Audio monitors are the most basic and the original baby monitoring device. Analog monitors were once the gold standard, but digital devices are quickly replacing them technologically. One digital monitor, the Philips Avent SCD510 DECT Baby Monitor (*Est. $120) , offers the best range, clarity and resistance to interference. DECT technology ensures that conversations won't be broadcast to the neighborhood. It's costlier than other monitors, but experts and users agree that this is the best bet for interference-free reliability.
The Safety 1st High Def Digital Monitor 08024 (*Est. $50) also offers DECT technology for crystal clear, private transmission with no interference at a more budget friendly price. However, parents complain about battery life being short and an alert light on the nursery unit that can wake the baby. Graco's Direct Connect Digital Monitor (*Est. $60) gets attention in best of lists due to its many features and advertised range of up to 2,000 feet. However, users and product testers find that this monitor underperforms in its promised range, and it is unreliable, with constant loss of connections.
In the traditional, analog category, the Sony BabyCall Nursery Monitor (*Est. $40) gets positive ratings from product testers and many users. The BabyCall combines 900 MHz technology with 27 channels for a more reliable performance than typical analog monitors that have only two channels. It also has a good voice activation system and LED voice level indicators. However, this monitor is susceptible to interference and may not work in your home. If you live in a remote area and don't have many electronics in your home, you may have success with the Safety 1st Crystal Clear 08026 (*Est. $20) . This bare bones monitor comes with one or two parent units, and when the signal is clear, users say it delivers great sound quality from the nursery.