The Philips AVENT DECT (digital enhanced cordless telecommunication) Monitor features cutting edge technology that guarantees zero interference from any other device. What makes this monitor truly unique is its ability to monitor the humidity and temperature in the baby’s room and the Talk Back feature, which allows for two-way communication between baby and parent. There are also several other features to the Philips AVENT DECT monitor that make it a true stand-out among the sea of baby monitors on the market.
The first thing I noticed about the Philips AVENT DECT monitor is its size and weight. It is tiny. The monitor comes with one room unit, a parent unit, and charger bases for both. The parent unit weighs less than my iPhone. I would be concerned about loosing the parent unit, except it comes with a neck cord to string it around your neck and a belt clip. The room unit is also small, about the size of a 4 inch cube. All the equipment fits nicely in a handy travel case that is also included. I love the sleek design of both units and how unobtrusive they are.
The room and parent unit were really easy to set up. I was immediately impressed with the quality of the sound. It was totally crystal clear. I am used to my old monitor that has a constant “crackle” and gets a lot of feedback from the various wireless devices in our house. I even set my cell phone right next to the monitor and had my husband call it to see if there would be any interruption in the sound. There was none. Not even the slightest little sound. Finally, I put the Philips AVENT DECT Monitor right next our other baby monitor and turned them both on. Our old monitor beeped and cackled away, while the Philips AVENT DECT Monitor was totally silent.
Once the parent unit had fully charged, I sent my husband next door to the neighbor’s house with it. I wanted to test the monitor’s 1,ooo ft. outdoor/150 ft. indoor range. The connection was still totally clear. Then I sent him down the block. About half-way there the monitor emitted an “out of range” signal and he headed back. I was totally impressed. Again, I can’t emphasize enough how clear the sound is on the monitor.
I have to talk battery life for a minute. The parent unit, when fully charged, lasts a full 24 hours. There are some factors, like how high you have the sound sensitivity, that affect the battery life though. Still, it’s impressive. Not only does the parent unit run on rechargeable batteries, but the room unit does too. This is a great feature for parents who plan on using the monitor outside of the home, or in the event of a power outage. Both units run perfectly on batteries.
In addition to the crystal clear connection, the Philips AVENT DECT Monitor uses sound level lights to give a visual indicator of when the baby is making noise. There is a vibrate option too. I love that I get a visual indicator of when my baby is making noise as well as an audio one. You can even adjust the sound sensitivity from low to high. The low level would give you basic baby noises like cooing or crying. The high level is so sensitive that you can hear your baby breathing. That is surely a feature that any new or anxious parent can appreciate!
The Philips AVENT DECT Monitor also has temperature and humidity sensors. The humidity monitor detects dry air that can irritate a baby’s throat and nose- especially if they are sick- and the temperature sensor monitors the baby’s room for optimal comfort. You can actually set a range for the optimal temperature and the monitor will alert you if it falls out of the range. I live in an older house with poor insulation. There have been more than a few nights when I have worried whether or not my baby was dressed warmly enough. Now I can check the temperature in her room without running the risk of waking her up.
Now, I have to admit that I wasn’t so sure about the Parent Talkback feature- which basically works like a walkie talkie. I had my reservations about starting a two-way communication system with my kids. It’s one thing when a baby is small, and is comforted by their parent’s voice. But opening up two-way communication between a toddler is a whole other animal.
It took me a long time to use the Parent Talkback feature with my three year old. And to be totally honest with you, the only reason I even tried it was to give this monitor a full review. My biggest fear was that once she realized I could talk back to her through the parent unit, was that she would resist falling asleep and try to engage in a conversation with me. And trust me, once she’s in her room for the night- that’s it. My day is officially over. Sort of.
Well, it wasn’t so bad. In fact, the Parent Talkback feature has been really useful. My toddler has a habit of calling my name over and over until she falls asleep. She doesn’t actually need anything most of the time, it’s just how she winds down at night. I know, sound charming doesn’t it? With the Parent Talkback feature I can keep telling her that it’s time for bed and she needs to close her eyes. And- it totally works! It’s cut down her falling asleep time by half.
Another feature that both my toddler and baby love are the lullabies and the night light. There are five different tunes to choose from. All of them are soft and soothing. My toddler even loves to listen to them during the day while she plays in her room. I will say that out of all the features of the Philips AVENT DECT Monitor, these are the ones that need the most work. I wish the lullabies had volume control (they are a little loud), a timer, and could be controlled from the parent unit. I also wish the night light was brighter. My toddler is comforted by the light it gives, but there is no way I would be able to see enough to change a diaper in the middle of the night.
I’m also not sure that the Philips AVENT DECT Monitor is going to satisfy those parents who are dead-set on using a video monitor. It would be awesome if they could combine all the technology of the SDC535 model with the DCD600 digital video monitor. But for me, because the DECT Monitor is so sensitive that I can literally hear my baby breathing, I don’t feel the need to also have the video feature. I do know that for some parents video is a make or break feature though.
There are also some parents that might be put-off at the price of the Philips AVENT DECT Monitor. It’s definitely a high-end monitor. Here’s the thing: after going through four cheap monitors I have come to realize that a quality baby monitor is worth spending money on. You are going to use this for a very long time. Plus, the crackling, beeping, hissing, and interference you get with the cheap monitors is beyond annoying.
Put the price aside and remember all the amazing features of the Philips AVENT DECT Monitor: the crystal clear sound, wide range, 120 channels, temperature and humidity sensors, noise sensitivity control, two-way communication, night light, lullabies, sound level lights, vibrations, and battery life. Now add those reassuring features to the reputation that Philips AVENT has for making quality baby products. In my not-so-humble opinion, peace of mind is priceless.
-Contributed by Morgan
*Thanks for Phillips AVENT for providing this baby monitor for review!