Everyone wants to keep their home or property safe, and there are many ways of doing this. Installing a surveillance camera with an alarm or siren is one of the most effective home security measures you can take. But how loud the siren, is often a debated question.
If you’re into home automation, chances are, you’ve looked around for a reliable home security kit, and Blink XT2 happens to be one of the many options.
In this article, we’re going to see how effective Blink XT2 is, in keeping you and your home secured. Does it have a siren? If yes, is the siren loud enough for neighbours to hear? Can it scare off an intruder? Well, keep reading- we’ve got you covered.
Does It Have a Siren?
The answer is Yes, and No. It depends on what you want and what you can afford. The manufacturer calls it a panic siren and not a “bugler alarm” – just so you know what to expect.
The Blink XT2 is the latest product from Blink, and you can purchase one from the two options;
- As a starter, Security Kit- comes with Blink Camera (s), enhanced Sync Module, Siren, Entry Sensors, and a Keypad. In a complete package, you get all you need to set up your home security system. This one will cost you slightly above €300- depending on the number of cameras.
- As a standalone indoor/outdoor Blink XT2 smart security system. This option doesn’t come with a siren, and you’ll need to purchase one separately. The siren cost around 45 €. Depending on the number of cameras you want, you can choose from the 1-camera system to the 5-camera system.
If you have an earlier version of the Blink security cameras, such as the Blink XT, an add-on panic siren will come in handy. Setting up the siren with the Blink App is fast and easy- we shall see this later.
How Loud Is It?
Before we go any further, let’s answer this question.
According to Blink, the siren produces a 105 dB sound, and it takes some measurements to check if this is actually the case. Checking how loud the siren, is pretty straightforward. There are smartphone apps you can download and use to measure the intensity of any sound- this might not be very accurate, but it gives you a rough estimate based on the average values.
NB: Decibels (dB) is a unit used to measure the intensity of a sound or the degree of loudness.
So, how loud is 105 dB? Let’s face it.
Humans can hear sounds between 0-140 dB, and while one can persevere beyond 140 dB; (sound from a machine gun), it’s too painful for the ears and can cause permanent damage. According to government regulations on noise protection, you’re supposed to have your earplugs on if you’re exposed to a daily noise level of 85 dB. But our siren is 105 dB, could this mean it’s quite loud?
To have a clearer image, we’ve sampled a few noise levels with their real-world examples. Take a look.
|80||Unpleasant||A running motorcycle engineA running vacuum cleaner|
|85||Unpleasantly loud||Moving trainAn electric doorbell|
|90||Very Loud||A running jackhammer ordrilling machine|
|95- 100||Noisy||Heavy traffic/ metro trainA fighter jet at 300 meters|
|100-110||Very Noisy||A live rock music/concert Pneumatic hammer|
|110-120||Extremely Loud||A nearing police siren A chain saw|
You can also watch this video for faster and better comprehension-
Now that you know the different sound levels, it’s time to see if the Blink’s panic siren gives the rated 105 dB. The best way to confirm this is to trigger the siren and measure the sound level using a decibel meter- a smartphone app works just fine.
Here is a video showing the average dB levels of the Blink siren tested at various distances.
NB: Fast-forward to 5:25 to see the siren’s dB test results.
This video clearly shows that, the siren produces a high-frequency (high-pitch) tone that’s not as loud as many users would expect. At close range, an average of 87.5 dB with a maximum of 94.7 dB doesn’t sound as loud as a 105 dB sound.
Below is a breakdown of how loud the siren is, from sampled distances.
- 10 feet- 75 dB
- 20 feet- 70 dB
- 30 feet- 68 dB
- 50 feet- 65 dB
To some extent, these noise levels are loud, but they won’t guarantee the same results as a conventional burglar alarm.
Setting up the Siren and Using It
The siren is designed just like the Blink XT2 camera, but it uses one, 1.5 V AA size battery instead of two. The mounting kit is the same as that of the Blink camera and setting up the device with the app is quite simple. All useful information has been provided in the installation guide.
Once you have all the devices configured- including the door and window sensors, you can enjoy live-view monitoring from the comfort of your smart device. An icon is provided on the Blink app, where you can activate or deactivate the siren.
One of the settings you should pay attention to is the clip length. The Blink system records the footage for 5 to 60 seconds before it sends an alert to your iOS or Android device. The notification isn’t instant, and it’s necessary to strike a critical balance between the footage quality and how fast you get notified.
A 5-seconds recording will be too short, and a burglar can do a lot in 60 seconds. 10 to 15 seconds is the typical clip time you should choose. Considering some delays in unlocking the phone and navigating through the app, you’ll finally activate the siren in 20 to 30 seconds.
Before installing the panic siren outdoors, make sure it’s rated for outdoor use. While the Blink XT2 can be installed either indoors or outdoors, the siren may not work well in adverse weather conditions.
A window sticker is also provided, and unless you’re setting up someone, you might want to use it. The label warns the would-be burglar that your home is protected before they trespass or break-in.
Is the siren auto-activated?
No. It’s activated manually, and not by motion detected by the camera. The Blink XT2 camera packs some great features such as; 2-way conversation, night vision monitoring, and motion detection. The latter has not been integrated with the siren, and it won’t go off until you view the notification and trigger the alarm from your phone.
While some people are okay with this, it’s a huge drawback for most users. Those who don’t have their phones with them can easily miss those crucial notifications. The siren won’t go off, and the intruders will have an easy time.
Will This Siren Work for Me?
It depends. If you’re in for an ordinary alarm that sounds some sought of warning to an intruder or alert a trespasser, this siren will serve the purpose. If you want something rugged, with an earsplitting noise, which would scare off any professional burglar- you would want to look elsewhere.
This siren isn’t too loud to wake your sleeping neighbours or disturb the residents of the adjacent apartments. You won’t also have to worry about complaints and concerns about the “hearing health” of the neighbor’s kids.
Blink siren has to be manually triggered, meaning there are low chances for a false alarm. Some people live in neighborhoods where a false alarm is a major cause for concern. Talk of a siren going off mistakenly for a couple of minutes once or twice a week, and you’ll have to deal with the local authorities. False alarms are a public nuisance, and you can easily get a ticket threshold. If this describes your probable situation, then blink siren might be the right device for you.
The Blink XT2 is a versatile camera that packages a lot in a sleek and compact design. Besides the option to pair with a panic siren, it works well with Google Alexa. We’ve discussed more on Alexa’s integration in this article.
A motion-activated alarm is one of those features that are highly anticipated in the future Blink upgrades. In its current configuration, the panic siren is more manual than it is automated. By letting you control everything, there isn’t much you can do to scare off the burglar if you’re dead asleep or don’t have the phone with you in the first place.
So, is this siren loud, or somewhat useful as a home security system? Yes, and it will probably discourage the intruder from breaking in. It won’t, however, go off until you manually activate the siren via the Blink App.
You should also keep in mind the type and quality of sound you would expect from your ideal home security system before settling for this siren.
If you’ve read through to the end, then you now know why this siren has all those reviews you’ve probably seen online. Like any product out there, it has its pros and cons.
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