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When I first came across the term ‘Voice-activated (VOX) baby monitor‘, it got me interested in the topic as I had just attended a parenting conference in Calgary where we discussed ways to reduce EMF radiation in a baby nursery. Since then, my preference for low EMF gadgets hasn’t ceased. I have shared more details on baby monitor radiation caused by electrical devices including baby monitors and have shared reviews on low-emission monitors as well.

I did not necessarily obtain a degree in RF radiation or on VOX baby monitors but after almost three years researching the best and lowest-radiation baby monitors, I am happy to share some critical tips on what you should know about Voice-activated baby monitors.

Let’s get started by answering this very common question:

What is a VOX on Baby Monitor?

VOX on a baby monitor is a feature that enables the baby monitor to go on “Sleep mode” as long as your baby is asleep or quiet in his/her crib. When VOX mode is activated and the sound of the baby is below the ‘activating sound’ threshold, the baby monitor does not pulse (emit pulses of radiations) to facilitate two-way connectivity and communication of the baby and parent units of the baby monitor. When the baby starts crying, the monitor will start transmitting signals and you’ll get an alarm alerting you to attend to the baby. That’s what the Voice Activation (VOX) mode is. In other words, the sound of your baby will activate the monitor which would otherwise be on ‘sleep mode’.

A VOX baby monitor is ONLY activated when the baby makes noise or cries and needs your attention. Once activated, some baby monitors might just relay the voice on the receiver unit while others may start recording and relaying live video streams to your smartphone or to the parent display unit.

Why VOX mode is important

This may surprise you but the next statement is true and it slightly shocked me initially.

As long as wireless digital baby monitors are powered on, they emit a burst of pulsing microwave radiation. This is because the non-voice activated baby monitors are designed to continuously monitor and stream audio and video signals and therefore resulting in an electromagnetic field. This field has to be maintained to enable a constant flow of video and audio signals from the baby unit to the parent unit of your baby monitor.

You may have recently seen promotions of baby monitors that are ‘non-continuous’. If you have and wondered what it means. Here is the answer, an answer tied to the VOX feature in baby monitors. It basically means that the particular baby monitor does not stream video and audio signals continuously even when your baby probably doesn’t need some equipment pulsing dangerous EMF radiation when quietly asleep.

And that’s what VOX monitors are meant to do. The VOX mode feature is supposed to reduce the radiation to a minimum when the baby monitor is not in use and only emit the signal to alert you when the baby makes noise, moves around in the crib or if the baby cries. The current EMF limit set by FCC for baby monitors is 4 W/Kg and most non-VOX baby monitors emit radiations that may be close or even higher than 4 W/kg. You can learn more about the dangers of radiations by reading our well-researched 10BabyGear Guide to baby monitor radiation.

We’ve analyzed 21 top-rated VOX baby monitors that were available on Amazon between January and March 2019 and below is our list of top Voice-activated baby monitors:

Name of Baby MonitorReview snippets on VOX FeatureCheck Price
Eufy Spaceview Baby MonitorThe sound is off when the video is off and both will automatically turn back on when it detects above a certain sound – ou can turn off the screen to save battery and then if there is a sound louder than what you specify, the screen turns on. Check Price
 VTech VM5271-2 The VOX or Sound Sensitivity feature cannot be turned off. You can use the parent unit to adjust the microphone sensitivity of your baby units from Lowest to Highest. The higher the sensitivity level, the more sensitive the baby unit is in detecting sounds for transmitting to the parent unit.Check Price
VTech VM3252 Video Baby MonitorVOX mode you can set this to hear sounds from your child’s room all the time or just when they get to a certain level.Check Price
VTech VM351The Vtech VM351 has VOX sensitivity setting. This will transmit the sound from the baby unit to the parent unit if the sound exceeds a certain level. If the music machine is near the baby unit, it will transmit the sound constantly.VTCheck Price
HellobabyMy only complaint really is that when using the scan feature to switch back and forth from the two cameras, the eco function doesn’t activate. If set on one camera, the eco function will activate and the screen will go dark until a noise is heard from that roomCheck Price
More Below

Review of Top VOX Baby Monitors (Sound-Activated Baby Monitors)

1. VTech Baby Monitors with Vox Mode

VTech is one of the leading brands promoting low-emission gadgets and it is no coincidence that VTech baby monitors with VOX feature emerged top on ou list. VTech VM5251, VM5271and VM3252 are among our best VTech Vox Baby monitors of 2019 and below are some more details I’ve prepared for you about each of them:

a). VTech VM5271 with VOX Feature

VTech VM5271-2 is our overall best vox baby monitor in our 2019 list of voice-activated monitors (10BabyGear Feature List). This VTech model also made it to our top baby monitors for twins as it comes with two cameras for a relatively lower price. You are better off buying this VTech twin monitor (has an option for two cameras) baby monitor compared to if you were to buy an additional camera for Infant Optics DXR 8 or for Eufy Spaceview. This top VTech Vox baby monitor is only comparable to another VTech’s brand, the VTech VM5251 as they both have large 5-inch LCD screen color displays.

Below are some of the features of VTech VM5271-2

  • VOX feature: It only gets activated by sound and this reduces the EMF radiation it emits.
  • 6x Optical Zoom: Great zoom for those interested to take pictures of your twins in separate rooms
  • Frequency: Uses FHSS technology in the 2.4 GHz frequency band.
  • Cameras: VTech VM5271-2 is not only great as a regular baby monitor, it is also a great dual camera baby monitor ideal for monitoring twins.
  • Lullabies: It comes pre-loaded with lullabies
  • Split Screen: You can monitor up to 4 children in separate rooms using this excellent VOX mode baby monitors.
  • Screen Size: 5 inches

VTech VM5271 is our best sound-activated baby monitor in 2020.

Below is a video our best Vox Baby monitor:

b). VTech VM3252 With VOX Feature

VTech VM3252 is another excellent VOX baby monitor designed and retailed by VTech. VTech is known for audio baby monitors that utilize the voice-activation feature and VM3252 has a camera and microphone speakers that are activated by the baby’s sounds.

The parent unit screen is also turned off entirely until the camera and the inbuilt speaker and microphone in the camera unit are activated. This ensures that the parent unit saves power. If you are looking to increase the battery life of your VTech VM3252, you can set the VOX sensitivity level to medium so you only get to hear or view the signals from your baby’s camera when your baby is actually crying. You can also choose from VTech VM3252 with two cameras

Below are the features of VTech VM3252 VOX baby monitor:

  • VOX feature: Yes
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Activated by: Sound
  • Cameras: 1
  • Lullabies: Yes
  • Check Price on Amazon

Below is a video review:

c). VTech VM351 with VOX Feature/Mode

Image of VTech VM351, a VTech Vox baby monitor
VTech VM351
  • VOX feature: Yes
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Activated by: Sound
  • Sound Levels: 9
  • Cameras: 1
  • Lullabies: Yes
  • Check Price on Amazon

VTech VOX Baby Monitor Sensitivity

VTech VM5271, VTech VM351, and VTech VM3252 are sound activated baby monitors manufactured by VTech. You can choose to hear sounds from the baby at all times or if the sounds exceed a certain level. You can adjust the sensitivity of the microphone using the parent unit buttons.

When the VOX Mode is at the Highest Sensitivity, the parent unit speaker is
constantly on, and you will hear all sounds (including background noises) from
your baby’s room.

When the VOX Mode is the Lowest Sensitivity level, the parent unit only turns on when there is a loud noise from the baby’s room. VTech baby monitor has five sensitivity levels; the highest level, high level, medium level, low level, and lowest level.

VOX Sensitivity LevelDescription
Highest SensitivityWhen you set the VOX level sensitivity to highest,
it means that the parent unit speaker is
constantly on and you will hear all sounds
(including background noise) from
your baby’s room.
High SensitivityWhen the VOX setting is set to high, this VOX
sensitivity level means that the parent unit
speaker turns on to soft noises but remains
quiet when the baby is asleep
Medium SensitivityWhen the VOX Sensitivity level is set to medium, it
means that the parent unit speaker turns on for
loud babbling sounds and remains quiet when
your baby makes soft noises.
Low SensitivityWhen the VOX level is set to low, the parent unit
speaker will only turn on when your baby is crying
loudly and remains quiet when your baby makes
soft noises
Lowest SensitivityWhen the VOX level is set to lowest, the parent unit
speaker will only turn on when your baby is
making the loudest crying sound (perhaps screeching)
and remains quiet when your baby makes soft sounds

Below is a snapshot with descriptions of the VOX level settings on VTech’s user guide/manual

VTech-VOX-Sensitivity-Options

2. HelloBaby VOX Baby Monitor (3.2-inch)

HelloBaby is our second best VOX mode baby monitor brand and Hellobaby video baby monitor emerged as the second-best VOX baby monitors of 2019. Hellobaby’s voice-activated feature allows you to control when and how Hellobaby records videos of your baby. With Hellobaby video baby monitor, you have three options; you can turn off the VOX mode, choose Low sensitivity or Chose high sensitivity.  When you turn on the VOX mode feature, it significantly improves the battery life of Hellobaby.

Hellobaby VOX baby monitor with excellent Vox feature
Hellobaby
  • VOX feature: Yes
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Activated by: Sound and Movement
  • VOX Sensitivity Adjustment: Yes
  • Check Price on Amazon

HelloBaby VOX Mode 

If there is no sound within 30 seconds, Hellobaby will stop transmitting the video feed. The 3.2-inch video display will turn dark and it will be off until the baby makes the sound that reaches the minimum threshold you’ve set on your Hellobaby. 

HelloBaby VOX High and Low

Hellobaby allows you to change the VOX sensitivity level to either high or low. To change to a high level, you need to press the Menu key and menu options will pop up. Press the front arrow key until you find the Vox icon, VOX. You then select up to increase the sensitivity level or down to decrease the sensitivity level. Once you reach the desired level, press Ok to confirm and exit the menu options. Note that VOX-Lo is low sensitivity level and VOX-Hi is high sensitivity level. 

HelloBaby High Pitch Noise and Bright Light

If you own a Hellobaby, you’ve probably wondered about the high pitch noise. When turning off the VOX mode or when turning it on, the monitor makes an annoyingly high pitched voice that has been a major complaint by many parents. It disturbs the baby who may be asleep or trying to sleep.

I highly recommend turning the VOX mode sensitivity to very low. This will ensure that Hellobaby will only turn on or off at very few instances.

Hellobaby’s screen is also very bright at night when turned on and parents have complained that it could be dimmed a little.

3. Angelcare VOX Baby Monitors

Wondering what VOX mode means on your Angelcare baby monitor? Here is the answer. Angelcare’s baby monitors have VOX options to turn it on and off while others have VOX feature by default with no option to turn it off. Out of Angelcare’s 10 plus baby monitors,  7 of them have the VOX feature.

Angelcare AC 701

As of this update in October 2019, Angelcare AC 701 is not available on Amazon but you can check on the link below to check today’s availability.

Angelcare Vox Baby Monitor AC701
Angelcare AC701
  • VOX feature: Yes
  • Frequency: 1880 to 1920 MHz
  • Activated by: Sound and Movement

Angelcare AC527 Vox Baby Monitor

Angelcare AC527 is one of the latest brands of VOX breathing video baby monitors by Angelcare. Below are some of its features:

  • VOX feature: Yes
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Activated by: Sound and Movement
  • It uses Low energy emission technology.
  • Has a 5-ich display
  • Long-range of up to 820 ft.
  • Has infrared night vision
  • Has 2-way talk

Angelcare AC420 VOX Baby Monitor

Angelcare AC420 is another VOX baby monitor by Angelcare and is one of the oldest brands by Angelcare.

  • VOX feature: Yes
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Activated by: Sound and Movement

As of this update in October 2019, Angelcare AC420 is not available on Amazon but you can use the link alongside to check its availability today.

Angelcare AC 420 Pros

  • Great reception, no static
  • Long battery life
  • Activated by: Sound and Movement
  • 8 channels for better clarity
  • Limited interference and low EMF emissions.

Angelcare AC 420 Cons

  • Temperature only displays in Fahrenheit (not Celcius). Also, not very accurate
  • Sometimes, sound fails to activate the monitor
  • Very bright night light
  • Poor signal connection

4. Samsung VOX Baby Monitors

Samsung SEW-3037

Samsung SEW-3037 is a VOX baby monitor by Samsung.

Below are some of the features of this Voice-Activate baby monitor brand by Samsung

  • VOX feature: Yes
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Activated by: Sound
  • VGA  display on 3.5-inch screen


As of this update in October 2019, Angelcare SEW-3037 is not available on Amazon. You can, however, use the link alongside to check its availability today.

Samsung Wisenet SEW-3043WN

Samsung SEW-3043 is another Voice-Activated baby monitor brand that uses FHSS transmission

Below are some of its features:

  • VOX feature: Yes
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Activated by: Sound
  • Range: 800 ft.
  • Camera: Remote 300° pan/110° tilt

Pros of Samsung Wisenet SEW-3043

  • 5′ LED touch screen
  • Long battery life
  • Activated by: Sound and Movement
  • High-quality image and no delay in the footage
  • Easy to use

Cons of Samsung Wisenet SEW-3043

  • Poor sound quality
  • No temperature feature
  • Slow response on the touch screen
  • The parent unit cannot stand on its own. Needs support.
  • Sound levels not distinguished by color

Other VOX Baby Monitors:

5. Summer Infant Baby

Summer Infant baby monitor is a touchscreen video baby monitor that is voice-activated.

Summer-Infant-voice activated-5-inch-Touchscreen-Baby-Monitor

Video and Audio

  • VOX feature: Yes
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Activated by: Sound
  • Range: 1000 ft.


Check Price

6. MoonyBaby Video Baby Monitor

Moonybaby video baby monitor is a VOX baby monitor with split-screen viewing.

Moonbaby Voice activated baby monitor with long range of 1000 ft

Features:

  • VOX feature: Yes (Audio is continuous)
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Activated by: Sound
  • Range: 1000 ft.
  • Transmission: Non-wifi.


Check Price

7. Anmeate Video Baby Monitor

Anmeate video baby monitor is a VOX non-wifi baby monitor that made it to this list specifically because of its low price.

Anmeate voice activated baby monitor without internet
  • VOX feature: Yes (Audio is continuous)
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Activated by: Sound
  • Range: 960 ft.
  • Transmission: Non-wifi.


Check Price

Anmeate video baby monitor has a VOX mode or eco mode feature. When no sound is detected, Anmeate’s display unit will turn off and will only get activated when the baby makes sounds. From the parent unit, you can control the sensitivity of the VOX feature to different sound levels which you prefer.

VOX Baby Monitor Buyer Guide 2020

VOX Mode Vs. Eco Mode in Baby Monitors

With VOX mode, the baby monitor will only function when the baby makes a sound. If the baby is asleep and quiet, the baby monitor will not transmit any sound or video feed from the baby. 

With Eco-mode, the baby monitor will also stop transmitting signals when the baby is not making any sounds or movements. The Eco mode feature is usually used to describe the power saving features of a baby monitor but they are quite similar to VOX mode as both are activated by sound. With Eco-mode however, other elements may activate it such as movement, temperature, sound etc. Vox mode is only activated by sound. 

Some baby monitors have emphasized the two features separately. For example, Babysense, a video baby monitor highlights the eco mode feature on their marketing material. On their Amazon page, they indicate that eco-mode feature is sound activate and that its LED indicators are also sound activated. 

Why VOX mode is important:

Wireless digital baby monitors emit a burst of radiation when they are sending you that video, and audio too. Several recent baby monitors have been promoting non-continuous operating baby monitor next to the baby. Basically, they are sad that we know they’ve been selling radiations to parents across the country. Well, VOX mode feature is supposed to reduce the radiation to a minimum when the baby monitor is not in use.

Vox And Non-Vox Baby Monitor Radiations

The two benefits highlighted above make VOX baby monitors very attractive to parents. See the below comparisons of radiation levels emitted by baby monitors that use VOX and those that don’t. From the comparison, it appears that Non-VOX baby monitors emit 5 times more electromagnetic radiations than VOX baby monitors. In our list of top baby monitors 2019, we’ve highlighted baby monitors with excessive radiation.

 Continuous
Transmission
Reading at
6 ft. away
VTech DM111 (Non-VOX Baby MonitorYes2.63 v/m
Angelcare AC403 (VOX baby monitor)No0.4 v/m

Do VOX Baby Monitors Emit Less EMF Radiation

A comparison of a set of baby monitors does not seem to agree with the idea that VOX mode reduces EMF radiation. If you compare baby monitors with and those without VOX mode, the variation is not significant enough to conclude that those baby monitors with VOX mode emit less EMF radiation.

No.Baby MonitorEmissionVoice Activated
1Levana Jena3.74 v/MNo
2Summer Infant Baby Pixel2.66 v/MYes
3Motorola MBP36S1.96 v/MNo
4Project Nursery 4.31.93 v/MYes
5Philips Avent SCD6301.91 v/MYes
6Infant Optics DRX 81.89 v/MNo
7iBaby Care M7 Wi-Fi1.42 v/MYes
8Nest Cam IQ Indoor Wi-Fi0.9 v/MYes

VOX Settings in Baby Monitors

Depending on the baby monitor, the VOX feature settings can allow you to do switch between different options; turning it on and off, increasing the sensitivity, adjusting the relevant volume settings etc.

VOX Mode in Baby Monitors

VOX mode in baby monitors can be turned on or off. When the VOX mode is turned on, a baby monitor will transmit the sound or video feed when sound activated. When the VOX mode is turned off, the baby monitor will transmit the sound or video feed continuously. 

Adjusting Sensitivity of a VOX Baby Monitor

Some baby monitors allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the microphone. This essentially means that you have the ability to make the microphone very sensitive to any noise which activates the recording and transmission. Before you set or adjust the sensitivity of your VOX baby monitor, make sure you test the default settings. You can play music on the baby’s room and try to see how different volume levels will activate the baby monitor. If volume the first volume level activates the baby monitor, then the microphone is very sensitive and may activate the baby monitor several times, probably more than it needs to.

Different babies also make different noises, depending on their age. If your baby is less than 6 months, you need to determine the sound level you consider to be worth activating the baby monitor. For example, you probably don’t want the baby monitor to be activated when the baby rolls over. You need to test various levels to determine a level you’re comfortable being notified.

Some baby monitors allow parents the option to turn the VOX feature on or off. When the VOX feature is turned off, the baby monitor records continuously. Some other baby monitors that record continuously, such as the DECT baby monitors have been criticized for high emission levels and significantly higher power consumption. In 2008, Dr. Madga Havas submitted a petition to the Canadian government requesting a ban of DECT devices and substitute them with VOX baby monitor or other alternative safe baby monitors.

To conclude, it is best to compare baby monitors emission by reading the SAR report submitted to FCC so you can find out about the emission level and whether they meet the recommended radiation exposure limit.

Below is a Pinterest pin you can share:

VOX Pinterest pin
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