If you’re busy in one room as your baby sleeps or plays in another, then getting a baby monitor is perhaps one of the best investments you can make. These devices offer peace of mind for many moms and dads. Now, VTech is arguably one of the top brands when it comes to baby monitors. Their audio models, for instance, are a favorite for their range and affordability.
Parents on the lookout for a basic model should consider the VTech DM111 and DM221. Both devices boast 1,000 ft. of range and impressive battery life. But which one should you get? In this review, we compare the VTech audio baby monitors and see the advantage of one over the other.
VTech DM111 vs DM221 Comparison Chart
|Model||VTech DM111 Digital Audio Baby Monitor||VTech DM221 Digital Audio Baby Monitor|
|Amazon product||Amazon product|
|Price||Amazon product||Amazon product|
|Transmission Technology||DECT 6.0 digital technology||DECT 6.0 digital technology|
|Mounting||Self-mounting, clip||Self-mounting, clip|
|5 Level Sound Indicator||Yes||Yes|
|Two Way Communication||No||Yes|
|Battery Life||Up to 8 hours||Up to 16 hours|
|Range||1,000 ft.||1,000 ft.|
|Color||Yellow and white||Silver and white|
The VTech DM221 has a more advanced control panel compared to the uncomplicated interface of the DM111.
VTech’s DM111 and DM221 are both no-frills audio baby monitor systems consists of a baby unit and a parent unit. Both devices are made of plastic, which makes them lightweight but also flimsy and perhaps not as capable of handling falls. The DM111 comes in yellow and white, while the DM221 is available in silver and white. Both monitors are about the size of an adult’s palm.
The VTech DM111, however, looks more like a toy than a monitor. Its smooth lines and grooved keys both form an uncomplicated interface. The monitor’s self-mounting baby unit only features a power button, whereas its parent unit includes two additional keys for volume control. Both units come with a top hook for carrying around, although the parent unit can also be clipped to the one’s waist.
Meanwhile, the VTech DM221 looks and feels more like a monitoring device than a plaything. On both its parent and baby units, you get multiple raised buttons for managing and setting up the device. The DM221’s parent unit comes with an LCD panel that makes it easy to navigate features and settings. On the side, there’s a talk button for the device’s two-way communication feature. There’s also a belt clip on the back of the DM221 for hands-free operation.
Keep in mind, however, that these are audio baby monitors only. The LCD panel on the DM221 does not support video monitoring. These devices cannot track sleep and breathing vitals, too. If you’re interested in health monitoring features for your baby, you can check out our Owlet vs Nanit baby monitor comparison.
Range and Sound Quality
VTech’s DM111 and DM221 baby monitors offer extensive coverage, static-free transmission, and secure audio connections.
Despite their difference in design, the VTech DM111 and DM221 operate up to a range of 1,000 feet. This makes them suitable even for large homes. Given their extensive coverage, the audio quality you get is surprisingly good, too. Users share that even when the parent unit is at a further distance, interference is minimal. This can be attributed to the use of DECT 6.0, a technology also employed in cordless phones.
Between the two monitors, however, the VTech DM221 is more reliable. No matter where the model’s baby unit is placed in a room, audio signals are picked up and transmitted clearly and loudly. This is particularly important for the VTech DM221 since it carries a two-way communication feature. The built-in intercom allows parents to stay connected with their babies even as they move from one room to another.
Both the VTech DM111 and DM221 make use of digital transmission. VTech shares that audio connections using the monitors are private and encrypted.
Although the VTech DM111 and DM221 share many of the same features, the latter comes with a built-in intercom, night light, and LCD panel.
The VTech DM111 and DM221 share many of the same features. Both audio baby monitors come with a 5-level sound indicator on the parent unit. This is useful for parents who might want the receiver muted during a video conference at home, for instance, but still want to keep tabs on their baby’s activity. It’s also a practical feature for users who may be hard of hearing. Reviews mention that the LED lights of the indicator light up accurately, whether your baby is asleep or awake.
Since the DM221 comes with a built-in intercom, both its parent and infant units feature volume control keys and a speaker grille. The parent unit’s LCD panel, on the other hand, displays several status icons, including connectivity strength and vibration alerts. VTech shares that the DM111 and DM221 both come with a few sound alerts, too. These alerts will notify a parent if he or she is too far from the baby unit or if the battery is running low.
Another feature the DM221 boasts which the DM111 lacks is a night light. On the DM221’s baby unit, the top loop doubles as a night light. This feature can be turned on and off using both the baby and parent units. The light will also automatically shut off after 15 minutes when no sound is detected from your infant.
Battery Life and Accessories
The VTech DM221 has a long run time thanks to the rechargeable batteries for its parent, something the DM111 doesn’t have.
The parent unit of the VTech DM111 is powered by AC. While this translates to a longer runtime, it also means it has to be plugged into a power socket. If you want to use the VTech DM111 remotely, you’ll have to insert two AAA batteries, which are not included in the purchase. These alkaline batteries typically last up to 8 hours or even shorter.
The VTech DM221 can also be powered via AC but is also compatible with rechargeable batteries. Based on reviews, moderate usage of the monitor will give you a battery life of anywhere between 16 to 18 hours. Charge time, however, is long at 11 hours.
The extra $20 to get the extra features of VTech DM221 is worth it. It’s simply a better baby monitor than the VTech DM111.Amazon product
Parents who may not need smart features or video support will already get some level of assurance with an audio baby monitor. Models like the VTech DM111 and DM221 are basic but get the job done — surprisingly well, too. VTech’s DM111 delivers a reliable audio connection, ensuring you can listen in on your little one with little interference or background noise.
For its additional features, however, the VTech DM221 is a better purchase. The device sports an LCD panel for ease of use and operation. It also comes with rechargeable batteries, so you can use the parent unit remotely and hands-free. Best of all, the VTech DM221 allows for two-way communication, so you can coax your baby even from a distance.
Unlike the VTech DM111, the VTech DM221 comes with an LCD panel, support for rechargeable batteries, and a built-in intercom.
VTech shares that the DM221 comes with a one-year limited warranty.
No, the VTech DM111’s baby unit is powered only by AC. The unit has to be plugged in at all times for it to operate.
According to the VTech website, the VTech DM221 includes the parent unit, the baby unit, the respective main AC adapters for both units, and rechargeable batteries. You can get two sets of the parent unit if you opt for the VTech DM221-2 baby monitor instead.