Graco has been in the monitor market for several years, but they’ve run into stiff competition from tech brands. Here’s an overview of their current offerings:
At the opening price point for audio monitors, the Sound Select analog monitor is a bare bones 49 MHz monitor that just has audio (no lights or other features) for $13 in Walmart.
A more deluxe version of this model (Sound Select LX) features sound, lights and vibration. It runs $19 at Walmart for a single, $35 for double.
For digital monitors, Graco has three offerings: the Secure Coverage, Direct Connect and imonitor.
Secure Coverage ($30 single, $54 double) is a 900 MHz monitor with vibration, sound/lights and a low battery alarm. Direct Connect ($56 single, $56 double) is similar, but adds an intercom feature as well as a display of the baby’s room temperature on the parent unit.
The imonitor Vibe ($50 single, $80 double) is a simple digital monitor with 900 MHz frequency and vibration. This monitor has been discontinued by the manufacturer, although we still see it for sale online.
So how’s the quality? Graco says its “static filter technology” on its analog monitors allows you to hear only baby’s cry, not background noise. Readers give a thumbs down on the static filter, saying it just doesn’t work. It’s hard to know whether it is the 49 MHz technology that is the failure here or the numerous interference points that most folks have in their homes.
Graco’s digital monitors fared even worse in reader feedback. The imonitor, for example, is often criticized for its lack of range and short battery life. Sound clarity is good, but more than one parent complained about lack of long-term durability (the monitor won’t hold a charge after a year, etc.). No surprise that the imonitor is discontinued.
Similar complaints about quality and lack of range dog the Direct Connect monitors—Graco clearly over-promises (a 2000 foot range?) and under-performs (readers say it is more like 30 feet line of sight).
Of all the monitors, the model with the least negative feedback is probably the Secure Coverage. While it still has a large number of detractors, fans like this monitor . . . when it works. Unfortunately, more than one reviewer claimed it has a short life span (as little as three weeks from purchase).
Overall, Graco falls short in this category.