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The best baby audio monitor we've tested is the VTech Safe & Sound DM221 Credit: UnSplash / Dakota Corbin

The Best Baby Audio Monitors of 2022

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The best baby audio monitor we've tested is the VTech Safe & Sound DM221 Credit: UnSplash / Dakota Corbin

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Editor's Choice Product image of VTech DM221
Best Overall

VTech DM221

The VTech DM221 easily covers up to 1,000 square feet. It also has a helpful vibrate function that activates when the baby cries. Read More

Pros

  • 1,000-square-foot range
  • Vibrate function
  • Night light

Cons

  • Pricey
Product image of Safety 1st HD WiFi Baby Monitor

Safety 1st HD WiFi Baby Monitor

The Safety 1st HD WiFi Baby Monitor brings something truly unique to the table, in that it marries the idea of a basic audio unit with the high-tech capabilities of a connected monitor. Read More

Pros

  • Includes audio-only parent unit to alert parents
  • Inexpensive
  • Four camera monitoring capacity

Cons

  • Lack of visual on parent unit
Editor's Choice Product image of VTech DM111
Best Value

VTech DM111

Although the VTech DM111 doesn't come with rechargeable batteries, it performs as well as similar models, and at a much lower price. Read More

Pros

  • 1,000-square-foot range
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No rechargeable batteries
Product image of VTech DM221-2

VTech DM221-2

The VTech DM221-2 easily covers up to 1,000 square feet. It also has a helpful vibrate function that activates when the baby cries. Read More

Pros

  • 1,000-square-foot range
  • Vibrate function
  • Two parent units

Cons

  • Pricey
Editor's Choice Product image of Vava VA-IH009
Best for Siblings

Vava VA-IH009

Parents of multiples or children in two separate rooms have reason to rejoice for the VAVA Split Screen Baby Monitor, which offers a larger-than-average parent unit allowing adults to both see and hear two different rooms or cameras at the exact same time. Read More

Pros

  • Large parent unit
  • Vivid picture clarity
  • Extreme zoom
  • Fantastic battery life

Cons

  • No app

If you're in the market for a baby monitor, an audio-only solution is an affordable, simple way to get the job done. We highly recommend the VTech Safe & Sound DM221 (available at Amazon for $38.95) . It's available with either one or two parent units, the parent unit runs off either a wall outlet or rechargeable batteries, and it has the best combination of build quality, features, and range.

As a parent myself, I know just how crucial having some kind of baby monitor can be. Even with all of us on the same floor, it can be difficult to hear from room to room—especially at night with things like fans or air conditioners going. While I personally use and recommend a video monitor, even a half-decent one will run you at least $100.

Editor's Note

The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.

What To Know About Baby Monitors

All baby monitors work in (more or less) the same way: a stationary "baby unit" in your child's room sends audio or video to a "parent unit" that you keep by your bed or with you. When your baby moves or makes noise, you are alerted via the parent unit so you can deal with it.

Most baby units plug into a wall outlet, while most parent units can plug into a wall or run off a rechargeable battery.

Though there are tons of other features to consider—like battery life and wifi connectivity—the core function of a baby monitor is to help you—wait for it—monitor your baby. When we pick our favorites, we focused on that first and foremost.

Audio monitors are affordable and effective at letting you know if your kid is awake and making lots of noise, but having video can have huge benefits.

Modern baby monitors go far beyond just streaming audio or video, and many can do all sorts of neat tricks. Some feature room temperature monitoring, some feature air quality sensors, and many offer things like night vision, lullabies, and white noise that you can activate remotely. Many of these also have two-way talk functionality so you can talk to your baby through the baby unit.

The best baby audio monitor we've tested is the VTech Safe & Sound DM221
Credit: Reviewed.com / TJ Donegan

The best baby audio monitor we've tested is the VTech Safe & Sound DM221

Best Overall
VTech Safe & Sound DM221

Though it's only slightly more expensive than the cheapest monitors we tested, the VTech DM221 had by far the best combination of design, build and sound quality, features, and a long range. It excels as a traditional monitor, and easily covered over 1,000 square feet in our range tests, with no drop-offs anywhere.

For extra features, the parent unit has a rechargeable battery, a helpful LCD display, and a belt clip, while the baby unit has a night light. But our favorite feature was the vibrate function; with this setting, the parent unit will vibrate when the baby starts crying, rather than broadcast the audio. This way one parent can handle the 4 a.m. feeding while the other (hopefully) gets some much-needed shuteye.

Pros

  • 1,000-square-foot range

  • Vibrate function

  • Night light

Cons

  • Pricey

Product image of Safety 1st HD WiFi Baby Monitor
Safety 1st HD WiFi Baby Monitor

The Safety 1st HD WiFi Baby Monitor brings something truly unique to the table, in that it marries the idea of a basic audio unit with the high-tech capabilities of a connected monitor. In the box is a sturdy little wide-angle lens camera, with accessories to mount it to the wall like a little security camera. There’s also an audio-only smart parent unit.

The audio unit is what sets this monitor apart. Once the smart camera is connected to the internet, the audio unit can be activated when there is either motion or sound detected in the crib. The sensitivity levels can be adjusted in the app, so you receive the right amount of alerts on both the audio unit and on your phone via the app.

Set up within the app is extremely easy and involves just a few taps and a scan of the QR code on the bottom of the camera. The camera can easily slide onto a nail in the wall as it is, or you can utilize the included wall mount screws and clips.

The audio unit has a light ring around the base that shines blue when audio or motion has been detected by the camera, and the light ring can be seen from any side of the audio unit, which we liked a lot. It stays silent until there is audio to be played, so it’s not constant noise.

Within the Safety 1st app, you can provide temporary access to a babysitter, view a free 24 hour timeline, share pictures and videos from your monitor, and digitally zoom in on the camera. It offers 720p HD video with respectable night vision, and the setup can expand to four cameras.

Pros

  • Includes audio-only parent unit to alert parents

  • Inexpensive

  • Four camera monitoring capacity

Cons

  • Lack of visual on parent unit

Best Value
VTech Safe & Sound DM111

If you just need a no-nonsense baby monitor without all the bells and whistles, the entry-level VTech DM111 is the way to go. It did as well as the higher-end DM221 in our range tests, and you can find it most places for $20 and under.

The biggest knock here is the parent unit does not come with rechargeable batteries, instead relying on either a wall outlet or AAAs for portability. But if you just need something to keep tabs on your baby in the middle of the night and don't mind picking up your own rechargeable AAAs, this is the best, cheapest option.

Pros

  • 1,000-square-foot range

  • Affordable

Cons

  • No rechargeable batteries

Product image of VTech DM221-2
VTech Safe & Sound DM221-2

The VTech DM221-2 is identical to our best overall monitor, the DM221, except that it comes with two parent units. That's the only difference. While most people will be just fine with the single-unit model we recommend above, this is the best choice if you need two.

It's also worth noting that the price on the DM221-2 fluctuates independently of the single-unit model, and sometimes it's only $5-10 more expensive. If you're thinking about getting two but are worried about cost, then keep an eye on this price.

Pros

  • 1,000-square-foot range

  • Vibrate function

  • Two parent units

Cons

  • Pricey

These are the best baby video monitors available today.
Credit: Vava

An ideal choice for parents of multiples, the VAVA monitor comes with two cameras.

Best for Siblings
Vava VA-IH009

Parents of multiples or children in two separate rooms have reason to rejoice for the VAVA Split Screen Baby Monitor, which offers a larger-than-average parent unit. The screen is five full inches of 720P IPS-display extreme clarity, allowing adults to both see and hear two different rooms or cameras at the exact same time.

The VAVA’s charms are ample, including 2-way audio, seven volume levels, real-time temperature monitors, and a communication range up to 900 feet. Parents have the ability to add up to four cameras, while the cameras themselves can zoom in up to three times.

The parent unit features an extraordinarily long battery life—24 hours of audio, and 10 hours of live video. You can also choose how long you want the screen to be live before it powers down: 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, or you can have the screen be constantly on.

Minuses are few, but include the fact that if you take too long while working on settings, you’re kicked back to the home screen. There’s also no accompanying app, despite VAVA having apps for other products. If there were an app, we genuinely think this monitor might be perfect.

Pros

  • Large parent unit

  • Vivid picture clarity

  • Extreme zoom

  • Fantastic battery life

Cons

  • No app

Meet the testers

TJ Donegan

TJ Donegan

Executive Editor

@TJDonegan

TJ is the Executive Editor of Reviewed.com. He is a Massachusetts native and has covered electronics, cameras, TVs, smartphones, parenting, and more for Reviewed. He is from the self-styled "Cranberry Capitol of the World," which is, in fact, a real thing.

See all of TJ Donegan's reviews
Sarah Kovac

Sarah Kovac

Editor, Accessibility

@sarahkovac

Sarah Kovac is an award-winning author and accessibility editor for Reviewed. Previously, she worked with a multitude of outlets such as Wirecutter, TIME, PCMag, Prevention, The Atlantic, Reviews.com, CNN, GOOD, Upworthy, Mom.me, and SheKnows.

See all of Sarah Kovac's reviews
Nadine Jolie Courtney

Nadine Jolie Courtney

Contributor

@nadinecourtney

Nadine Jolie Courtney is a freelance writer based in Santa Monica, California. A former magazine editor, her work has appeared in Town & Country, Vogue, Oprah, Good Housekeeping, and Angeleno, among many other outlets. A graduate of Barnard College, she is the author of four books, including Romancing the Throne and All-American Muslim Girl, a Kirkus Best YA Book of 2019. Find her on Instagram @nadinejoliecourtney.

See all of Nadine Jolie Courtney's reviews

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