Philips has a comprehensive product portfolio on the baby monitor market. The Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor SCD502/10 is a good entry-level baby monitor from Philips. The device provides the classic audio connection from the baby to the parents without video or a two-way audio system.
There are two colors available for the baby monitor: White and Blue. I tested the Blue version. The Philips Avent SCD502 is a classic baby monitor without a fancy design. This was my first impression right after unboxing it. Both the transmitter and receiver are in an appealing dull blue and white. The front is all white, and the background is baby blue.
But Philips not only focuses on simplicity in the range of colors but also the controls are minimized. The transmitter has two buttons: one for on/off, the other for the nightlight. The receiver has three buttons. One for operation, the others for adjusting the volume.
Based on my experience, controlling a device becomes more intuitive the fewer controls it has. This experience proved to be true for the Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor SCD502 as well, making it a breeze to use. The receiver also has an elongated bar. It is used to display the volume level.
The two units are very comfortable to hold. Because of the rounded corners, I have the feeling of holding a rounded stone in my hand. Even though the baby monitor is only made of plastic, it still feels good. I keep the transmitter next to the bed and the receiver mostly next to me on the couch. Weighing in at 4.6 ounces (130 grams), the receiver is as light as an average smartphone.
Battery of Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor
One detail strikes me immediately when I search for the battery: the transmitter doesn’t have one. Therefore, the operation only runs via the power adapter. When I use the baby monitor at home, this doesn’t affect me. When traveling, it can lead to problems if there is no power outlet nearby.
The receiver can be operated with an AC adapter or two AA batteries. It is easy to open the door. I particularly like the small strap in the battery door. This allows you to easily pull out the batteries after they run out. Philips claims that the receiver can operate continuously for up to 24 hours on battery power. In my test, I only reached 22 hours and 7 minutes. But I don’t want to hold that against Philips negatively, because it always depends on the batteries used in these tests.
What is more interesting to me than the number of hours is the number of days or nights that I can use the device without changing the batteries. When you use the Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor the whole night because the baby crib is in the next room, you will need to change the batteries every three days. Therefore, I recommend that you use the AC adapter at night. If you have the receiver with you only when the baby falls asleep and they are in the same room after that, the batteries can last more than a week.
Quality of Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor
The two units of the Avent baby monitor are very well manufactured. No edges, corners, protruding prongs, or anything else. Ideally, your child would never get his or her hands on the baby monitor. In case it does happen, however, there is nowhere for it to hurt him or herself here. Despite this, it is recommended to keep the baby monitor – and electronic devices in general – away from children and especially babies. Too quickly, the rascal grabs the batteries and makes trouble with them.
Extras: Night light and ECO mode
There is a night light on the transmitter. When you hold the device in your hand for the first time, you will search for it in vain. You cannot see it when it is turned off, but it is located below the button on the front. When it is turned on, it emits a mild yellowish-white light. Because the transmitter is powered by an AC adapter, the night light does not negatively impact battery life.
The Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor SCD502 is featured with an ECO mode. This feature is offered by more and more manufacturers, but there are different functions hidden behind it. The ECO mode in the Philips means that the transmission power is adjusted to the distance. Thus, the energy efficiency is increased and less power is needed, which in turn ensures less electromagnetic pollution.
To switch on, simply press the power button on both devices. The small light on the receiver blinks and then turns green. When the connection is established, the receiver emits the sound of voices from the next room. This whole process took less than ten seconds and therefore meets my expectations of an easy-to-use baby monitor. The plus and minus buttons allow you to adjust the volume of the baby’s voice.
In case the connection is interrupted, Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor has two built-in features. When the connection is interrupted, the left LED on the receiver starts blinking and the receiver emits several beeps. I had to actively invoke this error message by turning off the transmitter, though. Overall I had no problems with the reliability of the Philips Avent in the test.
What is the range of the Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor
According to Philips, the range is 150 feet (50 meters) indoors and 1,000 feet (300 meters) outdoors, in an open field, of course. It has never happened to me – and I haven’t heard it from anyone I know – that I put my baby down to sleep in an open field and then moved several hundred feet away. Please, who came up with that kind of information?
The indoor information is much more important. But even here the question of the sense arises. A range of 50 meters indoors sounds nice. However, in my apartment, a distance of 150 feet (50 meters) is not possible anywhere. This is not the case even over two floors. Instead, I’m interested in how many walls can be between the transmitter and receiver without the transmission being affected.
Philips also thought of that and the only manufacturer to include a corresponding note. It states what wall thickness of which material influences the quality by how many percent. These details impressed me and I added extra points for the Avent SCD502.
The Philips Avent uses the DECT (“Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications”) radio standard for transmission. This standard has been around since 1993 and is mainly used for cordless phones. The advantages of DECT are:
High security against eavesdropping
Low energy consumption
Philips advertises a completely bug-free connection through DECT, yet I wouldn’t push it that far. But it is very unlikely that someone will eavesdrop on your baby monitor with this radio standard. I wonder why someone would do that.
I have walked through all the rooms in our apartment with the receiver and also changed floors. The connection was good and clear all the time. For the obstacle test, I put the transmitter next to my mobile phone and the receiver next to the TV. I was able to hear all the sounds from the transmitter flawlessly even in this case.
Costing just under 50 dollars, the Philips Avent is not only one of the cheapest baby monitors in my test, but also in the world of baby monitors in general. Philips has focused on the main function of a baby monitor with the Avent: the audio monitoring of whether the child is awake or has needs. The Avent SCD502 performs this core function perfectly. For this, 50 dollars is a bargain.
I am thrilled with the Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor SCD502/10. The manufacturer has focused on one thing with this device: audibly checking whether the baby is asleep or awake. Like so often, when you focus on one detail, it becomes particularly good.
The operation is easy, the connection secure and clear. If it does break off, the receiver tells you immediately. The range is perfectly sufficient for normal homes. I would like to see a rechargeable battery or a battery door for the transmitter. Of course, there are some, though few, situations in which there might not be a power outlet in the child’s bedroom. In that case, you can’t use the Philips Avent. But since these are exceptional cases, it doesn’t affect my opinion of the baby monitor.
If you are looking for a simple baby monitor that reliably tells you whether your child is sleeping or needs you, the Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor SCD502 is the baby monitor of choice.
It is my test favorite in the entry-level category.
If you are looking for a simple baby monitor that reliably tells you whether your child is sleeping or needs you, the Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor SCD502 is the baby monitor of choice. It is my test favorite in the entry-level category.