571 of 586 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2003
This was the third monitor I bought for our second child. Don't waste your time trying the least expensive ones like I did, this one is worth the money. I have the Super Clear Double Receiver by Safety 1st in my 2 year old's room, which works perfect. I needed a second one for my newborn. I tried another Safety 1st, and even with 2 channels, I could only pick up sound from one room. Then I returned it for a Sound N Lights monitor by Fisher-Price. Bigger mistake, we couldn't hear any room, only major static. Finally we tried this one and love it!!! It is so quiet, except, of course, when your baby makes noise. I can't believe how many channel options it has, and other features too, like an alarm when you are almost out of range. Also, a rechargable battery, that charges when plugged in, so you don't have to waste your own batteries when wanting to use it outside. Go for the Gold, this Sony is the best yet.
1,061 of 1,098 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2003
It's interesting that I am writing the first review of a great Sony product. When we purchased this from a local [store], it was the last one on the shelf. This must be a popular product, but I guess if it works, people don't feel compelled to write good things about it.
With that said, my husband and I are very, very satisfied with the Baby Call Nursery Monitor (27 channel) from Sony. But we didn't choose it first. When our old Sony Baby Call (a hand-me-down from a relative) died on us after having it for about 7 years and using it with our oldest son, packing it away and unpacking it for about 6 more months of use with our newborn son, we were on the hunt for a replacement.
I was at [a store]and picked up the Fisher-Price Sound N Lights With Dual Receivers. It was a less expensive model, there was a whole wall of them at the store, and we were interested in a 2-receiver system because we have a two-story home. We figured it had to be a decent product - especially since it has received above average reviews from Amazon.com reviewers. Well as soon as we plugged it in, all we got was static. Oh sure, we could hear our son crying if we had it cranked all the way to maximum volume, but the additional static noise was incredibly annoying, especially when it's sitting on the night table next to your head and you're trying to find some precious hours of sleep. Also, after one night of use, one receiver's 9-volt battery had been completely depleted - after just one night! What a joke! It was no Sony! So we were on the hunt again.
What we determined (a little too late...we should have done our research before we purchased the first time), was that we were looking for was a product that worked on a 900 MHz signal for greater noise reduction, a sensitive transmitter that would allow us to hear the baby's breathing, a longer battery life, and a 2-reciever system. What's surprising is that there is very little on the market that meets each of these basic feature needs. We did find the First Years Peace of Mind - Two Receiver Monitor, but it didn't get great reviews at Amazon.com. And there were too many left on the shelf when compared to the Sony, which, like I said above, only one was left on the shelf of our local store.
So we decided that we needed to remain Sony customers in this market because of our previous great experience and Sony's reputation. But with that, we sacrificed the 2-monitor feature. Oh well. A little more hauling of the monitor certainly is a sacrifice worth making when you get all of the other critical features - and more. The Baby Call Nursery Monitor (27 channel) is ultra quiet. This is great considering all of the 900 MHz telephones we have, the wireless network in the home, and other radio signals, etc. This product cuts out the CD player in the nursery which plays quiet, soothing music while our son sleeps, and brings his breathing and movements to fore. This is excellent. Just what we wanted and expected from Sony. This product also has a rechargeable battery with an expected 19-hour life on one charge. This is great. When I need to move into other rooms for a few hours during the day, I won't need to worry about the battery. Plug it in at night to recharge the battery and you don't burn through and waste batteries unnecessarily.
The signal strength is great too. We have a large 2-story home and the nursery is upstairs and about 100 linear feet from where I spend much of my day downstairs in the kitchen/family room area. We hear him no problem.
There are plenty of other great features - you can set your own frequency signal (you have 27 to choose from), you can wall mount the transmitter or the receiver, the monitor has a belt clip and an out of range alert, the receiver is water-resistant (great for having next to the kitchen sink) and much more that we're still discovering. Overall, we're very pleased and wish we had purchased this to begin with. It was more expensive..., but you get what you pay for. Well, the baby is waking up - I hear him clear as a bell making his soft, pre-waking whimpering sounds. Gotta go!
199 of 204 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2009
About a year ago I read a lot of reviews of baby monitors, then bought a Sony BabyCall monitor. It has some good features, but also some that I think are big drawbacks. This is about my fifth baby monitor, so I have some experience to compare it to.
Things I like:
* When I'm in range of the baby and all is working well, the monitor is very quiet.
* The rechargeable battery works great! Even when I occasionally forget to plug it in overnight, the receiver doesn't run out of juice.
* It's nice to have 27 channels to choose from. Our monitor gets so little interference that we've only ever used the default channel. But it's good to know that we have options if we ever do need to switch.
* It hooks nicely into my pocket or belt, so I can wear it on my hip as I do other things around the house.
Things I don't like:
* It's easy to be out of range in my (average-sized) house. The baby's room is at a top corner of the house. When I'm in the dining room or living room, the monitor makes a lot of badly noisy static, and its out-of-range signal makes endless beepitty-beep noises.
* When the receiver is plugged in but there's no power being supplied to its plug, instead of getting power from its battery -- it just stops working!!! This is a problem if (1) you plug in the receiver incorrectly (I've done that a few times), or (2) during a power outage. If there is a power outage, then the receiver is completely silent. A nighttime power outage is the one time when I *do* want it to make beepity-beep noises, and static, and all kinds of other racket, because I want it to wake me up so that I can go sleep someplace where I can hear the baby.
* I wish it was harder to turn the volume control. I frequently find that it has dialed itself down to the quietest setting, where the only indicator that the baby is making noise is the lights on the display -- you can't hear the baby at all when the monitor is on that setting. I'm pretty sure I've failed to hear the baby when he cried when this happened. I've become fanatical about checking and re-checking the volume setting. But I wish I didn't have to do that. I wish it was harder to turn the dial so that the volume setting would stay the way I set it. Also I would be happy if it were a little harder to turn on and off, because sometimes I find it turned off and I'm sure I left it turned on, so I guess something must have bumped the power switch and turned it off.
Of the five baby monitors I've had over the years, this is probably the best, because of its quietness and good rechargeable battery life. But the too-easily-changed volume control knob, the beepitty-beep stuff, and the silence during power outages all drive me crazy. I wish someone would design a better baby monitor than this.
October 21, 2011:
An update: My baby is now 3 1/2 years old. We've used this monitor for very nearly every night of his life, and for many naps too. Someone recently let the little guy fiddle around with the wires to the receiver and I think he broke an internal wire in the cord, so now you need to perch the cord in exactly the right position or it doesn't bring power to the receiver. But that's not Sony's fault. The monitor still continues to work exactly the way it did when it was brand new, 3 1/2 years ago. I am impressed by its longevity. Every other monitor we've ever had has faded away after a year or two. The only thing I can add to my earlier review is that I've noticed that it often broadcasts the sound of the airflow of heat or central air conditioning blowing into the room. It sounds like very quiet static, but actually what you're hearing is airflow. You can set the monitor to "voice activated" to avoid this, but then I think I miss sounds from my preschooler, too. So I keep it on the regular setting and put up with hearing the airflow.
It's not much longer now until he outgrows the need for nighttime monitoring.
201 of 210 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2003
1) Super clear compared to most nursery monitors on the market. There is little to no static or "white" noise in the background.
2) There are two "on" settings. One is the regular stay on all the time setting and there is the voice activated setting. It also has a light monitor that lights up according to the intensity of the sound (i.e., baby crying).
3) Water resistant so that you can place this receiver in damp rooms such as a bathroom or a laundry room. (Note: it's water resistant but not WATERPROOF. In other words, you shouldn't take it into the shower or bath with you.)
4) In addition to an external DC supply, it comes with a 2.4V rechargable battery supply.
5) It has up to 27 potential channels to choose from and is 900 MHz.
1) There is only ONE receiver.
2) It is bulky.
3) It is difficult to see the control settings on the side (i.e., OFF, ON, VOICE ACT) and can easily be in the off position instead of on.
Improvement suggestions for Sony:
1) A 2.4GHz monitor would be great for more range and potentially greater clarity. I think people would be willing to pay a little extra for this considering this current product is wonderful already.
2) Two receivers would be wonderful and convenient. Again, I think people would be willing to pay for the extra receiver.
3) You could slim it down a bit or change the design to something a little more ergonomic.
4) The three indicators at the bottom of the face of the receiver is not necessary since there are indicators at the very bottom of the receiver for the selection of channels. I don't think we need to see what channel selection we have made but rather, I would like to see color lights there instead to show that it is either off, on or on voice activation since it is difficult to see what setting we are on.
Conclusion: I wouldn't trade this monitor in for any other one in the market. I have tried many other nursery monitors and they were dismal failures. Sony can make a few improvements to make this monitor even better!
118 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2003
We received The First Years Peace-of-mind baby monitor as a shower gift. Upon testing it out (we haven't had the baby yet...) we noticed you couldn't move the receiver without getting lots of static. It was very annoying! We decided to return it since the reviews for that monitor on this site largely confirm the problem. We purchased the Sony 900mhz 27 channel model because I have always been happy with Sony products (I got a 7 year old Sony TV and 9 year old Sony VCR and they still look/work like new and the Sony 900mhz phone would still be here if I didn't run it over with my truck.) Anyway this monitor is excellent! It is super clear, and with 27 channels you should surely find one that works good. We put it at "red, red and red" (essentially channel 1) and didn't even try any others because it was crystal clear. I really like the "Sound Activated" mode on the receiver. It shuts off the speaker if the transmitter isn't receiving anything. It doesn't take much noise to make it kick back on - we shouldn't miss any baby sounds. For example, with the transmitter in the back bedroom, if I clap my hands in the living room on the other side of the house, it will cause the speaker to turn back on.
As another plus, the receiver uses a rechargeable battery, much like a cordless phone. We will definetely save money on batteries! We wish it came with two receivers but we are sticking with this one beacuse it does job #1 excellently.
PS - When testing baby monitors, remember that these are just a microphone (transmitter) and speaker (receiver). If you move a speaker close to a microphone you WILL get loud feedback. The volume on the receiver must be turned way down (or off) to get close to the transmitter. This is especially a problem with baby monitors because of the extremely sensitive microphones used. Remember to leave the room with the transmitter before you turn on the receiver. The higher the speaker volume (even with no sound coming from it!) the further away you have to be from the transmitter to prevent feedback.
149 of 164 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2011
We purchased this baby monitor upon the arrival of our second baby. We transferred our old baby monitor with two receivers to the baby's room. Our house isn't terribly large, but since it's sometimes hard to hear our older daughter if she calls for us at night, we deployed this Sony model to our older daughter's room. I had nothing but good things to say about it, until...
The range finder beeped. To clarify, the receiver emits the most irritating beeping sound if it perceives it's been moved too far from the base unit. Okay, annoying, but not a deal-breaker, and I could see how it'd be useful. Either way, we just found a spot in the master bedroom and positioned it so there was no range finder beeping. Perfect! Except...
It's the most paranoid device I have ever dealt with. If I walk in front of it, it beeps. If my STUPID CAT walks somewhere between the base and receiver, it beeps. Sometimes, if I stand in the right spot DOWNSTAIRS, I can hear it beeping. Move two steps left, and it stops. Move two steps right, and it beeps. I have set the receiver just outside the bedroom door, and it will beep. Occasionally, it will FREAK OUT at 4:17am and beep for 25 seconds at full volume and then go silent, just long enough to make my wife and I wake up in terror, flailing helplessly to find the idiotic thing and shut it the hell off.
I don't know if ours is defective, or if the neighborhood's power lines or local wifi signals or something is interfering with it.
I do not care.
I want it destroyed, burnt, reassembled, repaired, refurbished, and then destroyed and burnt again, just to satisfy my hatred for it.
Do not buy this product.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2004
I've gone through almost every single review for this product and have found the one major problem most people who left negative rating for this product was due to the loud pops of static. we were totally satisfied with this product until one day when we had changed the location of the transmitting unit from inside the corner of the crib to the night stand.
We started to receive this constant loud static pops on a inconsistent basis. We couldn't sleep for two nights straight due to this noise and it took us forever to figure out what went wrong! I've gone through almost every review and found this monitor is known for its SUPER SENSITIVITY, and what's so contradicting about it is that it is also the one thing most people love about this monitor, cuz you can hear every breath the baby makes! The receiving unit tends to pick up alot of signals and becomes overly sensitive when you put it in a place where there is no obsticle blocking/surrounding the transmitting unit. We have tried all 27 channels, and finally tried to place it back to the corner of the crib where it gave it "some blockage" for its overly sensitive transmission. IT STOPPED BEEPING IMMEDIATELY! and we tried putting it back to the night stand and the beeping came back again. So I hope this review will be helpful for some of the frustration parents out there, cuz we all know how important a good night sleep is, and having this constant beeping at night really isn't helping any. Good luck to all of you! this is truly a wonderful product.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2004
This is a great monitor. Our son started out in a bassinette in our room but after 6 weeks didn't seem comfortable in the confined space. So, I decided I had to try his crib in his own room. While it was all of 10 feet away from our room, I was a wreck. This monitor was a life saver. If I wanted, I could crank the volume up to high and actually hear him breathiing. For the first week, I slept with this monitor right next to my pillow and felt comfortable that I knew his every move. We are working on the second week now. Maybe I'll lower the volume down a knotch this week. I was also concerned that it wouldn't work in our basement, but it works great. We have a two story house and I can do laundry in the basement while he is in his crib on the second floor and still hear everything. The only thing you have to remember is that the batteries will die after a while. I forgot about them and when they started to go low, it was in the middle of the night and made a horrible noise. I almost fell out of bed when when the monitor started whining. Other than that, this monitor is very good and I highly recommend it.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2006
This thing loses the signal too easily. Every time it loses the signal the receiver begins to beep loudly. You will never get any uninterrupted sleep if you use this. If you are expecting a baby, go ahead and plug this piece of junk in to give you practice waking up throughout the night.
I have seen similar complaints in the reviews. The signal loss is not due to distance. As an experiment I placed the receiver and transmitter in the same room with no objects blocking it and with no other electronic equipment turned on. It still chirped away with its maddening beeps.
There has to be something better.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2003
My husband and I are expecting our second child. We recently moved my son out of the nursery and into his own room. We have a video monitor for the nursery but still wanted something for him as well. We hit the jackpot with this monitor!
This monitor has no static. When I say no static, I mean none! I plugged the transmitter into his room then plugged in the receiver into our room. It was perfect right out of the box and I didn't even need to play with the 27 channels to find a good frequency. I have taken the receiver all over our house and even outside in the yard and have yet to get any static.
My favorite feature of this monitor is the voice-activated mode. This is a great feature for two reasons. First, this monitor is so sensitive to sound that I can hear my son when he's in the next room. And second, my son loves his music and wants it on at bedtime and naptime. This makes things somewhat difficult for me to sleep because I hear it through the monitor. When the voice activated mode is switched on, it blocks out all other noises and you hear nothing until your child makes a sound.
Having the rechargeable battery is also a plus. Not only does it allow you to become mobile, but it also saves you from buying new batteries every few weeks.
We tried two different monitors when my son was young before getting the video monitor. Both ended up back at the store because there was so much static it drove us crazy. We were so frustrated that we decided to spend the money and get a video monitor hoping that the 2.4 GHz would eliminate the static. Had we been aware of this Sony back then, we could have saved ourselves the extra cost.
If you are planning to get a monitor for yourselves or as a gift for expecting parents, take my advice and spend the little extra that this costs. You will not be sorry.