Jamie Thingelstad's personal website

New Baby Monitor

philipsscd589.jpgWe have been perpetually frustrated with the baby monitor that we got when Mazie was born. We got the Sony NTM-910 because it had good reviews, brand reputation and specifically since it was 900MHz and wouldn’t collide with our wireless network at 2.4GHz and our wireless phones at 5.8Ghz. However, they just don’t work very well at all. The range was horrible and we started to go slowly insane with the random injection of it’s “out of range” beeps at various times.

We decided to upgrade to the Rolls-Royce of monitors, the new Philips Digital SCD-589. This is the first baby monitor to use the new DECT technology that guarantees completely noise-free operation. We started it up today after giving it a thorough charge overnight and initial tests are great. Tammy was able to walk to the top of our cul-de-sac and back without losing any signal. The audio is crystal clear. On top of that you have nice features like knowing the temperature in the kids room, you can talk to them and even start music or lights in the room from the handset. The parent unit is also significantly smaller and lighter, but not as loud at maximum volume as the Sony was.


  1. Good move. We had a 900MHz monitor once. When our 3rd kid was born we added on to our house and the baby slept in our room, so the monitor was in our room and the receiver downstairs. We left it on all the time. One day we noticed we could hear our neighbor’s monitor on our receiver. They were set to the same frequency. We then realized that if we could hear theirs, they could hear ours. The one we had in our bedroom. Which we left on all the time.

    I suppose they could tell you all about our sex life now. WIth a digital monitor you won’t have to worry about it.

  2. We’ve now been using this baby monitor for two weeks and I thought I would share some of experiences. First, the positives.

    • This monitor has absolutely perfect reception. There has never, not once, been a single bit of interference or noise. Yeah!
    • I’ve found that my BlackBerry causes noise on many wireless devices. On our previous monitor, the BlackBerry would cause this amazingly loud buzzing when transmissions occurred. The new monitor is immune to BlackBerry interference.
    • The range is also amazing. We’ve taken it to neighbors houses and halfway down the block and it’s not lost any signal.

    Now, the not so good stuff.

    • The batteries included are bad. They include 800 mAh NiMH rechargeable AAA batteries. These will only last a few hours. Plus the batteries that are included I don’t think even lived up to the poor 800 mAh. You can order 1,000 mAh AAA NiMH batteries. We bought some Energizer 900 mAh replacements and it’s been less of an issue now.
    • The monitor isn’t terribly loud. Our previous one could get VERY LOUD. This one is never loud. It’s fine, but I’d like it to get about twice as loud as it can.
    • The volume adjustment is very poorly designed. Lesson for everyone making gear — use a knob or some analog form of control for volume. The monitor has a and – button for volume. There are only five settings which is too few. However, the most annoying part is that when you adjust the volume it emits a loud beep to acknowledge the button press. This beep isn’t adjusted for the volume. So, at 3:00 am when you reach over to turn down the volume, you get these annoyingly loud beeps letting you know you pressed the button. Very poor design.

    We still like the monitor, and the range and fidelity is amazing. Just wish it was louder and had better controls. The battery is also a problem. I have no idea why they didn’t just use a AA package that could give longer runtime.

  3. I’ve been using this monitor for about a year and a half – when not in use, I just put the portable receiver back in its cradle, and it recharges. I’ve gone through about three or four unsatisfactory baby monitors (Safety First, Fischer-Price, etc) before this: I wrote a thorough side-by-side comparison of the Philips one and its closest competitor:

    and you can see which one I like best! :)

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