If you would really love a video-style baby monitor but hate the high prices, the Infant Optics DXR-5 might be worth considering. Reviewers say the DXR-5 shines where it matters -- clear video and sound -- without a lot of costly extra features. A snap to set up and extremely portable, the DXR-5 also wins raves for its night vision and voice-activation mode. But those who live in high-tech homes should beware: Interference is possible, parents say.
Interference could be a problem. The Infant Optics DXR-5 uses 2.4 GHz wireless transmission, a frequency commonly used by household Wi-Fi networks and other electronic devices. Because of this, several parents complain of interference with their Wi-Fi. On the plus side, reviewers say the monitor provides clear video, even at night. Sound quality is also good, they say. The monitor has voice activation, which mutes the monitor and saves battery power until it detects noise. Most reviewers say this feature works well, though a few say it's not sensitive enough.
Sets up in a jiffy. The Infant Optics DXR-5 is easy to set up, parents say -- just plug in both units and turn them on. The monitor uses a rechargeable lithium battery, and Infant Optics recommends charging it for at least three hours before use. But several reviewers say battery life is poor, lasting only a few hours before dying. Models manufactured after July 2013 have a low-battery indicator. LEDs also indicate charge, signal and power. Experts say quality control can be an issue with the DXR-5, with several parents reporting faulty units. Though some reviewers say the monitor's build seems cheap, several say it's surprisingly durable.
Streamlined and portable. Though not loaded with features that pricier video monitors have, the Infant Optics DXR-5 still gives you a lot for your money, reviewers say. They praise the clear night vision, and they like the ability to use up to four cameras -- great for big families. Portability is another plus: Both the monitor and camera are lightweight, with included stands. The camera also comes with mounting hardware, and the monitor has a belt clip. The camera is wired, and parents should be careful to place the cord out of baby's reach to reduce strangulation hazards.
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 Infant Optics DXR-5 receives 3.9 out of 5 stars in more than 2,300 reviews. Owners say the video monitor has a clear picture and sound with good night vision. They also like the voice-activated power-save mode. Some say the build feels cheap, and others say the monitor died after weeks or months.
Review: Infant Optics DXR-5 2.4 GHz Digital Video Baby Monitor with Night Vision, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2014
Kintner says the Infant Optics DXR-5 is easy to set up, with good range and night vision. She also liked the voice-activated power-saving mode and portability. But it's pricier than a sound monitor and may be prone to interference, she says.
Review: Baby Monitors: Which One Is Right For You And Your Baby?, Kelcey Kintner, Nov. 23, 2013
This review praises the Infant Optics DXR-5 for secure, clear sound and video, resistance to static and night vision. The power-saving mode and ability to add cameras are also pros, it says. But it cautions not to expect HD resolution for the price.
Review: Baby Monitor Reviews, Top 5 Best Baby Monitors, Editors of ReviewMonkey.net, Not dated
Warta calls the Infant Optics DXR-5 "free of typical gimmicks" with a strong range and bright screen. She says the monitor's battery life makes it portable and Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology keeps images secure. The short review does not note any cons.
Review: Top 5 Best Baby Monitors, Tamara Warta, Not dated