Although there’s little sign of spring in the air, you can be sure that in the next few weeks temperatures will start rising and, if past years are anything to go by, summer itself will bring us another string of heatwaves with temperatures possibly in the high 30s. This will make you sweat, feel lethargic and huff and puff about the heat, all the while forgetting how long you wished for this moment in the first instance.
Of course, the most effective solution in hot weather is to invest in a portable air conditioner or, if you’re really flush, have a fully US-style air-con system installed in the home. However, a much cheaper option is to simply buy a fan, turn it on full blast and perhaps even dampen your face with a wet flannel. This will create a similar cooling effect, only without the high cost and hassle of an air-con unit.
Which fan you go for is up to you but lest you’re terribly confused by the myriad of models on the market and can’t decide which model in our handy guide to the best fans you can buy today is the one for you, we’ve plucked two contenders from that very same guide and put them face to face to see which one performs best for the money.
Ladies and gentlemen, in the red corner the elegant Dyson Cool AM07 Tower Fan (£399), and in the blue corner, the highly-rated MeacoAir 1056P Air Circulator (£100). Yes, we know that the AM07 isn’t in the actual buyers’ guide but pitching a standard fan against an air-purifying model (namely the Pure Cool) just wouldn’t be fair. And besides, the similarly-styled Pure Cool’s extra high price would put it at a distinct disadvantage right from the off.
So, to all intents and purposes, this tête-à-tête is against two bog-standard tall-standing models that just blow air and not much else.
Read on, me hearties, read on.
- Read our full MeacoFan 1056P review
Dyson Cool AM07 vs MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator: Design
Well there’s no contest here, is there? The Dyson not only looks more expensive, it’s also a a lot more stylish, modern and aesthetically pleasing. Not that the Meaco is pug ugly – it’s just a bit, well, large, spherical and conspicuous; like a Goonhilly Earth Station satellite dish.
The Dyson AM07 is 1,007mm in height (a metre, in other words), which is tall by any standards. However, it is only 190mm wide, which is, well, very slim. In fact so slim you hardly notice it. This makes it perfect for locating in the corner of a room or even bang in the centre if you want to feel its air-moving affect more, er, effectively.
The MeacoFan 1056 is actually available in two different incarnations – a table top model and the tall telescopic pedestal version we’re looking at here. This model comes with a telescopic height of between 820mm to 955mm. However, the fan unit itself is about 320mm in width so the whole thing stands out a lot more than the Dyson. There’s a lot of plastic in the build, too, and while I’ve seen one with a more attractive looking black front grille, it seems that only full white is available for sale.
Winner: Dyson AM07
Dyson Cool AM07 vs MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator: the technology
You will notice that the Dyson AMO7 doesn’t seem to have any fan blades to slice your fingers on. This is because all Dysons use Air Multiplier technology – instead of having fan blades on the outside, it has them on the inside.
Now, I could waffle on about how all Dyson fans exploit the physical laws of inducement and entrainment but it would be much easier to just show you this mesmerising demonstration video involving a row of Dyson fans and a single balloon.
Aside from the system’s remarkable effectiveness at producing a steady, smooth shaft of air, the upshot of a bladeless system like this is that it’s much more aesthetically pleasing to look at while being easier to keep clean and a lot safer for kids and dim adults who can’t resist seeing whether they can keep their fingers on if they’re thrust into a fast-spinning blade. Your pet will thank you, too, as its furry tail brushes past the portal.
The Meaco 1056P is, by comparison, a common or garden fan with a fast spinning blade attached to a motor. However, unlike most standard fans which are comprised of four spinning blades encased within a circular cage, the 1056 uses an enclosed, jet engine-type funnelled housing that forces the air outwards in a focussed stream. The 1056’s motor also uses newer DC technology instead of the more common AC variant. DC motors not only consume less power but they are also acoustically much quieter (more on that later).
Result? A draw
Dyson Cool AM07 vs MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator: Features
Both of these fans feature 80˚ oscillation. The Dyson only has side-to-side oscillation though you can manually tilt the entire unit backwards so it points upwards. By contrast, the Meaco has full horizontal and vertical oscillation and you can choose between the two or have them both running at the same time. Indeed, one of the main selling points of the MeacoFan 1056 is that the breeze it creates can be bounced off walls and ceilings for a less direct method of cooling. With both oscillation functions working, the whole fan section moves in a wide arc, throwing the air in all directions. It’s actually quite mesmerising to watch; in fact you find yourself waiting for your turn to feel the breeze.
The Dyson comes with 10 airflow settings while the Meaco comes with 12. Mind, those two extra settings are a bit like having a ‘Spinal Tap’ guitar amplifier that goes to 11, so don’t lose any sleep over that little stat.
When it comes to extra features, the Meaco truly trounces the Dyson. Granted, the AM07 has a timer but then so does the Meaco – along with a room thermometer, a night light, an Eco mode that automatically adjusts the speed of the fan according to the room’s temperature, a Natural mode that emulates a natural breeze, strengthening and weakening the air flow randomly, and a Sleep timer that decreases the air speed by one level every 30 minutes until the whole thing switches off completely. No question here, the Meaco smashes it.
Both of these fans come with magnetic remote controllers. The Dyson’s remote is stored on the top and the Meaco’s bang in the centre of the fan grille. Both are just as easy to lose but the Meaco is much more simple to operate without it. Lose the Dyson remote and you’re pretty much stuffed.
Winner: MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator
Dyson Cool AM07 vs MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator: Performance
Both of these models produce oodles of air-moving power but the Meaco is in a different league when it comes to actually feeling the results on your face. While the Dyson produces a fairly focussed stream of air, it’s not as detectable from a distance, even when at full bore. By comparison, the Meaco’s airstream feels like a gale – well, enough oomph to at least lift the fringe of one’s hairdo. So, if you’re looking for a fan that you can really feel from a few metres away, the MeacoFan 1056P (or its table-top stablemate) is one of the very best options on the market.
On the stats front, the Dyson AM07 delivers up to 500 litres of air per second and the Meaco 460L/s. In layperson’s terms, that’s a lot of air so, on paper at least, both of these fans are on an equal footing.
Winner: MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator
Dyson Cool AM07 vs MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator: Noise levels
From a noise level point of view, both models are easy to live with: at full speed, the Dyson has a sound pressure of 64dB and the Meaco 60dB. However, there’s a big difference in their sound frequencies and this is where the Meaco really excels. Where the Dyson AM07’s sound characteristic is quite trebly – bright enough to interfere with a TV’s frequencies – the Meaco produces a much lower and more agreeable hum that you hardly notice. This frequency difference is even more noticeable in a bedroom – you can have the Meaco on settings four to six while you nod off but only two or three on the Dyson.
Winner: MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator
Dyson Cool AM07 vs MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator: Keeping it clean
It’s a simple fact that the blades on all standard fans get really dirty and require a good clean from time to time. To clean the Meaco, you need to unscrew the front fan blade housing and awkwardly unclip it. A right faff, in other words. By glaring contrast, cleaning the Dyson is an absolute doddle that involves simply wiping the whole exterior with a damp cloth.
Winner: Dyson Cool AM07
Dyson Cool AM07 vs MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator: Verdict
Both of these fans deliver in spades but if cost, effectiveness, efficiency and features are top of the list, then for me the MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator is a clear winner.
However, there’s no getting away from the fact that the Dyson Cool AM07 looks a zillion times better. It’s such an elegant, unobtrusive design that you really won’t notice it, and when you do you’ll just think ‘that looks nice, I made the right choice’, and carry on doing what you’re doing – even if you have just paid three times the price.