Known to rely on consumer feedback to advance their design techniques since 2011, Infant Optics is, by far, one of the most commendable companies that deliver what they promise.
And while it is not as popular as Samsung and Motorola, its creativity and cutting-edge innovation can be seen in the products that it has built so far.
The company’s first video baby monitor, the Infant Optics DXR-5, a slim and lightweight unit that connects you with your little one from anywhere around the house, received mixed reactions from a large community.
Although it is generally not as well rated as HelloBaby video baby monitor, it’s still quite popular in many homes.
Then there is the Infant Optics DXR-8, a follow-up model to the DXR-5 and now the most popular baby monitor in the world with a one-year warranty and over 26,000 reviews on Amazon alone.
The DXR-8 is a more improved version of its predecessor, released after years of learning and community interaction. In this review, I will tell you everything you need to know about the DXR-8, so that you can decide if it’s still worth the asking price.
Up until today, the one thing that is for sure about this baby monitor is that it is quite easy to use.
Once you plug the camera and the handheld unit and turn them on, they two will pair up automatically ready for use.
Because the control buttons are well placed and properly labeled, it shouldn’t be difficult to navigate the device.
Ease of Use
Known as the most popular baby monitor in the world, the Infant Optics DXR-8 has the bells and whistles that every parent need to keep in touch with their little ones. From a decent range and security to audio and video quality, Infant Optics has it all figured out for you.
Infant Optics DXR-8 In-depth Review
Infant Optics DXR-8 handheld unit is lightweight and slim. So even without a belt clip, it is easy to move with it around the house.
Moreover, the setup process is quite straightforward. Unlike Motorola MBP36 that doesn’t come with setup accessories, the DXR-8 comes with a drywall anchor and a screw that you can use to mount the camera on a wall, via a slot at the back.
If you don’t want to mount the camera on the wall, you can place it on a shelf or a dresser in the nursery.
Although this unit does not detect your child’s movement like the Snuza Go and the Snuza Hero do, it has a built-in temperature sensor that detects how hot or cold their room gets.
In particular, this can help to lower the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which is an unexplained death of a child during sleep.
While the temperature sensor may not give accurate readings, or alert you if the room gets too cold or too hot, the discrepancy between the actual temperature and the readings displayed on the handheld unit is quite small.
Interchangeable Optical Lenses
One of the things I love so much about this portable monitoring device is that it com with interchangeable optical lenses, which are ideal for customizing the camera and getting a better view of your baby’s room.
Generally, the camera works well with three different types of lenses: the default lens, the zoom lens, and a wide-angle lens.
The default lens, which is the same as what many video baby monitors have, has an aperture of f/2.8 and a focal length of 2.5mm. This lens is good enough to let you see the nursery and its surrounding. While it is good only for mid-range signal coverage, it should meet your needs quite well anyway.
The zoom lens, which is included in the package, is a good addition for parents that would like the image of their babies to appear closer to the display unit. It also allows you to place the camera at least 9 feet away from the nursery and still get a clear view.
Then there is the wide-angle lens, which lets you see your child’s entire room in a full 170-degree panoramic view. This lens may not be necessary for toddlers that spend a lot of their times in the nursery, but it’s quite handy if you have active babies that play a lot in their rooms. Note that the wide-angle lens is sold separately. You can click here to buy it from Amazon.
One last thing that I have to say about the interchangeable optical lenses is that they are quite easy to change from one to another. Just unscrew what you are currently using and then swap it with another.
It is important to note that each Infant Optics camera uses a CMOS GC0303 1/6.5-inch image sensor with 8 unique infrared LEDs and one low light sensor to give an image resolution of 640 by 480 pixels.
The one that comes bundled with the parent unit is usually more than enough.
But if you would like to have additional cameras in the same room, or you intend to monitor multiple rooms at the same time, feel free to add up to two or four additional cameras.
Although the add-on camera, which is sold separately on Amazon, is the same as the one that comes paired with the parent unit, it only comes with the default lens. This should work just fine for you.
Also, Infant Optics does sell zoom lenses for the cameras, so you can get this one if you really need one.
While the effective operation range of Infant Optics DXR-8 is almost 300 feet less the range of VTech VM321 and about 200 feet less compared to Philips AVENT SCD630/37, it’s still enough to appear on our list of long-range baby monitors.
In fact, the 2.4GHz FHSS signals can reach up to 700 feet, with some instances of audio and video interruption somewhere around 650 feet.
You cannot extend the outdoor range, and you will definitely lose all signals if you go beyond the 700 feet in range.
Then there is the indoor range, which is determined by the number of walls between the handheld unit and the camera. In practice, it is only about 80 feet, if separated by up to four walls.
People have different opinions on the display.
Some argue that the images displayed on the screen are a bit darker than the actual color of the baby’s room.
Yet some say that the images are clear, even at night.
And while I am willing to admit that they are both right, the thousands of verified reviews on this unit suggest that the display is perfect for its job.
Thanks to the power of the interchangeable optical lenses, you can zoom in the entire crib close enough to see your little one’s facial expression with ease.
Although the infrared night vision isn’t as crisp as daytime images, and somewhat darker than average, using the zoom feature should make objects appear clearer and even.
Just like the real-time video feed, you get very clear audio, free from distortion and echoes.
While the performance of the audio system is satisfactory, at least in my point of view, this baby monitor does not have a sound activation option or sensitivity adjustment.
So it’s quite hard to filter out background noises.
The only thing you can do to cut out the background noise, so that you can hear only that of your baby, is to set the volume on the handheld at 1 or 2.
Turning down the volume may not be a good idea if you are a heavy sleeper, because you might fail to get up on your child’s first cry.
Because the Infant Optics DXR-8 uses a securely encrypted FHSS protocol to transmit radio signals, I am more than confident that you can use the unit without worrying about the possibility of hacking.
Besides, it is not an Internet enabled device, so the chances of signal thefts are minimal.
Moreover, a hacker would need to spend months, or maybe years, to decrypt the secured signals, which in all cases, they really can’t.
The rechargeable lithium ion battery of this baby monitor promises a run time of up to 12 hours on a single charge.
In practice, you can use the handheld unit for up to 7 hours with the display continuously and about 10 hours if you set the monitor on standby mode.
The handheld unit also beeps when the battery is about to die.
Of course, batteries often deteriorate over time, and this often calls for a replacement.
Fortunately, Infant Optics provides replacement batteries for the DXR-8 model, but they are sold separately. You can buy this one or even this one here if you are itching for an upgrade.
It takes about 7 hours to charge the lithium-ion battery. So it would be best to charge it overnight so that it is ready for a full day use the following day.
One thing that makes this unit to stand out as far as battery is concerned is the micro USB port option. It allows you to charge the handheld unit with any random USB cable.
So you do not really have to worry about finding a dedicated charger, something common with some baby monitors.
The parent unit features controls that you can use to remotely pan, tilt, and zoom the camera in a child’s room.
By tilting the camera up to 270 degrees horizontally, panning it across up to 120 degrees, and zooming in accordingly, you can keep your child in better focus while keeping an eye on them, or their entire room, from different angles.
The 3.5 display gives you live video and audio feed.
It doesn’t have a video recording functionality like the DBPOWER, so you will miss some of your baby’s moments if you don’t always keep an eye on the display.
The good thing about the live feed is that you get them as they happen. And if your baby cries, for example, you will receive audio alert and video feed on the go.
You can see all the cameras connected to this unit, but sound can only come from one camera at a time.
You can always choose where you want the audio to come from by changing from one camera to another.
Or, you can configure the auto switch option to automatically switch the camera and sound from one to the other every 30 seconds.
Although this baby monitor doesn’t support VOX mode, it has a built-in sleep mode that automatically turns off the display after a set period while keeping the audio on. This is a great way to preserve the battery so that it works even for longer on just one charge.
The Infant Optics DXR-8 is perhaps the only baby monitor out there that does not have preset lullabies.
Sure, these soft, melodious tunes are good for calming your little one down or even soothing them to sleep. But the lack of these doesn’t seem to be a deal breaker for the DXR-8 users.
Even with the lack of the pre-recorded soft music, you do get a two-way talk feature that allows you and your child to communicate to each other.
Whenever your baby cries, and you are not close enough to their room, simply press the push-to-talk button and then soothe them with your own voice.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I pair a new camera to the parent unit?
To connect a new camera to the parent unit, press and hold the PAIR button on the additional camera for about 5 seconds.
Then, you will see a green light, which indicates a pairing mode. The camera will appear in the add camera section on the parent unit.
2. Can I use this for travelling?
Yes, the DXR-8 is one of the most lightweight, compact baby monitors on the planet. Given the fact that it has a decent battery life, with up to 7 hours of constant video feed, you can definitely use it for travel.
3. Can I turn off the display but still hear sound?
You can choose to have the video on continuously you can set the screen to go off after 3 or 5 minutes.
Also, you can easily adjust the volume of the unit to a level of your choice.
If you choose to turn the screen off after a certain period, you will simply need to touch a button to turn the screen back on.
4. Is it possible to see the additional cameras in split screen?
Infant Optics allows you to add up to four cameras to the handheld unit. That’s really a good thing.
However, you cannot see more than one camera at a time because the handheld unit does not have a split screen mode.
5. Is the temperature monitor accurate?
The temperature sensor is good, not accurate. There is a small disparity between the actual temperature and the readings displayed on the parent unit.
Of course, the difference is on the lower end, so it shouldn’t be something that bothers you. However, if temperature accuracy is a priority to you, think of getting another monitor, say Nanit or the iBaby Care M7.
6. Why does the parent unit beep?
While the beep from the parent unit is loud, and perhaps annoying, I believe it is an important feature for two reasons.
First, it beeps to indicate that the parent unit is out of range, causing signal loss. Getting back to the effective operation range should make the PU to stop beeping.
Second, the unit will beep if the battery is about to run out, alerting you that it is about time you charged the device.
7. How do I troubleshoot this monitor?
There could be many reasons why the monitor isn’t working as expected.
For example, you might run into a problem like the night vision not working or the battery of the device not charging. And this can be quite frustrating.
AS such, you need a guide that you can use to troubleshoot the unit, in case you run into any problem. Click here for an easy-to-implement troubleshooting guide.
8. Does the DXR-8 have a mobile app?
It is important to remember that Infant Optics DXR-8 is not a Wifi baby monitor but a traditional, plug-and-play unit that works well straight out of the box. As such, it does not need an Android or an iPhone app.
9. Can I unplug the camera?
The camera must be plugged in to a power source to work. The only time you can unplug it is if you have decided to stop using the monitor. On the other hand, the parent unit works well either when plugged or when running on the rechargeable battery.
10. Where can I download the manual?
Given that the device is very easy to use, chances are you may not even need the user guidelines. But if you still feel like you need one, you can download it from here.