Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Levana BABYVIEW20 Video Baby Monitors are great, multi-functional monitors that offer all the bells and whistles new parents - and some veteran ones - could ever want. Features like the versatile lullaby player and built-in nightlight are handy (albeit non-essential) features that offer additional functionality of video baby monitors.
When compared to our top-ranked Summer Infant BestView monitor, the Levana video baby monitors lack slightly in affordability and audio quality but are still great options for parents specifically interested in digital baby monitors (for analog, check out our review of the Summer Infant Day&Night monitor).
With a maximum range of 150 feet, the optimal range of this particular monitor is closer to 100 feet, which is perfect for most midsize homes. It also has automatic channel scan to help you find the channel with the best signal and sound lights, which visually indicate the level of audio it is picking up.
The nightlight on the camera unit softly illuminates in various playful shapes and the lullaby feature can play three different lullabies designed to lull and soothe. The lullabies certainly aren't melodic masterpieces but they also don't sound overly "digital-" like a mobile ringtone. Both features can be controlled from the receiver unit with the push of a button; be aware though, the lullaby button can easily be pressed by accident, which could potentially be disastrous if you have an already-sleeping baby. While such features may seem somewhat gimmicky, they are likely to become more useful as your baby grows.
Levana video baby monitors also have a standby mode, which turns off both the audio and video so (in theory) you can rest easy but be alerted instantly when your baby makes noise. If it does not detect any sound after some time, it will automatically switch to standby mode. However, when in standby, the monitor's VOX mode doesn't kick in for softer, quieter noises; often it takes something louder, such as crying to trigger the audio and video awake. Since the monitor does not have sound sensitivity adjustment to detect lower sounds, parents who want to hear their baby's every breath are better off deactivating standby mode and keeping the monitor on throughout the night.
One glaring feature missing altogether from Levana video baby monitors is the ability to pan or zoom, something most comparable monitors offer. Subsequently, the camera must be placed just right to get the exact view you want of the baby.
Equipped with an impressive 2.36-inch LCD screen, Levana video baby monitors use a powerful lithium-ion battery that can run continuously for up to four and a half hours before needing to recharge. For ultimate portability and convenience, the monitor can also run on 4x AAA batteries.
We loved the Levana video baby monitor's soft, gender-neutral color scheme and conservative design that would seamlessly blend into any baby nursery. Plus, the monitor comes ready-to-use right out of the box. What we don't love as much is the camera's green power LED that can be obnoxious at night; however, this isn't an issue unique to the Levana monitor as many video baby monitors are outfitted with such lights.
Like most monitors, this one also has volume controls, a low-power indicator and a belt clip that also functions as a kickstand. One design feature that sets the monitor apart from comparable products is its crib mount. Designed to be used only with very young infants, the mount can be attached to a crib side rail, giving you a full, close-up view of just the baby.
Finally, the camera is multi-positional and has a magnetic ball base that allows you to manually swivel and adjust the camera as needed, a design feature that somewhat makes up for the camera's inability to pan or zoom.
It seems like we aren't the only ones less than impressed with Levana video baby monitor’s sound quality; many other users report having similar issues with sound sensitivity when the monitor goes mute. Apart from that, the monitor offers decent sound quality, but you may find you need the volume up higher than you would on a different monitor to ensure you can adequately hear your baby.
It does, however, have very few issues with interference; in fact, the manufacturer's website boasts an "interference free digital wireless" monitor and it certainly lives up to that claim. Running on a 2.4GHz frequency, it is well-stocked with ample channels (32 to be exact) and auto-channel hopping to ensure you always have a constant and, more importantly, secure signal.
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Consumers who purchase Levana video baby monitors will have access to the most comprehensive and well-rounded customer service support of any monitor we reviewed. Not only do they offer standard support via telephone and an online contact form, they also offer live chat for post-sale technical support and installation assistance. Furthermore, their website has a page where you can fill out a contact form to send to the company president directly.
The monitor also has a typical one-year warranty on any manufacturing defects or issues. Just be sure to keep your receipt - Levana requires it to validate the monitor's warranty.
Despite some sound sensitivity issues (which can mostly be avoided by not using standby mode), this monitor is still one of our top-rated video monitors. We love the flexible features, low interference, clear video and subdued design. If you can bear not hearing every endearing little breath, the Levana BABYVIEW20 Video Baby Monitor is a feature-rich, attractive monitor for under $200.