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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Set your expectations correctly, and this Monitor will not disappoint!
Let me start by saying I have a 10 week old daughter, and have now tried 3 baby monitors including this one from Vtech.

I started with the Motorola MBP33, which I would probably still have if the sound didn't start cutting out, which obviously merited its replacement. This one seemed reliable for 8 weeks, very few "bells and whistles", just a straightforward...
Published 6 months ago by Kevin Kelly

versus
160 of 171 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worked okay, but voice activation was annoying
We purchased this monitor several weeks ago because it seemed to be the best value and also seemed to be of good quality for the price. The monitor worked well overall. BUT, the voice-activation circuit drove us nuts. There is a feature that is setup so that if the monitor isn't picking up a certain level of sound, the parent unit goes completely silent -- eliminating...
Published 22 months ago by Eric G.


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160 of 171 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worked okay, but voice activation was annoying, September 8, 2012
By 
Eric G. (Florida, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor (Baby Product)
We purchased this monitor several weeks ago because it seemed to be the best value and also seemed to be of good quality for the price. The monitor worked well overall. BUT, the voice-activation circuit drove us nuts. There is a feature that is setup so that if the monitor isn't picking up a certain level of sound, the parent unit goes completely silent -- eliminating the 'white noise' sound usually heard from baby monitors.

Although this sounds great, in actual use it was awful. Regardless of what sensitivity setting we had the unit on, it still would turn on and off all night. If there was the slightest sound in the baby's room, the monitor would "wake up" and you would hear white noise. 2 seconds later, it would go silent. 2 seconds later again and it's making noise. On..off..on..off.

Unfortunately there is no way to turn this feature off -- so we packed it up and sent it back. We then purchased a Motorola video baby monitor, which has worked well, and although never goes completely quiet, at least it doesn't keep turning on and off all night like the V-Tech did.

Pros: Video quality, ease of setup, battery backup in baby unit, front speaker and volume control, price.
Cons: No way to turn off VOX sensitivity.
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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Edited: Downgraded from poor to terrible, February 20, 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor (Baby Product)
This is my second video monitoring system, the first being a Summer Infant Day and Night that we purchased in 2010 when our first child was born. The Summer Infant model was (and still is) excellent. The picture and sound quality are both great, and reliable. But, as luck has it, that model is not expandable, and we're expecting our second child, so we decided to switch to a model that supported multiple cameras. In terms of rave reviews and features, I should have gone with one of the Motorola models, but I was amazed by the bundle of features for the price with VTech, and took the bait. We bought this system and one extra camera, and went to work setting them up at home in the nursery, and in the toddler's room.

First, the picture quality is NOT GOOD. Compared to the Summer Infant, it's a joke, especially the night vision. Luckily my son has dark hair or I'd never be able to GUESS where he was in the picture. If you need crisp images, do not get this model. We're making do so far, as we can mostly tell where the toddler is in the picture, but it's terrible.

Second, the sound quality and reliability is NOT GOOD. The Summer Infant has crisp, continuous sound. The VTech sound is tinny at best, and interference interrupts it every couple of seconds, in no particular pattern. Moreover, the sound seems to turn itself OFF all the time. I've been able to jog it back on by using the "Talk" feature to say something over the intercom to my son, and then the sound kicks back on awaiting his response. Again, we're using it for him, but it's terrible.

We have not used this yet for a newborn, and it's quite likely that we won't. We still have our old Summer Infant, and unless the sound is continuous and the close-up picture is much better (the newborn camera will only be pointed at a crib, whereas the toddler camera is mounted up high for a (poor quality) view of the whole room) we'll probably use the Summer Infant for the newborn, as I'm not messing around with an unreliable system for a new baby. If we end up going that route, I'll mount the extra VTech camera in toddler's room for added viewer angles, as we can't see the whole room with one camera, and I'll just tote around both parent units, one for each child.

If I had known I was going to have to do that, I'd just have purchased another Summer Infant Day and Night.

Morale of the story: if I had this to do over, I wouldn't have made this choice. The product is trash compared to Motorola or Summer Infant. However, it does do the job (just badly), and it has a bundle of nice features (temperature monitoring, lullabies (that my son hates), zoom (but NOT pan! and the zoom just pixellates the already terrible picture quality), and multiple camera support. VTech seemed to try really hard to throw a lot into this for a low price, but forgot the two most important features: sound quality/reliability and picture quality.

Sadly, one and a half thumbs down.

EDIT: June, 2013 - Well, my dissatisfaction turned quickly into disgust. Other reviewers have lamented the nonexistent customer service at Vtech: HEED THEM. Our second wasn't born until April, and has been in our room, so we haven't really needed to USE this system until very recently. We had set it up and ensured the camera angles were appropriate prior to her birth, but hadn't used the system. Even so, somehow, this camera inexplicably broke. The transformer (the box-part of the plug) has evidently blown: instead of having subpar video and audio, it now has ZERO video and audio. The parent unit doesn't read the camera at all, instead eternally waiting for connection. And the camera unit makes a loud popping noise from the camera itself every three seconds if it is powered on. It cannot be powered off anymore without unplugging it -- the power button now only works one way: to turn on. So, to recap: with LESS THAN A DAY OF USE, the camera unit does not transmit video, does not transmit audio, does not turn off, and makes loud noises. In other words, this is worse than zero stars. This is negative stars. They should be paying US for housing these annoying products.

BUT IT GETS BETTER (read: worse). I contacted VTech, stumbled through their ridiculous online contact template (that doesn't seem to even anticipate receiving product failure communications) and filed my concern, asking for a refund, a replacement, an extra part (the camera itself doesn't need replacing, only the power cord...with a new power cord it would be back to functioning as a less than mediocre piece of 1990s video equipment, but it would at least WORK). VTech's website assured me I would be contacted within two days.

That was almost four weeks ago. That's right. Four weeks of radio silence. I'm about to contact them for the THIRD time, but this company goes beyond all other bad reviews I've ever read, ever. It's not that they refuse to accept responsibility, don't warrant the product, charge the customer shipping. They might do all those things. But who knows? The company seems to collectively hide under the table whenever the phone rings, and, without being able to reach them, the consumer is completely up a creek.

I've written many reviews. I've NEVER had to write one like this.

Buyer beware.
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107 of 121 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worked for a week. Now it's junk. Don't buy it!, October 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor (Baby Product)
I weighed the reviews of this and other comparably-priced video baby monitors very carefully, since my wife and I have limited financial means. I ultimately decided on the VTech monitor over the Motorola model, mostly because it supports multiple cameras and the screen is bigger. I wrote off the complaints about the camera's sound sensitivity, since my wife and I tend to keep the audio to our son's room running continuously, anyway.

Unfortunately, our experience was much, much worse. Sure enough, it was difficult to find a good sound sensitivity setting, but we settled on the highest one. For two weeks, we enjoyed being able to keep a video eye on our son while in his room. In fact, without this monitor, my wife would never have known that when our son goes down for his nap, he doesn't always sleep.

That was when it worked, which was approximately one week. Our problems began when the image on the parent unit started flickering like an old analog television set that needs to have its vertical hold adjusted. This continued to deteriorate until finally, the parent unit and camera refused to synch. Instead, the parent unit beeps and the camera power light blinks red and green while it makes an annoying clicking sound. No sound. No picture. After only two weeks of use.

Taking into account the previous review where the manufacturer admitted that the camera was bad (though we think our parent unit is bad, since the camera does not malfunction when the parent unit is turned off), this is obviously too high of a defect rate, so we are returning this item to Amazon for a refund.

Don't make the same mistake we did. Don't buy this unit!
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
127 of 150 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars VTECH Monitor Does NOT Allow You to Monitor More than One Child with Sound!, May 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor (Baby Product)
If you are looking for a video monitor that allows you to monitor more than one child at night, DO NOT BUY THIS MONITOR! Although its described as a "Full Color Video and Audio Monitor" that "supports up to four cameras," audio does not work at all when using multiple cameras. Rather, if you're monitoring more than one child, you only have a split-screen view with no audio from any camera. Instead, if one of your children begins crying, the screen for the camera where the sound comes from merely turns green, but no warning sound is provided. So, if you're sleeping and one of your kids begins crying, you're not going to see the monitor light-up green to let you know (unless you sleep with your eyes open). After thoroughly reading through the instruction manual, I called Vtech support thinking that I had to be missing something, because not being able to hear your children cry on a baby monitor really defeats the whole purpose. To my chagrin, however, the Vtech support representative confirmed that there is no audio capabilities when in multicamera mode, and there is no audible notification available to at least let you know that sound is coming from one of the cameras. I told her that it blows my mind that a company can release a baby monitor without thinking through this feature (e.g., the Lorex monitor resolves the issue by automatically cycling through the audio for each camera every 15 seconds). She said that she would relay this information to their design team for future products. So if you EVER want to add a second monitor, DO NOT GET THIS Product.

If, however, you only have one child and never want to expand, this is actually a fantastic montior. It's got better range than all other products on the market, the screen is crystal clear, and the price is great. The actual cameras, however, are enormous, but still mount on the wall.

Update: The manufacturer's representative contacted me regarding the issues I pointed out, and did tell me that the monitor can be set to vibrate when sound is detected from one of the cameras. I tried it on these settings and the vibrations of the monitor while it sets on my nightstand were not sufficient (as I am a pretty heavy sleeper). If you're a light sleeper, it may work for you. But if your out on the patio or working around the house while the kids sleep, you're not likely to hear the vibration of the monitor. Hopefully, they'll resolve this issue with auto cycling function soon, and then, it will be one of the best values for video monitors on the market.
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on May 23, 2012 12:52:34 PM PDT
Will - Thank you for the great feedback. We appreciate your praise for the picture clarity and great range.

When monitoring multiple cameras (aka Baby Units), and sound is detected, the video monitor (Parent Unit) vibrates and displays "Sound detected at CAM #___."

Your comments are very important to us, and will be shared with our Product Management team.
 
 

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Video stinks, May 12, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor (Baby Product)
It has great features and sound. But its only 22 frames per second. Video is very choppy. Do not buy if you want good video.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Set your expectations correctly, and this Monitor will not disappoint!, January 1, 2014
This review is from: VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor (Baby Product)
Let me start by saying I have a 10 week old daughter, and have now tried 3 baby monitors including this one from Vtech.

I started with the Motorola MBP33, which I would probably still have if the sound didn't start cutting out, which obviously merited its replacement. This one seemed reliable for 8 weeks, very few "bells and whistles", just a straightforward baby monitor that worked. Don't expect "high def" with a baby monitor that costs under 200 dollars (or ANY one, for that matter). Good night vision, very sensitive sound detection. I liked the simple and light construction of the parental base and the camera. This camera doesn't pan/tilt, and has to be moved manually. Fine. LIke I said, if it didn't fail, I'd probably still have it today.

The next one was the Summer Infant Baby Touch 2. In theory, this monitor should have been far superior, as it had some additional functions. The best of these was the panning and tilting, which was very cool. But there were several things I didn't like about this monitor:
Baby Touch 2 Pros:
1. Nice large display, good coloring.
2. Excellent pan/tilt feature.

Baby Touch 2 cons:
1. When not connected to AC power, the parental unit video turns off after a few minutes and needs to be toggled on. The MBP33 had this problem too. I wish they'd make this optional. Yes, if not on AC power the battery will drain more quickly with continuous video, but why not give me that option?
2. The kickstand on the parent unit was clearly going to fail in the long-term. It was metal and its kick out was resistance-based, and it just seemed doomed to failure.
3. The parental unit comes with a recharging base that didn't have its down AC adaptor (WHY?), and was of limited utility because you could directly plug in the parental unit anyways. Seemed stupid and like a total waste. The paltry instructions did little to shed light on this for me. To charge this base you'd have to use the AC adaptor for the camera, which often was nowhere around you and was connected to the camera that is mounted on the wall. STUPID.
4. This unit is very heavy. It's going to be dropped someday, and it will break.
5. THE WORST THING OF ALL. IT DIMINISHED MY WIFI SIGNAL, I WOULD ESTIMATE, BY 90%.

If not for #5, I would have kept the unit, but killing my precious WiFi signal is unacceptable.

I decided to leave the "typical" baby monitor brands and try this one from Vtech. I'm very pleasantly surprised I did, because it offers some key features that I really like. It's not the perfect monitor, but in my experience that monitor simply DOES NOT EXIST. If it did, it would cost way too much $$$.

Vtech Safe and Sounds Pros:

1. Very decently clear display. Some people have mentioned the display as a con, but get real people, it's pretty good. I can see my daughters eyes open when she's across the room from the camera, so that's clear enough. I can see her breathing, too. Nice colour, richer compared to the Baby Touch 2.
2. There's something about the construction of this unit that feels more solid to me. It's plastic but I have confidence that it won't immediately break. The parental unit is clearly laid out and the buttons are well labelled and (importantly) positioned conveniently.
3. Screen size isn't huge as compared to Baby touch 2, but it's plenty big.
4. You can remove the parental unit from AC power, have it operating on battery, and the video doesn't automatically turn off to conserve battery! This was a pleasant surprise! It's SO MUCH BETTER. Battery life seems quite good.
5. You can zoom with the camera. It's a digital zoom, not an optical zoom, but it works well.
6. 2 way talking feature works as expected. Most monitors have this nowaways.
7. The stand on the parental unit is very solid and I'm sure it will 'stand' the test of time. ;) It clicks into place at different angles.
8. Aesthetically, I like this whole unit. It's a nice light cream color, looks good in the home.
9. Have had no problems connecting the parental and camera units at all.
10. No stupid lullabys that sound horrible that the other monitors have. EDIT! I just realized that the camera unit DOES have some lullabys. ;)
11. Can add additional cameras, something I've not yet done.

Vtech Safe and Sounds cons:

1. The camera unit is quite large. This is not a huge impediment for me, but it might turn off some people.
2. Camera unit needs to screw into a mounting bracket on the wall. This is probably related to its size, and is a small pain when you want to remove the camera from the bracket to move it around. Not a dealbreaker for me.
3. Initially, the sound cut out for short intervals with this monitor, and I was not impressed. But I realized that it will do that if it's not detecting sound. You can adjust the Sensitivity of the monitor. Default setting was 3, I upped to to the max at 5, and this has not been a problem since. I would imagine that setting it to 5 would be more ideal for most parents.
4. At night, when focused on my baby's crib, the camera seems to "white out" the focal point of the shot, which means it might obscure the baby. I think it's trying so hard to get an image that its color balance is thrown off. Not sure if you can adjust this, but the quick remedy for us was zooming in on the child, which completely fixed the problem.
5. No panning and tilting. This isn't really a con, because I knew it didn't have this functionality, and at this price point, I'm not surprised. But there is a cool "tiling" thing you can do when you're in zoom mode. You can move left/right or up/down along the larger (unzoomed) image when you're in zoom mode, which is hard for me to explain, but it's actually kinda handy. The camera lens is manually tilted and actually has a decent range.

That's it for now. Overall, I'm definitely keeping this unit. It's solid and has all of the functionality that I require, and it was a good price!

I hope this review helps.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be frustrated!, April 1, 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor (Baby Product)
Worked great for the first couple months then the problems began. The worst one is that sometimes spontaneously in the middle of the night it shuts off without warning because it stops linking. I have had to sleep in the room next to her on several occasions because the device refuses to link, we spend a good hour working on it with no success. We have tried to contact the company about this without success. This week the video part is starting to fail where half the time the screen is green and grainy. I gave it a two because when it works it's great. I love that it only makes sound when she has made two noises, it has the temperature on it and it has the talk back feature. If I were to do it over I'd splurge for the Motorola especially because when you have a second kid you can't add a camera and have audio at the same time, that seems worthless!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lasted 2-3 weeks, July 29, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor (Baby Product)
Length:: 0:33 Mins

when we first got the monitor, i wanted to give it 5 stars because it was a nice color picture, and i loved being able to keep an eye on the temperature in the kids' room. however, after about 2-3 weeks, the camera stopped 'linking' to the monitor, and the camera made a constant clicking sound while trying to link. i had to return it for a refund, rather than another model, after seeing other reviews that said the same thing happened to them. it's a shame, because it really was a nice monitor.
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48 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great video monitor for it's price, July 2, 2012
By 
Tina (PALM COAST, FL, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor (Baby Product)
My husband and I chose this monitor after doing a ton of research on video monitors. It seems like each monitor has it's perks and flaws so eventually we decided on this one based on it's range of features and it's price. For around $120 you are getting a very good monitor with a nice size viewing screen! It has excellent range with zero interference. It has alarms for when the battery is low, is signal with the camera is lost, or if the temperature in baby's room gets too high or too low based on your specifications. The night vision is automatic and provides a clear enough pictures to see what our daughter is doing in the night. You can turn the screen on the parent unit off so that it will only turn on if sound is detected in baby's room. For what we paid we are 100% satisfied with this monitor.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A few issues, June 14, 2013
This review is from: VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor (Baby Product)
We received this monitor before baby was born as a shower gift. I have never written a review before, but felt this was important.

Just to be quick & to the point, here are the issues we have had over the past few months with this monitor:

-The screen is pretty bright, even on the lowest "Brightness" setting. It lights up our entire room. It's brighter than just a cell phone being lit up.

-The "parent unit" doesn't hold battery for very long.

-Would be nice if parent unit had the time on the screen.

-The 2 units will disconnect, randomly, making the parent unit shut off without you being aware.

-As someone mentioned before, the voice activation part will shut on & off constantly.

-During the day, it also would switch from day time-full color-to night camera constantly. We tried several different things to prevent this-moving the unit around where it could catch more light, opening the blinds, etc. It switched back & forth every minute or so. Doesn't sound like a big deal but it's pretty annoying!

Things we liked about it:

-Price
-The ability to have a set sensitivity level
-Easy to set up

I don't think I would buy this again and I can't say that I would recommend it.

***UPDATE JUNE 28, 2013***
The parent unit screen started flickering and would occasionally get "stuck". Then one night it completely stopped working. Refused to sync. And it was in the middle of the night. Frustrating. Only worked for 2 weeks. I see several reviews saying the same thing. Makes me wonder if the ones that have great things to say are getting paid to say it.
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Jun 25, 2013 2:41:31 PM PDT
If you're having issues with the monitor, call 1-800-595-9511 to arrange for an exchange. We want you to be happy with it. Thanks!
 
 

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