In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Best Audio Baby Monitors of 2022

We tested sound monitors by VTech, Philips, Hatch, and HelloBaby to find the best audio monitor for your baby
Best Audio Baby Monitors of 2022
Finding a great monitor for baby starts by choosing the right type and features to suit your needs and wants. The sound option, Philips Avent DECT SCD570/10 shown here is a great sound option that performed well in our tests.
Credit: Philips
By Wendy Schmitz and the BabyGearLab Team
Friday July 1, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

Searching for the best sound baby monitor? We've got you covered. We've purchased and tested more than 80 baby monitors since 2012. In this review, we put the top 6 audio monitors available today against each other to find the very best. Our detailed testing process focuses on key performance metrics like sound clarity, ease of use, range, and more. Our results and hands-on experience in the real world influence scores and rank, and our insider details provide the information you need to find the right option to meet your needs and goals.

Other types of baby monitors include video monitors for keeping your eye on little ones in their crib and movement monitors to keep tabs on movement that indicates continued breathing. If you aren't sure which is right for you, look at our best baby monitor review. Thinking you want a bedside bassinet instead of a monitor for the early infant days? We've reviewed those and lots more baby gear!

Editor's Note: We updated this sound monitor review on July 1, 2022, to ensure our gear selection is up to date.

Top 5 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Value Award  
Price $40 List
$38.95 at Amazon
$55 List$90 List
$89.99 at Amazon
$30 List
$18.99 at Amazon
$40 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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54
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Pros Excellent sound clarity, lots of features, long battery life, priceGood sound clarity, easy to use, budget-friendlyMultiple functions, app-enabled, better range, easy to use for the tech-savvyEasy to use, nice range, inexpensiveEasy to use, good range distance
Cons Harder to use, shorter rangeLimited features, average rangeShorter battery life, not the best sound quality, few features for soundLimited features, short battery lifeExpensive for what it is, poor sound quality, short battery life
Bottom Line An inexpensive, yet great sounding, monitor with loads of features that is an excellent choice for most familiesA great option if you favor ease-of-use and good sound over features, at a relatively good priceAn app-enabled, multi-purpose monitor that is easy to use, but it has a shorter battery life and sub-par soundAn affordable monitor set that gets the job done without any fussThis easy to use option has poor sound quality and disappointing features and battery life
Rating Categories VTech DM221 Philips Avent DECT... Hatch Rest+ VTech DM111 HelloBaby HB178
Sound Clarity (30%)
10.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
3.0
Ease of Use (25%)
6.0
10.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
Range (20%)
6.0
6.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Battery life (15%)
10.0
4.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
Features (10%)
9.0
4.0
6.0
3.0
1
Specs VTech DM221 Philips Avent DECT... Hatch Rest+ VTech DM111 HelloBaby HB178
Indoor Range Test (walls & feet) 5 Walls
90 Feet
5 Walls
90 Feet
8 Walls
169 Feet (WiFi)
7 Walls
98 Feet
7 Walls
123 Feet
Open Field Range Test 1325 Feet 1320 Feet 155 Feet (WiFi) 1350 Feet 1330 Feet
Manufacturer's Claimed Range (*buyer beware!) 1000 Feet 984 Feet NA Not Listed 1000 Feet
Communication Technology DECT 6.0 Digital Technology DECT Technology WiFi DECT 6.0 Digital Technology DECT 6.0 Digital Technology
Sound Activation Yes Yes No No
Adjustable Mic Sensitivity Yes No No No
Sound Filtering Test Results Excellent Poor Very Good Very Poor Very Poor
Talk-to-Baby Yes No Yes No No
Max Sound 103.4 db 101 db 96.3 103.6 db 92.3
Temperature No No No No No
Battery Life 46 Hours Hrs 19 Hours Hrs 13 Hours Hrs 13 Hours Hrs 13.5 Hours Hrs
Nursery Unit Battery Backup No No Yes No No
EMF @ 6 Feet Nursery Unit 3.11 V/m 0.95 V/m 0.43 V/m 2.63 V/m 0.43 V/m
Night Light Yes Yes Yes No No
Lullaby Music No No Yes No No
Out Of Range Alert Yes Yes No Yes
Vibrate Alert Yes No No No No
Warranty 1 Year 2 Years 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year


Best Overall Sound Baby Monitor


VTech DM221


81
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Sound Clarity 10.0
  • Ease of Use 6.0
  • Range 6.0
  • Battery life 10.0
  • Features 9.0
REASONS TO BUY
Great sound
Sound activation & two-way talk
Inexpensive
Longest battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
Shorter range
Harder to program

The VTech DM221 is a full-service audio-only monitor with useful features and the best sound clarity in our tests. The DM221 includes sound activation and adjustable microphone sensitivity that create a silent parent room for a better night's sleep with a parent device that primarily relays sound when your baby cries. The parent device has talk-to-baby functionality that sounds like a natural voice bypassing the robotic-sounding voice found in some competing products we tested. The DM221 is budget-friendly, and it earned the highest overall score during testing.

This monitor has a shorter range than some contenders, which means it might be unusable in some larger homes or those with more than 3-4 walls between the nursery and parent device. Overall, we believe this product can get the job done with superior sound and the additional features required to ensure a peaceful night's sleep — the reason most parents consider purchasing a monitor in the first place.

Read review: VTech DM221

sound monitor - best overall sound baby monitor
The Vtech DM221 has sound activation so you only hear the baby unit when your baby is making noise.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best for Ease-of-Use


Philips Avent DECT SCD501/10


71
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Sound Clarity 8.0
  • Ease of Use 10.0
  • Range 6.0
  • Battery life 4.0
  • Features 4.0
REASONS TO BUY
Price
Sound activation
Easy to use
REASONS TO AVOID
No two-way talk to baby
Short battery life

The Philips Avent DECT SCD501/10 is a quality monitor that is easy to use and includes features many parents want, such as impressive sound quality and sound activation. We believe sound activation is important and useful in an audio monitor. This unit has a reasonable price, and it is straightforward enough that most grandparents can use it frustration-free.

This simple sound monitor doesn't have many features. It lacks two-way communication and functions such as temperature sensors and lullabies. Unless you consider these features to be non-negotiable, we think most families stop using these features once the novelty wears off, making the lack of them less of a deal-breaker, in our opinion. We appreciate the look and ease of use of the DECT SCD501/10 and believe most parents will agree it's an excellent option for a reasonable price.

The Philips Avent DECT SCD501/10 has been discontinued. We are now linking to the DECT SCD502/10. They appear similar, and we hope to test the DECT SCD502/10 version soon.

Read review: Philips Avent DECT SCD501/10

sound monitor - best for ease-of-use
Sound level indicator LED lights help you see when baby is crying, even if you can't her
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Best on a Tight Budget


VTech DM111


65
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Sound Clarity 7.0
  • Ease of Use 9.0
  • Range 7.0
  • Battery life 3.0
  • Features 3.0
REASONS TO BUY
Wallet-friendly
Easy to use
Good range
REASONS TO AVOID
No sound activation
No two-way communication

The VTech DM111 is one of the least expensive options in this review. However, it offers an above-average range with good sound clarity and an easy-to-use interface. The range is better than some competition, making it a good choice for larger homes or multiple walls (over 3) between devices.

This option doesn't have all the bells and whistles, like two-way communication or sound activation, but it gets the job done and provides life-like sound from the baby's room, which is all you need at the end of the day. The DM111 battery life is 13 hours, and the batteries are not rechargeable, so it is probably best to keep it plugged in when possible or have spare AAA batteries on hand. We think this option is an excellent no-nonsense choice or a useful travel product thanks to its ease of use and good range. Parents looking for a quick, straightforward solution will be more than satisfied with this choice.

Read review: VTech DM111

sound monitor - best on a tight budget
With a power button and volume adjust as the only features on the DM111 parent unit it is easy to use with almost no opportunity for mistakes.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Multi-purpose Monitor


Hatch Rest+


69
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Sound Clarity 6.0
  • Ease of Use 9.0
  • Range 9.0
  • Battery life 3.0
  • Features 6.0
REASONS TO BUY
WiFi range
Multi-purpose
App-enabled features
REASONS TO AVOID
Sub-par sound
Shorter battery life

The Hatch Rest+ is an app-enabled monitor with several features for babies and parents. It has impressive sound filtering, sound machine, nightlight, lullabies, and more. The nightlight can be remote-controlled, and you can connect up to 5 parent devices to one monitor. When little ones get older, you can use it as a tool for teaching when it is time to get up. This unit has 2-way communication and is compatible with Alexa.

This unit requires WiFi and an app to operate. You'll need a little more tech-savvy knowledge than a typical plug-in monitor, but it isn't challenging if you are comfortable with your smartphone and other apps. Also, the sound quality isn't the best. It is better than many video monitors but isn't on par with the inexpensive sound monitors we've tested. Overall, this monitor is a modern-looking, cool addition to any nursery that can fill the need for many devices in one. We like that it can grow with your child and is a good choice for technology-driven families.

Read review: Hatch Rest+

sound monitor - the hatch app has a simple user interface with only a few sound...
The Hatch app has a simple user interface with only a few sound related options to worry about.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price Our Take
81
$40
Editors' Choice Award
Awesome sound with lots of features that is a winning choice for almost any family
71
$55
Top Pick Award
If you are looking for ease of use and a nice price instead of features, then this is a good choice
69
$90
Top Pick Award
Multi-purpose monitor that is also a sound machine and nightlight with better range but sub-par sound
65
$30
Best Value Award
Priced nicely for the tightest budgets and gets the job done without added features
54
$40
An easy-to-use monitor with better range but dissappointing sound and features

sound monitor
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Why You Should Trust Us


Leading our baby sound monitor review is BabyGearLab founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier. Dr. Spurrier is a board-certified pediatrician, mother of two, and a long-time tester of every type of baby monitor on the market. Working alongside Dr. Spurrier is Senior Review Analyst Bob Wofford and father of 7. Together, they developed the testing process for this comprehensive review and our other monitor reviews. Bob has conducted the testings for our sound monitor review since 2013, making him an industry expert with over 100 monitor product tests under his belt! Rounding out our team of expert testers is Senior Review Editor, Wendy Schmitz, and mother of 2. She brings eight years of experience and knowledge of baby monitor testing to analyze tester feedback and test results to create valuable and informative reviews. The primary team members in this review have over 20 years' collective experience in testing monitors.

We hands-on test and rate each product's performance and compare it to similar products in our in-house, side-by-side tests. We calculate scores with weighted values for the metrics we believe are instrumental in making a monitor exceptional and user-friendly. Sound clarity and ease of use are the most critical metrics, with range coming in next. Without a significant and reliable range, a monitor can fail to work. Without quality sound transmission and sound-related features, it might not alert parents when it should.

Our testing of baby sound monitors is divided across five rating metrics:

  • Sound Clarity tests (30% of overall score weighting)
  • Ease of Use tests (25% weighting)
  • Range tests (20% weighting)
  • Battery Life tests (15% weighting)
  • Features tests (10% weighting)

We've purchased and tested more than 35 sound monitors and over 100 baby monitors across categories since 2012. Our testing put each monitor through a multi-point analysis to rate sound and everyday functionality. We've literally listened to monitor sounds for hundreds of hours.

Sound Monitors go through more than 51 individual tests to rank their performance compared to the competition. The most important metric is the Sound Clarity score, which corresponds to 30% of the overall score. Our Sound Clarity score is developed by 6 individual tests including maximum volume, sound clarity, noise reduction, and sound filtering.

The DM271 has one of the lower EMF readings in the group, though...
The DM271 has one of the lower EMF readings in the group, though most of the video monitors are still lower.
The sound clarity for the DM111 isn&#039;t super impressive, but for the...
The sound clarity for the DM111 isn't super impressive, but for the price, it is hard to quibble with no distortion and bright sounds with a sound filtering option that works well.
The Baby Wave has divided features buttons on either side of the...
The Baby Wave has divided features buttons on either side of the parent unit which can help parents find the right buttons in the middle of the night in the dark.

Analysis and Test Results


When testing sound monitors, we consider crucial metrics that demonstrate monitor performance and the features that give it an edge over the competition or provide additional benefit to parents or babies. Because a monitor is a direct line to your baby, they need to work as intended, reliably, with a good range. The features need to be easy to use and improve the overall functionality of the monitor. Each unit should have an adequate range, provide the functionality to potentially increase sleep, and offer clear sound. If a device doesn't work as intended, it could fail to help parents obtain restful sleep or respond to little ones as they intend.

What Would BabyGearLab Do?
Interested in the spoiler alert of what we'd recommend to a friend? Skip down to read what we would do.


Value


Sound monitors are the most budget-friendly option for keeping tabs on your little one. This monitor style offers a contender for almost any size budget. We feel choosing a slightly higher-priced unit is a smart option as the overall performance of mid-price monitors is better than the lower-priced products. As parents typically use monitors daily, there is significant value in spending a little more money to get a superior product. We believe the VTech DM221 is a good value in this lineup as it is the highest performing device in our tests and still has a very reasonable price tag. If "grandparent-friendly" is your highest criteria, you should consider the Philips Avent DECT SCD501/10. This monitor costs a little more, but its ease of use and impressive overall performance make it worth the price for straightforward simplicity. The VTech DM111 is also a potential contender for those on a very tight budget. This option didn't rank as highly as the others, but it gets the job done and includes two parent devices making it an excellent value for new parents who only need sound monitoring.

sound monitor - the dm221 has top-of-the-line sound clarity with a 10 of 10 score...
The DM221 has top-of-the-line sound clarity with a 10 of 10 score for this metric.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Sound Clarity


The sound quality separates the teacup pups from the big dogs for audio monitors. Any sound you hear from the parent unit should be clear, static-free, and realistic. Ideally, it should lack distortion, and we prefer features that limit the types of sounds relayed from nursery to parent device or the volume of those unimportant non-baby sounds. We believe the transmission of sound and sound-related features are the critical criteria for sound monitoring. You don't want to lose precious time wondering if the sounds you hear are your baby or insignificant background noise. If features like sound activation or microphone sensitivity (that limits background noise) don't work as they should (or are not included), then you might lose sleep using a loud monitor.


Several of the options in our tests scored above average for sound clarity, but it is somewhat shocking how poor the sound quality is for others, given the primary goal being to relay life-like sounds. Some products offer hollow and bright transmissions without the mid-tone and bass ranges. While disappointing, we think this is still acceptable. However, static and distortion shouldn't be tolerated, and we heard it from more than one competitor. The best products bring a full tonal range and can change the sound level of what is transmitted (microphone sensitivity adjustment).

sound monitor - despite few buttons and a menu to toggle through, the scd720/86...
Despite few buttons and a menu to toggle through, the SCD720/86 remains simpler to use than much of the competition, with few features being hidden in folders within the menu.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The VTech DM221 delivered the best sound results. This product has no distortion or static, even at max volume. The sound includes more vibrant tones, and while you wouldn't want to listen to your favorite music from them, it delivers a realistic representation of a baby's cries. All of the top products include sound activation that works as it should and is silent when your baby is quiet.

sound monitor - the hellobaby has disappointing sound quality that is not a good...
The Hellobaby has disappointing sound quality that is not a good representation of what is happening in the nursery.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The worst sound quality in our tests is the HelloBaby HB178. This unit scores only 3 of 10, thanks to fuzzy sounds and muffled words that make it hard to decipher what is happening in the baby's room. The Hellobaby doesn't accurately represent what is happening in the baby's room, and some of the sounds might be disturbing if you wake up suddenly without perspective. The VTech DM111 earns a respectable 7 for sound.

sound monitor - the dect scd501/10 only has power and volume adjustment buttons on...
The DECT SCD501/10 only has power and volume adjustment buttons on the front, making it simple and easy for parents to use in the dark while half asleep.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


Ease of use testing attempts to capture if a monitor is intuitive or complicated, the simplicity of the setup, and whether the features make it more helpful or more complex. A product with an on/off button and volume control might be easy to use, but it might not be the pack leader if it doesn't offer anything to improve the user experience.


The Philips Avent SCD501/10 earned the highest score for ease of use with a 10 of 10. It has an easy-to-use interface that you may master without instructions. Its extra features make using it a more positive experience than some competition, and we appreciate the clean lines and simple styling. The parent unit also has a handy lanyard for pocketless transportation, and the baby unit has buttons with easy-to-read labels. The two devices auto-link, and the instructions are straightforward.

sound monitor - while the hatch rest + requires the use of an app, it is easy to...
While the Hatch Rest + requires the use of an app, it is easy to navigate for those familiar with smartphones and other apps.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

In general, all of the contenders are easy enough. They lack complex technical features, and most can be plugged in and used immediately. We also concede that given enough experience, parents can likely figure out most monitors. However, we think you should also consider caregivers, who you'll want to use your monitor with only a limited tutorial. The VTech DM111 is super easy to use with a score of 9 and no add-on features, making it a straightforward operation even grandparents can master.

Range


You might think all you need is a product that sends sound from the nursery unit to a parent device. However, if the baby monitor can't connect to the parent device because it is too far away or there are too many walls between the units, it won't matter what information or sound it sends. While ranges, according to our test results, are better for audio products than video or movement monitors, it is still important that you consider the range and your home before choosing a product. Most manufacturers include their open field range on the box, but they aren't all reporting this number accurately. Few manufacturers report a potential indoor range for their products. While indoor range can be affected by several variables from walls and floors to appliances, our tests can give you a general idea of the potential range you might expect, or, more importantly, how each unit compared to the competition side-by-side.


Larger homes might be better suited to audio monitors (unless you plan to use WiFi), given that their average range (in our tests) is close to 90 ft and through 6 walls and video monitors are significantly less. The longest range for the dedicated sound products in this review is the VTech DM111, with a range of 98 ft through 7 walls. The shortest span is the Philips Avent DECT SCD501/10, working up to 90 ft and five walls. Most of the award winners in this review average six walls and 95 ft for an indoor range. The Hatch Rest+ is Bluetooth enabled with communication between the unit and your smartphone. Ours worked for 169 ft and 8 walls of separation. Your at-home results will vary depending on your style of home and competing products.

sound monitor - thanks to a large variety of features, this unit is more complicated...
Thanks to a large variety of features, this unit is more complicated than the competition. While you can use it without setting up features in the menu, it will work better if you take the time at least once to set some preferences.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Features


Some of the products in this review have very few features and do little more than transmit sound from one device to another. You may be thinking, well, that's what these products are for; what else should they do? While we'd love it if they made breakfast or took out the trash, we aren't looking for features outside the realm of reality. We want attributes that help the monitors function better or make using them easier. Several monitors offer a sound activation feature, something we think is an essential feature that will help you get more coveted sleep. This feature keeps a parent device quiet when the baby is not making noise, so it doesn't transmit white noise, room sounds, or chronic static, which could keep light sleepers needlessly awake.


Another feature we like is two-way communication between devices. However, the lack of two-way is not a deal-breaker, and many parents find they don't use it. Some of the other features we consider are nightlights, lullabies, alerts, battery backup in the baby unit, rechargeable parent unit, and temperature sensors.

sound monitor - the nursery unit of the scd720 relays accurate and clear sound to...
The nursery unit of the SCD720 relays accurate and clear sound to the parent unit for reliable and consistent reporting from the nursery.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The VTech DM221 earns the top score in this metric with 9 of 10. It has almost every feature parents want, including sound activation and two-way talk. These are the features that keep parents and babies happy. However, the Hatch Rest+ is a strong contender for the ultimate in control and added features. It has a sound machine, nightlight, time-to-rise clock, sound level indicator, remote access to features, and sleep mode. Unfortunately, it is missing sound activation and adjustable mic sensitivity, which we think are useful for keeping a monitor quiet when the baby is quiet.

The product with the lowest Features score is the VTech DM111 with a 3. Outside of the fundamental alerts for out-of-range and low battery, this monitor lacks features we feel make life easier or more enjoyable. It doesn't offer anything for sound control (beyond volume), and it lacks features for soothing. However, this product is inexpensive and has relatively good sound and an adequate range, making it a good option for parents who aren't concerned with features or have a limited budget.

sound monitor - the vtech dm111 doesn&#039;t offer many features, but it does have a...
The Vtech DM111 doesn't offer many features, but it does have a handy belt clip.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

While we don't think every feature is necessary, we believe that sound activation is critical and should be something parents look for. You will be glad you insisted on it when you are trying to fall asleep at night, and your room is silent instead of filled with white noise, static, and strange sounds coming from the monitor. The other potential features are merely items of convenience. If you are a deep sleeper or enjoy white noise, the sound activation feature may be less critical, and a basic monitor like the VTech DM111 could save you money.

Electromagnetic Field Levels (EMF)


Will your cell phone give you brain cancer? What about your baby monitor's health impact on your newborn infant? Concerns over EMF exposure have increased as the number of products we use that emit EMF increases every day. Add to this that infants have sensitive developing systems that are more susceptible to the effects of EMF, and we believe it is something parents should consider when making a purchasing decision.

There is no doubt that short-term exposure to very high levels of electromagnetic fields can harm health. Current public concern focuses on possible long-term health effects caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields at levels below those required to trigger acute biological responses.
— WHO, Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)

The jury is still out on the risks of long-term exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields, such as those from WiFi devices, mobile phones, portable phones, and, yes, getting to the point, baby monitors.


Even though the jury is still out, we believe there is enough evidence to keep EMF in mind. We've measured the EMF levels of each monitoring device to learn whether some options produce significantly higher or lower levels of EMF than others. Our tests focus on the nursery unit (the listening unit you place in the baby's room) since our concern is primarily on the potential impact of EMF on the baby's health.

All of the monitors in this review emit some level of EMF. Most of them had average values under 1 V/m when tested at 6 feet from the baby device, but a few managed to exceed 1 V/m. Most of the values were below the levels we saw in our video products. In addition to having generally lower EMF values, the sound products can also sit further away from the baby, which should help limit exposure even further. It is good to know that the unit can be placed as far away from the baby as possible and still work well. These results make choosing a sound product better than video options if you are concerned about EMF.

The Hatch Rest+ and the Hellobaby HB178 have the lowest average level of EMF at 6 feet from the baby unit, with a reading of 0.43 V/m for each unit. The monitor with the highest EMF reading is the VTech DM221, with a disappointing value of 3.11 V/m! No matter which product you decide to purchase, we suggest you move it at least 6 feet away from the baby's crib, and most monitors will still work well from the other side of the room. Remember that EMF levels usually decline rapidly with distance, so by locating your monitor across the room, you dramatically reduce the EMF exposure to your baby. These precautions will help limit your baby's exposure to EMF, which we think is good.

Our EMF level measurements were not factored into our overall rating scores. The best current scientific data suggests that low-level EMF from sources like sound monitors does not represent a known health risk to humans.

sound monitor - the battery life of the vtech dm221 is longer than any other we...
The battery life of the Vtech DM221 is longer than any other we tested. You can go up to 46 hours between charging, though we recommend you have it plugged in whenever possible to save battery life for unforeseen moments when you might need it fully charged.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Battery Life


Battery life is mainly about the parent unit you carry to monitor your baby. The listening unit in the nursery typically plugs into the wall outlet. Parents usually rely on their parent unit most heavily overnight while plugged into a wall outlet near the nightstand. Batteries come into play during the daytime napping, so you can move around while keeping tabs on the baby.


We tested the battery life in the parent devices of these monitors. Only a few products offered battery backup capabilities in the baby units. It is important to understand that the batteries in the baby units are only a backup stopgap for power outages; they are not intended for extended use overnight. Also, not all parent devices are rechargeable. This lack of rechargeability means that you will frequently be changing batteries if you use them regularly without their AC adapters.

The battery life range for the monitors in this review varied wildly from 13 hours for the Hatch Rest+, VTech DM111, and the HelloBaby HB178 to 46 hours for the VTech DM221. These ranges mean that most devices can make it through the night without being plugged in. Given that all had a battery life of over 13 hours, with several over 20, there is ample time for napping, which is when you are most likely to use the parent unit unplugged.

sound monitor - the hatch rest+ has a shorter battery life in this competition with...
The Hatch Rest+ has a shorter battery life in this competition with a 13-hour result in our tests, however, this is still long enough to last overnight if necessary.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The VTech DM221 once again stole the show for battery life, lasting up to 46 hours. It comes with rechargeable batteries, which is better than more extended battery life, and we prefer rechargeable batteries over disposable AA or AAA options.

we purchased and tested some of the most popular sound monitor...
We purchased and tested some of the most popular sound monitor options on the market in the last 8 years, including some seen here and other popular options we've added over time.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Conclusion


Selecting the best audio monitor for your baby may not be as straightforward as you hope. Confusion can arise if you aren't sure what features you want or what kind of monitors are available. It can be even more challenging to determine why one is better with various features, functions, and prices. We think you can find the perfect device for your goals and budget if you focus on the test metrics and essential features. Our winners are suitable for most families, but we also include the pros and cons of each competitor we tested to help you find the best sound monitor for you.

Wendy Schmitz and the BabyGearLab Team


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