Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Whisper Connect, We Hardly Knew Ye
I can't remember why I picked this particular baby monitor for the shower registry. Probably my friend S. had recommended it in her long, annotated baby gear list (inherited from a friend of hers). It wouldn't have occurred to me then, or even until this week, that there was much difference between baby monitors, or which features would matter to me.
Until I dropped the receiver until last week, and it stopped working.
It was an Evenflo WhisperConnect Two-Way 900MHz. Not Sensa. Not Pro. And they don't make it anymore. And nothing else has all the features I came to require. Oh, why didn't I cherish this monitor? Why didn't I protect it and keep it safe in all its specialness? I was wrong, so wrong.
It had great sound quality. Sure, it got staticky sometimes, but don't we all? But you could hear everything in Ben's room with perfect clarity: the softest little pre-waking whimper, the mylar crinkling in one of his crib toys, the ping of the steam heat in the pipes. Several other monitor models boast that they filter all non-voice noise. Why would you want that? I want to hear if he's rolling around or playing with toys.
It had a rechargeable battery. And, ok, the sound was crappier when the receiver was plugged in, but leaving it on for hours on end was just an inconvenience and didn't require three new triple-As every time.
It had a dozen or so lights, not the five that seem to be standard, which, combined with its senitivity, meant that with the volume turned way down (when we're watching tv, for instance), the slightest peep registered a light or two, and grabbed out attention. The replacement monitor's first light only hits with a pretty solid cry.
It only had two channels, but that was plenty. More channels just means more confusion if you accidentally hit the channel button while the kid is sleeping. It had a walkie-talkie function, which we almost never used, but I bet Ben would have enjoyed playing with it in a couple of years.
I can't begin to understand why Evenflo would have changed the design of this monitor, given its Amazon ratings, which were head and shoulders above all others at a comparable price. They added some stupid pet motion detector ("Sensa"), and the ratings for the new model are significantly lower.
I've been shopping (online) for a better replacement for a couple of days now, and my success has been such that I'm now considering finding an electronics repair shop -- if they exist anymore, that is -- and paying someone the cost of a replacement to fix it.
And then I'll take ever such good care of it! I'll never drop it again! I promise!
Edited to Add: "Two-Way." Key descriptive title phrase I left out. And the difference is apparently more than just whether or not it has the walkie-talkie function. The two-way monitor got significantly better reviews than the same model without two-way -- which probably means it wasn't the same model at all.