Review: Sony babyCall Rechargeable

The Sony babyCall Rechargeable is a baby monitor.  We bought it because it has a rechargeable battery-operated mode, meaning I can wander out in the garden while Ruby sleeps inside.  It has a voice-activation mode, several channels to choose from, and an alarm if the receiver gets out of range of the transmitter.  It also has a sound level meter which lights up when it hears some noise.

This thing sucks.  First of all, the AC adapter connection on the receiver was very finicky — if it wasn’t in just the right spot, the receiver would not work at all.  Even worse, though, was the quality of the sound.  The receiver picked up cell phone communications (just beeps, not words) and every now and then, would let out a loud pop.  At 3am in the morning, this is not a good thing.

The overall quality of the sound was terrible, with lots of static and noise.  The transmitter was extremely sensitive to noise, so we moved it outside of Ruby’s room so that we wouldn’t be awakened by every little kick and suck.

The light-up sound levels are a nice sales gimmick but not very useful.  Who is staring at their baby monitor all the time?  If they had some kind of delay so that the lights would stay on for a few seconds after the noise happened, then THAT would be useful.

In the end, the pops and overall noise level drove us to replace this.  We’re now using a Radio Shack 3-unit intercom system.  The sound quality is an order of magnitude better, and the intercoms are useful as actual intercoms in our house.

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