Humidifiers are a category that doesn’t especially have much use where I live, as it’s already humid for much of the year. Nonetheless, they are essential to many people during the winter. Humidifiers tend to come in two types; evaporative, and diffusion. The humidifier we’re looking at today – the Airversa Humelle Smart Humidifier – belongs in the latter category, which initially relies on a nebuliser to break water down into a very fine mist, and subsequently push it out with the use of a built-in fan. Both have their pros and cons, but if we’re talking about humidifying capabilities, it would appear that diffusion-based models can produce better results. The Airversa does have some extra features that make it a little more enticing too, not to mention it uses Thread for connection to your Apple smart home, so as we get closer to autumn and winter, if you’re in the market for a humidifier, read on to see if it’s a good fit.
PACKAGING | CONTENTS
If you’re in possession of the company’s other Thread-enabled device, the Airversa Purelle (video HERE, review HERE), you’ll be familiar with the Apple-like packaging, which pretty much everyone seems to do these days. Still, the box gives you pretty much all the info you need;
- 5.5l water tank
- Dual mist streams
- Essential oil tray
- suitable for large rooms up to 500 sq ft
- BPA free
- Apple Home compatible
- Smart ring light
- Touch control
- Sleep mode
- Humidity and temperature tracking
As with the Vocolinc Flowerbud and almost all the products that followed it, the Humelle utilises colour LEDs that can be used in a variety of ways, which I’ll go into in more detail later. It’s probably worth pointing out that the Humelle is offered in three finishes for the water tank, with Pebble Grey, Crystal Clear, and Arctic Blue being the current three options, although the latter of these won’t be available until later in the year.
The Humelle, or AH1 as I’ll forthwith refer to it, is pretty futuristic looking, with a large glass-like water tank taking up around three-fifths of the unit, surrounding a central funnel. The bottom two-fifths are made up of the mechanics, which are largely hidden from view until you remove the water tank.
Aside from the Humidifier, you get a power supply designed for your region (if supported), a manual in English with QR codes inside that link to the manual in other languages, a brush for cleaning some parts of the unit, and a couple of ‘aroma pads’. These, as you’ll see later, are designed for use with essential oils. Whilst many smaller aroma diffusers allow you to add essential oils directly to the water, this is not the case with the Humelle, with the oils only designed to be used with these pads.
The front of the AH1 features two touch-sensitive buttons for the mist and the LED ring, in addition to three LEDs to indicate different working states. The rear is home to the HomeKit QR code, some slats hiding the temperature and humidity sensors, and the coaxial port for the power supply. The Upper and lower sections can only fit one way, with two small arrows to show how the two parts line up.
The top section of the AH1 has a removable mist nozzle, which has two sausage-shaped holes for the mist to be directed outward. This nozzle, which is actually more plate-shaped, is adjustable to allow the mist to go in other directions, and can also be removed, giving access to a carry handle, which is useful when the tank is fully loaded with water.
The large top section which is the water tank, is filled from underneath, so you have to remove the water tank, flip it upside down, remove the water tank cap, and fill it with distilled, demineralised, or purified water.
The bottom section stores a percentage of the water fed from the water tank, where the nebuliser breaks it up into a fine mist.
One of only two moving or moveable parts in the bottom section aside from the nebuliser, is the water level sensor. I assume this works with the use of a magnet within the foam ring, so once the water level is low, the ring (and magnet) make contact with another magnet hidden inside the base, which in turn triggers a notification that the water level is low. The stem and the ring are both removable for cleaning, as indicated by the lock/unlock icons.
The other part that can be removed and cleaned is the essential oil tray. As already mentioned, you can’t add oils to the water tank, so instead you add a few drops to the aroma pad that sits inside the tray, which itself sits in a holder below a vent for the built-in fan. The fan blows air just above the aroma pad, which then sends the essential oil smells and the fine water mist up through the central ‘funnel’ in the top section, and out to the room. The underside of the bottom section is home to an LED ring light, which we’ll look at in a bit.
Summing up my initial impression, the whole package – so to speak – looks and feels great, from the glass-like plastic water tank, which I really like the design of, to the understated design of the touch-sensitive buttons and internals. All feel well-made and sturdily put together.
IN APPLE HOME | HOMEKIT
If you’re an Apple Home user, you’ll probably know the score as regards what’s generally exposed to HomeKit, so in the case of the AH1, you get two devices – the humidifier and the LED ring. You can display them as separate tiles like I have pictured above, or combined. As the AH1 has temperature and humidity sensors built-in, you can see them listed at the top. Pressing on the humidity icon brings up the current humidity, but also brings up the AH1 again, which I guess is due to it being a humidifier.
As standard, there’s a slider for the humidifier, which doesn’t control the strength of the mist as such, but instead sets the target humidity level. If it’s set to 100% humidity, the AH1 will simply keep pumping out mist until the tank empties, as it’s virtually impossible to reach 100% humidity for this device. Below that is a simple on/off button.
The settings page also gives you access to the fan speed, which essentially controls the strength of the mist output. When it comes to the LED ring, even though it’s capable of multiple colours, in Apple Home it’s not possible to access multiple colour controls, so solid colours and brightness levels via the slider are the only options here. All standard stuff, basically.
In the ‘Eve for HomeKit’ app, you can see the AH1 shows up via your Thread network as not only a Thread device but also as a Thread Router, which allows it to be a sort of Thread ‘access point’ for Thread endpoint devices (mostly battery operated) in the absence of a full Thread Border Router.
IN THE SLEEKPOINT APP
As you can see from the first screenshot above, I’ve already got the Airversa Purelle (review, video), and the Holomarq HK1 (review, video) in addition to the AH1, in the Sleekpoint app. The bottom section gives you access to a few different areas – schedules, charts, power, light, and settings. The rest of the main screen for the AH1 offers a large amount of control and information, including the current temperature and humidity, with the latter primarily taking up the top section of the screen. You then have three mist streaming modes (manual, auto, sleep) along with a nicely designed rotating knob to adjust the mist stream strength.
Speaking of the streaming modes, when you select ‘Sleep’ you get a further three sub-options; Whisper, Quiet, and Default, with Whisper being the quietest of the three sleep levels. Even though you can set on/off times directly in the Home app, or most other third-party HomeKit apps, the Sleekpoint app goes the extra mile when it comes to recurring options that also include the use of the LED ring, as well as what mode and mist strength should be applied, so in this regard it’s pretty powerful.
If you’re a bit of a devil when it comes to monitoring temperature and humidity levels, you can check out records for each of these metrics via the Charts section, where both are broken down into 24 hours, 7 days, or one month. It doesn’t seem as though you can export this data, however. The general settings tab covers the basics, like the product name, timers, Fahrenheit or Celcius, feedback sounds, and plenty more. There’s also a device cleaning reminder, that prompts you to clean the device every three days by default.
Onto the settings for the LED ring, which are also quite extensive; The AH1 comes with a series of preset ‘themes’ that are collected into groups – Ambience, Fantasy, and Energy – with more to come hopefully. All of the themes can be saved to a favourites section which can then be quickly accessed via the button on the front of the AH1. Each of these themes can also be customised and saved as new themes by the user if desired.
There are slightly different lighting options depending on the theme selected, so the top section will change and offer different options according to the theme. Either way, you’ll almost always get access to changing colour via the colour wheel, RGB sliders, or even by typing in a specific hexadecimal number. You can also save your colours here for recall later. The only option that doesn’t offer up the colour wheel is ‘RT Humidity’ which automatically changes the colour of the LED depending on the humidity levels, with blue when humidity is high, green when humidity is acceptable, and orange when humidity is low.
As already mentioned, the options change depending on the theme, so in the case of the ‘Jellyfish’ preset, you can choose the brightness, the speed of the animation, and the colour, as well as sync the colour to the humidity levels. ‘Gradiant’ (sic) Offers the same first two options (brightness and animation speed), plus tying the colours to the humidity levels, but also has a ‘DIY’ button that allows you to select your own collection of colours with a maximum of eleven in total.
In the case of the ‘Wheel’ preset you initially get only the animation speed option, along with syncing the colour to the humidity levels as before, but you also get an option to change the direction of the animation, along with colour options (DIY). This preset offers two colours divided into two segments – Base and Top – so along with the animation, the segments give the appearance of a moving wheel I guess. When you select the ‘top’ option, you can also adjust how many sections the wheel preset is divided into, with a minimum of two segments and a maximum of twelve segments.
Even though these animations can’t be directly accessed in the Apple Home app, some third-party HomeKit apps, like Controller for HomeKit, can access your favourites created in the Sleekpoint app, and then be included in Scenes, which will then show up and be accessible within Apple Home. To see this in action, you can check it out via the video below starting at 7’13”;
HUMELLE IN USE | WRAPPING UP
As I pointed out at the start of the review, there’s very little call for humidifiers here for much of the year, but from the tests I have performed, the results are more than adequate in the more controlled ways I was able to test it for humidifying purposes. Even then, due to the climate where I live, the results can be slightly skewed. I did find it would struggle with anything more than 70% humidity, but anything over 60% is not advisable in normal home use, so that isn’t actually an issue for the vast majority of people who will only need it during the winter when humidity levels can get pretty low.
The mist stream appears more powerful than previous humidifiers I’ve tested, and with the adjustable mist nozzle, you can direct the stream away from potentially problematic areas without having to move the whole device.
It does work much better as a humidifier than a diffuser, given that essential oils are not designed to be added to the water tank, so if you wanted this for making the room smell nice more than for humidity, you might be better of with one of their non-smart waterless aroma diffusers.
In terms of connectivity, it has been exemplary so far, which doesn’t come as a surprise to me, as the Aiversa Purelle and the Holomarq HK1 are just as reliable in this regard. I generally don’t have issues with my Thread devices, but if I do, the issue usually centres on the HomePods, not the Thread devices themselves.
It has been argued in the past that Thread isn’t necessary with a permanently powered device, but as it is powered, it gives your home another means for an endpoint Thread device to connect to, so to me it’s a definite bonus, whilst also being one less device bogging down my WiFi network.
The design itself, whilst not perfect in some ways, is to me the best-looking humidifier out there right now, especially when you look at offerings from other HomeKit manufacturers like Meross, Vocolinc and Switchbot, all of which look a bit dated and just not very stylish really. It also has the largest tank compared to other HomeKit-enabled humidifiers, with the Vocolinc MistFlow coming at 3.0 litres less than the Humelle with a paltry 2.5-litre capacity. The Smartmi Rainforest Humidifier, which I recently reviewed, is a real thing of beauty in my opinion, but only has a slightly larger water tank at 3.0 litres. Nevertheless, the Rainforest is more than twice the price, and as it uses evaporative humidification, it does take longer to reach the set level. It doesn’t trigger PM2.5 sensors though, which is an unfortunate side effect of diffusion-based humidifiers like the Humelle.
the one thing to take into account is that it does require regular cleaning maintenance – every 3 days is recommended in fact – so this could be a chore for some. You should also use some form of filtered water, which isn’t something everyone has easy access to, even if they should.
All things considered, whilst the AH1 is more expensive than most of the HomeKit humidifiers available, it uses Thread not WiFi (a big plus), it does have the largest water tank, and it comes with the potentially very useful multicolour LED ring. The design may or may not be to everyone’s taste, but with the very clear view of your water tank on display, I think it looks very cool. I just wish I could make use of it for more of the year!
- Large water tank
- Powerful mist stream
- On-device controls
- LED ring themes exposed to HomeKit
- Uses Thread, not WiFi
- second most expensive HomeKit humidifier
- Requires regular cleaning
- Not as great for aroma diffusion