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 Ayden is a simple baby monitor with a camera to watch your baby in normal and low-light settings while they sleep or play. Though it sacrifices some helpful features for this simplicity, this also makes it one of the easiest video baby monitors to use.
In our testing, the Levana Ayden baby monitor earned 80 percent for ease of use. It has fewer features than some monitors – for example, you can't capture stills of your baby with it – but this frees the parent unit from clunky controls. From the video monitor, you can control settings on the camera and talk to your baby. Depending on the walls or obstacles between the two, the Ayden monitor and camera can communicate with over 150 feet between them.
The video monitor works best on its energy-saving PEEP mode. Once your baby makes a peep, the monitor activates so you can see what's happening in the nursery. By limiting the video feed, this feature gives the Ayden an impressive battery life of up to 48 hours. In our test, we activated PEEP mode every two hours to keep the battery running and found that even after eight hours, the Ayden still had two-thirds of its power left.
The camera sends a 640 x 480-resolution picture to the parent monitor's 3.5-inch screen. The monitor has a lower resolution than the camera, causing fuzz and slight lag in the picture that's similar to old webcams. You can see your baby from their crib, but you can't make out fine details. Because of this, the Ayden earned a 60 percent score for video quality.
For low-light conditions, the Ayden has infrared LEDs that let you see up to 15 feet in the dark. The camera lacks motors to pan or tilt, so you have to be choosy about where you set up the unit to ensure you have a good view. Although you can't remotely adjust the camera, the Ayden has a 73-degree viewing angle and a double zoom to give you a closer look at your little one.
The monitor has two-way communication, a common but essential feature that allows you to speak to your baby through the camera unit. The audio quality on both ends sounds like that of a phone call. There is some crackling and buzzing, but the interference is mild. We were able to hear sounds from the baby unit, but the volume was low. This earned it a 75 percent audio score in our evaluation.
The Levana Ayden doesn't have all the extras of the best video baby monitors. You can't take snapshots or record video of your baby from the camera unit. That doesn't mean the Ayden is completely basic, though. This video baby monitor reports the temperature of your baby's room and includes three lullabies to help your baby sleep. It also has a gentle nightlight that's controllable from the parent unit, so you can turn it off and on without entering the nursery.
The monitor is under warranty for one year, and there are several means of support online in case you have questions. If you lose the included print manual, you can access a downloadable PDF on the Levana website. There are also FAQs, video tutorials, live chat, phone, social media and email to reach customer service reps.
The Levana Ayden has fewer features than the very best video baby monitors, but this makes it an easier baby monitor to use. You can't pan or tilt the camera remotely or take screenshots of your baby, but the parent unit lets you zoom in and play lullabies for your baby and has a long battery life. The sound and video quality are muddy, but you can still hear when your baby needs help and see them without much trouble.