Here come the warmer months and that reason to get the old trusty fan out. But before you do, you might want to consider a healthy update of the personal cooling device, as Dyson updates its original air multiplier, making the whole thing quieter than before.
An update to Dyson’s smallest Air Multiplier fan, the Dyson AM06 takes the technology from the previous generation and gives it a much-needed upgrade, finding a way to make the fan quieter, while keeping the technology cool and safe for fingers of little ones.
It also has a new name, with Dyson model names for the AM06, AM07, and AM08 models also being known as the “Dyson Cool,” in line with its “Dyson Hot+Cool” Air Multiplier fans useful for both heating and cooling.
A remote is new to the mix, with a magnet built into it and the top of the fan so you can store it on the fan for safe keeping.
Like the old Air Multiplier, the head can tilt up or down to send the air in different directions, with oscillation built into the fan when the mode is switched on.
Just like the old unit, the plastic construction means the Dyson AM06 is relatively lightweight, and can have the fan head separated from the body, since it is delivered to you this way and has to be assembled from these two parts.
Dyson’s Air Multiplier technology is an interesting thing.
For those out of the loop with it, it’s a technology that speeds up the air for cooling rather than whipping it into a frenzy and cutting into lots of buffeted pieces for your cooling pleasure.
Unlike conventional fans, the AM series — or “Air Multiplier” for those playing at home — uses a small motor to suck in air from holes at the bottom of the unit, passing it through one of Dyson’s small motors, and sending it back out of the unit faster than before. This process creates faster air, so to speak, cooling the air more than conventional fans and making the whole thing safer by removing the blades in the process, but previously the Dyson units had problems: they were noisy.
From what we understand, it wasn’t an external design problem, but rather an internal one, and that’s something Dyson hopes to have fixed with this model.
Beyond the noise, the original AM01 was relatively light, easy to assemble, and didn’t take up much space at all, and this model — the AM06 — is much the same, managing to feel a smidgeon lighter, and just as easy to assemble out of the box, connecting the plastic pieces to one another by following the easy to remove labels on each side.
Once that’s done, you’re ready to plug it in, switch it on, and get to cooling down, finding out if perhaps Dyson has managed to achieve what the AM01 needed so desperately.
And you know what?
Plugged in and working away, the most obvious thing about the new Dyson model is that it is much, much quieter than the previous model.
Dyson likes to spout figures of it being 75 percent quieter, but all you really need to know is that the Dyson AM06 is so much quieter than its sibling that you’ll actually be able to concentrate on other things while it’s going on.
It’s not really fair to paint the AM01 in the “so loud it’ll frustrate you light” either, as it was the first of its time: a new type of fan that sucked air from the bottom, sped it up through a small motor, and forced it out through the fan-shaped portal that kept these bits inside.
But the new model that is the Dyson AM06 is much quieter, and while you can still hear it, it’s nowhere near the lawnmower that its brother was.
In fact, of the 10 speed levels, you’ll more or less find that up to level 5 (05), the fan is barely noticeable. Crank it up on a hot evening and you can still hear the new model whirr into action, the motor doing its best to suck air in at a high speed and send it back your way faster than before.
To get the fan this quiet, Dyson found a way to map the 3D sound of the fan, and in turn used what’s called a “Helmholtz cavity” at the bottom of the machine to pull back on the tones, reducing the sound, while providing a larger space to stop the airflow from making heavy noises related to turbulence.
The noise from the fan is still higher pitched here than say other fans on the market, and you have that motor to thank, but it is by no means the earache that was the AM01, a brilliant concept that would unfortunately keep you awake on a warm muggy evening due to the sound it made, defeating the point of its operation which was to cool you down and let you get some much needed sleep.
Dyson’s AM06 is that, however, and while we will probably run some music or TV on the background to drown out this sound, the AM06 doesn’t make enough of a whine that we’re likely to pay more than ten seconds worth of attention.
With the AM06 Cool whirring away, the air is cold, and that’s good, since that is precisely what a fan should be doing: blowing cold air your way.
But just like last time, the amount of air it blows your way isn’t a huge amount, and you could probably get faster and heavier fans if you looked, especially for the amount of money Dyson is asking for.
For us, it’s cool enough, and the air is blown out fast enough, but that’s within a metre of the fan.
Sit or lie further off, and that air trail backs off and softens up, still feeling like a fan, but not as forceful one, and that’s on level 10, the highest level of them all. Bring it back to the mid-way point at level 5 and unless you’re sitting within arm’s reach of the air exit points, you’ll feel the fan as if it were a light breeze, nothing more.
And if you bring it back below level 5 — because there’s always 4, 3, 2, and 1, as well — there’s even less air. In fact, we don’t even know why the setting of one exists, as it’s barely a breath when you’re within arm’s reach of the AM06; it’s not a fan, it’s a home appliance learning how to breathe on its own.
So air force isn’t one of the Dyson AM06’s strong points, but it’s a cool fan, providing some of the coolest air we’ve felt from a fan, and is a change from the regular recycled and slightly cooled warmth that we’re used to seeing from the fans sitting around the house.
There’s also a timer included, something we hoped for last time, and are delighted to see Dyson finally included. This timer is still relatively basic, but should serve a useful purpose if you plan on leaving the fan on while you’re sleeping, with timers for every quarter-point of the first hour, and then every hour past that for up to nine hours.
Yes, you can leave your fan going for eight or nine hours while you’re sleeping and expect it to turn itself off when you decide to get up, which should prove especially useful if you’re certain you’ll get eight hours of sleep when it’s far too hot outside to be staying awake.
Helping with this is the remote, a new thing for the Dyson cooling-only Air Multiplier fans, which in typical Dyson style is very easy to use.
There are technically four buttons here, with power, oscillation, speed up and down, and timer up and down. It’s not rocket science, that’s for sure, and a small dual-digit LED on the front of the fan helps you see not just what speed you’re on, but how much time has been set for the unit’s self-timer mode.
Easy. No problems there.
And Dyson has even provided a small magnet in the remote, allowing the tiny hand-held gadget to rest neatly at the top of the arch that is the fan, held in place by a magnet in each section.
But that forcefulness is still a problem, and it’s a problem that carries an expensive tag, because at $399, Dyson’s option for keeping yourself cool is not cheap. Not by a long shot.
One other problem is the lack of controls.
Sure, you get a remote, but nothing else, with no controls on the front of the unit, so you won’t want to lose that remote otherwise, well, you won’t be fanning yourself any time soon.
If you don’t have an air conditioner or you do and you need a fan for a smaller space, Dyson’s AM06 offers a stylish fan with a technology that is not only safer, but technically cooler than the regular bladed fan you take out of the closet the moment the heat starts up.
It’s still not a terribly cheap option, but Dyson rarely is, and you do get a quiet cold brush of air this time, so at least you don’t have to sleep with the vacuum running on it the distance, which is definitely a positive if you loved the original but had problems getting to bed with it on in the background.