REVIEW – With the recent virus fresh in our memories, I think many of us have become more aware of how much indoor air quality can affect our quality of life. Even if you don’t have pets or allergies, moving the air in your home around and filtering it can mitigate the effects of flu and pollen season. I was sent a new item from Dreo, their Macro Max S air purifier to test, and have been running it at my new home for a few weeks now. I’m ready to report on its performance.
What is it?
The Dreo Macro Max S air purifier is a room-sized air purifier, with IoT connection.
What’s in the box?
- Dreo Macro Max S air purifier
From company website
- 3-stage, active filtration system
- H13 true HEPA electrostatic filter
- Dedicated air quality monitoring channel
- Large air quality monitoring display
- Smart WiFi， voice control
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
- Smart filter life algorithm
- 24dB ultra-quiet performance
- Certified by AHAM, ENERGY STAR, FCC, ETL and more
Design and features
The Dreo Macro Max S air purifier is smaller than most flip-top kitchen trash cans but larger than a typical desk-side one. It’s 21” tall and 11” square. The grey matte plastic has smooth round corners, with a black accent piece that runs down the entire right front. Atop this piece is the control area. That front black panel displays various indicators which let you know the condition of the air or the status of the filter. There is a color code for the lower area to tell you at a glance what the air quality is. (More about this later.) The top area is mostly a grate for freshly filtered air to be dispersed out into the room from. That control dial on the front right corner shows a lot of information: fan speed setting, WiFi connection, whether snooze or auto sleep has been set up, etc. The power, fan, and wifi setup buttons at the top are manual, but they are soft-touch buttons, not hard buttons.
In the default settings, the LEDs on the unit are lit when there is good lighting in the room but dim to black when the ambient light fades. I like this a lot, since sleeping in a room with bright lights is so difficult. You can also manually turn the LEDs to a dimmer level, but if it’s going to do “the right thing” by itself, I see no need to.
The HEPA filter is very large – over 12″ tall and most of the diameter of the device’s interior. At only $50 for replacements, it’s cheaper than asthma medications! Typically, they only need replacing every 6-8 months but can be cleaned to function more effectively between changes.
The setup for the Dreo Macro Max S air purifier is pretty minimal unless you want to connect it to your smart home. (It integrates with Alexa and Google, but not Apple’s Home app.) To do that, you will need to download the app and set up an account, as one does. It’s pretty quick to pair it and control it from there. You can control everything that can be done with the manual control panel from the app, and some things, like automatic operation and child lock, can only be done from within the app.
I left the Dreo Macro Max S air purifier running after setup, and the air quality stayed at blue (good) for a week or so. I was also testing a fireplace ash vacuum during this same period. I started a fire (yes, in the fireplace!) in order to get some ashes to vacuum, and continued writing and working on email while the fire burned. Suddenly, I noticed a really strong wood-smoke smell. I started to go open the door, thinking there wasn’t enough draft for the fire, and happened to notice the Macro Max S. The air quality indicator was at a hard red, which is poor!
I turned up the fan to push more air through the unit, and within half an hour, it was up to moderate. Thirty minutes later, it was bright blue again. I hadn’t set up the app and the alarms yet, but it could have alerted me to this type of change. (And, yes, I have contacted a chimney sweep, who will fix my fireplace venting before my next fire!)
The fan noise is almost unnoticeable at the two lowest settings. When it kicks into higher speeds, you’ll start to hear it, but it is nothing like the noise generated by other air filters I have used in the past. And this moves a LOT more air than those did!
What I like
- Very quiet operation
- Auto-dimming of LEDs
- The app gives access to advanced settings
What I’d change
- Can’t think of anything
Much research has been done in the past few years regarding air quality and healthy life outcomes. Providing clean air, as well as monitoring the air quality and alerting you to issues is an important part of what the Dreo Macro Max S air purifier offers. I’m happy that I have this unit to filter the air in my house, and may wind up getting one for my children’s homes as well.