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The sturdy, compacy PIP12 Travel Baby Monitor from Motorola certainly ticks all the boxes for practicality, portability and style - but with other audio-only monitors available at a fraction of the cost, is it really the best baby monitor for busy families to take on holiday? We asked our experienced parent-tester Eleri to put the PIP12 through its paces over several weeks to see how she rated the PIP12 and how it compared with other audio monitors such as the Motorola AM21.
Easy to use
Excellent audio quality
Can work up to a quarter of a mile away
Expensive for audio-only
Only European plugs included
Range: 1,500 feet | Two-way talk: Yes | Standby mode: Yes | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: No | App control: No | Power source: Battery or mains | Wifi: No
Designed with travel in mind, the PIP12 Travel monitor includes a rainproof travel pouch and a velcro strap as well as a magnetic 'yin and yang' design which joins the parent and baby units together while not in use - all practical, compact features you need in a travel monitor.
Our parent-tester loved the purple colour and said that they were particularly impressed with the monitor's range of up to 1,500 feet.
How we tested
Our parent-tester Eleri tried out the Motorola PIP12 baby monitor with her baby over a period of six weeks, taking extensive notes on its functionality, practicality, design and usability. As this is one of the best baby monitors for travel and holidays, Eleri also took the PIP12 on a family holiday where she tested its strength between their room and the dining room of a large B&B.
The signal is brilliant. We could use the monitor from every room in our house and between our room and the dining room of a large B&B we stayed at.
How easy is the Motorola PIP12 Travel to set up and use day-to-day?
According to our parent-tester, the Motorola PIP12 is "incredibly easy" to set up, taking only five minutes from unpacking it to use it. She described the monitor as "simple, compact, robust and easy to use", adding: "the audio was so clear and sensitive it gave me total peace of mind."
What is the audio quality like for the Motorola PIP12 Travel?
With HD sound quality, Motorola says the PIP12 monitor has been designed to offer the ultimate in parent reassurance, but did our parent-tester agree?
The audio was crystal clear. We could hear our baby's breathing. It worked both ways too with the two-way talk system and we were able to soothe our baby back to sleep a few times, which was especially handy during a relaxing, parents-only evening meal.
Although Eleri admitted that as an audio-only monitor, the PIP12 might be slightly higher priced than she would have expected, the monitor has several distinctive features which help it stand out as a top-quality audio-only baby monitor. She particularly liked the face that it came with a water-resistant travel bag, making it particularly useful for on-the-go use.
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I love the magnets which stick the two parts of the baby monitor together, it makes them much harder to lose! And as a forgetful, sleep-deprived mother the fact that the monitor automatically shuts off to conserve battery life is brilliant!
Is it good value for money?
As mentioned, the PIP12 is on the pricier side for an audio-only monitor, several times the price of the likes of the Motorola AM21. While it looks stylish and has good features, the fact that you can pick up a highly-rated video baby monitor such as the VTech 3254 for almost half the price means that the PIP12 doesn't quite represent the best value for money. While Eleri pointed out that it was "by far the best [audio-only] monitor" she had tested out of a batch of three, she added that "you can get a good video monitor for that price."
Our overall verdict
If you're looking for a reliable, clear audio baby monitor which looks great and comes with some great features to make going out and about with a baby that much easier, the Motorola PIP12 Travel ticks all the boxes, providing you don't mind spending a little more than a traditional audio-only monitor. According to our parent-tester, it's really only the price which lets the PIP12 down.
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Before this product I thought audio only baby monitors were pointless but I love how compact, easy and durable this is. We're off on holiday in January and this is what we’ll be taking with us instead of our far more cumbersome and fiddly video one!
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About the author
Jenny Wonnacott is a Content Editor for Mumsnet, specialising in writing, editing and optimising pregnancy and baby care content. As a parent of three primary school-aged children, Jenny is passionate about making Mumsetters' lives easier through rigorous research of all items recommended in reviews, features buyers' guides.