Owlet Monitor Duo Detailed Review: All you need to know!

By Dario | Baby Monitor Reviews

 
 

Quick Overview

FEATURES

QUALITY

PRICE

What we liked

  • Heart Rate and Oxygen Monitor
  • Smart Sock
  • Sleep trainable
  • HD Cam with talkback feature
  • Instant alerts if vitals out of range

What we did't like

  • Higher price point
  • Cam needs minor connectivity improvement
 
 
 

Being a parent can be sometimes overwhelming. 


What if technology can tell you exactly when your baby needs you?

Not before, and certainly not after.

Owlet Baby Care empowers parents with the right information to help them kick some stress to the curb and enjoy the parenthood journey!

With the innovative Smart Sock (yes, just a sock!) you can track your baby’s heart rate and oxygen level while they sleep, so you can catch up on rest while your baby catches some zz’s.

Owlet acts as an extra set of eyes for your little one to give you peace of mind. 

Baby Monitors have evolved over the years integrating many features which makes a parent's life more accessible and more manageable.

It all started with Audio baby monitors, similar to a Radio walkie-talkie, which can create one-way or two-way communication between the baby and the parent.

Then with the advancement of technology, video baby monitors, which can display real-time video of a baby’s crib was introduced.

After that, it was the baby’s room temperature, and the feature list goes on.

But, it was still not enough for a caring parent to be completely free from worries regarding the wellness and safety of the baby while away from the crib. 

There are many dangerous scenarios where the baby is not safe unless monitored on a 24 hours basis. Cases of SIDS, Colic attacks, Crib falls, etc., keep parents like us worried.

I still remember. My Daughter was born on a chilly December month. One day she was in my arms and was looking like she was sleeping. But suddenly, I observed that she was not breathing. Then I realized that her sweater sleeve was smothering her, and while she was asleep, she didn’t know that her breathing had been obstructed. So I removed the sleeve from her nose, and she started gasping for air which scared us. That night when we took her to the doctor, we came to know that if there was any delay, the situation would have been very very serious!

With technology evolving so much and IOT entering every life so quickly, Smart baby monitors have taken the parenting world by storm.

Smart baby monitors monitor audio-visual and heart rate, oxygen saturation, and temperature, making smart baby monitors one of the essential baby gadgets.

And when it comes to Smart Baby monitors, Owlet Monitor Duo is trusted by many, including medical professionals, for the convenience and utility of the device.

What is Owlet Monitor Duo?

Owlet monitor duo

Owlet Monitor Duo is the combo package of two Infant surveillance devices to provide 100% observation on the baby. 

Owlet Monitor Duo has won many recognitions and awards owing to their innovative technology solutions to New Generation Parents.

The Owlet monitor Duo, when ordered, consists of: 

  1. Owlet Baby monitor 
  2. Owlet base station
  3. Owlet app
  4. Owlet HD Cam

Summary of Features for Owlet Monitor Duo with Sock

  • Award-winning 3rd generation smart sock which comfortably can be used on babies from 5 to 30 lbs weight babies. 
  • Smart sock equipped with a smart sensor which works on well-known pulse oximetry principle.
  • “Monitor What Matters” - Track Baby’s Heart Rate, Oxygen, and Sleep trends using App.
  • 7 days wellness history is available at your fingertips in the smartphone app.
  • Get instant notification of the heart rate or oxygen leaves preset zones via the Base Station and App.
  • Base station is the primary notification device since it connects via Bluetooth also with smart sock to provide a continuous communication channel for vitals monitoring even if wi-fi is not working.
  • Base station give various color notifications in which red is the high alert, rest are for connectivity and power issues. Press base station to snooze any notification for 60 seconds to check the baby and sock.
  • 1080p HD live streaming HD Camera with Two-way Audio to talk back if Baby wakes up.
  • HD cam also features Room temperature sensor, Night Vision, 130 degrees Wide angle display, 4X Zoom and Playing background music if needed to get baby back to sleep.
  • Camera mounting provided is highly flexible for camera mounting at any angle.
  • No hacking - Secured data transmission with strong encryption so that data is available only for those with access permission.
  • Is owlet duo FSA eligible? Yes, Owlet baby monitors are HSA/FSA approved to purchase.
  • It is a information-gathering device and NOT a medical device and cannot be used as a substitute for medical supervision extensively.
  • Is the owlet monitor FDA approved? No.
  • How accurate is owlet sleep tracking? Here is the accuracy research report.

Owlet monitor Duo - Detailed Features

Owlet Smart Sock Generation-3

owlet smart sock generation 3

Owlet smart sock is a unique wearable sock. 

It has a sensor that operates very similarly to a pulse oximeter, measuring heartbeat and Oxygen saturation. 

Generation 3 smart sock developed considering feedback from thousands of parents who have used previous two generations of smart socks. 

While previous generation smart socks were known for the accuracy and convenience of monitoring heart beat and Oxygen, there were cases of false reading due to displaced sock position, Baby easily kicking out the sock,etc., 

Owlet Base station

owlet monitor base station

Owlets base station provides an Audiovisual indicator as well as acts as a charging station for the Owlet smart sock.

The Base station is meant to be placed in the parent’s room and it will provide continuous feedback on the baby safety status. 

Base station connects to both Wifi and via bluetooth to smart sock (or sometimes referred by manufacturer as sensor). 

Base station is the primary notification device (app gets push notification depending upon network) and MUST be within range of the smart sock, which is its Bluetooth range of 100 feet maximum. The reason behind this is if the Wi-fi fails, Bluetooth still communicates the Baby status to the base station (as long as they have charge).

Notifications in Base station - Quick reference

There are different color notifications in you will get on peripheral ring of the base station:

Notification

What it means

What to do?

Bouncing Green

Getting readings

Wait for 60 seconds for Pulsing Green to start else check device

Pulsing Green

Readings are coming and within normal range

All OK!!!

Flashing Blue

Sock is out of range, battery dead or signal is blocked

Snooze notification and get the sock & base station within range OR charge the sock using the base station.

Flashing Yellow

Sock is improperly placed or fallen off

Snooze notification (that gives you 60 seconds) to check and secure sock in the correct position.

Flashing Red

Heart rate and Oxygen level are outside of preset range

ALERT!

Check the baby and readings.

Pulsing White

Sock is charging

Nothing

White

Sock is fully charged

Disconnect the sock

Bouncing White

Stock is not paired

Check if sock has not connected properly for charging

To Snooze a notification Short press the base station.

During the snoozed period, 

  1. You have 60 seconds before the audio beep starts again or to resolve the problem
  2. The light will still glow for the relevant condition of Alert
  3. Apps on the mobile smartphone will continue to alert.
  4. If a higher critical alert (such as Red alert) gets triggered, the higher priority alert will take over.

If you are feeding the baby while keeping the sock ON, you might get red notification as naturally oxygen lowers and heart rate increases.

Owlet HD smart Camera

owlet hd smart camera

Owlet HD Cam bundled with Owlet smart sock makes the Owlet smart duo.

1080i High-definition HD Camera which comes with its own easy camera mounting that helps in easily installing the camera and tilt to required angle.

Tip - Ensure to choose mounting the camera near a power source. 

HD Night vision ensures that even at night you can see the baby using your app whether the baby is sleeping, of course in addition to the base station notifications.

The owlet smart Camera has a 4X zoom facility which helps parents to feel near whenever they are away and the baby is sleeping when they are checking.

The Camera also comes with an ambient Room temperature sensor which helps parents to keep an eye on room temperatures just to be sure.

The smart algorithm in the camera helps detect sound and motion of the baby and alert by push notification to the app in your smartphone.

Another cool feature is two way talk which is most convenient to talk to your child to get reassured and go back to sleep if woken in the middle of the night. Also for babies with trouble sleeping in a silent atmosphere, the camera can also play predefined chosen background music.

AES 128-bit encryption and TLS connection over Wi-fi (2.4 GHz required) will ensure safer connectivity over other similar products.

Ensure to change the default username and password of the camera after installation and connecting to Wi-fi for added security.

Who is this product for?

Although Owlet Baby Monitor needs to be recommended to all parents, there are particular cases where Owlet monitor duo can be extremely useful:

  • Premature born babies
  • Monitoring Newborn babies after NICU for various reasons.
  • Hospitals / Nurses for continuous monitoring (although not a medical device, Owlet monitor duo acts as a handy information gathering device)
  • Babies recovering from recent ailment
  • Parents with elder children; those who need to divide their attention
  • For a general peace of mind and free time for parents.


The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) conducted an extensive feedback study on the accuracy and reliability of the Owlet Baby monitor on 47,495 infants and the results were very positive. You can learn about this study in detail here.

Do pediatricians recommend Owlet?

There is a flip side of concern to be aware of in using the wearable kind of baby monitor like Owlet smart sock and app.

In 2017, In a research journal published by Dr. Christopher P. Bonafide, A renowned pediatrician from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he raised concerns on using these commercial grade baby monitors. His main concerns were:

  1. The speed of parents adopting these baby monitors are alarmingly high without sufficient research backup.
  2. The accuracy of these kind of non-intrusive monitors are lesser and prone to higher false alarms of low oxygen,etc.,
  3. There have been several cases wherein parents have brought in the perfectly healthy baby to the ER of the hospital since the baby monitor showed reading outside safe zones and parents didn't know what to do?
  4. There is a greater danger of parents being complacent with trust on these medical devices, which only provides an indication of readings and problems with responding to real danger.

These concerns are valid and research backed that cannot be ignored. 

In fact, these concerns are valid for all kinds of baby devices. Nothing can replace a parent’s physical presence anytime now and future. 

What we need to realise is that these tools help us manage life better with a newborn and cannot be an absolute replacement for parenting or baby sitting. 

While there are many evidences Owlet monitor with smart sock is used in monitoring babies in hospital environment, the biggest concern of pediatricians and related healthcare professionals is parents becoming over-dependant on heart rate and oxygen monitoring to be a reason to be away from baby for longer time and lose track of real danger or even lose the lifetime experience of parenting. As long as we are aware of this pitfall, we are better equipped with owlet monitor duo to have a fulfilling parenting experience.

Is the owlet smart sock safe?

When it comes to baby safety, no compromise can be tolerable. 

Unlike the anxiety of parents not using baby monitors, the concerns of parents using baby monitors has been entirely different.

But if the frustrations related to occasional false alarms, faulty devices are eliminated, real safety concerns of using baby monitors fall into the following questions.

Can Owlet burn baby foot?

Until 2019, there were complaints found on the internet about how the smart sock worn by baby created red spots which might look like burn marks possibly due to overheating of the sensor or lack of air circulation for the device to operate in ambient temperatures.

However, since owlet released their 3rd generation smart sock which is a fabric like sock, I do not see much complaints from consumers online anywhere.

Owlet company also has released common issues and released an article which basically reassures that most common red spots are caused due to over tightening of sock around baby’s ankle, reduced moisture in the skin, Unwashed sock, and water bubble in the skin due to tightness (usually babies are more hydrated than adults). Owlet also recommends best practices for using socks in this detailed article on avoiding such red marks.

Can the owlet camera be hacked?

If you browse the internet, you will find many horror stories of baby monitors being hacked and tricked parents into worrying suddenly about baby safety by altering video images (such as an empty crib, while in reality, the baby is still sleeping soundly in the crib), alerting over low/high temperatures (while everything was actually normal), strange sounds in audio baby monitor (similar to Alexa hacking cases) which might give a novice baby monitor users a heart attack. 

In our opinion, every technology brings a darker side with it and the case of using a baby monitor is not an exception. It takes a bit of technical effort to ensure monitors are not easily hackable and will bring huge peace of mind.

Some of the most important tips are:

  • Change the default username and password (such as “admin”) of the wi-fi network camera.
  • Try to change the password if you tend to share the login credential with friends and neighbors visiting.
  • Make sure to buy baby monitors with encryption technology (Owlet qualifies)
  • Make sure you select a company that sells baby monitors that anonymize the data uploaded to their server to give remote access (Owlet qualifies)

As previously mentioned in this article, it is very important to remember that a baby monitor is not a complete substitute for physical parenting (Baby monitors are not medical devices). There is a limit to taking help from technology, do not miss the wonderful opportunity of Parenting 🙂

What’s included?

Remember, we are reviewing the Owlet monitor duo, which is a combo of smart baby monitor and HD CAM together for a complete solution. These are available separately also on the company’s website and online retailer and not to be confused.

When ordered, Owlet Monitor Duo is delivered with:

  1. Sock Sensor, 
  2. Base Station, Two sock sizes with a right and left sock, 
  3. A power adaptor and charging cords, 
  4. The Owlet Cam, 
  5. Magnetic base, 
  6. Wall mounting kit with cable guards
  7. Power adapter
  8. Quick start guide

Note: The owlet app can be downloaded for Android and iOS from the respective app store for free.

Setting up and using Owlet Baby monitor Duo

For detailed setting up instruction and using of owlet smart sock combo, please refer to the PDF file in this link - Owlet Setup Manual

FAQs

Some frequently asked questions are answered below for the reader’s benefit.

How many hours can a baby wear Owlet?

When fully charged, the Owlet smart sock will have 16 hours of battery life.

Will the owlet work without wifi?

For obvious safety reasons, Owlet smart sock and Base station are connected via Bluetooth and do not depend on Wifi to give notification real-time. However, the Owlet app needs wifi to connect to a smart sock or base station to give notification.

Can owlet Sock be used on two phones?

Owlet smart sock can be connected to multiple devices at the same time as long as login info is shared. This is an excellent feature because it helps all family members be able to see baby vitals.

Can you talk through owlet cameras?

Yes. You can talk through the Owlet smart camera using its speaker function which can also help to play relaxing background music to soothe your baby back to sleep!

When should you stop using Owlet?

Ideally, you can stop using owlet between 6-12 months of baby age. However, research shows that many parents used Owlet for their babies until their feet size outgrew the smart sock.

Does Owlet smart sock work with Snoo?

Owlet smart sock users swear by the breeze of using it along with snoo smart sleep bassinet for 100% peace of mind. You can also try snoo bassinet on their famous affordable rental scheme here.

Owlet baby monitor duo Consumer reviews

More than 75% of Consumers recommend the Owlet monitor duo (Smart sock + Cam).

Interestingly, the percentage is over 80% for smart sock as a standalone product.

While smart sock is the favorite of most of the users, HD cam has been found to have issues with few customers.

Some found HD cam resolution not cutting edge and also found the fact that HD while connected over wifi, creates beeping sound while disconnected annoying. 

Some of these parents also found that using Nest camera as an alternative for owlet’s camera made the whole baby monitoring setup high-end and glitch-free.

Alternatives - Which is better, Nanit or Owlet?

Earlier we have written a detailed review of Nanit smart baby monitor and lots of questions we have received to compare between the Nanit smart baby monitor and the Owlet Monitor duo.

When it comes to Monitoring technology, Owlet has better technology in terms of Heart rate and Oxygen levels while Nanit uses a breathing band to measure only the breathing movements and rate. Most of the features between the two products are almost identical.

Conclusion

While it is debatable how much you should be dependent on technology for babysitting, Owlet provides a superior method of monitoring (heart rate and Oxygen level) compared to Nanit (breathing rate). If you just want a baby monitor which simply compensates with your parenting, go for Nanit. And if you had a baby which is just out of ICU or preemies (premature born), then Owlet is the best suit for you.