The Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement and Sound Monitor includes a sensor pad that sounds an alarm after 20 seconds if motion isn't detected. It also has a traditional audio monitor that offers best-in-class range, according to experts. But getting the sensor pad installed correctly makes this monitor a bear to set up, and false alarms can frazzle parents' nerves, reviewers warn.
Best-in-class range and excellent clarity. Experts say the Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement and Sound Monitor's range is as good as or better than top audio monitors. Clarity is marginally lower than other highly rated sound monitors, and eight channels help keep interference to a minimum. Users say the movement sensor is effective as long as the baby is directly on top, but older babies may roll away and trigger false alarms. The Deluxe Plus model (Est. $160) includes two pads for better coverage. Some say the monitor detects ceiling fans and other ambient movements, reducing its sensitivity to the baby. The motion alarm sounds in the nursery, which can wake a sleeping baby during a false alarm.
Time-consuming setup. Testers say the Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement and Sound Monitor takes time to set up. There must be a stable surface between the crib mattress and base, and some cribs require the addition of a more solid crib base. Parents may experience false alarms before they get the motion-sensitivity setting right. The monitor can run on A/C power or rechargeable batteries. Several parents are unimpressed with battery life, but the monitor fared well in expert tests in that category. Parents can choose sound or vibration alerts, and the parent unit has signal lights. When using the motion sensor, parents can choose silent or ticking mode. There is also voice activation to minimize white noise.
Multiple features win praise, but beware of recalled units. The Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement and Sound Monitor has a number of extras, including a pager, temperature tracker, night-light and belt clips on the two included parent units. Unlike motion sensors that don't monitor for sound, the Angelcare has a longer usable life for most families, who likely will stop using a motion-only monitor when baby is between 6 and 12 months old. The nursery units are wired, including the sensor pad. In November 2013, Angelcare recalled 600,000 monitors after two infants pulled the sensor-pad cords into their cribs and strangled themselves. The company has provided rigid cord covers to remedy the problem.
1. Baby Bargains
"Baby Bargains" covers all manufacturers of baby monitors in depth. Authors Denise and Alan Fields consider performance, ease of use and the brand's track record to come up with their overall rating for each brand. Then they pick a few specific best-bet models. Reviews are comparative, thorough and unbiased.
Review: Around the House: Monitors, Diaper Pails, Safety & More, Denise and Alan Fields, Tenth Edition, 2013
The Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement and Sound Monitor performs well in tests of range, clarity, ease of use, features and battery life. Spurrier says the Angelcare is the best sound monitor, and editors like the movement feature. The only serious complaint is for a somewhat more challenging setup and learning curve.
Review: Angelcare Deluxe Movement and Sound Review, RJ Spurrier, April 9, 2012
The Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement and Sound Monitor is "Best Multi-Tasking" monitor in Babble's roundup. Horton praises its extensive features and is impressed with its performance both as a sound and movement monitor. However, she notes that it is pricey.
Review: Babble Best Picks: Audio Monitors, Michelle Horton, Not dated
The Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement and Sound Monitor earns 4.4 out of 5 stars in more than 680 reviews. Owners praise the monitor's reliability, range, clarity, ease of use, simplicity and features. Some complain of short battery life, interference and false alarms.
Review: Angelcare Deluxe Movement Monitor, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of March 2014
More than 70 reviewers give the Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement and Sound Monitor 90 out of a possible 100 points. Parents say it offers peace of mind with good clear sound and little interference. The monitor is also described as durable and portable. There are a few complaints of false alarms and feedback.
Review: Angelcare Deluxe Movement Sensor and Sound Monitor (Two Units) Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints, As of March 2014
The Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement and Sound Monitor earns praise for the peace of mind it gives parents by detecting both movement and sound, which it does "quite well," the reviewer says. But it is among the more expensive monitor options, she notes.
Review: Angelcare 401 Movement and Sound Deluxe Baby Monitor, "Jamie C.", Aug. 21, 2013
The Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement and Sound Monitor earns praise for its innovative motion detector, range, night-light and thermometer. But parents need to beware of false alarms, and the review cautions parents to turn off the alarm on the nursery unit to avoid waking their infant.
Review: Top 5 Best Baby Monitors, Tamara Warta, Not dated
8. New York Family
This review praises the Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement and Sound Monitor Plus for its sensor pads, color display, temperature indicator and sounds lights. It also notes the "tic" feature that proves the monitor is working, even when it's very quiet. The review does not note cons.
Review: Quick Guide to the Best Baby Monitors on the Market, Stacey Gawronski, Nov. 5, 2013
9. Consumer Product Safety Commission
This Consumer Product Safety Commission article describes the Angelcare monitor recall, detailing strangulation deaths, affected models, retailers and recommended actions for consumers who own the monitors.
Review: Angelcare Recalls to Repair Movement and Sound Baby Monitors After Two Deaths Due to Strangulation Hazard, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Nov. 21, 2013