This smart baby monitor tracks my son's breathing to alert me when he's awake — it's easy to use and helps me monitor his sleep patterns
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- Using radio waves instead of wearables, the Miku monitors breathing to track a
- The Miku Smart
Baby Monitor(currently $399) is a reliable sleep tracker that parents can use to recognize and fix sleep problems.
- From its simple setup to extras like built-in white noise, the Miku is easy to use but not without weaknesses like slow notifications when baby wakes.
That's why I was happy to try out the Miku Smart Baby Monitor, which the brand supplied for this review. The Miku is a video monitor with a touchless breathing sensor that uses radio waves to detect movement in the room at levels sensitive enough to sense each breath while baby sleeps. Without wearables, it is as simple to use as any basic video monitor. It not only offers extra reassurance for parents but analyzes sleep patterns so you actually have an answer when the pediatrician asks how well your baby is sleeping.
Design and specs
- 5 megapixel camera with 130-degree view
- 1080p HD video with night vision infrared LEDs
- iOS and Android compatible
- Awake and sleep alerts
- Motion sensor with breath monitoring
- Sleep analytics
- Two-way audio
- Integrated white noise
- Remote operation
The home screen also houses tools to take a picture or to use the two-way audio. A white noise machine is built in, through which you can play lullabies, white noise, or those strange noises that seem to help some babies sleep, like a dishwasher.Advertisement
A third tab lists activity, including movement and sound alerts, which you can view videos of and save, if you wish. The final tab houses the device settings.Miku had the fewest Wi-Fi connection issues compared to other monitors that I've tried so far. Any delays were only a second or two, and I never experienced an app crash. When my internet stopped working, Miku immediately sent an alert to my smartphone.Advertisement
Setup, security, and safetyThe Miku was simple to use right out of the box, and the app walks you through the setup process. I used the stand, and it took about 20 to 30 minutes to set everything up.
To connect the app to the monitor, you need to physically press the button on the monitor — an extra measure to help prevent hacking. Miku can also generate a random access code to access the video feed from a second device.The effect of radiation from Wi-Fi equipped devices hasn't been well studied in babies. However, the radio waves that allow the Miku to monitor breathing emit 10,000 times less radiation than a smartphone, according to the company. The FCC recommends placing any wireless devices a few inches away from the body, so the Miku's touch-free design isn't just about convenience. That's not to say that the Miku emits lower radiation than other Wi-Fi enabled video monitors but simply means that the breathing sensor isn't adding additional exposure.Advertisement
Simple sleep tracking
The Miku is different from other smart baby monitors because of the motion sensor that's sensitive enough to track breathing; other monitors use wearables or a sensor pad. The sleep tracking is a big plus. My son has several food sensitivities, and I could easily use the Miku in conjunction with a food journal to recognize patterns.Miku's alerts are designed to prevent false notifications — only sending an alert after the baby has been moving for a few minutes. The company says the breathing sensor sends an alert for any sleep apnea pauses longer than 20 seconds. Thankfully, I didn't have the opportunity to test this, but other reviewers have tested the feature using a robotic baby and the monitor responded when robot baby's breathing was turned off. 75636467Advertisement
Late alerts and a mic that's too good
The Miku is the smartest baby monitor I've used, but it's missing my favorite feature on my old school audio monitor: voice detection. The Miku only senses when there's an unusual noise in the room, and existing white noise mixed with quieter noises coming from my son meant he didn't reach the threshold to trigger an alert. This was probably due in part to running a fan in the room, and my son also tends to wake up happy and babbling. In three weeks of use, I only received one sound alert, but in that case, the monitor erred too far on the side of caution.
Because the microphone is so sensitive, I can hear the fan and the Miku's built-in white noise when I livestream. Even with the fan off, the app audio still had a constant white noise. The alerts also sound like any other alert on my smartphone, with no option to customize them — a feature that Miku hopefully adds later with updated firmware.75636469Advertisement
The bottom line
I avoided video monitors with my oldest because so many moms told me the video wasn't detailed enough to show each breath. The Miku changes that, using a motion sensor that's so sensitive, the app will graph each breath for you. Besides the peace of mind, that constant monitoring powers analytics that could be used to recognize and fix sleep problems.
Unlike similar monitors, the Miku doesn't require any type of wearable. A few others use just the video feed to monitor movement, like the Cocoon Cam, but
The Miku is excellent as a sleep tracker and good but not excellent as a video monitor with a few annoyances like constant white noise. Like other smart monitors that I've tested, it isn't without a wish list of potential updates. And at $400, I would expect the wish list to be a little shorter. But, ultimately, the touch-free sleep tracking, reliable app, and simple setup are enough to overlook the other minor quirks.
Pros: Sleep tracking, touch-free breathing sensor, easy to use, built-in white noise, reliable app, little Wi-Fi lagCons: Unreliable noise alerts, white noise during live-streamingAdvertisement
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