Are you in the market to pick the best audio monitor available in 2024? So, happy you found this page as we’ve spent an enormous amount of time testing the few units we could find and analyzing hundreds of data sets to help us narrow down our list.
Opting for an audio baby monitor doesn’t imply that your baby is less secure with a sound-only unit compared to more sophisticated video monitors. After considering factors such as hacking risk, EMF radiation, and false alarms associated with video monitors, you should feel good about picking a sound-only monitor.
But which audio monitor is the most suitable for you?
Being a small organization, we were lucky to get a hold of several baby monitor units that we were able to test. It helped that they are inexpensive with the most expensive unit costing us just $69.
We first settled on objective evaluation criteria borrowing from best testing standards from other organizations such as Consumer Reports but we doubled down on smaller features that are often ignored. In our evaluation, we focused on assessing key performance metrics like sound clarity, static noise/interference, ease of use, range, battery life, sound activation, microphone sensitivity, and more. We were not surprised by our results, as we had already identified the clear winner based on the outstanding performance that set our chosen brands apart from the competition.
We did not take into account certain factors, such as the maximum sound output (in decibels), as most of our selections surpassed 85 decibels in terms of maximum sound output. While there were slight variations in how the 2-way feature functioned across different units, we did not consider it as a ranking factor. Instead, we focused on evaluating the microphone and VOX sensitivity levels.
After careful consideration of various factors, we have selected the VTech DM1211 as our top choice for the best audio baby monitor.
List of Best Sound-only Baby Monitors:
- VTech DM1211 – Overall best sound monitor pick
- TimeFlys Audio Baby Monitor QQ Portable – Best battery-powered sound monitor
- Philips AVENT SCD720/86 – Best audio monitor with very limited interference thanks to DECT 6.0 Technology.
- VTech DM221 – Best audio monitor with 2 parent units
- VTech DM111 – Best inexpensive/budget-friendly audio monitor
Best Audio Baby Monitors Reviews
Our overall best audio monitor in this 2024 list is the VTech DM1211 which surpassed all the other monitors in 6 of the 8 ranking categories. This model excelled in the range of transmission with its DECT 6.0 technology and you’ll appreciate the nightlight add-on feature that other models are lacking.
I was highly impressed by the presence of two-parent units offered by this particular brand. It allows me the convenience of carrying one unit while leaving the other with the babysitter when I am working downstairs. This setup enhances both mobility and peace of mind.
This remarkable device delivers exceptional performance, securing its place at the pinnacle of the competition. It encompasses all the essential features you require in a baby monitor, boasting crystal-clear sound quality and an impressive range of up to 1,500 feet. Read more about why DECT transmission technology is excellent for long-range transmission.
Moreover, it offers additional functionalities, including a convenient voice-activation mode that ensures you and your baby can enjoy uninterrupted rest, only alerting you when there is sound in the baby’s room. This VOX mode feature limits the amount of EMF radiation and reduces the overall impact that the monitor will have on your baby’s sleep environment.
While VTech DM1211 is our overall pick, it is also my top recommendation for 2 rooms as it comes with 2 parent units. In addition to the cool features mentioned above such as the voice activation mode, it also has an intercom function that allows you to communicate with your partner or other parent unit without having to go to the other room. This is incredibly convenient for those times when you need assistance but don’t want to disturb the baby’s sleep.
The of also features the latest in audio technology(DECT 6.0), allowing for secure audio transmission and eliminating the background noise common with many baby monitors. With a built-in two-way talk-back intercom, you can soothe the baby from any room in the house. A night light on the baby unit creates a soft glow for a peaceful sleep, while the vibrating sound alert on the parent unit lets you know when there is sound in the baby’s room without disturbing them. This reliable baby monitor is sure to give parents the peace of mind they need while the baby sleeps.
Offering a superior range and unmatched reliability compared to its predecessor, the VTech DM1211 is an excellent choice for families with babies in separate rooms. With a range of 1,500 feet and crystal-clear sound quality, this baby monitor ensures that you never miss any important sounds from your little one. Additionally, the portable parental unit allows you to move freely around the house while staying connected. Experience peace of mind and convenience with the VTech DM1211.
It’s worth mentioning that the battery life of this unit is relatively short and it doesn’t come with replaceable backup power. Additionally, some users have expressed frustration with the audible warning presets, finding them to be bothersome.
TimeFlys Audio Baby Monitor QQ Portable
If you want an audio monitor that can rely entirely on batteries to power both the parent and baby unit and with lullabies, our second pick called TimeFlys QQ is your best choice.
The TimeFlys Audio Baby Monitor QQ Portable makes parenting easier with advanced features that provide both safety and convenience. With both parent and baby units equipped with battery compartments and rechargeable functions, you can easily take the monitor outside for camping trips or other outdoor adventures.
And with two-way talk and lullabies, you can rest assured that you can comfort your child any time they need it. Plus, you can remotely control the night light on both the parent and baby units with the temperature monitoring and alarm feature for added peace of mind.
The LCD screen on the parent unit also offers real-time temperature monitoring and an acoustical warning if the temperature goes beyond the range of 60.8F – 86F. With so many features built into this monitor, you can rest easy of ever giving up the convenience and safety of the TimeFlys Audio Baby Monitor.
Philips AVENT SCD720/86
If you want an audio monitor with an extended battery life of up to 18 hours, our next pick by Philips Avent(SCD720/86) is your best pick. Unlike VTech model above with a maximum battery life period of 10 hours, you can count of the SCD720 to last the whole night without needing to recharge it.
In this update, our overall best audio baby monitor is the Philips AVENT SCD720/86 which is packed with super useful features such as a temperature sensor and has a super long battery life of up to 18 hours! No other monitor on this list comes close to having such long battery life.
SCD720/86 uses DECT technology for an interference-free connection. It has a long range of up to 1000 ft/300m, which you can rely on to stay connected to your baby as you move around the house or yard. You can even take it outside! While this range is 500 ft lower than VTech’s 1211 model, I found the stability of the signal to be impresive.
The sound quality is clear, with no white noise static hisses. The monitor also has a vibration alert feature that will notify you if the monitor unit is moved or falls.
The temperature sensor is handy for keeping track of the indoor temperature in your baby’s nursery and even comes with a built-in nightlight. The monitor includes a temperature sensor and room-to-room two-way audio so you can hear and can talk to your baby, even when you’re outside of the nursery.
If you want an inexpensive baby monitor with two parent units, VTech DM221 is the best option because of its quality crisp audio output.
While this is not the cheapest, you get great features that you’d want in a basic audio baby monitor and most importantly, super clear sounds. The features are below. It uses digital encrypted DECT 6.0 transmission technology that utilizes a 1.9 GHz, frequency band.
Why it emerged as the best audio monitor:
This is the third year of being on our best-audio monitor list and I personally believe it has won the hearts of thousands of parents because of the following:
- Very High-Quality Loud Sounds and Vibrating Alerts: VTech DM221 has deep and loud sound compared to all its peers in this list. It has 5 levels that give you the flexibility to choose on a sound level you’re comfortable with. If you have any hearing impairment or just a heavy sleeper, rest assured that the sound will be clear enough to wake you up in your deep sleep. On top of that, you can set it so it vibrates and you never miss a notification.
- Long-range: The range that is advertised by the retailer and manufacturer, VTech is 1000 ft. but tests done by various labs have shown its range to be extra long with a range of up to 1350 ft. making it one of the best audio baby monitors with long-range and comparable to VTech Enhanced DM1211 and DM1111.
- Portable because of a belt clip: VTech DM221 is very portable and it allows you to move around the house, thanks to its belt clip that you can attach to your belt.
- Sound level indicator: Unable to hear? VTech DM221 has 5-level sound indicators that allow you to view the sound level if you’d rather see the level and mute the sound. This multi-notification feature gives you flexibility.
- Night Light: The loop of the baby unit emits night light making the baby’s nursery as soothing to your baby as possible. While it does not have lullabies like other baby monitors with lullabies, this soothing night light goes a long way for the price you get this baby monitor
Backlit display and volume control on the parent unit
The only downside is that it has fewer features compared to a few others on this list. We however really liked the quality sound.
VTECH DM112 AUDIO BABY MONITOR
VTech DM112 made to this list of best audio baby monitors as it comes with excellent and useful features at a price tag of under $20(check price). This VTech model comes with one baby unit while our overall best above comes with 2 parent units. The upgraded rechargeable battery gives you a whopping 8 hours of service when charged fully. Add that to the belt clip for portability as well as adjustable volume and you have yourself a perfect baby monitor.
Below are the features:
- Sound Levels: 5
- Number of parent units: 1
- Range: 1000 ft’
- Other: Belt clip
VTech DM112 is the cheapest sound-only baby monitor with long-range and 5-level sound indicators. VTech DM112 uses DECT 6.0 technology which is secure and has less interference. VTech DM111 is similar to VTech DM112, only that DM112 has an option for purchasing it with two parent units.
VTech DM1211 Enhanced Range Digital Audio Baby Monitor
Our next brand is suitable for you if you are looking for a super long-range monitor that utilizes DECT 6.0 technology.
VTech DM1211, Enhanced Range Digital Audio Baby Monitor is an improved version of VTech DM112 and was released in February 2020. It is an excellent sound-only monitor and is among the best-selling baby monitor brands on Amazon. It is significantly lighter, weighing only 363 grams and its range has been enhanced to 1500 ft. from its initial 1000 ft which was VTech DM112’s range.
The VTech DM1121’s parent unit indicates the sound levels making it hearing-friendly. VTech DM1121 comes with a night light but does not come with a belt clip as VTech DM1111. The VTech DM1111 uses either batteries or AC/electricity. This is one of the few audio baby monitors with night vision. You can see our entire review of VTech DM1211 and its comparison to VTech DM112
- Sound Levels: N/A
- Range: 1500 ft.
- Notification: Vibration and sound
- Two-way talk-back
- Technology: DECT 6.0
Buyers Guide to Top Audio Baby Monitors
So, which audio baby monitor should you get?
To arrive at my overall best pick and my list of best sound monitors, we came up with an objective way to rank each monitor for this guide. The factors we considered include:
- Range: We tested the range of each monitor to see how far from the nursery we could go without losing connectivity.
- Battery Life: A reliable baby monitor should have good battery life so that you can easily use it throughout the night without having to constantly recharge.
- Sound Quality: The sound quality is important as it will determine how clearly you can hear your baby and any potential noises or disturbances.
- Additional Features: Some monitors come with additional features such as temperature sensors, night lights, lullabies, and more. We considered the usefulness and effectiveness of these features in our ranking.
How We Ranked the Best Audio Baby Monitors
1. Sound clarity – Clarity of sound took the biggest weight among all the factors we considered. The technology influenced sound clarity and we noted that all baby monitors that use DECT technology have better sound clarity.
2. Ease of use – Audio monitors are supposed to be the most basic of all baby monitors and we considered ease of use when reviewing each of the audio baby monitors.
3. Signal coverage – Several audio baby monitors are known to have a very strong signal and we compared all of them in the field and in a house with walls. Our best baby monitor gave us a long range of 1350 ft in the open field and the worst range we got was 700 ft. Please note that we did not do the test in an enclosed space.
4. Battery life – This is the period it takes the baby unit or the parent unit to run of out battery. From all the tested audio baby monitors, the range is 9 hours to 46 hours. Again, our consideration only took the time it actually took the battery to die from our testing and not the claim by the audio baby monitor manufacturer.
5. Price – Our review of the 13 baby monitors considered their current price on Amazon. The price ranges from $18 to $129. Our review has carefully considered and weighted other factors more than the price as we emphasize on the audio features of the baby monitors. There are other baby monitor options if you wanted additional features.
6. Baby safety – We measured each audio baby monitors’ EMF at 6 ft and noted a range of 0.5 v/m to 3.11v/m
Audio vs Video Monitors:
|Audio Baby Monitor
|Video Baby Monitor
|Transmits audio signals from the baby
|Transmits both audio and visual signals of your baby
|Lower price compared to video baby monitors with the lowest going for less than $20
|Comparatively higher priced compared to audio baby monitors costing over $100.
|Most are non-wifi and can only be used locally with a range of up to 1500 ft.
|Video baby monitors can work with wifi or without wifi
|Uses several technologies from transmission specifically, DECT or FHSS
|Uses several technologies from transmission FHSS, WIFI or DECT
Updated Jan 2024
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Hi there! I am Ashley Davis, a mom of three kids and the editor here at Safer For Baby. I have been a parent since 2011 and have been doing full-time consulting as a baby sleep expert since 2019. When I am not researching or testing the next baby gear hitting the market, you’ll find me teaching my toddlers a trick or two – especially over the last few months with the lockdown. I hope you’ll find my guides and reviews helpful as you make your next purchase decision. If you have any questions, you can reach me at email@example.com.