Wireless Baby Monitors

Wireless Baby Monitors

Baby monitors are family-friendly surveillance systems that transmit sound and images between child units and parent units. While signals between units may be transmitted over cables or wirelessly, most baby monitors are wireless setups. A wireless baby monitor system uses radio frequencies to transmit sound and/or images between the baby unit and parent unit. Though not as common, baby monitoring systems can also be hard-wired. A wired baby monitor system uses wiring/cable to transmit sound and/or images between the baby unit and parent unit.

Radio Frequencies for Wireless Baby Monitors

When shopping for a wireless baby monitor, you will want to consider the radio frequency used by the system. Most baby monitoring systems operate on a 49 MHz, 900 MHz, or 2.4 GHz frequency. Some of the most advanced models use the newer 1.9 GHz frequency (DECT Technology). The various bandwidths can vary in performance and you will need to determine which radio frequency will work best for your situation.

The radio frequencies used by baby monitors are not the same ones assigned to television and radio broadcast transmitters, but they are used by many other household items. Some of the most common wireless devices found in the home include:

  • Cordless telephones
  • Wireless toys
  • Computer networks
  • Bluetooth devices
  • Microwave oven

The frequency used by the other wireless devices in your home can affect the amount of static and interference heard on your baby monitoring system. If you have other wireless products in your home, you will want to choose a baby monitor that operates on a different wavelength to minimize the possibility of static and interference. Wireless devices that operate across different wavelengths do not interfere with each other.

When choosing the radio frequency for a wireless baby monitor, consider these factors:

  • Signal range can be affected by obstructions within the home and interference from other electronic devices.
  • Electronics using different frequencies will not interfere with each other.
  • Lower frequencies, such as 900 MHz, can better penetrate solid objects, such as household walls, glass, brick, plastic, and trees.
  • The 2.4 GHz bandwidth is widely used in other electronic devices and thus more susceptible to interference.
  • The newer, less-crowded 1.9 GHz frequency virtually eliminates interference with other electronics, since they typically operate on different frequencies.

Analog vs. Digital Technology

Not only do baby monitors operate on designated radio frequencies, but they transmit sound and/or images in either analog or digital format, depending on the model. Analog baby monitors are more affordable, but digital baby monitors are less prone to static and interference.

While the format will affect price and performance, the greatest consideration may be one of privacy. Analog signals are not secure and can be picked up by other electronic devices in the area that are set to the same radio frequency. Digital transmissions provide a greater level of security as the signals are encoded and nearly impossible to be heard or seen by others.

Power Supply

Wireless baby monitors require two power sources: one connected to the baby unit and one for the parent unit. Some units must be plugged into a wall outlet for power, some work with batteries. While it is usually not a problem if the baby unit has to be plugged into a wall outlet, it can be inconvenient if the parent unit is not portable.

For greater convenience, look for a baby monitor that provides two parent units: one unit that plugs into the wall (and typically stays in your bedroom for nighttime alerts) and one portable unit that uses batteries (and can easily be moved about during the day whether you are out in the yard or another part of the house).

Two Way Talk

Philips Avent Digital Screen DECT Baby Monitor

Some baby monitors have an intercom feature that allow you to talk back to your baby at the push of a button. Sometimes the sound of your voice is enough to comfort and soothe your baby.

Zero Interference

Philips Avent Basic Dect

Baby monitors using DECT technology provide superior signal quality and eliminate accidental eavesdropping.