Dyson's Air Multiplier looks great, feels good, hurts wallet


For a week I've tried to use Dyson's bladeless Air Multiplier as a giant bubble-blowing machine, to no avail. No combination of soap and speed setting succeeds, no matter how carefully coated the vent halo or the ring itself, or how much time I spend experimenting with detergents. And I'd better stop, before I break what amounts to a $300 desk fan.

Available from the manufacturer's website and "select design stores," the Air Multiplyer hides the blower in the base, forcing the air through a ring of vents which are aerodynamically contrived to "multiply" the strength of its airstream.

In ads and TV apperances, Dyson also claims that the resulting breeze is smoother than the "choppy" air produced by traditional bladed fans.

It has a 5' grounded cord, tilts and oscillates, and can be set on a continuum of speeds with a dial on the front. Dyson sells 10" models in pearly white or blue/gray, and a 12" model in silver.

The "multiplied' air feels good and it can blow as hard as similarly-sized fans, but design is what sets it apart. It looks like a portable Stargate by way of Cupertino (Imaginary Steve: what are all those hieroglyphics for? Remove them!) and even has a practical element--no accretions of greasy black fuzz in difficult-to-clean places. It comes with a microfiber cloth and is easy to assemble (pop the ring on the base, turn it on).

When it comes to noise, the Air Multiplier isn't quieter so much as it is different. Instead of the juddering white noise of a normal model, Dyson's motor (It sounds like a quieter version of the one in his hand-vac) produces a thin whine. But it is annoying enough at higher settings. It's not something that, say, audiophiles might consider using to cool the listening dungeon.

The biggest hurdle is the price: at $300 and up, you should wait until next year's first hot monday and cycle back to see how early adopters are doing. Durability and long-term performance, not sexy design, will determine if it's a sensible choice for the home or office.

Dyson Air Multiplyer [Official Store]


    1. Shit wouldn’t hit it, just sort of pass through, leaving a darkening stain on the inside. Kind of like Dick Cheney.

  1. I suspect that you could blow bubbles with it by holding a makeshift bubble wand in front of it. Try using a bent coat hanger maybe?

  2. I sort of adore the startup/winddown sound.

    And as long as we’re talking about fans, I long for Nexus or Scythe to make desk fans. They’re SO good at quiet, efficient PC fans, that has to translate over, right?

  3. In a past life when I worked in coal mines, we would use “air movers” or “venturi blowers” based on this principle. They were powered from the compressed air system and were as noisy as hell. Glad to read that this one is quieter. Still pricey, though.

  4. Short reply in support of TJS,
    I have created several personal cooling devices using PC cooling fans, including some of the quietest around (Noctua primarily), and for the most part, your right. They do translate if you design them right. Biggest problem, cooling fans built for cases are meant to operate within the case, which means that you have to create something that lets them remain quite but directs the air to the place you want it to go, since the case does this under normal operation.

  5. from that video it looks like the airflow is at it’s strongest along the rim, which would make it impossible to blow soap bubbles with this device alone.

  6. It has impeller blades in the base. But, just like any other fan made for home use after about 1950, the design keeps fingers away from the blades.

    In other news, I cleaned several clogs out of my uncloggable Dyson DC-18 this month, and I washed and replaced the filter Dyson says it doesn’t have.

  7. My hope was that magical fluid dynamics would result in a donut shaped bubble, or series of bubbles, forming along the vent slit, to be united into a single large megabubble where the air is multiplied.

  8. The video has some numbers: 1X before, 15X after. I assume this refers to volume moved, hence the “air multiplier”.

    Couldn’t it also say 1X velocity before, 1/15X velocity after. Or are they implying some sort of free lunch magic?

    Multiplication? Really??

  9. …no accretions of greasy black fuzz in difficult-to-clean places.

    Does that mean it is easy to disassemble in order to clean the high-speed impeller blades hidden in the base?

    I wonder how the electrical current draw on this device compares to a 50 year old, extremely stylish westinghouse art deco desk fan? http://www.fanmanusa.com/images/newspaperfan3.jpg
    I have one of these, and despite the fearsome appearance you can stick your hand right into the blades without drawing blood. Still running strong after 50 years.

    I share your disappointment in re: the bubble situation, Rob. Did you try adding a little glycerin to the soap mix? Toroidal bubbles would have been wonderful!

  10. damn, I can’t log in.
    anyways this thing is a combination of a Venturi Air blower like this:
    and a ducted fan.

    The Venturi Air blowers really do work to “amplify” the amount of air moved and are primarily marketed as a exhaust devices with no moving parts.
    They are a standard in the Motion Picture and Special Effects industries to propel confetti and all sort of other crap. Hold the opening over a box of confetti and it is like a massive vacuum AND blower at the same time.

    I have always preferred the Vornado brand of fan because the housing is a ducted fan and you get a great focussed “tunnel” of air that travels a good distance. I can’t wait to see one of these in real life to see how it feels.

    1. That Korean myth about fans killing you at night exists in Japan as well. All the fans have timers here, too, and my wife insists that we use them so we don’t die. And there is no talking her out of it. I’ve tried every summer night for 10 years.

  11. Ok, im waiting for the first DIYer to come up with a cheaper way. :) Honesty, Dyson comes up with some impressive gear but nothing i’ve seen so far is worth the price.

  12. Dyson’s products are priced high relative to products which:
    – have short warranties
    – are in mass (millions) production for a long time,
    – are multiply sourced (cross licensing agreements),
    – are made with cheap materials,
    – are out of original patent,
    – do not have massive research, applied engineering, and legal department paybacks (350 ? designers/engineers, according to PR).

    Dyson seems to have chosen a (IMHO) European, or perhaps more specifically “Swiss craftsman” pricing model which seems to
    – target an affluent market segment
    – pay back research costs as quickly as possible
    – never sacrifice profit for market share.

    I think Dyson’s prices will fall somewhat as patents expire, but not before.

  13. This is the second product that Dyson has produced that is very similar to existing technologies. His air amplifier (as an earlier comment by Optic said) is based on the Coanda effect. Here is an example of an industrial application:


    and another:


    Same for his recent Airblade hand-dryer which is almost identical to the Mitsubishi Jet Towel which has been around for at least a decade:


    How can be patent this stuff and charge a premium when there is so much prior art?

  14. Wow that thing is loud (from the embedded player). I wouldn’t want that thing running in my home or office. Sounds like one of Dyson’s Air Blades in a public restroom.

  15. It is very pricey but that’s what Dyson do. Make great products before anyone else, charge a bucket, have people sucked in. I have a Dyson vacuum cleaner. It was great… at the time. Now plenty of companies make good bagless vacuum cleaners that don’t lose the suction and cost a lot less. So in 10 years I expect you can buy something similar to this but for a lot less money. Of course that is 10 years away… So you pay for what you get.

  16. Quieter? One of the main reasons I use a fan when I sleep is because I need the white noise to drown out all the other little noises at night.

  17. Well,…..lets think bigger…~~!!

    What if this was maybe 6 foot in diameter and was used in tandem with an existing wind TURBINE to actually level out the WIND so to speak..!! …or even boost
    “Weak” wind ..??

    The motor in the BOTTOM could be driven by SOLAR..!! …or a battery bank..?! This could be used to LEVEL out the wind “turbulence” so to speak. Or for short periods..!?!? Just a thought…!?!

    What is the maximum wind SPEED…!?!?

    Wonder if some hacker will see just how “Multplied” the wind could get with this thing…!!

    How well would this work with a 12, 24 or 48 volt “Solargizer” to just circulate your air through out your home…!?!

    What if this same technique was used to COOL the condenser coils on a AC unit..!?! With the COILS in the middle instead of around the OUTSIDE of the fan blades..!?!

    What about using this concept instead of a RADIATOR fan

  18. If I used it in a sealed room would the air molecules keep multiplying until the pressure caused the place to explode? Could we put a few of these on the surface of Mars and let them run for a couple of decades until the atmosphere thickens enough to support human life? The possibilities abound.

  19. I wonder if this tech could be used for laptop cooling products or even inside of a desktop PC. Not exactly prices for the average consumer though.. pitty.

  20. do want some sort of aircraft with a giant one of these on each wing like the ORCA of Command and Conquer fame.

  21. I hadn’t yet thought of the audiophile’s quiet dungeon application, but I can imagine a solution or two. I would think that perhaps most if not all of the noise is coming directly from the base, either right through the plastic housing itself, or from the intake air as it is being drawn in through the bottom vent. I would also think that the high-speed fan hidden in the base is creating a ‘chopping effect’ to the intake air which is the noise heard – negative pressure oscillations in air-flow speed due to the movement of the individual blades of that fan. Seeing as industrial suppliers such as exair.com have been selling devices like this for a while now, and always claim that these ‘air amplifiers’ are a quieter alternative, because as the air travels through the annular slot into the final ring, the noise would be damped out from the higher pressure just before the slot. I would try an experiment here: take one downfiring sub-woofer box, remove the driver, then cut a circular hole in the top of the box just large enough to slide the bottom half of the Dyson fan through. Put something inside so that the fan sits at the center of the box. Make sure to have plenty of insulation stuffed inside. I think that would make the fan much quieter.

  22. How do you disassemble the big ring after you have snap-locked it to the part that contains the motor?
    E.g. when you want to send it back to Dyson.

    Thanks in advance

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