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Lifewire / Gannon Burgett
Impressive battery life
Pan/tilt camera system
Great audio quality
Support for multiple cameras
Doesn’t include wide-angle lens
No USB power option
If you don’t want to hassle with cloud-based monitoring solutions, but still want video, the Infant Optics DXR-8 offers a lot of bang for your buck. The night vision works great, audio quality is impressive, and the range should be more than fine for most mid-sized houses and apartments.
As a parent, the last thing you want is for something to happen to your child while you’re out of the room. Whether you’re wanting to keep tabs on a newborn in a bassinet or a pair of toddlers playing with their toys, the easiest solution is to get a video baby monitor system. There are countless options to choose from, but for this review, we’ve taken the award-winning Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor for a spin. It boasts an impressive battery life, a pan/tilt camera, long range, and great audio quality.
Over the course of two months, we put the baby monitor to the grindstone, testing how long the battery life was, how far you could get away from the baby unit before the parent unit wasn’t receiving an image, and much much more. Below are our thoughts on the Infant Optics DXR-8 and how it performed when keeping an eye on our little one.
The Infant Optics DXR-8 looks about how you’d expect a video baby monitor to look. The infant unit bears a resemblance to a compact security camera and the parent unit is a pocket-sized LCD display with an antenna that houses a number of physical controls for navigating the menu.
Compared to a few other options on the market, the DXR-8 infant unit is a bit bulky, but the bulkiness does provide the added benefit of having a sturdy base when sitting on top of something. If mounting to the wall, the size does make it stick out a bit more than we would like, but that’s far from a dealbreaker.
Compared to a few other options on the market, the DXR-8 infant unit is a bit bulky, but the bulkiness does provide the added benefit of having a sturdy base when sitting on top of something.
The screen on the parent unit is a generous size, and the button arrangement is more than enough for navigating the menu system of the camera setup. The parent unit also includes a flip-up antenna, but in our extensive testing, we didn’t notice a dramatic difference in range when it was up compared to when it was folded down, so we kept it down most of the time. A smaller detail we appreciated was a kickstand on the back which held it at a nice angle for when we were sitting and watching it at our desk or on the kitchen counter while cooking.
Setting up the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor system was easy. Inside the box was a quick start guide, which walked us through the steps required to get it up and running. After attaching the battery to the parent unit and plugging in both the infant unit and parent unit, setup involved turning on both devices and going to the pairing option within the menu. It took three minutes at most to get everything ready, from unboxing to having the video stream going.
Infant Optics doesn’t reveal the video resolution for the DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor, so we don’t have the exact specifications to dole out. That said, the video from the infant unit proved more than adequate when paired with the parent unit, offering a generous 3.5-inch LCD display.
Infant Optics includes two user-swappable lenses with the DXR-8: a standard lens and a 2x lens (meaning twice the equivalent focal length of the standard lens). The standard lens provides a decent field of view, but in rooms smaller than 10 x 10 feet, it wasn’t quite as wide as we would’ve liked. This was doubly so for the 2x lens. Infant Optics does offer a wide-angle lens, but it’s a separate purchase, which seems a little unnecessary considering it couldn’t cost much to include it with the rest of the kit.
The video quality itself proved more than good enough to keep tabs on our little one. In well-lit rooms, the video was sharp and clear, with no noticeable noise.
That said, the ability to pan and tilt the camera on the infant unit makes up for the lack of an included wide-angle lens in most cases. In our extensive testing, the pan/tilt functionality worked as advertised and was responsive when controlled from the parent unit, regardless of whether we were in the room next door or out in the backyard.
The video quality itself proved more than good enough to keep tabs on our little one. In well-lit rooms, the video was sharp and clear, with no noticeable noise. When the lights went out for bedtime, the infant unit performed much better than we anticipated. The ten-light IR LED array was more than bright enough to light up even the darkest of rooms. Depending on your arrangement, it can take a bit of tweaking within the menu settings of the parent unit to dial in the brightness level of your choosing, but once selected, it’s consistent and even.
Sound might seem like a secondary feature for a video baby monitor, but Infant Optics didn’t slack when it came to the audio capabilities of the DXR-8. In fact, in our testing, we found the DXR-8 to have better audio transmission than some of the more expensive audio-only monitors offered by Phillips and others, at least when the audio was transmitted from the infant unit to the parent unit.
Sound might seem like a secondary feature for a video baby monitor, but Infant Optics didn’t slack when it came to the audio capabilities of the DXR-8.
Audio from the infant unit to the parent unit was crisp, didn’t peak too often—even with loud cries—and was instantaneous. The speaker on the infant unit isn’t that great though, so if you’re hoping to have crystal-clear audio when talking to your child from afar, don’t count on it being the best quality (although it’s still more than adequate).
Another nice element to the audio transmission is the inclusion of LED indicators that are on the left-hand side of the screen on the parent unit. You might not always want the volume on full blast on the parent unit, so it’s nice to have a visual queue to keep you in the loop.
Infant Optics rates the DXR-8 at a maximum range of 700 feet. Throughout our tests in multiple houses and apartments, we found this to be right on target. As with any wireless connection, we noticed the more walls were in the way, the quicker the image started to cut out. Generally speaking, we were able to keep a connection throughout both 2,400 square foot homes and 900 square foot apartments. Even at the larger home, the monitor stayed connected outside as long as we weren’t on the opposite side of the house.
In our extensive testing, the pan/tilt functionality worked as advertised and was responsive when controlled from the parent unit, regardless of whether we were in the room next door or out in the backyard.
Not once did we have any connection issues when we were going about our daily use, and unless you’re living in a 3,000 square foot house or larger, you shouldn’t have any issue either.
Infant Optics rates the DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor for 12 hours when using only the audio function and 8 hours when using video mode. In our weeks of daily testing, the DXR-8 far exceeded those numbers, with audio monitoring functionality coming in at an average of 15 hours and video monitoring coming in at an average of 10 hours.
Both of these times proved more than long enough to keep an eye on the kids over the course of an entire day. In the case of audio, you could even get away with charging the parent unit only once every other day, although we found it convenient to simply charge it on our nightstand before bed.
At $229.99 (MSRP), the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor is on the costlier side of baby monitors (even video monitors), but when you consider everything it has to offer, it’s a fair price. The kit includes everything you need to get started and although it would’ve been nice to see the wide-angle lens tossed in there for the price, it’s not a deal-breaker. Infant Optics also offers add-on camera units for $99.99 (MSRP) so you can keep an eye on multiple rooms at once with a single parent unit.
The Infant Optics DXR-8 isn’t alone in the market of video baby monitors and standing close to it in features and price is the VAVA 720P Video Baby Monitor. At $159.99, the VAVA 720P Video Baby monitor is quite a bit cheaper than the MSRP of the DXR-8. It also includes a larger 5-inch LCD display on the parent unit compared to the 3.5-inch display on the DXR-8 parent unit.
Like the DXR-8, the VAVA 720P offers audio indicators, pan/tilt functionality, night vision, the ability to add up to four cameras, a temperature monitor, and a rechargeable battery. However, it doesn’t offer interchangeable lenses and its range is rated for only 480-feet compared to the 700-foot range of the DXR-8, which may be a dealbreaker depending on your housing situation.
Overall, the two are similar in features, with some pros and cons that more or less cancel each other out. Both companies have fantastic reviews, so it ultimately comes down to which specs matter more to you and your budget.
Outstanding sound and comfort for the price.
Infant Optics has won countless awards for the DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor and it’s easy to see why. The setup is a secure plug-and-play solution to watching your infants, the range is impressive, and the battery life is even better. Overall, it ensured peace of mind when our little ones were in the other room. There’s no higher praise for a baby monitor.