Rabbit Minusa2 Air Purifier Review

Retail Price: $549

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OVERVIEW:

Rabbit MinusA2 Air Purifier is a high class, great-looking model. But is it a good value at $549.95? And does it work better than other air purifiers? This review will answer those questions. This is Rabbit Air’s third generation air purifier and is an upgraded version of the Minus2A SP-1004. Like all the Rabbit Air Purifiers they are made in Korea.

I loved the fact that someone is taking an interest in air purifier design, and technology, as many of the most highly rated models like Austin Air and IQAIR have stayed with a very boxy gray/white design with older technology. Some of the larger electronics stores like Fry’s and Best Buys were carrying the lower end Rabbit Air Biogs for awhile, and even the high-end MinusA2 (for a few months) because they look very modern. But the higher prices of the Rabbit Air meant most stores opted for more affordable units. Now you have to go online to find them. The technology is really ahead of others, although so is the price.


Rabbit Air Auto Sensors

The Rabbit MinusA2 has one air quality sensor which adjusts the fan speed when it detects particles in the room. Some of the other models on the market like the Alive Air Purifier use three sensors (Pollen, odor and dust). The challenge with sensors is the “sensitivity” level they are set for determines how they operate. Don’t get me wrong, I like the sensors, but because each home is different the way they are set in the factory means a wide variety of effectiveness.

While the Company recommends running the machine for 72 hours to give the sensors a “clean air reference” I found a very effective way to set the sensors in 3 minutes. Any time the unit is unplugged or the power goes out the sensors must be reset.

A very cool feature is that an indicator lamp on the ride side control panel (see the video) changes color from blue (clean) to red (poor) depending on the level of particles the Rabbit MinusA2 sensors detects in the air. The “geeky” side of me loves this feature, although you won’t see it come on too often if you’re like me and run the unit 24/7. The air stays clean in my home.

I’ve been involved with air purifier sensors and sensor designs with my air purifier tech designer friend. Here’s the challenge: There are so many millions of particles in the air the question is how many particles do you set it for? A smoker’s house, or carpeting with cat odors, is going to set off a sensitive odor sensor practically forever. The manufacturers problem with sensors has been the rate of returns when people can’t get sensors to go on or off properly.

The Rabbit MinusA2 has something which resolves much of this - it has settings to adjust the sensitivity (see the manual).

This review continues after a brief review of the stages of purification.


Stages of Purification

Now let's take a look at the filters and technology for cleaning the air. The Rabbit MinusA2™ SPA-780A air purifier has 6 stages:

Stage 1 Pre-filter - gathers hair and dust extending life of HEPA. It is anti-bacterial.

Stage 2 Medium Filter" - This is a thin cloth pre-filter which is anti-bacterial to trap hair, dust, and bacteria. It seems redundant to the pre-filter, but it traps particles slightly smaller than the pre-filter.

Stage 3 BioGS HEPA Filter - removes dust and pollen. This is your most important filter.

Stage 4 Custom Filter - You get to choose another of 3 filters for either toxins, germs, or pet allergies. I'm not convinced these are all that different, or that much more effective (I have owned 2 of the 3) but the idea sounds like you're getting something different. I think it is more marketing built into the design.

Stage 5 Activated Carbon Filter - absorbs odor and chemicals

Stage 6 Negative Ions - These go out into the room and kill odor and mold spores. This is good for your health and lungs as well.

Conclusion: There is a bit of redundancy with the filters. While the manual says replace them every 12 months that will depend on conditions. I ahd to replace the HEPA and medium filter after 9 months which set me back $100.



Four Modes of Operation

The MinusA2 has a Manual, Quiet, Auto, Pollen, and Sleep Mode.

In the “auto” mode a light sensor measures the level of light in the room and will turn off the mood light after several minutes and shut the machine down to slow speed.

"Sleep mode" is very cool and happens automatically. The Sleep Mode Indicator turns on in the Silent Mode (very quiet) and with the "auto" function on. What happens then is it automatically switches off Mood Light and Air Quality Indicator.

I can't figure out how "pollen mode" does anything different since all the filters are in operation no matter what you do.


Weird "Mood" Lights

A switchable “mood light” in the Rabbit minusA2 is an idea popular in Asia according to one of my friends, but doesn't go over in the US. The light fluctuates (see the video) between blue and pink in the low speed. It is bright, and fortunately can be turned off at night.

According to Rabbit Air, the mood light can affect your health. "Mood lights on air purifier helps to normalize blood pressure, pulse, and facilitate deep breathing, which puts a person in a state of long-lasting calm and relaxation." I'd like to see some science on that wild claim. I'd think with their "high-tech" approach they'd know better.


Pros and Cons

Pros

1 - Very sleek design

2 - Effective 5-stage filtration

3 - Wall mounted option

4 - Great controls and electronics

Cons

1 - A bit loud on low at 26 decibels

2 - Replacement filter package is expensive - $100

3 - Pricey at $549.00

4 - Only covers 400 square feet or less (despite claims of 800)


Specifications and Technologies

Yearly Costs: $100-150

Decibel Level: 26/

Warranty - 5 Years

Number of Speeds - 5

Filters - 4

Notes: The Rabbit Air Brushless DC (Direct Current) Motor (BDCM) is the most current technology and for me the way to go with an air purifier. Many manufacturers (IQAIR and Austin Air for example) still use the old "brush motors" which are louder, produce ozone, and do not last as long. These BDCM motors are quieter, ozone free, and produce less electromagnetic currents while using less electricity. I've had my Alive Air Purifier running for 5 years now 24/7 and it is rated for 100,000 hours of operation. So far so good.


"Richardson" Air Purifier Rating

1. Technologies Included: (out of of 10 technologies) 7

2. Particle Removal (Allergens, Dust) 9

3. Immune System Threats (Germs, Virus, etc.) 3

4. Gas Removal (Odor, Chemicals, Smoke) 7

5. Longevity/Quality 9

6. Noise Levels 8

7. Ease of Use 9

8. Warranty 10

9. Customer Service/Reputation (reviews) 9

10. Price Value 6

Score: 77 = Excellent


Rabbit Minusa2 Air Purifier Conclusion

If it weren't for the cost, and replacement filter cost, of the Rabbit MinusA2 I would recommend it highly. I love the design, looks, and filters in it, although I found some of the extra filters redundant. Great for allergies, I only wished they had UV or other germ and virus killing technology. I like the Warranty as well. It's a bit small for the cost. If money isn't a concern, looks are important to you, and dust/pollen are your main concerns, then this might be a great choice for your home.

If you need to cover 2 rooms you can buy 2 Alive Air Purifiers (7 technologies) for the price of one Rabbit Air MinusA2 (6 technologies). You'll sacrifice looks, but save money in the process. Retail Price: $549

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