Our Rating Price when reviewed 399inc VAT
Build quality isn’t quite on the level we’d expect for the price, but Dyson’s AM09 hot + cool is still the best looking fan heater around
Weight: 2.6Kg, Dimensions: 590x205x205mm (with base), Warranty: Two years RTB
Dyson launched its latest hot + cool bladeless air heater, the AM09, in Japan and the US late last year as a replacement to the AM05, but British customers can finally get the improved model, which promises Jet Focus Control for more powerful, more direct airflow and a motor that’s up to 75% quieter than the outgoing model. We’ve been putting one through its paces to see if it has what it takes to keep you cool in the summer yet nicely snug in the winter.
The AM09 looks almost identical to the outgoing AM05, with a tall, oblong-shaped aperture and a chunky base which hides its brushless motor. Dyson has removed almost all of the buttons from the front, replacing them with a single power button and white LCD display showing airflow speed and desired temperature. Without the bundled remote, you’ll only be able to turn the fan on and off, and cycle through target temperatures by holding in the single button on the front of the unit. There’s no option to turn the power and temperature LEDs off, which could be a little irritating if the fan is directly in your line of sight when trying to get to sleep. There is at least a nine hour sleep timer, so you can set it to switch off automatically before you drop off.
The black and silver model reviewed here looks stylish and futuristic, with a soft-touch finish that hides fingerprints and is easy to wipe clean, but we couldn’t help but notice it felt a little unbalanced; a slight tap will cause it to wobble.This is partly due to the way the fan oscillates and lets you adjust the level of tilt, but it’s disappointing that it wasn’t a little more rigid given the price. It will automatically switch itself off should it get knocked over, so accidents are very unlikely, at least.
As with Dyson’s other bladeless fans, hiding the motor in the base means there are no moving parts for children or pets to get hurt on, so you can leave it within reach and not have to worry about trapped fingers. The heating elements are placed inside the inner aperture as well, meaning the outside of the fan stays cool to the touch, but Dyson still suggests not touching it while in use and keeping it out of the reach of children.
It depends on the size of your room and the difference between ambient and desired temperatures, but during our testing the AM09 got up to temperature in under five minutes. Of course, at the time of writing in mid-April, the ambient temperature of roughly 20 degrees is a world away from a cold British winter evening, so we’ll have to return to testing later in the year to see whether it maintains these speeds.
Despite the thermostat being contained in the base of the fan, it was accurate enough to dial down the airflow when the majority of the room had reached the desired temperature. There were a few areas where our thermometer didn’t quite measure the temperature we’d set, but it was still much warmer than ambient.
You can lower the desired temperature to as low as one degree, but doing so won’t actually activate the fan; you’ll need to press the cooling button and switch to fan-only mode. Switch from heating mode to cooling and you’ll also get a face full of warm air for roughly thirty seconds before the heating elements cool down and the flow of air drops in temperature.
Dyson’s magnetic remote docks on the top of the fan in the same way as the AM06 cooling fan we saw last year. The AM09 remote gains a few extra buttons, however; separate temperature and airflow controls, a dedicated cooling button to switch from heating to a fan-only mode, and diffused and personal heating modes.
Those last two functions use Dyson’s Jet Focus Control technology, which can either direct the flow of air in a single direction like a traditional oscillating fan, or diffuse the air to create a wider spread that can quickly heat a whole room. This works by accelerating air through cleverly-designed air channels and apertures within the fan, then funnelling it out through either one or two airfoil-shaped ramps depending on whether you want a concentrated focus or a wider stream of air. You also don’t get any of the buffeting associated with traditional bladed fans.
Jet Focus Control certainly worked during our testing, as we could feel a steady flow of air from several feet away – even with the airflow speed set to a low level. Diffused mode works best when heating a room, taking just a few minutes to increase the temperature of a medium-sized bedroom by three degrees above ambient.
Perhaps more impressively is how the AM09 manages to achieve this while being significantly quieter than the outgoing AM05. The improved motor is barely audible on the lowest heat setting, and only slightly louder on the lowest fan levels. We could comfortably get to sleep with the fan on a medium setting, and it didn’t prove distracting when watching TV or having a conversation during the daytime either. It’s a welcome improvment over the old model and a major selling point for anyone with a loud, traditional fan heater.
The AM09 is mostly a positive upgrade over the outgoing AM05, then. It’s significantly quieter, the remote control now makes more sense and Jet Focus Control is ideal for switching between whole room and individual cooling or heating. However, the lack of buttons on the unit itself means you’re in trouble if you misplace the remote, and £400 is an incredible amount of money to spend on a fan heater. The AM09 isn’t significantly more effective at heating and cooling than more traditional fan heaters, only quieter, so you’re mostly paying for the brand name and admittedly stylish design. It’s undeniably the best looking device of its kind out there, so if you think design is worth paying for, the AM09 is the obvious choice.
|Dimensions||590x205x205mm (with base)|
|Remote control||Yes (power, temperature, oscilation, fan width, timer)|