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Snuza Hero SE review: The Snuza Hero wants to rescue sleeping infants

The Snuza Hero not only monitors the breathing of a sleeping baby, but also acts if that breathing halts.

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David Priest
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David Priest Former editor

David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who formerly covered home security for CNET.

3 min read

There is no publicly available statistical evidence that wearable baby monitors protect young infants from health concerns like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). And yet many companies are selling them for as much as $250 -- what seems to many an absurd price for a device without proven effects.

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7.5

Snuza Hero SE

The Good

The Snuza Hero SE is more affordable than the competition, and it features an active response if it registers that the child has stopped breathing.

The Bad

The lack of app connectivity means you don't get any of the data collection of other wearable monitors like MonBaby or Owlet. Plus, it's kind of bulky.

The Bottom Line

Snuza is definitely worth checking out. While it feels a little pricey, it's affordable for the market -- and it features solid basic functionality.

And yet, between anecdotal evidence online and simple logical reasoning, many parents have made the decision to shell out for wearable monitors. It makes sense: a monitor that alerts you if your child stops breathing should at least improve your response time during a potential crisis.

The Snuza Hero SE is another in the long line of wearables. Like those before it, Snuza is not an FDA-approved medical device, and for legal reasons it won't claim to prevent SIDS or infant asphyxiation. But it's a device that reliably tracks your infant's breathing, alerts you if it stops and attempts to rouse the child with vibrations in case of emergency. And for $120, those simple features make it one of my favorite gadgets in this market.

This baby wearable will monitor and act in case of crisis

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The Snuza Hero SE strips the wearable monitor concept to its core, and nearly perfects it. Here's how it works: you take Snuza out of the box, flip on the switch and clip it to your baby's diaper. That's it. It literally takes 20 seconds to set up, and it's ready to go.

Essentially, the rubber sensor of the device rests on your baby's belly, registering their breathing. If the sensor doesn't detect any movement for 15 seconds, it vibrates to rouse the baby (this is important, since SIDS often occurs when natural arousal processes fail). If Snuza has to rouse the baby in this way three times, it will start beeping. And if the child doesn't move for more than 20 seconds, it will set off a loud alarm.

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Snuza Hero can clip to a baby's diaper or pants, and monitors the breathing with a contact sensor on the belly.

Chris Monroe/CNET

While Snuza, like every other major wearable monitor in the US, doesn't have FDA approval, its European equivalent (Snuza Hero MD) is certified as a medical device according to European standards.

While Snuza isn't app-connected, I actually don't mind it. First off, it means a lower price than competitors. Secondly, the data gathering of other devices can distract from their core purpose: to monitor the child and alert parents if something goes wrong.

Of course, the lack of app connection means you can't get a push alert if you're out of earshot. Snuza might work independently in smaller living quarters, but for a larger house, you'll need to use it with a standard audio or video monitor -- which you'll require to hear your baby wake up anyway.

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Snuza will beep and signal with lights whether it is sensing your child's breathing or not.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The best parts about Snuza are the vibration and audible alarm features. While these certainly won't guarantee infants' safety, the attempt to intervene in the case of an emergency -- arousing a child whose breathing might be impeded while asleep -- distinguishes Snuza from devices that simply monitor and send alerts, like Owlet or MonBaby. Plus, I never have the fear that a push notification failed to warn me of a potential crisis.

Snuza Hero is the wearable monitor, streamlined. While $120 still feels a little too pricey for a gadget that won't stand alone as an all-in-one monitor, Snuza is far more affordable than its competitors.

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7.5

Snuza Hero SE

Score Breakdown

Features 5Usability 9Design 8Performance 9
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