Lorex Sweet Peep Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Hands on Review
The Lorex Sweet Peep BB2411 video monitor comes with one camera and a parent unit, but will work with up to 4 cameras. It has a 400 foot outdoor range that varies indoor depending on obstacles and electronic equipment. The camera is a fixed style camera that requires manual adjustment to change the field of view; there is no pan or tilt capability with this camera model. The camera also sports a built in nightlight that can be turned on via the parent unit when desired. It has a 2.4 inch LCD video screen for easy monitoring with color by day, or black and white at night. It has a 2x digital zoom that can make portions of the field of view seem closer. This monitor features two way talk with baby so you can sooth them from a different room. The monitor has an extended battery life for increased viewing time without being plugged in. It has built in lullabies that can be turned on via the parent unit for playback in baby's room. This unit comes with a camera, parent unit, rechargeable battery, power cords, and a 1 year warranty.
This isn't the best unit for range and if you have a large house, or a large number of walls between baby and where you plan to set the parent unit most of time, it might disappoint or frustrate you. The manufacturer claims an open field range of 450 feet. Interestingly enough, we were able to get good transmission up to around 662 feet, which makes it the only monitor in our review that did better in range than what the maker said it would. Unfortunately, it had some trouble in the house with obstacles and other kinds of interference and the range dropped to 62 feet with 4 walls of separation between camera and parent unit. In fairness, this range is about average for the products we looked at and 7 products had a similar or worse range. That being said, if you need your monitor to go further, it probably won't happen with the Sweet Peep.
The dedicated monitors with the longest inside range are the Motorola Digital and the Infant Optics DXR-8, both of which worked for up to 8 feet and through 5 walls. The Motorola scored higher in our performance metrics. The monitor with the shortest range is the Foscam, with a limit of 55 feet and 3 walls. The WiFi options have the best range and are only limited by your WiFi internet connectivity, but depending on the model connectivity and reliability is still in question. However, for larger houses they may be the only option that will work reliably.
Audio / Visual
Audio and visual is really what this kind of product is all about. Without high scores in these tests it is hard to be a contender in this review. The Sweet Peep scored well in the sound department and respectable for video. It tied with 4 other products for video and did better than 6 others in the test. So while it wasn't a top performer, it managed to out perform units with much larger price tags.
For audio the Peep earned a 7 of 10 for quality and clarity. The high scores for sound were earned by the Samsung SafeVIEW and the VTech Safe & Sound which both received 9 in our tests. The lowest score for sound was a 3, and earned by Foscam FBM3501. WiFi Baby 3.0 actually received a 0 in this metric, but this was for lack of general operability when we performed the test as opposed to an accurate reflection on what its sound features might offer.
This monitor has a maximum decibel level of 100 db. This is about average for the monitors we looked at. The sound overall is less muted than some of the competition, but it sounded muffled and a little hard to understand. The sound sensitivity adjustment works well and the parent unit often went completely silent which will be good for parents trying to sleep and avoid white noise. however, the feature might just work too well as it shut off in the middle of a song playing in baby's room and seemed to go into silent mode no matter what the sensitivity adjustment was set on.
For video this monitor wasn't the best, but certainly wasn't the worst either. It earned a 6 of 10 in this metric with several monitors scoring higher. The highest scoring dedicated monitor is the Summer Infant Clear Sight which earned an 8. The highest scoring products overall in this metric are the WiFi offerings, Nest Cam and Withings Smart Baby which both earned a 8 in our tests.For detail and clarity we had a little trouble reading the eye chart in the crib. We could manage 1 , something not possible with all the products, but not as great as others where 2 or even 3 lines were easy to read. This means baby's face or rising chest might be harder to discern. Using the digital zoom didn't improve the readability of the chart, and the ease of zoom (long depression of the menu button and readjusting the screen with arrows) made it a feature we think parents won't use too often.
For color quality it continued to rank average in our test. The color on the chart in the crib, as seen though the parent unit, didn't match the chart in real life. But it did manage to do it better than 6 other monitors, tying with 2. There are certainly harder to see video images than the Sweet Peep, but it still wasn't the best.
Night vision images weren't much better than the day with the score dropping in black and white mode. In fact, in night vision baby lost all facial features. So parents will be able to tell baby is still in the crib, but they probably won't be able to see baby's facial expression.
For video the Peep had some trouble offering a clear image. The highest scoring dedicated monitor in this review for video was the Summer Infant Clear Sight, which earned an impressive 8. The Nest Cam and Withings also did well, both earning 8 of 10.
Ease of Use
The Peep isn't as easy to use as some of the others products we tested. This product required battery installation and a manual link up to connect the camera to the parent unit. This is clearly explained in the user manual and we didn't have any trouble setting it up, but it lost points because the process is certainly more involved than the monitors that came linked and non-tech savvy people could find the concept or required steps daunting even though they are thoughtfully laid out.
The second problem with ease of use for this unit is the somewhat convoluted button system. While some of the features are a 1 button push right on the face of the parent unit, like push to talk to baby and lullabies, some of the features (like zoom) are buried in a menu system that requires multiple button pushes to get to, which is something that could be a challenge to parents in the middle of the night. With practice and trial and error we have no doubt parents will be able to learn the right buttons and how to get the functions they want, but it seems a shame that compared to the other products it took far longer to work the Sweet Peep when it is actually a simpler unit with fewer features than some of the easier to use options. The buttons on this unit are also smaller than some of the competition which can be hard for people with larger fingers to operate without pushing multiple buttons at once.
This monitor scored a 6 of 10 for ease of use, with only 4 monitors scoring higher and being easier to use than the Sweet Peep. Six was definitely the average score for ease of use so the Peep was certainly in with lots of company. The monitors with the highest score for ease of use are the Summer Infant Clear Sight and the Nest Cam both earning an 8. The hardest to use model is the WiFi Baby 3.0 with a score of 0, which we struggled to get up and running and required a 2 day wait for customer support and an hour on the phone to resolve. The Withings Smart Baby also failed to impress for ease of use, earning just 2 of 10 and failing to offer customer support.
This product has a smaller viewing screen than much of the competition at 2.4 inches in size. This is not the smallest in the review, which belongs to the Summer Infant Clear Sight, but it is smaller than several that were over 3 inches. However, this smaller size means the parent unit can fit nicely in the palm of your hand or in a pocket if you don't want to use the thoughtfully included belt clip.
The Sweet Peep can accommodate up to 4 cameras for multi-room viewing or for multiple positions in 1 room. This makes it a nice option for multiple children or growing families, but the quad screen viewing isn't the best given the smaller screen size.
This product doesn't have a lot of the coveted features of some of the more expensive models, like motion detection, or sound sensitivity settings, but it does have sound activation, 2 way talk to baby, temperature sensor, a built in nightlight, and lullabies remotely controlled from the parent unit. It offers a screen auto-sleep and wake feature which is nice for keeping bedrooms dark for sleeping and prevents parents from fumbling around in the dark to see what is happening in baby's room at night. The auto screen wake and the sound activation coupled together make this a monitor that acts smartly when it needs to increasing the chances that parents can feel at ease using it and will be able to fall asleep quickly in silence. It has so many features it is hard for some of the other models to compete. For the price there aren't any others in the review that had as many features at a comparable price.It has a relatively small field of view compared to most of the products in this review, but it did offer digital zoom, pan, and tilt of the viewing area. This is different than remotely moving the actual camera in baby's room (which it does not have), and only allows you to explore the original field of view while digitally zoomed in. So parents can't get a different view of baby without manually adjusting the camera in baby's room, they can only see the same image just in smaller parts. While this isn't the best kind of pan and tilt, it is certainly better than nothing at all and more than some of the products offered.
This unit also has automatic night vision with infrared LEDs. The LEDs are somewhat hidden behind a tinted plastic cover, but they are not truly invisible. The camera resolution is 640x480.
This monitor scored a 6 of 10 for features, which was an average score for this metric. Four other monitors scored 6s, and only 2 scored higher. So while 6 doesn't sound great it definitely is better than some of the competition. This units biggest asset is the sound activation feature that keeps rooms quiet and free from white noise. We feel this feature is a huge plus for parents trying to get quality sleep time in. If you factor in that it also has lots of other features it is hard to keep looking at more expensive monitors. The lowest scoring products for features were the WiFi Baby 3.0 and the Philips Avent Digital, both of which earned only 2 points, and lacked most of the features we felt were important in a video product.
All of the units we tested emitted some level of EMF and the amount that reaches baby is primarily related to how far away the camera is placed from the crib. All of the monitors had a level of 6+ with the EMF reader right next to the units, and this level decreased as the reader moved further away. Most of the product EMF dropped by half at 3 feet and continued to drop at 6 feet and beyond. The Nest Cam had the lowest wireless EMF with a reading of 0.78 at 6 feet, while the Withings Smart Baby has an EMF of relative 0 if connected to the internet via an Ethernet cable (meaning it has no more EMF than the room itself). This makes it potentially the healthiest choice, but might require either a very long cable or an electrician to install an Ethernet port in baby's room. The dedicated monitors with the lowest EMF at 6 feet are the Levana Ayden and the Philips Avent SCD603/10, each with a reading of 1.29. The monitor with the highest reading is the Summer Infant Clear Sight with an EMF reading of 2.59 at 6 feet.
The manufacturer claims a battery life of up to 8 hours in full use mode, and our tests came up with the same amount of time before the parent unit petered out. While we didn't test this monitor in audio only mode, the Lorex website says it can last up to 12 hours if the viewing screen is not used, and given their accuracy for battery life under normal conditions, we will give them the benefit of the doubt on the accuracy of audio only time. The 8 hour life is a considerably long time with the Philips Avent SCD603/1 tying the score and only the Levana Ayden lasting longer with 9.5 hours.
The best application for the Sweet Peep is for parents on a budget who want lots of features including sound activation. If you are willing to sacrifice a little bit of video quality, this product offers lots of features and it seems to do them relatively well. It has remote nightlight and lullaby options that some of the other cheaper monitors don't offer. It is hard to argue with a monitor of this price that offers this many features and does the bulk of them better than more expensive options. The quality sound activation alone is enough to sell us on this monitor and we think most parents will agree.
This monitor won our Best Value award. With one of the lowest price tags in this review it really does offer a lot of bang for the buck. This product has a good viewing screen, can work with up to 4 cameras, and comes with a nightlight and lullaby features. It has averages range and its EMF readings are similar to the other products. This monitor scored higher than much of the cheaper more simple options. Even the similar looking Summer Infant wasn't able to beat the performance or features of the Sweet Peep. Other than the better video score of the Summer, the Lorex earned its title of Best Value by giving parents more of what they want for an even cheaper price.
This product scored higher than the majority of products in this review. This puts it in the upper half of products and in similar score territory as monitors with larger price tags. This monitor tied with the Philips Avent SCD603/10 and the Samsung SEW-3037W with 61 of 100 points overall. What it doesn't have in common with its similar scoring competitors is a higher price with fewer features issue we didn't really care for in the Phillips and Samsung products. In addition, they both scored well in large part due to their great performance in sound, but neither managed to beat the Peep for video score. This monitor can offer parents on a budget the opportunity to own a product that feels and works as well as some of the better known, more expensive options, without the larger investment. This is why it earned our Best Value award and is a monitor we recommend.
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