The Baby Stars Rock 2 Sleep SNU:MEE is a small portable music player, baby monitor, DLNA speaker that hangs out in a very cute plush baby safe sleeve and can be cuddled or played with safely by an infant or toddler.
The sleeves (of which there are currently 10 listed,) are machine washable, and come in a variety of characters that you can swap the speaker out to in seconds.
As a note on this review I haven’t even begun to delve into how this thing is pretty much future proof and may be the only audio player your kid needs for years (you can take it out of the lamb sleeve and slap it into something less baby).
For those concerned about WiFi near a little one The Baby Stars Rock 2 Sleep SNU:MEE can store up to 4 gigabytes of music for local playback and allows you to turn the WiFi off. If you’re a bit more concerned wondering exact numbers, they tell me it’s rated between 0.1 and 3.7% of the current EU Norm 1999/519/EG.
So not much.
The Baby Stars Rock 2 Sleep SNU:MEE is great for trips when you’re needing a baby monitor but maybe don’t have WiFi at grandma’s house. As long as you’re within WiFi range of the thing you’ve got a baby monitor that’s about one second behind what’s actually going on in the room.
If you’re at a friend’s house with a network, you can use the app to join the Baby Stars Rock 2 Sleep SNU:MEE to their network and then monitor wherever you’ve got signal. You can set up alarms to inform you when there’s noise in the room, and even use the Baby Stars Rock 2 Sleep SNU:MEE as a walkie-talkie so you can tell your baby you’ll be there shortly.
I’m not particularly finding the wow of using the thing as an Airplay/DLNA speaker considering it runs through battery pretty quickly when using as such. It sort of removes the usefulness as you’ve now got to plug it in if you want to use it over five hours, but it can be used as such. Nothing against it, just haven’t figured out a scenario in which that is useful for a baby. If you do, let me know.
So after a few nights of uses, I’ve found that plugged in as an Airplane/DLNA speaker you’re looking at being able to stream audio that isn’t the same 20 or 30 children’s songs you’ve preloaded or thought of way too late. Good for if your kid wants to listen to a lullaby station, or perhaps kid rock radio later on. That’s rock for kids, not Kid Rock mind you. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
As your child grows you can also use the device as a portable MP3 player as there are controls built onto the thing and it has a headphone jack. It has volume limiting options, timers, and otherwise is probably better than any MP3 player of the 90’s.
I’m told that the chipset internally is on par with some name brand tablets and that the audio produced from what is being sold as a baby monitor is actually capable of significantly more, along with the firmware being able to be updated later on.
It also can act as a WiFi repeater as I found myself one night connected to the SNU:MEE hotspot and was surfing over the internet connection it was connected to. This way if you’re getting WiFi at the SNU:MEE it can extend it out further. You lose a little speed and burn through the battery if you’ve got it unplugged, but it’s a potentially useful feature.
Some minor criticism of the Baby Stars Rock 2 Sleep SNU:MEE
It should be noted here that as of this writing this is on Indigogo and will be shipping April 2016 so I may be looking at a slightly pre-release version.
As such, the included documentation in English is not quite complete. Fortunately the full user manual is available online. I’m told that the software and firmware are expected to be updated regularly so making a manual set in stone was not a priority. OK, respect.
The device works for about five hours in baby monitor or streaming music to the device mode. Should be noted you can play music off of the thing, turn WiFi off, and run it a lot longer, so for a nighttime baby music machine this works fine. If you need to have it as a running baby monitor all night, the battery is only capable of running about five hours if you’re attempting to listen to every sound in the room.
Fortunately you can set it to just alert you when there’s noise and continue on.
That said, it may be the only battery-capable portable network baby monitor, and you can just take it out of the crib and plug it in to keep it running as long as you want it to. The speaker’s loud enough and the mic is good enough that having it in the same room is probably sufficient for most monitoring or playback purposes.
The Baby Stars Rock 2 Sleep SNU:MEE likes its charger, doesn’t like two others I’ve thrown at it. Specifically it hates my USB off the computer and one that I’m also beginning to suspect. Not a huge deal as it works with all wall chargers I tried, but it’s something to note. I’m told this is odd and I will be investigating whether there’s actually something wrong with my charger and computer USB (which may be the case.) I’ll update on that later.
The room noise alarm monitoring needs more of an interactive a calibration. The thing heard noise in the room? OK, show me what level the noise it heard was on this slider and I’ll move the trip level slightly beyond that. What ends up happening is I have an alarm going off and then have to guess. This is fixable with an app update.
The app currently isn’t optimized for all size screens(see screenshot on left,) as such there’s one option I have no idea what it is. Completely fixable with an app update.
When noise is detected in the room it would be nice if it would start recording and send the noise along with the alarm to your phone. Maybe it does this and that’s the option I can’t see. Maybe not.
Other than the slightly lower than desired battery life, the thing is amazing. If they’d added one more sensor to report the temperature/humidity of the room I think we’d have everything in one place for the perfect portable baby monitor.
Baby Stars Rock 2 Sleep SNU:MEE: two weeks in
We’ve been using this approximately two weeks now, although not every night and not in every fashion. Some nights it’s played some music that was included on it, some nights I mixed it up as a baby DJ, a couple of nights it’s just been in the crib area listening for a couple of hours.
My baby currently doesn’t particularly care too much for sleeping with the music, however she loved playing with the thing when the music is on. I’m not entirely sure whether music sooths this beast or just enrages her.
Going to attempt some ocean sounds or white noise tonight, see if that works better for her.
My toddler takes little interest of it at the moment as she’s a bit too young to want to wear earphones, or hang around a speaker without doing something else. We’ll see what happens when we age a bit.
Baby Stars Rock 2 Sleep SNU:MEE: three weeks in
Minor complaint about the buttons. After using this quite a bit, trying to go in, find the play button in the dark and press it is hard. If baby sees light, baby wakes up and wants to sing the songs of her people. Would be nice to have a minute little raised nub to be able to press and leave.
Similar train of thought – when attempting to remove the player from the sleeve and plug it into an outlet nearby it’s a little bit difficult to locate the hatch you need to pop open. Then you have to plug in a plug that requires orienting to correctly place it. Hope they produce a version later on with USB-C so you don’t need to orient in the dark with a baby about to wake up.
So how does one get a Baby Stars Rock 2 Sleep SNU:MEE?
Currently you can get them by backing the Indigogo campaign for $89 (with a sleeve, 12 lullabies) or sign up on the website for ordering when they’re ready to ship. The Indigogo campaign offers a $50 savings off of the MSRP, so you might want to try that first.
With how awesome this thing is, chances are pretty good it’ll be in the larger retail stores and Amazon soon after release.