Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor review
In a nutshell
A sophisticated and durable baby monitor offering parents reassurance with its motion sensor pad, but lacks in some settings to justify its price tag
What we tested
- Ease of use
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
4.2A star rating of 4.2 out of 5.
- Signal range
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
- Sensitive motion sensor pad, temperature alerts, two-way talkback, good sound quality, adjustable colour video, clear night vision, robust
- No touchscreen, no smartphone app, can’t adjust camera height, short battery life, no lullabies or entertainment mode
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Launched in 1997, Canadian brand Angelcare was one of the first companies to offer baby movement monitors. The Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor was released in 2019 and comes with a wireless SensAsure Movement Sensor Pad that can be placed under your baby’s mattress to detect their every movement. A second Sensor Pad and Nursery Unit can be added so you can also monitor a second child in another room. It can also be used without the movement detection for the early toddler years. It includes a 4.3in colour screen, a room temperature display, infrared night vision, two-way talkback function and a range of up to 250 metres. Priced at £199.99 RRP, the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor also received Silver in the best baby monitor category at this year’s MadeForMum Awards.
Emma Reynolds is a first-time mum who tested the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor over two weeks with her newborn son Arlo in her three-bedroom house in South London. She tried out the monitor beside his crib in their bedroom during the nighttime, as well as for daytime naps in a Moses basket in the living room while she was in the kitchen, garden or doing chores upstairs.
Fellow tester Janine, 34, is a first-time mum who lives in London with her husband and son Asa, aged 9 months. She tested the product with Asa over 2 weeks.
What were your first impressions of the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor?
On first impressions, I noticed that the monitor doesn’t have too many parts and looks easily portable for travel, although a travel case is not included. The parent unit is a nice handheld size for carrying around the house. The design is sleek and modern in white and looks fairly intuitive to use – although I’m disappointed there's no touchscreen or smartphone app.
How does the AC327 Baby Movement Monitor compare to previous Angelcare models?
The AC327 is more compact than previous Angelcare baby monitors and comes with colour video as well as sound, unlike the AC115 and AC127. The Sensor Pad is 40 percent smaller and wireless, while the AC115 pad was wired. It is also cheaper than the brand’s higher-spec AC527 monitor – which has a larger 5" parent unit display – priced at £249.99.
What baby monitors have you previously used and how does the Angelcare AC327 compare?
I have used the BT Audio Baby Monitor 6000, which is slightly cheaper at £129.99 and also offers good image quality, night vision camera, temperature alerts and two-way talkback. It also plays lullabies to soothe your baby to sleep, which you don’t get with the Angelcare AC327. However, the Angelcare monitor has a more consistent signal and offers the motion Sensor Pad.
What age is the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor most suitable?
It can be used from birth up until 4-years-old, but the Sensor Pad is not suitable for children over 24-months.
How easy is the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor to set up?
The instructions could be simpler to help sleep-deprived new parents get started fast. There’s a lot of detail and it seems over-complicated with so many buttons, so set up can take some time. MFM Parent Tester Luke also noted: “The initial set up is well guided through the instructions however some of the features of the product are not clear on how to use. I struggled with the pan and zoom function and had to Google how to zoom back out as this was not well explained in the instruction book.”
The buttons are also hard to press and don’t light up in the dark – a touch screen would feel more modern and it would be useful if there were onscreen instructions. The nursery unit camera attaches to a stand via a magnetic metal ball, which is very easy to use. It can be freestanding on a tabletop or wall-mounted with a screwdriver in two different ways to allow viewing from 1-2 metres. This is probably ideal for a nursery but wouldn’t allow you to move the unit from room-to-room if you wanted to watch your baby as they napped in a different part of the house.
Does the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor have an adjustable camera?
The camera tilts easily in all directions and pans from left to right and up and down. However, its height isn’t adjustable so the surface needs to be higher than the cot for the camera to point down into it. You could also position the camera looking through the slats of a cot, but we are using a Chicco Next2Me crib so this wasn’t possible – the bedside table was too low for the camera and we had to move the crib next to a chest of drawers. We didn’t want to wall-mount the unit as we planned to use it in different rooms. It would be great if the unit came with a clip so you could attach it to the crib or cot – for the price, I’d like to see this included.
Tester Janine adds: "The movement of the camera while in use wasn’t great. Zooming in and out using the monitor wasn’t as simple as it should have been. To zoom, you press the button in the bottom left corner, but it’s not clear how to zoom back out, and there’s nothing about this in the instructions. I only figured it out after playing around (you press the zoom button once to zoom, press again to bring up the return symbol, then press the settings button to the left of the screen). In general, the buttons and menus are not that intuitive to use."
Is it easy to position the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor camera correctly?
It’s easy to position if you have the right surface heights or plan to attach the nursery unit camera to a wall. The parent unit has a rechargeable battery as well as USB charger so you can carry it around and the nursery unit plugs in. MFM Parent Tester Lucy, who tested the AC327 baby movement monitor with her 8-month-old, stated that she “found it hard to get full coverage of the whole cot on screen”, adding: “I think if you could zoom out more this would help.”
Fellow tester Janine adds: "The tabletop/wall mount that comes with the device didn’t work for our set-up, and we struggled to position the camera so that we were happy with the picture. We bought an extendable arm that allowed us more flexibility in positioning the camera."
Does the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor connect to your smartphone?
Unfortunately, you can’t connect the AC327 monitor to your smartphone, which seems like a missed opportunity, especially for a baby monitor with a hefty price tag. MFM Parent Tester Luke agreed, stating: “At £199.99, I would have liked to see a better, more intuitive parent unit and smart features allowing access to the camera whilst out on a mobile device.” However, reviewers on Amazon noted that it was good not to have to rely on your phone to monitor your baby, but added: “For the price, you might want the option to have it on your phone as well.” If you do need to use it on the move, the parent unit is a nice handheld size for carrying around and comes with a flip-out stand.
What is the sound quality like on the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor?
The sound quality is very clear, with just a little crackle when you turn on the talkback function and the volume is adjustable. MFM Parent Tester Lucy also found the sound to be “fantastic”, while fellow parent tester Luke added that the AC327 monitor has “excellent wireless range with no degradation of video or sound quality, enabling me to get on with chores anywhere in the house or garden whilst my baby is napping”. However, some customer reviews on Amazon were critical of the sound quality, with one noting that “it is hard to hear” your baby cry if the parent unit is in a noisy room, while another reviewer added that they found it hard to understand what was being said on the 2-way speaker.
Was there any background noise or interference when using the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor?
There was a slight, faint fuzzing noise, but I found there was no interference when using the device. However, some reviews on Amazon found that the AC327 monitor did interfere with their WiFi signal, with one adding that there was no longer any signal in their bedroom since using it.
What is the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor’s picture quality like?
The colour video is crystal clear – you can adjust the brightness between 4 settings, you can zoom and pan, and there is a high resolution infrared night vision mode on which we could even see if Arlo’s eyes were open or closed. MFM Parent Tester Lucy was also a fan of the picture, stating: “The quality of the screen is excellent which means I can clearly see my baby.” While some online Amazon reviewers agreed that the picture quality was “really good”, some found that the image was pixelated, especially when using it at night, and fellow tester Janine says it was "grainy". She also found the image became distorted when using it in the kitchen at the back of their house.
What are the controls like on the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor parent unit?
While the AC327 baby movement monitor controls are pretty simple, MFM Parent Tester Luke found that the parent unit could be improved, stating: “The parent unit is not the best to use, the menu is fiddly, not very intuitive and the instructions for this are not great”, adding: “It lets the product down a little with slow to respond touch buttons and a difficult to navigate menu system making it frustrating to use extra features.” A review on Amazon also noted: “It would have been good to have back light on the buttons as you can’t use it in the dark.”
What are all the different functions of the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor?
This monitor comes with an updated, 40 percent smaller Sensor Pad that slips under your baby’s mattress and will sound an alarm if your baby’s subtle movements and breathing stop, for extra peace of mind. You can pause or turn off the sensor, or pat the mattress twice to stop the alarm if you pick up your baby. The monitor allows you to see your baby sleeping via a clear, colour video camera fitted to the Nursery Unit, which you can watch from a battery-powered and rechargeable parent unit in another room. You can adjust the camera using the zoom and pan functions on the nursery unit. You can also hear your baby and speak to them using the 2-way talkback function. The parent unit displays the temperature of the room where the baby is sleeping and will show on a colour-coded display if it is too hot or too cold, according to your preset parameters. You can also set an alarm to activate if the temperature dips too low or goes too high for your baby.
Does the monitor have any entertainment mode for your baby, such as lullabies?
No. Unlike some other monitors on the market, like the Tommee Tippee Dreamee Video Baby Monitor or the BT Audio Baby Monitor 6000, there is no entertainment mode or lullabies included which is a real shame considering its price.
Does the Angelcare AC327 offer any data analysis of baby’s sleep?
No, but this could be a useful function.
Is the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor voice activated?
It does have voice activation. We found the ‘vox’ function useful, where the screen turns on when the baby makes a sound, allowing the parent to relax unless something is happening with your child.
Does the monitor have a temperature indicator and how does it work?
Yes, it’s easy to see on the parent unit what the temperature is, and you can set parameters for ideal temperature e.g. 16C to 20C. The unit will then show you at a glance if the baby’s room is too cold or too hot via a colour-coded display – white for normal, red for too hot and blue for too cold. You can also activate an alarm to warn you if the temperature exceeds these parameters. This was a very useful feature for peace of mind and I love that you can adapt it according to your needs and environment. However, some Amazon customers found the temperature gauge could fall out of sync, making it a little inaccurate at times.
How does the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor sensor feature work?
It’s extremely simple to pop the wireless Sensor Pad under a mattress, and despite its small size it is sensitive enough to monitor movement over the whole mattress. The nursery unit will produce a 'rouse alarm' single beep tone designed to stir your baby if no movement has been detected for 15-seconds. If no further movement is detected, an alarm will sound at 20-seconds – a series of continuous beeps from the nursery unit and parent unit.
You can press a button on both units to pause this function if you pick your baby up, and an indicator on both units shows it has been paused. You can also pat the mattress twice to turn off the alarm, switch between 4 levels of sensitivity with the Sensor Pad, or completely turn off this function.
You can also set it up so that if movement detection is activated, you can hear a ticking sound every 5 seconds for extra reassurance that it’s working and your baby is safe – a nice feature to use early on. If you have two Sensor Pads connected, the ticking indication will flash green for Sensor Pad 1 and blue for Sensor Pad 2.
It does provide extra reassurance about your baby’s wellbeing, but you do need to adjust the sensitivity settings to make sure it only picks up your child’s movements and you don’t get false alarms. While MFM Parent Tester Emma also noted how the sensor pad gave great reassurance in the middle of the night, some Amazon reviewers still felt it was still “too sensitive”, despite being able to tweak the settings for your child. Janine agrees, adding: "Rather than give us peace of mind, this piece of technology made us more anxious. It would sound the alarm more than we expected, making us think that there was a problem with our baby when there wasn’t."
Is there a talkback function?
The Angelcare AC327 baby movement monitor comes with a 2-way talkback function, allowing you to speak into a microphone to offer comfort from another room. The sound was very clear with just a very slight crackle and hiss of interference when turned on.
Does the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor operate via WiFi?
Angelcare monitors do not operate via WiFi or use WiFi devices that can be connected to your home or any other network, but operate on a secure closed system.
What power sources does the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor use?
The nursery unit stays plugged into the mains, while the parent unit has a lithium rechargeable battery and can be plugged in to recharge. The Sensor Pad comes with a lithium CR2450 battery.
What is the Angelcare AC327 Parent Unit battery life like once charged?
The manufacturer claims that once fully charged, the Angelcare AC327 Parent Unit lasts up to 5 hours or up to 8 hours when in night mode. I found that it does tend to last for one night, so you may need to recharge daily unless it's left plugged in via the mains. However, a lot of parents online have expressed their disappointment when it comes to the battery life, with some reviews on Amazon branding it “poor”, with one stating that if the parent unit isn’t plugged in, the battery lasts for around half an hour and that you have to charge it all the time. Janine says: "We kept ours plugged in most of the time, as the battery life was poor. The instructions suggest an 8-hour charge to begin with and 6-hour charges thereafter, so to use the monitor on battery power we would have to charge it for hours every day. With such long charging times, I expected the battery to last longer than a day, but it didn’t."
How portable is the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor?
It’s very easy to carry the hand-sized parent unit from room to room, and it comes with a flip-out stand so you can prop it near you while watching TV or doing the dishes. It’s also portable enough to throw the whole kit – nursery unit, parent unit and Sensor Pad – into a suitcase for a holiday, but it doesn’t come with a travel case so you’ll want to place it in a bag of your own to protect from scratches. However, if you do end up fixing the camera to a nursery wall for example, it may be more troublesome to transport easily.
How robust and durable does it feel?
The Angelcare AC327 baby movement monitor feels robust and durable – everything is a compact size and the buttons are likely to be hard to damage. The shiny white casing could be susceptible to a few scratches, with some online reviewers stating they felt the plastic was going to break, and that it feels “cheap”.
What were your favourite features of the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor?
I loved the sensitive, high-tech wireless Sensor Pad. It’s easy to slip under a mattress with a board or slat behind it – providing reassurance for first-time parents that your baby is still breathing. I like that it monitors room temperature within your preferred parameters and alerts you if conditions are too hot or cold for your child. The video is a real highlight with a large, sharp, colour display, night vision and the ability to pan, tilt and zoom the camera to check on your baby as well as hear any sounds they might make. I like the 2-way microphone for talking to and soothing your little one. The design is stylish, portable and the signal range is great – it alerted us that our bedroom was too warm from outside in the garden. MFM Parent Tester Luke also added: “The core features are great and do as they should, it handles video and sound between the camera and the parent unit brilliantly with no lag and in decent quality.”
Janine adds: "The temperature indicator was very handy. This appears across a strap line at the top of the monitor when any button is pressed. I also liked that we could keep the volume low if we were watching TV in the evening, but the lights would flash if baby made a noise."
Are there any design elements you found particularly useful?
When using the AC327 baby movement monitor, I found the wireless Sensor Pad is useful, as is the fact you can recharge both the parent unit and nursery unit. I like the fact the screen goes dark until your baby makes a sound and the way the camera tilts, pans and zooms. I think the monitor is a perfect size and doesn’t include too many small parts. It also looks stylish.
Now you’ve tested the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor, what would you have wanted to know before purchasing?
I’d have wanted to know that there is no touchscreen or smartphone connectivity, that camera height cannot be adjusted unless the nursery unit is wall mounted and that the parent unit needs recharging every day.
What’s in the box?
- Nursery unit
- Parent display unit
- Tabletop stand/Wall mount (for Nursery Unit)
- 21 xAC Adaptors
- Lithium ion battery pack (for Parent Unit)
- Sensor pad
- CR2450 3V battery (for Sensor Pad)
- Hardware (for wall mounting)
What are the additional accessories you can buy?
- Additional nursery unit £75
- Additional sensor pad £35
- Additional tabletop stand/wall mount £10
- Angelcare Micro USB AC Adaptor £12.50
Who would you say is the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor is most useful for?
Any anxious parent with a newborn or young toddler will feel reassured by the Sensor Pad. Parents of multiples will also find it helpful as you can monitor two young children at once if you purchase a second Sensor Pad and nursery unit.
How does the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor compare with other baby monitors?
|Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor
|Yes – both
|Cubo AI Plus Smart Baby Monitor
|Owlet Smart Sock 3 Baby Monitor
|Owlet Baby Monitor Duo
Is the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor worth the money?
Although it is currently on offer on John Lewis and Amazon for £159.99, this is a premium product but not at the very top end of the market. I think the cost is fairly reasonable for a monitor that looks good, is very portable and offers a state-of-the-art movement sensor pad, as well as hi-res colour video and night vision, temperature monitor and 2-way talkback.
Where can I buy the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor?
On the whole, the Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor is a useful product for those who want that extra peace of mind once you get the sensitivity settings on the Sensor Pad right. The camera and sound are beautifully clear and the talkback function works well. It’s also valuable to have an inbuilt thermometer that alerts you to temperature changes according to your specifications. The product is portable for use in different rooms and taking on holiday, providing the nursery unit hasn’t been mounted to the wall. I like that you can add an extra Sensor Pad and nursery unit for use with a second child, this would be particularly valuable if you have multiples or two young children close in age.
However, for its £199.99 price tag, there are a few features that you’d expect more from. The buttons are a little clunky, I think a touchscreen function and/or voice activation would be a more modern solution, as would the ability to monitor from your smartphone rather than needing the Parent Unit. There’s also no entertainment mode like some other monitors, and the battery life on the Parent Unit is short. A height-adjustable Nursery Unit or clip to attach the camera to a cot would make it a more flexible product. However, the design is stylish and the units are robust, reliable and portable at a reasonable price compared to other Sensor Pad options available, meaning I would recommend this to any parent who wants that extra reassurance while their baby is sleeping safe and soundly.
Emma Reynolds is a journalist and editor with more than 12 years experience at world-leading news titles and magazines in London, Sydney and New York.
|AC327 Baby Movement Monitor
|Movement sensor pad
|Number of channels
|Room temperature display