Motorola MBP160 audio

Electronics maker Binatone has licensed the Motorola name for a line of baby monitors that include both audio and video options. While the video monitors get generally positive reviews, the audio monitors (reviewed here) score much lower with parents.

On the cheap end, the MBP16 ($45) is a digital DECT monitor with basic sound/light display, out of range indicator, temperature sensor, rechargeable batteries on the parent unit only, night light, two-way intercom, lullaby player and room temperature display. It gets pretty poor reviews from parents who complain it doesn’t hold a charge, and baby has to be screaming his head off to be heard on the parent unit. Our advice: don’t buy it.

The MBP160 (pictured) is a digital DECT monitor with a 900 foot range and sound/light display.   The MBP161 TIMER ($56 with two parent units) adds a timer feature that lets you set reminders of the baby’s last diaper change, feeding or nap. Neither the 160 or 161 units score well with parents either.

FYI: There are several older, discontinued models by Motorola still being sold online including the MBP8 and the MBP11.

So how’s the quality? Motorola monitors get mixed reviews at best. The lowest price model (MBP8) gets the best marks, but that isn’t saying much. The biggest complaints center on quality—units that quit working after five days, transmission that cuts out, etc.

The reviews turn even more negative for the more expensive Motorola models—they are universally panned for a series of problems. Bottom line: while Motorola’s video baby monitors are well received, the audio monitors are a bust.

Rating: D