Although video baby monitors have been around for some time now, they have rapidly evolved over the last year. As the baby monitor capabilities have evolved, so have our expectations. Modern baby monitors are no longer just a camera and a monitor, they now represent a cool package full of smart features like temperature display, two-way talk, lullabies and much, much more. With the market being so crowded now, it is harder than ever to separate the winners from the wannabes. Our objective here is to help you pick the best video baby monitor 2018 has on offer.

How do we test?

Our review approach is quite different to other websites on the internet as we mix the actual device review with the practical feedback from the actual users. We do believe that describing the first impression of the product is important (that’s what everyone else does), yet without blending in the actual feedback from real moms using it – the review would be incomplete and potentially impractical.

Below are the items we have considered reviewing the best baby monitors of 2018:

  1. Ease of setup and use
  2. Audio and video quality
  3. Connection stability and reach
  4. Feature set
  5. Real life usage and practicality

Our review concludes 5 of the best video baby monitors 2018 has to offer. Whatever your budget or requirements are – we have a pick for you!

1. Infant Optics DXR-8

The Bottom Line: The best overall baby monitor. It is the most reliable baby monitor on the market that gets important things right.

Before testing the Infant Optics DXR-8, we knew we were up for a good experience as we have read and heard a lot of good things about it.

Setting up the monitor was quite straightforward and took no more than a couple of minutes for us. We have charged the monitor, plugged in the camera, turned the monitor on and it has automatically connected to the camera, voila!

When testing connection quality and range, the baby monitor maintained a strong connection with the camera up to a 70 feet distance having multiple obstacles such as walls and ceiling in between. Pushing past that range resulted in the video and audio quality to degrade and the signal to lag slightly. We were pleasantly surprised with that result as most other units in our review have started to lag a lot earlier. Removing the obstacles, yet still staying indoors – the Infant Optics DXR-8 has demonstrated an up to 130 feet reach before the audio and video quality would get affected. The outdoors results would be far superior as the manufacturer claims a working connection at a 700 feet distance, yet we did not test that claim as it is irrelevant to real-life conditions.

In terms of the video quality, the Infant Optics DXR-8 represents a very solid package delivering sharp and crisp video streaming. The audio quality is clear and smooth with no white noise observed. The camera has performed well in all conditions, including light, dark and dimmed. Although we were happy with the video performance, it is not exactly the benchmark performance we have seen in other baby monitors.

The battery life is another strong side of this baby monitor. When simulating the real-life conditions of 8-hour sleep with occasional noise and interruptions every 2 hours, we found that the battery has only used 1/4 of its charge. This is above average results that only some baby monitors on the market can achieve.

In terms of the available features, the Infant Optics DXR-8 does not have the richest set, yet it has the most useful and practical ones. If you have twins or would like to have the video streamed from multiple angles, the baby monitor allows up to 4 cameras to be connected (sold separately). The cameras are controlled fully from the monitor and can be panned or tilted as well as have the image zoomed in or out. We have found the remote controls to be very handy as it saves you a trip to your child’s bedroom and a chance of creating the unnecessary noise.

Another great feature is the temperature indicator which allows you to monitor the temperature of the room. The camera has an interchangeable wide-angle lens to increase the viewing area (sold separately) if required.

The best testimonial for this product – is over 15000 happy customers on Amazon who report a solid, trouble-free and reliable performance. The item factory defect rate appears to be very low and the customer support seems to be really helpful and efficient.

On the downside – the camera does not take videos and pictures to capture those rare moments. The Wi-Fi connectivity support would also be desirable to further extend the reach.

Overall, the Infant Optics DXR-8 does not excel in any one particular area. Instead, it represents a perfect case when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts as it delivers the most flawless and reliable experience in video baby monitors you can buy.

8.5/10

  • Features 70%
  • Usability 100%
  • Design 80%
  • Performance 90%

Positive

Negative

Very reliable baby monitor that just works
Long battery life
Temperature indicator
Interchangeable lenses
Good customer service and quick response
Does not record video or take pictures
Does not have lullabies
No nightlight

2. iBaby Monitor M6S

The Bottom Line: The most technologically advanced baby monitor on the market today.

Setting up iBaby M6S is a smooth and easy process. You need to register with iBaby however, to get your account created before you can use the monitor. Once done – all you need to do is to connect the camera to your phone via the USB cable and let the configuration process complete the setup. It should only take a couple of minutes before you can use your baby monitor.

We have to admit, this is probably the most stylish baby monitor on the list. It actually looks like an Apple product yet also resembles the R2-D2 from the Star Wars. If we had a beauty contest, this baby monitor would have had no competition.

The iBaby M6S is a Wi-Fi enabled baby monitor which streams the video and audio directly to your smartphone. Since the camera and the mobile app are connected to your home wireless network their reach is dependent on the reach of your wireless router. During our test, the monitor has demonstrated a consistent and reliable connection quality with no issues observed.

The video quality is quite remarkable as the device has a 1080 Full HD camera. To fully appreciate the quality, however, you would need to watch your videos and images on a monitor or TV that supports Full HD resolution. When used at night or in low light conditions – the video quality has degraded but only slightly, which resulted in one of the best low light performance we have seen in baby monitors. The built-in two-way speaker provides a crisp and clear audio experience with no white noise.

The iBaby M6S is the most feature-rich baby monitor we have ever reviewed. Some of the cool and handy features are:

  • 13 preinstalled lullabies on the iBaby mobile app, plus you could have your own. This feature is perhaps not for everyone, yet some may find it quite useful.
  • The camera has an amazing 360-degree pan that no other monitor in our test can match.
  • Captured images and videos are stored in your app without the need to have a paid subscription.
  • Push-to-talk feature to soothe a child when crying
  • Motion-triggered photo and video capture
  • Precise temperature and humidity sensors that send the reading back to your mobile app.
  • Wall mount (sold separately)
  • Live streaming for up to 4 people

Overall, we do believe that the iBaby startup has done an amazing job designing this beautiful and feature-rich monitor. The iBaby M6S is a strong performer which almost made it to the top if it wasn’t for the teething issues with the software. We have found a great number of users experiencing application freezes, glitches and connection dropouts. The good news is that software related issues are usually fixable and this is exactly what we expect the iBaby team to do going forward. For now – let’s wait a little bit and give the developers some time to fix the issues in the upcoming app releases. We will closely monitor the situation and update the review accordingly when new fixes are released as we think the iBaby M6S has an incredible potential to be a winner.

7.8/10

  • Features 90%
  • Usability 50%
  • Design 80%
  • Performance 90%

Positive

Negative

Easy setup. Please make sure you are using 2.4Ghz band (if you have a dual-band router)
Full HD video quality
More features than any other monitor tested
Mobile app is beautiful and feature-rich
Great for busy dads who travel a lot. With this mobile app, they can watch their loved ones even from far away.
No browser-based streaming available
Camera tilt when looking down is very limited
Too many software issues including connection stability, app hanging and freezing

3. Samsung SEW3043 BrightView HD

The Bottom Line: Great all around baby monitor that came second in our test. Close to perfect video and audio quality, yet flimsy touch screen contorls let it down.

The Samsung SEW3043 is ready for use straight out of the box, so no particular setup is required. Yet, if you have to pair it, the process is simple and intuitive. Once you have the unit and the camera connected to the charger, you need to select the ‘pair’ button on the unit and then press and hold the ‘pair’ button located at the base of the camera.

Charging the unit is also convenient as it shares a generic USB connector which is found in many other home devices, so you don’t need to carry a separate cable with you.

Amongst the first things you notice unpacking the monitor is the large 5″ display which is among the largest, you will find. The video is streamed in high definition and the picture quality is crisp. In the low light or at night, the picture remains sharp and clear up to 16ft away, which is one of the best results we have ever seen. In the dark, the infrared LED indicator is very subtle compared to iBaby M6S which is really handy as it causes fewer distractions for your little one.

The Samsung SEW3043 has an impressive pan and tilt controls, it has a 300-degree pan and 110-degree tilt angles. Combined with a zoom in/out feature – it allows you to be really flexible with your camera placement options. The camera rotates and zooms silently, not disturbing your baby’s sleep.

If a single camera is not enough or you have twins – you can pair the monitor with up to 4 cameras (sold separately).

The unit offers a 900-foot range which is greater than Infant Optics DXR-8, yet practically speaking we found them to be quite comparable in real-life circumstances.

The two-way communication allows you to talk to your baby remotely, which is a feature that could help some parents to put their baby back to sleep.

The monitor also features a very handy VOX technology which puts the monitor on standby when there is no sound and wakes it up when the sound is detected. This clever feature is designed to save the battery life and it actually works.

There is a lot to love about Samsung SEW3043, yet there are also some drawbacks to know. Our biggest disappointment was the slow and sometimes unresponsive touchscreen, especially when tilting or panning the camera. The basic tactile controls of Infant Optics DXR-8 may seem oldfashioned, but they are just so much more responsive and practical to use.

Another minor disappointment is the absence of the temperature sensor, which is surprising given the monitor’s price tag. We find the temperature sensor to be a very handy feature, especially when you have a two-story house as the temperature varies between the floors. We have also recorded an excessively elevated battery usage when the monitor is in use.

Overall, the Samsung SEW3043 is quite comparable to Infant Optics DXR-8 in terms of features and functionality, yet it is the flimsy touch-screen controls that make it a runner-up. It does deliver a superior image and audio quality, yet gives way when practicality is considered.

8/10
  • Features 80%
  • Usability 70%
  • Design 80%
  • Performance 90%

Positive

Negative

Reliable connection
Build quality
More features than any other monitor tested
VOX mode – saves battery by placing the unit on standby when there is no sound
Biggest display out there
Sluggish touchscreen display
No temperature sensor
Wobbly charge cable connection, prone to slipping out
A little expensive for what it is

4. Philips Avent SCD630

The Bottom Line: Well built, secure and reliable baby monitor that features the best connection reach amongst the non-Wi-Fi devices. Keep in mind however that the monitor can only be paired to a single camera.

The Philips Avent SCD630 is quite a new entry into the baby monitor arena and like with most of the Avent products – it stands by the long history of quality standards the brand is known for.

Setting up the monitor took us 30 seconds as most of the setup is ready out of the box. After using it for a couple of hours, we can definitely say that it is a user-friendly and intuitive monitor that gets the basics right.

Although navigating the menu feels little low-tech due to using the buttons instead of a touchscreen, we do prefer buttons over a poor-quality touchscreen which sometimes makes the unit unresponsive.

The Philips Avent SCD630 comes with a clip, so you can attach the monitor to your clothes and carry it around with you. This feature is perhaps not for everyone, yet some moms will find it handy.

The Adaptive FHSS (frequency-hopping spread spectrum) technology featured in Philips Avent SCD630 has now become a standard driven by the past security issues. The technology ensures that your family things remain private and makes hacking close to impossible.

Like most of the baby monitors in our review, Philips Avent SCD630 supports the high definition 720p video which provides a good picture quality, yet it does not have the same level of clarity the iBaby M6S or Samsung SEW3043 has. The night vision works, but it falls slightly short compared to the competition.

The sound quality is the area where Philips Avent SCD630 truly shines, it delivers the best audio experience and lowest levels of white noise we have ever tested. It is true-to-life and you can literally hear your baby’s every little peep.

Just like Samsung’s VOX feature, Philips Avent SCD630 has an ECO mode that turns off the display given that there is no sound in the baby room and wakes it up as soon as the sound is detected.

The other area where Philips Avent SCD630 beats any other non-Wi-Fi baby monitor on the market is the connection range. It has the best range we have ever tested. The connection stayed stable across three-stories and the backyard. If you do however manage to lose the connection, the monitor beeps loudly which we found to be a quite handy.

A tiny, yet a very useful feature is the ability to set minimum and maximum room temperatures. The moment the room temperature is not within the specified range, the monitor notifies you with a beep. We found this feature to be of a great help as it allows you to fix the room temperature before your baby gets uncomfortable and wakes up (especially if you use air conditioning).

In terms of limitations – Philips Avent SCD630 has a few that may be dealbreakers for some moms. The monitor does not have a tilt function and pan function is only manual. This means that unless you have your camera perfectly positioned in the first place – the focused zoom in/out feature is not really usable, as most of the time you will get your focus wrong when zoomed in.

It is also not a good fit for families with two babies or more as the unit does not support multiple cameras.

Overall, Philips Avent SCD630 digital video baby monitor is a solid performer that gets most things right, we only wish it had the basic features found in other monitors, such as additional camera pairing as well as remote pan and tilt controls. Otherwise, the unit is reliable, well built, easy to use and works trouble free.

7.8/10

  • Features 70%
  • Usability 80%
  • Design 70%
  • Performance 90%

Positive

Negative

ECO mode that prolongs the battery life
Best in class audio quality
Strongest reach/connection quality of any non-WiFi baby monitor we tested
Min/max temperature alerts
Does not support additional cameras
Camera does not tilt, pans only by hand.
Limited ways the monitor can be mounted on the wall as the camera does not have a tilt

5. HelloBaby HB32

The Bottom Line: The best budget baby monitor on the market. It is extremely affordable, yet surprisingly feature rich.

The HelloBaby HB32 is not a big brand name monitor and it is not the most technologically advanced either. It has grabbed our attention and curiosity by a disproportionate amount of value it delivers for its price.

Alike the bigger players in this review, the setup process is streamlined and does not take more than a minute to complete, it is literally plug-and-play.

Once we have turned on the device we were amazed by the build quality and the features available in this budget level baby monitor.

The HelloBaby HB32 has a 3.2 inch LCD screen which looks crisp and displays high-quality video in both daylight conditions and at night. The monitor supports two-way talk with a very decent audio quality on both ends. It also has a smart feature that turns off the audio transmission to save the battery life if the noise levels in the baby room drop below 50 decibels. This extends the battery life and gives you around 10 hours of usage.

During our testing, the connection has proved to be stable even when separated by up to 5 walls. In terms of the reach, the HelloBaby HB32 is a clear runner-up with only Philips Avent SCD630 coming out in front.

The camera has manual tilt and pan controls which is what you would expect in this price category. There are no special wall mount for this camera, yet if you need to mount it on the wall there are generic mounts (sold separately) that would do the job for you. The room’s ambient temperature is also monitored by the device and if the room gets too hot or too cold – you are sure to receive an alert.

We were also surprised to find that the device supports the FHSS (i.e. frequency-hopping spread spectrum) technology and digital encryption. This is usually found on more expensive models, such as Philips Avent SCD630.

To add to an already impressive set of features – the baby monitor allows up to four cameras (sold separately) to be connected to a single monitor.

In summary – we are very pleased with the experience we had with HelloBaby HB32. Although this baby monitor falls under the budget range, the features it supports are far beyond it, which makes it the best value baby monitor out there.

8.5/10

  • Features 90%
  • Usability 80%
  • Design 80%
  • Performance 90%

Positive

Negative

Room temperature monitoring
One of the best connection ranges tested amongst non Wi-Fi cameras
Automatic sleep/wake-up feature to extend the battery life
An abality to pair up to 4 cameras
Great battery life
No volume control for the lullabies
Cannot pan or tilt the camera remotely
Some users have reported the auto-mute feature not being sensitive enough

Feature Comparison

  Infant Optics DXR-8 iBaby M6S Samsung SEW3043 Philips Avent SCD630 HelloBaby HB32
Range 700 feet Any 900 feet 980 feet 900 feet
Screen Size 3,5″ N/A 5″ 3,5″ 3,2″
Screen Resolution 640 x 480 N/A 800 x 480 640 x 480 640 x 480
Camera Control Pan, tilt, zoom Pan, tilt, zoom Pan, tilt, zoom Manual pan, no tilt, zoom Manual pan & tilt, zoom
Temperature Sensor Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Humidity Sensor No Yes No No No
Image & Video Recording No Yes Yes No No
Lullabies No Yes Yes Yes Yes
VOX mode Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional cameras up to 4 Unlimited Up to 4 No Up to 4
Battery Life < 10 hours N/A < 7 hours < 10 hours < 12 hours
Security 2.4 GHz FHSS N/A 2.4 GHz FHSS 2.4 GHz FHSS 2.4 GHz FHSS
SCORE 8.5 7 8 7.5 8.5
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