Awair 2nd Edition review: Number 2, but in a good way

I checked out the Awair Glow a while back and loved its double duty as air quality monitor and smart plug. I was then asked more recently to review the Awair 2nd Edition — it's the second iteration of the main Awair air quality monitor, and I figured I better give the bigger, better device a go. Plus, I wanted to know just how dusty my bedroom was.

The Good

  • Looks great
  • In-depth air quality measurements
  • Excellent app
  • Very easy setup

The Bad

  • Temperature reading is usually a little high
  • Internal fan gets kind of loud

Awair 2nd Edition What I like

The aesthetic of the Awair 2nd Edition hasn't really changed at all from its predecessor, and that's totally fine. It looks great — a dark wood cabinet with an off-white front and a minimalist LED display that shows readings and the time. I love that you knock twice on the top of the Awair to change the display from readings to the time. It's simple, and it has a satisfying wood note, like a marimba.

I also love the way the Awair 2nd Edition functions. It appears to be more accurate than its Glow counterpart, and the addition of dust measurements in the 2nd Edition is huge for me, especially since I'm quite allergic. It can be kind of worrisome seeing a red indicator and an overall reading below 60 first thing in the morning, after the door's been closed all night, but seeing bad readings ignites the desire to do something about the air.

Awair has made me care about my home's air quality.

That's probably the best part about the Awair line: I've actually started caring about the air quality in my house. Granted, it's a double-edged sword: I'm probably a little too conscious of it now. But the suggestions in the app are practical and have helped. My wife and I went out and bought houseplant, I keep the windows open more often, and I've started vacuuming every week and not "leaving it 'til next week."

In the app, you can also switch between air quality preferences, so you can set it to general, or view ratings for allergy sufferers, sleep, productivity, or babies. For example, if carbon dioxide is too high, then you'll get a lower overall score if you have it set to monitor for productivity.

Awair 2nd Edition What I don't like

It can be quite loud. There's a fan that sucks in air to analyze, and I understand that it's necessary, but it's woken me up in the dead of night. I am, admittedly, a very light sleeper, but the noise is reminiscent of a distant car passing outside your window. It's nowhere near as loud as an oscillating floor fan, but it's noticeable.

Seeing a bad air reading day after day can get frustrating — even if it's our own fault.

Integration with Google Assistant is kind of hit and miss. I linked up my Awair account, and you're supposed to be able to say, "OK, Google, ask Awair about my air quality," but whether or not I get a real response is kind of hit or miss. More often than not I get, "It looks like your Awair account is not linked yet." But it totally is. Whether that's Awair's fault or Google's, though, I'm not certain.

Now, this is just the nature of the beast, but sometimes having a constant air quality reading can just be a bit tedious. We, of course, choose to have these devices in our homes, but after a full week of 59 across the board, there's almost an "Ugh, what the hell do you want me to do?!" feeling. Things should be interesting when winter hits and my windows don't open until spring.

Awair 2nd Edition

If you want a full picture of your home air quality, then it doesn't get much better than Awair. For $199, I feel like it's a tad pricey, but if air quality is important to you, then it's worth it. The app gives you great suggestions, a full reading, and the option to connect other devices that can trigger based on certain scenarios. For example, turn on the dehumidifier when humidity reaches X.

4.5 out of 5

The Awair 2nd Edition may lack a smart plug like its Glow brethren, but what it lacks in smart home control it makes up for in the addition of dust measurement, as well as seemingly accurate (I mean, how can I really know?) overall readings, and an excellent interface, both on the physical device and in the app.

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Mick Symons
Mick is a writer and duty editor for Android Central. When he's not on the job, he can usually be found vacuuming up pet hair or trying to convince his wife that he needs more guitars.