Angelcare AC517 review

This Mumsnetter favourite is next-level baby monitoring. The Angelcare AC517’s high-tech wireless movement sensor pad, infrared night vision camera and crystal-clear audio is a tech lover's dream, and brilliantly reassuring for nervous parents.

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Movement sensor pads track your baby’s slightest movement and send an alert if they fail to pick up motion for 20 seconds. They do tend to divide opinion – some parents find them a really helpful tool to help soothe their anxieties, whereas others say it only feeds their paranoia. Some products are prone to false alarms, too, and that’s raised questions about their overall reliability.

But if you decide a movement sensor pad is the right option for you, then the Angelcare AC517 is the best in show. Even if you ultimately decide to switch off the sensor pad function, you’ll still be left with a high-performing piece of kit which should last a long time.

What’s in the box?

Rechargeable parent unit, nursery camera, tabletop stand (for nursery camera), wall mount (for nursery camera), wireless movement sensor pad, AC adaptor (parent unit), AC adaptor plug (parent unit x flat cable for nursery camera), quick start guide, lithium ion battery, double-sided tape (for flat cable)

Pros

  • Under-the-mattress wireless movement sensor pad
  • Two-way audio
  • Night vision
  • 12.7cm screen
  • Range: up to 250 metres
  • Room temperature reports and display
  • Digital zoom (2x) and pan

Cons

• Expensive
• At this price, you might expect add-ons like a light show or lullabies

Key features of the Angelcare AC517

• 12.7cm screen
• Under-the-mattress movement sensor pad
• Range: 50m outdoors

What are the specs?

• 26 × 10 × 25.5cm
• 1.4kg

Angelcare AC517

How does the movement sensor pad work?

The movement sensor is a large plastic pad which sits under the baby’s mattress, monitoring the slightest shift in their movement. If no movement is detected for 20 seconds, the pad activates an alarm.

Heads up: the sensor pad will only work if it’s placed on a flat surface. If your baby’s bed has slats or springs, then you’ll need to invest in a flat board to place between the cot and mattress – this can be wood, plastic or even thick cardboard. In addition, very thick mattresses and some memory foam mattresses can interfere with the readings.

You can set the pad’s sensitivity on the unit, but sometimes it takes a little trial and error to get it right. Angelcare say level 3 is the optimal setting for most mattresses. Don’t forget to pause the sensor pad when you pick up your child to avoid setting off the alarm. This is a mistake you only make once – it’s very loud.

The sensor pad cannot be used for more than one baby at a time, so it won’t work for twins.

How good is the audio quality?

Our tester raved about the monitor’s audio quality and loved being able to hear her baby breathe.

Is the picture quality any good?

Angelcare AC517 received perfect scores for its visual performance. The picture was so flawless, you could watch your baby’s chest rise and fall. This is still the case after dark, thanks to the monitor’s night vision.

How good is the signal?

Signal strength impressed our tester. The monitor worked well all around the house and even across the street.

Does the Angelcare AC517 have any extra features?

A colour-coded digital temperature display proved very effective. The talkback function was also a great feature (especially when our tester needed to tell her other child to get back to bed). The monitor projects cut-glass sound on both ends and helped our tester soothe her baby when she began to stir.

To conserve energy the screen turns itself off unless it is plugged into the mains. It would have been nice to be able to override this, but few monitors make this possible.

How does it look?

All the components (screen, camera, sensor pad) are sleek in appearance and wouldn’t look out of place in any home. The touchscreen function eliminates the need for ugly push buttons.

It’s true that the hand unit looks a bit cumbersome – but a bigger monitor means a bigger picture area, which our tester loved.

Does it take long to set up?

The quick set-up guide is easy enough to follow and there’s an in-depth manual if needed. It’ll take eight hours to charge the parent unit and no time at all to get to grips with the functions.

Angelcare AC517

Is the wall mount fiddly?

Absolutely not. Angelcare AC517 can easily be fixed to the wall and is very lightweight, so it’ll likely stay put. A command hook will get the job done.

Is it easy to clean?

The touchscreen means there is nowhere for dirt to build up on the monitor. A quick wipe will remove any fingerprint marks.

Is it good value for money?

If you’re in the market for a movement sensor pad then Angelcare AC517 is an excellent choice. It worked very well, with no false alarms, and gave our tester peace of mind.

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Awards

  • Best Baby Monitor

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