VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor

Editor's rating:
8.0
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Reviewed by Bobby Brower
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We like

  • Comes with rechargeable battery units
  • Holds a charge for up to 18 hours
  • The baby unit doubles as a nightlight
  • The units can be used like traditional walkie talkies
  • Units can be used up to 1,000 feet from each other
  • Digital technology eliminates background noise so you can only hear your baby
We don’t like
  • Some parents have had connectivity issues
  • It has been found that from time to time the units do not hold their charge

How it works

The VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor is a baseline monitor for parents who do not want the frills of a video baby monitor. The audio monitor allows parents to hear what is going on with their baby when the parent is not in the room. The monitor has other features that allow the monitors to be used like walkie talkies keeping communication open between parents and parents and their children. The monitor is moderately priced and affordable, and it can be found online or at any major retailer in your neighborhood. Set up is easy and the units are easy to use making the VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor a highly praised device.

 

Design

Design

The VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor has been designed to keep communication open between babies and their parents. The units looks and performs like a walkie talkie that allows parents and their children to hear each other up to 1,000 feet. The units can be used indoors or outdoors and they link to each other and do not require WiFi or any other connectivity software. The units come with their own rechargeable battery packs that hold a charge up to 18 hours. If you choose not to use the battery packs, you can also insert two AAA batteries to keep the monitors running. Be advised that the AAA batteries are not included and you will need to purchase them separately.

The baby unit is designed to be the receptor of the parent monitor and the baby unit can emit sound and receive sound. The unit also doubles as a nightlight when the nightlight button is pressed on the unit.

The parent monitor operates as a walkie talkie and the parent can speak into their unit and it can be heard by the baby. All the baby has to do is make a noise and the parent unit will pick up the sound. There is a sound indicator light on top of the unit that lights up when sound is heard coming from the baby monitor. The more lights that light up on top of the parent unit indicates that strength of the sound coming from the baby’s room.

The units are also designed with DECT 6.0 technology that blocks out background noise and solely focuses on the noises coming from the baby so parents can clearly hear if their child is crying, laughing, or is unwell.
Set Up

Set Up

Setting up the VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor is fast and easy. The most difficult part of the set up is opening the box. Once the box is opened, all you have to do is remove the units from the box. Depending on which set you buy, the box will contain either two parent monitors and one baby monitor or one parent monitor and one baby monitor. There will be a battery pack for each unit located in the box. Each unit also comes with its own power cord and there will also be clips that you can attach to the units so that the units can become hands free for when you are working around the house or you have your hands full.

After you unpack the units, your next step is going to be placing the batteries into the unit. Each battery connects to a wire and that wire is connected to the unit. Connect the battery and replace the battery cover and as soon as you do that, the monitors will power up. Upon power-up, the batteries will begin to charge. It is recommended that you turn the unit off as soon as it comes on so that the battery can charge faster. Remember that the battery has been in the box for an undetermined amount of time and needs time to charge up so that the unit will work properly.

Once the batteries are charged, you can turn the unit on and set the units accordingly to your needs and wants. The units also run on two AAA batteries, which are not included in the box. If you choose to use the AAA batteries you must buy them on your own.
Parent Unit

Parent Unit

The parent unit of the VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor acts like an average walkie talkie. When you look at the screen of the parent unit you will see several buttons. The buttons are the on/off button, the select button, the menu button, and the volume button. The screen is a green analog screen that contains several icons. The icons show you the level of your connectivity, whether or not you are connected to the baby unit, your battery life, and what mode your unit is currently: listening or talking. The parent unit can also be set to vibrate gently whenever there is a sound coming from the baby’s room in the event that you want to keep the device on silent.

On the side of the parent unit is the talk button. When this button is pushed down, you can speak into the unit to the baby unit. This feature is great for a few reasons. The number one reason is that it allows you to talk to your baby without having to go into their room. For parents that are teaching their baby to sleep through the night or for babies who just want to hear their parent’s voice, all you have to do is speak into the unit and the baby will be able to hear you. This will help them soothe and fall back to sleep.

Another reason the walkie talkie feature is helpful is that parents can talk to each other from the baby’s room. If one parent is feeding or nursing and another parent is in a different room of the house, all the parent with the baby has to do is speak and their voice will carry to the other unit. If they need water, food, or something for the baby, they can connect with the other parent. For those parents that purchase the set that has two parent units, the parents can talk to each other as they would with regular walkie talkies from unit to unit.

The parent unit can go as far as 1,000 feet from the baby unit and can work indoors or outdoors. The unit will make a sound if the unit goes too far out of reach and the unit will also make a sound whenever the batteries are low.

Along the top of the parent unit is a line of lights that shows the intensity of the noise coming from the baby’s room. If parents choose to be away from the unit or put it on mute, they can still monitor the level of sound coming from the baby’s room by looking to see how intense the sound is by the indicator lights.
The Baby Unit

The Baby Unit

The baby unit of the VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor comes with a few unique features that cannot be found on the parent monitor. The baby unit does not have a talk button as all you have to do is make a sound for the parent unit to hear what is going on or being said. The baby unit only has fewer buttons on the unit and there is no display screen.

Aside from the on/off button, there is a volume button a page button and a nightlight button. When a parent pushes the volume button they can adjust the volume to the sounds that come from the parent monitor. At night, parents can set a lower tone so that when they try and soothe their baby from the other room their voice is not too loud to keep the baby awake. The volume can then be raised during the day to keep baby alert and safe.

One of the unique features of the baby unit is the page button. When pushed, the page button causes the parent unit to make noise and beep. This feature is great in helping find lost parent units. Because the parent unit is portable, it has the potential to fall behind furniture or be left in obscure places. The page button will alert you to the location of the parent unit. The page button is also great if you want to get the attention of another parent if you are in the baby’s room. When the parent unit starts to beep, it will alert the other parent to pick up the unit and talk into it to see what is needed.

The other unique feature of the baby unit is that it doubles as a nightlight. When you press the nightlight button the loop along the top of the unit will light up and glow in the dark making a nightlight for your baby. When morning comes, all you have to do is press the button again, and the nightlight will go off.
Cordless Technology Interference

Cordless Technology Interference

Some parents have found that other cordless technology may interfere with the use of the VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor. It is recommended that you take any cordless technology like phones or other monitors and keep them as far away from the units as possible. The cordless electronics will interfere with the connectivity of the units and will cause the units to not be able to connect to each other or the communication between the units will have static or will be broken up.
Price

Price

The VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor is a moderately priced product that fits into most budgets. The baby monitor is also easily found just about anywhere. If you decided to purchase the advanced set with two parent monitors then you will have to pay a bit more money for the bigger set, but depending on where you purchase the set, you may be able to get it for cheaper or get it on sale depending on what promotions that store or website is currently running. Because of the inexpensive price of the units, most parents can afford this purchase for what it offers. It is a basic set that does not come with video, and the units only focus on the sounds coming from your baby. If you want a unit that also alerts you to all the sounds in your baby’s room, this product may not necessarily be for you. You will have to go into your baby’s room to check things out if you want to investigate other noises or sounds. You definitely get what you pay for with this product, and the product is pretty sound.

Conclusion

The VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor serves its purpose and is a good purchase for the parent who wants to keep an alert ear out for their child when they are sleeping in the other room. With the digital technology that eliminates background noises so you can only hear your child’s voice, the VTech gives parents a bit of peace-of-mind. The units can be used as walkie talkies so that parents can communicate with each other or their baby when they are not in the same room. The monitors are easy to charge and easy to use making them hassle-free. Parents will be able to move around the house and the surrounding area with the ability to hear what is going on with their child in their room. The VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor is a solid purchase for a product that has no frills. It will help you and your baby and for that, it serves its main purpose and is worth the purchase.
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