The Infant Optics DXR-8 — which retails for $230 but can easily be found for $165-$170 — is a quality baby monitor that should warrant serious consideration if you’re in the market. The popular monitor is lightweight and portable and can be used in a variety of settings.
Infant Optics may not be a household name, but the company claims it’s the best-selling brand of monitor on Amazon — the DXR-8 has nearly 18,000 Amazon customer reviews as of this writing. The DXR-8 is the follow up model to the company’s DXR-5, another popular, even more portable monitor.
It should take you no more than two minutes to unwrap the DXR-8 and get the monitor set up and your adorable baby smiling back at you from their crib or bouncy chair. DXR-8 uses a traditional wireless digital video and monitoring system, so you don’t have to jump through the hoops of linking your wifi. The most complicated step is plugging in the tiny wires from the lithium ion battery to the monitor.
The manual is easy to use, and the monitor and camera also come pre-paired with one another, so that also eliminates a step. Since this is a traditional baby monitor, there’s no app.
If you want eyes on your child at all times, your first order of business should be to go to the monitor’s menu and turn off the Sleep Mode Delay. Options here include the sleep mode (audio only, video off in battery saving mode) triggering at three and five minutes, or turning off sleep mode completely.
After the quick setup, using the monitor and camera was a breeze. The pan and tilt are extremely smooth and fast with no lag time. The battery life seems to line up pretty well with what’s advertised – six hours in full use, 10 hours on standby. I primarily used the monitor to watch my son while he’s napping, so I went three days without having to charge it at all.
The range and strength of the wireless network are top notch, giving parents the ability to move around their home and yard without losing the signal. The image quality on the monitor is very good, and there is no delay between image and sound. The night vision feature works especially well, as does the two-way talk feature that allows parents to communicate with baby through the microphone and speaker on both ends.
One of the selling points of the camera is the interchangeable lens system, but I was less than impressed by the lenses. The default lens was already zoomed in pretty tight, and the only additional lens that accompanied it was the zoom – if anything, the camera needed to come with the wide angle lens instead of the zoom, but you have to buy that lens separately. Again, if you’re the type to lose things easily, hanging onto these tiny lenses may be a challenge. A compartment or magnet system on the camera to contain the lenses when not in use seems like it wouldn’t have been too difficult to include.
Being able to monitor the temperature in baby’s room wasn’t a particular selling point for me, though it was nice to have, especially since we don’t have central air. That feature seemed to work just fine, and the temperature monitor on the camera is small and relatively unnoticeable.
The portability of the camera unit is also nice — you can easily move it from room to room or even take it to another location to use, if you choose not to mount it. If you do choose to mount the camera, it’s as simple as drilling a small screw into the wall. All parts of this monitor system that can be lost, damaged, or depleted can be replaced with an additional purchase.
The Infant Optics monitor runs on a secure, dedicated 2.4GHz FHSS wireless transmission system. That means no connecting to Wi-Fi or LTE, which eliminates the possibility of internet-based hacking.
Who It Might Be A Good Fit For
- Parents who travel often and want a small, portable monitor
- Parents who want a high performing monitor on a closed system
- Parents looking for easy setup and very quick box to shelf time
Who It Might Not Be A Good Fit For
- Parents who want to monitor their child and home while away from home
- Parents seeking a more established name brand
Overall, the Infant Optics DXR-8 is a top-rate monitor that will appeal to a wide variety of parents. It’s not perfect — the interchangeable lens system is almost more trouble than it’s worth — and adding a rechargeable battery to the camera unit would also make the system even more portable. Other than that, however, this baby monitor system seems to be a pretty complete package.