Having already tried the lower priced Motorola MBP160 baby monitor system and being impressed by the ease of set up, sound quality and range that it offered for its price, naturally we thought that the next step would be to test the Motorola MBP161 Digital Video baby monitor bundle that they state is an upgrade from the previously tried one.
The moment that you look at the MBP161 bundle, it becomes clear that there is an upgrade here as instead of just a base and mother unit, you are presented with a base unit, an upgraded mother unit, movement and breathing sensor pads and a baby unit.
Priced towards the mid-range baby monitors sector, we had higher expectations from this than we did with the more modest priced MBP160, so lets take a look at what we thought after putting it to the test with the twins.
The look of the Motorola MBP161 Digital Video Monitor system was certainly an updated, more modern look that its cheaper alternative, however you are still only offered the white/black colour choice so expect it to stand out if your children’s room isn’t a light colour.
It certainly looks like many of the baby monitor systems that you will find in this price range, so again Motorola have met expectation there but haven’t really created something that you will be able to pass off as a more expensive model, even with the features that it has.
With the monitor pads concealed and taking just the units into consideration, it looks like pretty much a number of the other options out there but we aren’t looking for something that is going to draw the crowds and it doesn’t make you want to scream when you see it for being ugly on the side table.
We weren’t going to kid ourselves into thinking that this was going to be as easy as the MBP160 system that we used previously, after all that was a baseline system that lacked the bells and whistles that this one does come with.
The wireless connection across the devices and units seemed to be easy to configure and we had them linked up fairly quickly once we followed the instructions that came within the box, so we have to commend Motorola for creating usable instructions as we have experienced a fair few systems that left you to fill in the blanks.
I would say that it took me about 20 minutes to get everything running to how I would have expected but please bare in mind that I did this without Ian who was at work and is usually incharge of that areas as he is a little more tech-savvy than I am.
Once again Motorola have done well with their offering when it comes to sound, it was as crisp and clear as we had found with the cheaper alternative and the microphones that picked up the sound from the baby’s room was able to pick up some of the quieter sounds that the twins were making.
With this being an upgraded choice, the system does enable two-way sound and that was great as it meant that we could speak to the twins in their room however their age meant that we didn’t really make as much use of this as we would have liked, other than to ask Ian to come up and help as Lilly was beginning to wake thanks to Sian’s crying.
Good quality of sound and everything that we would expect from a manufacturer that won over the world in the mobile phone market previously.
The Motorola MBP161 Digital Video Monitor Babysense Bundle included some additional items such as the breathing and movement monitor pads, so it’s hard to be able to put this one into a head to head with others that we have tired on a similar price point as clearly this is a lower priced unit with a saving applied for the inclusion of the pad sensors.
That said, we are going to mark it on its own merits so that you can get a feel for what you can expect if you buy one of these systems yourself.
For those of you that are looking for a system that can provide you with frills and additionals, the MBP161 is packed with them, including a night light that is found at the bottom of the base unit. It is bright enough to shed some extra light into the room so that you can turn off the brighter lighting but it will add further drain on the battery life of the unit if you were to unplug it.
We installed dimmer switches into the room so that we could alter the light impact in the room, so the night light wasn’t something that we used too often but if you don’t have that luxury, it should provide you with a soothing level of light to help the little ones drift off.
The Motorola MBP161 comes with a built in ability to be able to tell you the temperature of the baby’s room at any time, simply click the button and it will be displayed on the mother unit so that you can monitor that as you wish, it’s not something that we really pay huge attention to as I move throughout the house frequently anyway and tend to avoid leaving the same floor that they are sleeping on for any prolonged period of time.
The two-way communication would be suitable for those with slightly older children who would be able to understand you when you speak however if you have more than one child sleeping in the room and want to speak to the one that is awake or crying, you are likely to have to go into the room to do so otherwise you could wake the other little monster up!
Overall the Motorola MBP161 Digital Video Monitor Babysense Bundle seems to be a good value system that offers the bells and whistles that you may want to get your hands on if you think that you will make use of them.
The motion pads that are included are great and they seem to operate well and as the system is ‘medically certified’ we felt very safe in their use, however if you are thinking of breaking the bank purely to get your hands on them, we feel that they aren’t really vital if money is tight as you will be able to check in on your little ones from time to time to do it personally.
This is the upgraded version of the Motorola offerings that we have tried with the MBP160 Audio Baby Monitor more basic version while the Motorola MBP8 is their baseline model based on a plug into power platform.