Your new baby will arrive in just a few months, and you’ve got to get your home ready. You’ve got to find the right stroller, the right crib, and the right baby monitor.
You have heard parents talking about the Angelcare baby monitor and the Owlet monitor, but it takes a great deal of time trying to understand their differences to pick a suitable monitor between the two. Don’t worry though, because we’re ready to step in with a little help.
We’re going to make a head-to-head comparison of two of the most popular baby monitors in the market today, the Angelcare 3-in-1 AC527 Baby Breathing Monitor with Video and the Owlet Monitor Duo Smart Sock 3 with Camera.
In the end, the Owlet won our little contest, but read on for all the details in our Angelcare vs Owlet review.
When it comes to the Angelcare vs Owlet debate, you’ll see that both of these baby monitors have a ton of great features to help keep your baby safe and healthy.
Angelcare has been a familiar household name in the baby monitor niche for more than 20 years. The Angelcare AC527 is among their advanced breathing monitors in the line. This sleek, video-equipped baby breathing monitor comes with a state-of-the-art sensor pad that alerts anxious parents if no movement is detected in your child’s crib after 20 seconds.
It also has a talkback function to soothe your baby, temperature control, VOX mode, night vision, split screen mode on a 5” touchscreen parent unit similar to its predecessor, the Angelcare AC517, except with an improved battery lifespan and a redesigned, smaller wireless movement sensor pad.
- Unit is very affordable
- Non-contact monitoring
- Comes with a parent unit
- 2.4 GHz FHSS encryption
- Uses low energy emission technology
- Monitors movement or the lack thereof, with 4 sensitivity levels
- Also monitors room temperature
- Voice-activated sound transmission lets you know if your baby is awake
- Can monitor multiples by adding extra Nursery Unit and Sensor Pad
- Parent unit has split screen function
- Poor video quality
- Limited battery life
The Owlet Duo monitor works through an Owlet app that you download to your iPhone or Android device. You then monitor your baby’s movement and vital signs via the included base station and a smart sock that your baby can wear. The Owlet’s sensor comes equipped with state-of-the-art pulse oximetry technology that measures the oxygen saturation of your baby’s bloodstream.
Besides being able to provide heart rate and oxygen level readings, the BPA-free Owlet smart sock can track your baby’s sleep cycles and let you know immediately if your baby’s vital signs fall below safe levels. It can also detect changes in the nursery temperature, with night vision and two-way talk in the package.
An upgrade from the Owlet Smart Sock 2, parents will adore the wireless quick-charge feature to ensure the Smart Sock 3 is always ready at your service.
- Easy setup with a wearable BPA-free smart sock
- Real-time video and audio on your phone
- 1080p HD camera quality
- Secure AES 128-bit encryption & TLS connection
- Heart rate, sleep patterns, movement and oxygen readings
- Also monitors room temperature
- Works best with Wi-fi connectivity, but unit can also transmit via Bluetooth
- Quick drop-and-go wireless charging in 20 minutes
- Parent unit is your mobile device via free baby monitoring app
- Very expensive
- May produce false alarms due to improper sock fitting
The Angelcare AC527 and the Owlet Smart Sock 3 & Cam Baby Monitor are both excellent baby monitors that will help keep your baby safe and healthy as they sleep. However, each baby monitor has its strengths and weaknesses, which we will outline in our Angelcare Baby Monitor vs Owlet review.
The installation processes for these two baby monitors are very different.
You’ll be required to remove the battery cover on the mattress sensor pad and place the battery inside, and then you have to position the sensor pad between the mattress and the base of the crib where the center of the mattress would be.
If you’ve got a crib with a hard base beneath the mattress, then this part is easy. However, if you’ve got a crib with no base or a slat-base crib, things get considerably more complicated.
After you’ve installed the mattress sensor pad, you’ll also have to go through a “four corner test” to make sure the mattress sensor pad is functioning properly, and then you’ll have to set the motion sensitivity for the sensor pad.
See the manufacturer’s instructions here.
To install the Owlet, you’ll remove the base station from the packaging and plug it into the wall. Once the base station powers on, you’ll download the Owlet app to your phone and link it up with the base station.
After your phone links up with the base, you’ll go through a tutorial explaining the proper way to put the smart sock on your baby. Note that for the Owlet, you’ll be required to charge a small sensor, which is then placed inside a special pocket in the smart sock, which you then put on your baby.
This is a seamless installation that takes 15 minutes. For a handy Youtube video walking you through the installation, click here.
Installation winner: Owlet. Wearing a sock over your baby’s foot is definitely simpler compared to installing a sensor pad under the mattress in my opinion.
With Angelcare, you use a sensor pad that goes under your baby’s mattress. You can monitor room temperature and your baby’s movement, or the lack thereof.
With the Owlet, you monitor your baby via a smart sock that has a special sensor in it. Once you’ve downloaded the Owlet app onto your iOS or Android phone, you can monitor room temperature, background noise, and your baby’s heart rate and oxygen level. You can also watch and communicate with your baby in real-time.
In terms of feedback, the Owlet works with a color-code system:
- Green means everything is fine.
- Red means something is off about your infant’s vital signs that require your immediate attention.
- Blue means something is wrong with your wi-fi connection, and it’s time for some troubleshooting.
- Yellow means the sock has come off of your baby’s foot.
Sensor and feedback winner: Owlet, simply because you get to monitor so many things with the device – from movement and oxygen level to heart rate and sleep patterns – more data is appreciated, compared to Angelcare’s movement only monitoring. With Owlet, you get more value for the money.
The base unit for the Angelcare is its movement sensor pad. You have to install the sensor pad under your baby’s mattress first. There is no contact involved when monitoring your baby’s movement, which is a plus point for parents who are concerned about wearable monitors posing hazards to their little ones.
Parents can receive movement data via its five-inch parent unit screen that can broadcast video in color or in infrared for vision in the dark. A cool thing to note is the parent unit is equipped with an LCD touchscreen and display, though many users report the video quality doesn’t seem to live up to expectation as a video monitor. It’s also got volume control, temperature control, and two-way talk-back.
The base unit for the Owlet is a much different story. Since the video, audio, and your baby’s vitals are all transmitted through your phone, there is no base unit other than the charger for the smart sock sensor that also alerts you on your baby’s status through lights and sound.
The Owlet has all the same features as the Angelcare, but you get a wide-angle camera with zoom capability, and all video is broadcasted in high definition for a clearer view of your baby. And for those who are concerned about privacy, all data transmitted by the Owlet is encrypted.
Base unit type winner: Owlet, since the base unit is easier to manage and more user-friendly, with color-coded lights and sounds for alerts.
Both the Angelcare and Owlet are wireless, but the Angelcare communicates on its own frequency. The Owlet is wi-fi compatible and transmits information via your smartphone, meaning you’re free to move about your home while the baby is sleeping.
Connectivity winner: Owlet wins for its versatility of getting data on the go via phone app and also without WiFi through the base station, unlike the Angelcare monitor that relies on the parent unit.
Since the Owlet connects via your home wi-fi network, you can move freely anywhere in your home, and still monitor your baby.
With the Owlet, you’re vulnerable to wi-fi outages, but in the event of a wi-fi outage, the base and the smart sock revert to Bluetooth. When this happens, the range drops to 100 feet.
With Angelcare, you’re limited to a range of 820 feet, without the option of wi-fi connectivity.
Detection range winner: This one’s a tie with the Angelcare baby monitor vs Owlet. Nothing beats the freedom that comes with wi-fi connectivity, but if your wi-fi goes out, your detection range becomes extremely limited with the Owlet.
With Angel Care monitor, the movement sensor pad is powered by a three-volt CR2450 battery with eight months of battery life.
The Owlet has wireless drop-and-go charging that allows you to get an 8-hour charge in 20 minutes and a 16-hour charge in 90 minutes, although the manufacturer recommends charging the smart sensor daily.
Battery life winner: Owlet wins hands-down for its hassle-free wireless charging!
The Angelcare allows you to watch more than one child with the purchase of an ACAM2 kit.
You will need to buy an additional Owlet Monitor set to go with the Owlet Monitor Duo if you want to monitor multiple babies either in same or different rooms. Once you’ve done this, you can view the vital signs for all of your babies simultaneously in the Owlet app.
Expandability winner: This one’s a tie. Both the Angelcare and the Owlet give you a straightforward way to monitor multiple infants. The only drawback here is that both the Angelcare and the Owlet require you to buy more equipment to do so.
We know comparing baby monitors can be overwhelming, and we know you probably still have a few questions. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we get from new moms.
No, they do not. No commercially-available baby monitor has been approved for or known to prevent SIDS.
No, they do not. No pediatrician or government agency has ever officially recommended or approved the Owlet or any other commercially available baby monitor.
It is unrealistic to expect parents to watch any baby monitor continuously throughout the night. The consensus is that the smart sock may give parents a false sense of security and distract them from building safe and healthy sleep habits for their infants.
Owlet is the best baby monitor for my needs. I loved the fact that I could monitor my little girl’s vital signs, and downloading the app and setting up the Owlet was much easier than the Angelcare.
Don’t make a final decision until you’ve done all your research and gotten answers to any last-minute questions you might have. Talk with your friends, your family, and your pediatrician.
SIDS is a danger throughout the first year. If your infant has their own room, we find that many parents may want to monitor their child through the toddler phase before stopping its use.
This is one area where Angelcare won out. We found that many parents who wanted to monitor older babies with the Owlet Smart Sock were out of luck once the baby is older than 18 months because the sock wouldn’t fit or the sock wouldn’t stay on.
Since Angelcare relies on a sensor pad, we found that many parents could keep using it far beyond the 18-month mark with no problem.
I reviewed dozens of baby monitors in preparation for our Owlet vs Angelcare comparison, and I still think the Owlet and the Angelcare are the two best breathing baby monitors out there. However, I did find a couple of great alternatives:
- The Miku Smart Baby Monitor: The Miku Baby monitor is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that tracks your baby’s breathing and sleep cycles. It also comes pre-loaded with lullabies and soothing sound scapes.
This smart WiFi monitor operates in the same way as the Owlet, with a wi-fi connected app that you download on your cell phone. In the event of a Wi-Fi outage, the Miku will also automatically revert to Bluetooth with a reduced range.
- The Nanit Plus Baby Monitor: Another great alternative is the Nanit Plus baby monitor. It comes available with a wall-mount kit or a floor stand that provides great flexibility for installation. This is another smart baby monitor that works via an app that you download to your phone.
The Nanit will also track your baby’s breathing and sleep cycles. It comes with a two-way talk feature, and playback of your baby’s sleep. The Nanit is compatible with Alexa, tablets, and smartphones.
Like the Owlet and the Miku, the Nanit will keep operating even if your internet goes down. You can also check our Nanit vs Owlet review to compare between the two monitors.
There’s no doubt that the Owlet Smart Sock 3 & Cam Baby Monitor was the clear winner of our Angelcare Monitor vs Owlet competition.
I know what it’s like when you’re tossing and turning and wondering if your baby is sleeping safely, and it just seems like every time I tried to give Angelcare the benefit of the doubt, it still came up short.
- Wireless Baby Movement Sensor Pad with 4 adjustable sensitivity levels
- After 15 seconds of no recognized movement, the monitor will sound a preliminary beep to rouse your baby
- An alarm will sound after 20 seconds if no movement is detected
Use an Angelcare 3-in-1 AC527 Baby Monitor if:
- Price is a serious issue
- If you don’t have wi-fi or your home wi-fi is unreliable
- If you don’t feel comfortable monitoring your baby through your phone
- You prefer non-contact monitoring system
If you’re on a tight budget or don’t consider yourself very tech-savvy, the Angelcare AC527 is a reliable baby monitor that should give you the peace of mind you need. We always encourage new parents to do adequate research before making any final decisions.
- Get a complete view of Baby - Use the Owlet app to stay connected and view live readings of your baby’s heart rate and oxygen level with high-definition audio and video.
- Tells you when Baby needs you - Base Station and Owlet app notify you when readings leave “safe” zones.
- Measures sleep trends -View total hours slept, number of wakings, sleep quality and more.
Use an Owlet Smart Sock 3 & Cam Baby Monitor if:
- You’re not as concerned about the price
- If you don’t mind using your home wi-fi connection and phone as parent unit
- If you want a simple color-coded alert system that monitors your infant’s vital signs
- You want the ability to quickly recharge the baby monitor from home, as needed
The Owlet Duo keeps your baby safe by monitoring movement, heart rate, and oxygen levels. The wi-fi connectivity and the ability to get video footage of your baby through your phone gives you the freedom to run to the kitchen or laundry room if you need to.
Last update on 2021-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API