||0.6 V/m||1.47 V/m|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Infant Optics began in 2011, developing and manufacturing baby monitors. The company continues to advance its designs and manufacturing techniques using feedback from users. This Optics model is the only camera we reviewed with external changeable lenses.
The Infant Optics has an average indoor range working up to 4 walls and 65 ft. Infant Optics worked up to 600 ft in our open field test and began breaking up at around 650 ft. We lost all signal at 750 ft.
Audio / Visual
The Optics has an average sound clarity with a maximum decibel level of 86 dB. The sound clarity is better than most of the competition, and we did not experience any distortion, echo, or interference during testing. However, it doesn't offer sound activation or sensitivity adjustment, so you need to set the volume on the parent unit at 1 or 2 to cut the background noise. However, this could result in sound sleepers failing to wake when the baby starts to cry.
The Optics has below-average video quality than the top-ranked video baby monitors we tested. The daytime images are not bad, with slightly darker colors than the real color in the baby's room. The letters on the eye chart are a bit fuzzy, but they tend to clear up when you zoom in, which also lets you see the baby's eyes and facial expression. Night vision is a little darker than average, but the zoom feature helps make things clearer and more evenly lit. The image itself has decent contrast for night vision but is a little fuzzy around the edges.
Ease of Use
The Optics is one of the easiest monitors in the group to use both dedicated and WiFi options. This monitor is a plug-and-play option that automatically pairs the parent unit with the camera.
The user interface for the Optics is one of the easiest to navigate. It has straightforward buttons. It does have a shortcut button for volume and brightness, but the shortcut is almost the same as going through the menu features, so we still wish it had buttons outside the menu options on the body of the parent unit. Maybe the only downside reported by testers was a choppiness to the pan of the camera after a few weeks of continued use. The image didn't seem to match the navigation on the screen. This navigation problem requires turning the device off and back on to fix it.
The Optics has a fairly impressive battery life, with a runtime of 11.5 hours in our tests. The monitor parent device has a rechargeable Li-ion battery that Infant Optics claims will run 10 hrs on standby mode and 6.5 with the screen on continuously. Given that we experienced a longer run time, we feel the manufacturer's claims are probably accurate enough for parents to trust.
The Infant Optics is average for the features metric. This parent unit screen is a fairly standard 3.5 in and pairs with up to 4 cameras (sold separately). It does not offer a belt clip or other features for wearing the unit.
The main feature that makes Infant Optics unique is the additional lens you can manually place on the camera. This "zoom" lens allows for a closer look at the baby, but we aren't sure it is a handy tool unless you use it as a permanent part of the camera so you can place the camera further from your baby for a decrease in EMF exposure. Otherwise, we think most parents are unlikely to use it rather than regularly adding and removing it to the camera. It certainly isn't something you can do for a better look while the baby is sleeping.
This monitor offers additional features many parents may want. In our experience, only a few are features you'll use regularly, but the others may be something you want "just in case." This monitor has a temperature sensor on the camera, which is handy for ensuring the baby's room is a suitable temperature for avoiding SIDS, but only if the sensor is accurate. Our Optics sensor read 73.4 degrees in a nursery that was actually 75. This disparity is not the largest in the group, but the lack of accuracy is concerning.
This monitor also features:
- Two-way talk
- Silent mode with LED light indicators when the baby cries
- Auto screen sleep (but not wake)
- Zoom and additional zoom lens
- True camera pan and tilt
- Night vision
Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Levels
The Infant Optics camera has an average EMF reading of 1.89 when placed 6 ft from the reader, making it one of the highest in our tests. The further you place the camera from the baby, the less EMF exposure. The parent unit placed at 3 ft has an average reading of about 3.6. We assume the parent device will be within arm's reach, so the level can vary and be higher the closer it is to you.
Should You Buy the Infant Optics?
The real appeal of the Infant Optics is the interchangeable lenses. However, we think they aren't practical and, over time, will be lost or unused. While it is a higher-scoring dedicated option, it is also a somewhat spendy one given how it stacks up to the competition. As one of the most expensive options in the group, it is hard to recommend this lackluster option that doesn't have WiFi and only offers sub-par sound.
What Other Video Monitor Should You Consider?
The LeapFrog LF920HD 7" Display is the better-dedicated choice in our lineup with a lower price and better overall score than the Infant Optics. Overall, it is a better monitor. If you want the best of the best with a variety of baby-centric features or movement monitoring, we love the WiFi Nanit Pro that scored well overall and provides some of the best videos around that you can watch anywhere with internet access.
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