In environments relatively free of electronics, the Crystal Clear provides basic audio monitoring with decent sound and range at a low price. However, many users find the two-channel setup and analog technology leads to spotty coverage and interference in a landscape that is increasingly cluttered with electronic signals.
Good sound quality if you can avoid interference. The Safety 1st Crystal Clear Baby 08026 uses analog technology to transmit sound from the baby's room to the parent receiver. With just two channels, the monitor is subject to interference from other electronics in the environment, such as cell phones, wireless phones and routers. If your electronic airspace is relatively uncluttered, parents and experts report that the Crystal Clear delivers great sound quality. They also say that the Crystal Clear offers a good range -- close to the 600 feet Safety 1st advertises. However, an independent tester who subjects monitors to a battery of range and interference challenges finds that the Crystal Clear is among the poorest performers in range and interference, tending to have lots of static in the transmission.
Simple to begin using. The Safety 1st Crystal Clear Baby 08026 is one of the most basic and easy to use monitors out there. Simply plug the monitor and receiver units in -- or load them with 9-volt batteries (sold separately) -- turn on the power and begin monitoring. The monitor has a low battery indicator light and a power on indicator light, and volume can be adjusted for high or low settings.
A no frills monitor made for a simpler world. The Safety 1st Crystal Clear Baby 08026 only monitors and transmits sound from your nursery to the parent receiver. However, for around $30 you can purchase the monitor with two parent receivers, which is a markedly lower price than other monitors. However, many families find that they had no idea how much electronic noise ran through their home until they plugged in a monitor and began to capture it in audio form. Expert testers warn that parents are likely to pick up disruptive static and other forms of interference with this monitor, so unless you live in relative isolation, save your receipt and give this one a test run.
Confusing website. Safety 1st is a member of the massive Dorel Juvenile Group that includes Cosco, Maxi-Cosi and more. The website is large and unwieldy, making it a challenge to get basic product support. The Safety 1st Crystal Clear 08026 carries a one-year manufacturer's warranty.
1. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Excellent The Baby Bargains book and website offer buyer's guides and ratings on a comprehensive selection of baby gear. The authors say they conduct hands-on testing and interviews with parents, manufacturers and retailers before reaching conclusions. Parents posting to Amazon.com say this is the best baby-gear book available, with plenty of current info and lots of attitude, including sections aimed at steering consumers away from unnecessary features. Baby Bargains offers a roundup of top audio and video based baby monitors and provides coverage of specific baby monitors and overall brand performance.
Review: Chapter 7, Monitors, Denise and Alan Fields, Version 9.1, 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent According to BabyGearLab.com, the Crystal Clear offers nearly the worst range and the most susceptibility to static of any of their tested monitors. They say that while the Crystal Clear is easy to use and bargain priced, there are better monitors available for not much more.
Review: Safety 1st Crystal Clear Review, RJ Spurrier, April 4, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good The Safety 1st Crystal Clear is named as the best value audio monitor in Babble.com's 2012 best baby monitor roundup. The Crystal Clear is described as a low cost option that offers good range with high quality transmission and the option to plug in the monitor and receiver or run on batteries. On the downside, Babble.com notes that the monitor may encounter interference due to only having two channel options.
Review: Babble Best 2012 - Baby Monitors, Michelle Horton, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good The Safety 1st Crystal Clear monitor receives an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars in more than 300 customer reviews. While this is not the highest rating, it is much better than rating received by similar analog audio monitors in its price class. Users say the Crystal Clear offers great sound transmission with a great range and good battery life. They also say it is easy to use. However, due to the nature of analog monitors, many report static and interference.
Review: Safety 1st Crystal Clear Review, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good The Safety 1st Crystal Clear monitor earns an overall score of 71 out of 100 based on more than 55 reviews posted to Viewpoints.com. Users describe the Crystal Clear as easy to use, lightweight and affordable. People appreciate the value for the price of this basic baby monitor system.
Review: Safety 1st Crystal Clear Nursery Monitor, Single Receiver Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of December 2012