Infant Optics DXR-8: A Versatile Camera Monitor
It’s hard to forget the first few days when I had my first baby, Lisa. I wanted to be with her 24/7, but no matter how much I thought I needed to be close to her crib, it is impossible to be wide awake at night after a tiring day taking care of her. Luckily, my pediatrician, who is also my friend, recommended the video baby monitor Infant Optics DXR-8.
I am writing this Infant Optics DXR-8 review to share with you my experience using this device - what I like and do not like about it. I love the impressively clear picture on this monitor as I only need to glance at the screen and know that my little one is doing fine.
However, I still had to admit that I couldn’t sleep the first night I left my Lisa alone to sleep. It was nerve-racking, but I gradually learned to rely on the reliable DXR-8 monitor from Infant Optics. It is a well-designed device with a high - quality video and two-way audio. Let’s get into an overview first before going into our in-depth review.
Infant Optics is a San Francisco-based baby monitor manufacturer. The company has been an industry leader because its product designs relieve parents' stress and anxiety. Since its establishment in 2011, Infant Optics has committed to its customers’ health and safety by continuously developing and innovating its product designs and manufacturing techniques.
The Infant Optics DXR-8 video baby monitor is especially popular among parents, thanks to its decent display and interchangeable lenses. Still, any pieces of equipment and appliances for the home, even the best ones, have their strengths and weaknesses. I will now take you through its specifications before listing its pros and cons.
- Dimensions: 19.3 x 13.4'' x 6.5 ''
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Standard screen display size: 3.5 inches
- Operating voltage: 5.9V, 1000mA
- Power adapter: Input 100-240VAC, 50/60Hz 150mA, Output: 5.9V, 1000mA
- Power source: rechargeable 1200 mAH Li-ion 3.7V battery
- Battery life: 12 hours (audio), 8 hours (live video)
- Battery charge time: 7 hours
- Battery type: 2 AAA batteries required
- Monitor display type: LCD of 3.5 TFT colour display at 320 x 240 RGB colours
- Camera size: 4 x 2.5 inches
- Monitor resolution: 320 x 240 pixels
- IR/Night vision: 8 IR LEDs
- Picture sensor: GC0308 1/6.5’ color CMOS
- Built-in lens: f 2.5mm, F 2.8
- Range: 700 feet
- Vertical angle: 5 degrees up, 25 degrees down
- Horizontal angle: 135 degrees left and right
- Warranty: 1 year
- Automatically syncs once plugged in
- Includes many features for the handheld viewing screen
- Customizable 170 degree wide viewing angle
- Long battery life
- Excellent screen display quality and night vision
- Two-way talk
- Included sleep mode feature
- Multiple interchangeable lenses
- Displays temperature (both Celsius and Fahrenheit)
- Private 2.4 GHz FHSS wireless transmission
- Supports multiple cameras (for families with more than one baby)
- Lacks of mobile app support
- Does not use Wi-Fi
- Large metal objects enabled by Wi-Fi can sometimes interfere with this device’s signals
- It does not display time
- The range is limited for its price
The DXR-8 comes with outstanding features Via: Amazon
Infant Optics DXR-8 review
The Infant Optics DXR-8 costs a little more than $165. This price is relatively high, but its features and performance is worth your investment. Different factors contribute to the reliability of this best selling monitor, and I will go through all of them right below, starting with its set up.
1. Straightforward setup process
The full kit includes the camera, monitor, a zoom lens, a power adapter for the camera, two USB power cables, and a USB output adapter. There is also a user manual and setup guide to help users set up the tool quickly.
Like any other home appliances, users need to fully charge this Infant Optics baby monitor for the best battery life. I planned to use the optical zoom lens, so I twisted that onto the camera, and the monitor is ready to go. You can also mount it on the wall or use the built-in stand to place the camera on a shelf.
2. Design and ergonomics
The DXR-8 baby monitor features a 4.88 x 3.13 x .088 antenna-adorned monitor and a 3.5-inch horizontal camera. Menu, Shortcut, Talk, and four arrow buttons are all easy to navigate. All of the control buttons on the monitor were easy to use, and they are large enough to use in the middle of the night when there is no light or light from the monitor alone.
DXR-8’s large screen provides picture clarity Via: Amazon
I especially love the simplicity and practicality of this monitor design. Facing sleep deprivation is familiar to new parents, but the DXR-8 helped me and my partner sleep much better.
You can use the menu buttons to adjust almost all features of this monitor, from brightness, volume to zoom, alarm, sleep mode delay, and add or remove additional cameras. Users only need to click the Menu button, navigate it from left to right to find the relevant icon, and use the up and down arrows to adjust other features. The Shortcut button lets you set the brightness and volume you wish, while the talk button allows you to talk to your baby via the camera’s speaker.
The Infant Optics video baby monitor DXR-8 has a small but heavy camera of 4 x 2.5 inches. Because of its weight, this camera has received a few negative feedbacks from users. However, I find this camera sturdy and highly functional. It can pan and tilt in four different directions (using the up, down, left, and right arrows).
The DXR-8 has three lenses: zoom, normal, and wide, so whenever Lisa moved to a different place in her crib, I quickly adjusted the camera via the monitor to have full control of what I want to see. Additionally, I had no worries about waking Lisa up, because there is only a very soft and warm green light when the camera is on. This short video clip will further demonstrate this feature:
If you need to place the camera further away, the included optical zoom lens would be of great help. My Lisa was a mobile baby since she was six months old, so I needed a more comprehensive view, and I purchased the wide-angle lens separately at only around $10.
3. Video and audio quality
This Infant Optics monitor is included with a sound-activated LED indicator on the left of the screen. It lets me know when my little daughter is crying or making worrying sounds. The monitor offered excellent video and audio quality, and I was able to see my baby’s movements clearly during the daytime and nighttime hours.
When the volume was turned low, I could still hear all the sounds in Lisa’s room. Also, since all white noise is successfully filtered out, audio comes across crystal clear.
Besides, the DXR-8 baby monitor has automatic invisible infrared night vision as well. That means it does not only let you monitor any movements of your baby during the daytime but also allows you to observe your little one with the lights off.
Thanks to the IR camera, it can detect invisible infrared wavelengths, meaning it can see things that our eyes can’t see in the dark. Whenever the camera is switched to night mode, the IR LEDs do their jobs to transmit infrared light. When the light is dimmed, the filter automatically shifts to allow the infrared light in.
4. Range of the signal
The Infant Optics DXR-8 has a range of 700 feet, which is not the best, but sufficient for my needs. My partner and I did not have any problems with the average range of this monitor even after moving Lisa out of our room and into her own on a different floor.
If there are more than five walls between you and where your baby is, there can be some connection issues. Like other baby monitors, you will hear beeping sounds every 30 seconds when it is out of range, until it disconnects. There will also be a warning sign on the screen to alert you.
I do not live in a 1,000 square feet house, so I did not face any problems regarding the device’s signals. Now, if your space is large and you are looking for a long-range baby monitor, this Infant Optics monitor is probably not the best choice.
5. Safety features
The DXR-8 does not use Wi-Fi but a private 2.4 GHz FHSS wireless transmission. FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) technology switches signals to prevent others from listening. For those who care about privacy, this is a real strength of this device.
Being off Wi-Fi means that you can’t get hacked. Also, it ensures that the device will always work even when you do not have an internet connection.
You can't get hacked as DXR-8 does not rely on Wi-Fi Via: Amazon
Another benefit of a non-Wi-Fi monitor is its ease of travel. My partner and I have gone on a few trips with Lisa, and we stayed in hotel rooms with separate bedrooms so she could sleep in her private space without being disturbed by us. Since the Infant Optics DXR-8 does not depend on a connection to work, we only need to plug it in without worrying about the Wi-Fi.
For parents who want to check on their baby via an app on their phone when they are away, a monitor without Wi-Fi like the DXR-8 might not be the right choice. As I mentioned earlier, this is more suitable for parents who want to be safe from hacker interference.
6. Battery life
This video baby monitor has an impressive battery life of 12 hours when it is fully charged. A full charge would take around 6 to 7 hours, which is reasonable, and like any other battery-operated machine, it is recommended to charge the device fully before the first use.
At first, I was a bit worried about the battery life of the DXR-8, but I had no issues once I figured out our schedule. I used it pretty much throughout the day, unplugged it, then kept it plugged in overnight by our bed. So the way I charge it is pretty much like how I use our phone. It only ran out of battery occasionally, which was not a big issue.
7. Other additional features
There is a thermometer to measure the temperature in the baby’s room. However, it does not alert users if the room is too hot or cold, so I hope that Infant Optics would improve this feature in its next upgrades in the near future.
Users can also activate the sleep mode using the switch located at the top of the screen. This feature cuts the video off but still transmits audio, so it effectively saves the device’s battery. You can also set an automatic sleep mode of five minutes, just like you do with the TV.
While other baby monitor reviews do not include a buying guide, I think this Infant Optics DXR-8 review would be more helpful if it included a short list of features to consider when buying a baby monitor.
1. Frequency band
Manufacturers usually address the signal interference problems using the 1.9-GHz frequency band, which is commonly referred to as DECT technology. DECT stands for Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications, and it facilitates sound transmission by effectively dispensing with background noises.
You have probably known that the closer your monitor’s frequency is to another cordless device, the more likely you will hear the cross talk. Given this, I would recommend you look for baby monitors of different frequency bands from other wireless products in your home.
For example, if you have an electronic device of 2.4 GHz, it is best to choose a baby monitor that does not operate on the same frequency band, and vice versa. However, remember that interference can also vary, depending on where you live as well.
2. LCD video screen
Video baby monitors usually feature an LCD video screen in the portable unit, making it easy for users to watch their baby. However, screen sizes vary, so buyers should make sure the screen of the considering models is large enough to see their baby.
I recommend a screen display size of at least 3 inches for image clarity. Some modern baby monitor versions also let you control your screens' brightness, so pay attention to this detail as well.
Most baby monitors have a non-rechargeable battery for the baby unit and an electrical cord or a rechargeable battery for the parent unit. Some models are advertised as best-selling, but burn batteries at an alarming rate. Therefore, buyers should look for devices with reliable battery life and those with sleep mode features like the DXR-8.
4. Night vision
This feature is probably the most ignored, but monitors that feature infrared light would greatly benefit parents’ nursery at night. Some audio monitors also feature a night light that lets you activate the parent unit. Others even include adjustable brightness or an add-on function that allows you to activate music to soothe your little one.
5. Motion and sound sensors
If you are light-sleeping parents or caregivers, listening to all kinds of ambient sounds or movements in your baby’s room can be a nightmare. Manufacturers of baby monitors understand this concern, and they have made devices that effectively filter out unnecessary sounds and motions.
This feature allows users to adjust the parent unit to receive just the sounds of their baby cries or coos. These sensors are also extremely helpful in extending your device's battery life.
1. Nest cam indoor
If you are looking for a smart indoor security camera, this short Nest Cam indoor review is for you. It features a high definition 1920 x 1080p surveillance camera with a 130-degree wide-angle view. Its night vision modes are outstanding. Additionally, users are able to zoom in eight times for the smaller details.
Nest Cam indoor Via: Amazon
This smart indoor cam has two-way audio via a speaker and a microphone, meaning users can speak through the Nest Cam indoor through the app remotely. Like many other high-end monitors, this device also features infrared night vision from eight LED sensors, providing crystal clear vision at night.
Since Google owns Nest, the device’s smart platform integrations are impressive. If you are in the Google smart home ecosystem, you will be pleased knowing that this monitor works with Google assistant. So users can play their Nest Cam footage on smart displays of Google systems like the Nest Hub.
The Nest Cam indoor also works with Alexa and the smart bulbs Philips Hue, so users can enjoy having lights automatically turned off when the Nest Cam indoor is in its sleep mode.
2. Arlo baby monitor
The Arlo baby monitor is an Amazon’s Choice baby product, and I reckon it’s worth this Amazon tag. This brief Arlo baby monitor review will explain why.
It is a compact device with a measurement of only 4.3 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches. Its camera has 720p resolution, but you can also adjust it to 1080p HD, which means it offers the standard hi-fi video recording option for parents. Besides, the monitor also features wide-range coverage so that you can have your entire baby’s room under your observation.
Arlo baby monitor Via: Amazon
This Arlo monitor also features an infrared LED system, allowing parents to see their little sleeper even in dark or low-light conditions.
If you are parents of sensitive babies that need soothing sounds to sleep, this Arlo monitor is a perfect choice. You can turn on the speaker to let your baby enjoy the lullabies that you can easily download from Arlo’s music collection. Instead of using music, you can also record your own voice to calm the baby down when you’re not close to him.
Besides this life-saving feature, Arlo also includes in this device customizable monitor screen backgrounds with lovely outfits to impress your little one. You can have a Dalmatian puppy or a cute kitten screen to make friends with your baby.
In this Infant Optics DXR-8 review, I have shared with you some personal experience using this best-selling baby monitor. Overall I was impressed with the picture clarity, sound quality, and minimal signal transmission delay. The range was great everywhere in and around my house, the talk feature also worked great, and the voice was crystal clear on both ends.
If you are looking for other options, scroll up to the Alternatives section, where I reviewed two different models. They were both carefully selected to give you a broader selection to choose from.
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