- Easy to install.
- Dedicated portable audio unit.
- Sharp 720p video.
- Motion and sound detection.
- Free cloud storage.
- No lullabies or white noise.
- Lacks manual recording capabilities.
- No environmental sensors.
- Inconsistent video upload times.
Best known for its yellow BABY ON BOARD! car window signs, Safety 1st has become a major player in the home and child safety arena, offering products such as infant car seats, safety gates, and child-proof cabinet locks. Its latest offering, the HD WiFi Baby Monitor With Smart Audio Unit ($199.99), is a two-piece system that uses your home Wi-Fi to connect to your phone, allowing you to look in on your baby from anywhere. It also comes with a battery-powered audio unit that lets you listen in and talk to your child from any room in the house, and it has motion and sound sensors that will send an alert and record a video clip when your baby moves or makes noise. It delivered very sharp video and clean audio in our tests, but it lacks some of the features that you get with our Editors' Choice baby monitor, the iBaby Monitor M6S.
Design and Features
The system consists of a sleek-looking camera and a low-profile audio unit that travels with you from room to room. A camera-only option is available for $149.99. The cone-shaped camera enclosure is matte white and measures 2.5 inches in diameter and 2.2 inches in depth. It sits atop a 1.6-inch tilt/swivel base that can sit upright on a flat surface or be mounted on a wall using the included screws and wall anchors. The rear of the camera holds a USB power input and a reset button, and the top of the camera has a pairing button. The camera captures 720p video at 30fps and has a 130-degree field of view and a 5X digital zoom. Its 12 infrared LEDs provide up to 15 feet of black-and-white night vision.
The puck-shaped wireless audio unit is 3.6 inches in diameter and 1.4 inches in height. It has a pairing button on the side as well as a reset button and a USB power jack. The unit has an LED light ring that glows blue when the camera detects noise or movement, and it also has a 1.5-watt speaker that lets you hear what's going on, a microphone button for two-way audio, and volume controls. It uses a rechargeable battery that is rated to last up to 12 hours on a single charge.
The Safety 1st mobile app (available for Android and iOS) opens to a screen that shows a live view of your baby's room with microphone (two-way talk) and camera (snapshot) buttons below it. Turn your phone sideways to view the stream in full-screen mode. At the very bottom of the screen is an indicator that shows the number of Baby Moments (motion- or sound-triggered recordings) that have not been viewed. Tap this indicator to view a timeline of triggered events with thumbnails and time stamps. Tap any thumbnail to view the video, download it, share it, or delete it. Cloud storage is free, but video clips only last for 24 hours, so keep this in mind if you want to share or save any recordings.
To access the camera settings, tap the gear icon in the upper right corner. Here you can adjust video quality, change Wi-Fi settings, update firmware, and adjust the camera's speaker volume. There are separate motion and sound settings for the camera and the audio unit with sensitivity sliders for each, or you can disable them altogether. Other settings allow you to add new devices and add new members who can share access to the camera.
Installation and Performance
Installing the Safety 1st Baby Monitor is snap. All you have to do is plug in the camera, connect the audio unit to any USB charging source, and download the mobile app. After you've created an account and verified your email address, click Add Product in the app and choose HD WiFi Baby Monitor and verify that the camera is plugged in and that you have your Wi-Fi credentials handy. Enter your Wi-Fi SSID and password and press the button on the top of the camera. When the LED turns purple, use the camera to scan the QR code in the app. The LED will turn blue and you'll be asked to name the camera. After 30 seconds or so the camera will be connected to your Wi-Fi and you'll be prompted to pair the audio unit.
Plug the audio unit in and press and release the power button. Tap Next in the app and the wait while the audio unit LED goes from blinking purple to solid blue, indicating a successful pairing. The app will then offer a tutorial, which you can watch or skip, and you're ready to go.
The camera delivered sharp live video in testing, which played smoothly at 30fps. Daytime video contained rich colors, and night video appeared well lit with good contrast. There was a trace of pincushion distortion around the edges, but it was minor.
The camera's motion and sound detection worked perfectly, and push alerts were sent to my phone immediately. Recorded video usually arrived shortly after an event, but every so often I had to wait more than five minutes for it to become ready for viewing. That said, recorded video looked every bit as sharp as the live feed.
Two-way audio communication between my phone and the camera were clean and adequately loud, as were communications between the audio unit and the camera. The audio unit had no trouble maintaining its connection to the camera from every room in my house, and the rechargeable battery provided close to 14 hours of power before requiring a recharge.
With the Safety 1st HD WiFi Baby Monitor With Smart Audio Unit, you'll receive alerts on your phone when your baby moves or cries, and the portable audio unit lets you listen in from any room in the house even if you don't have your phone with you. It delivered outstanding 720p day and night video quality in our tests, and its motion and sound alerts arrived immediately, but recorded video wasn't always readily available. Both the Safety 1st and the iBaby Monitor M6S offer free cloud storage for event-triggered video, but the iBaby monitor offers more features, including 1080p video, temperature and humidity sensors, mechanical pan and tilt, and the ability to play lullabies. That's why it remains our Editors' Choice for smart baby monitors.
Safety 1st HD WiFi Baby Monitor With Smart Audio Unit Specs
|Field of View||130 degrees|
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