Mask wearing might still be a norm, even when this Covid-19 pandemic is finally over. I think people have come to realise the simple act of wearing a face mask not only prevents catching the virus that caused Covid-19, but also deters common flu and colds.
As such, the LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier (2nd Gen) might be one investment you are willing to make. It not only filters and circulates air to protect you, it also helps to project your voice with its VoiceOn voice projection technology.
I have never tried the first-generation, so I testing this powered air-purifying face mask as a new product just like I did with the Razer Zephyr.
As its name says quite literally, this PuriCare Wearable is a wearable air purifier from LG. Available in white and black (version reviewed), its design is really discreet compared to Zephyr’s outlandish design.
Unlike the Zephyr, no one even bat an eyelid when I was wearing the PuriCare Wearable in my HDB neighbourhood. This is unlike the stares I got when wearing the Zephyr.
On first looks, you might wonder if you can breathe at all. All you see from its front is a masked device with two elastic ear loops.
There are no openings, apart from two small valves for the VoiceOn microphone and the LG PuriCare . At its bottom, you will find the exhaust valves, a power button and a USB-C port for charging.
When you look at the rear of the mask, you will see two square doors – each on the left and right edge of the mask – with holes on them.
Behind each door is a battery-powered fan that will spin according to the speed of your breathing. This is due to the built-in sensors that will adjust the fan speed according to your inhalation and exhalation.
Before you can start using this face mask, there are some assembly to be done. First, you have to insert a H13 HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter into each of the square doors.
Next, install an inner cover filter between the square doors. You do so by securing the bottom of the inner cover filter by sliding the holes over the lower guide tabs.
Finally, you have to attach the medical-grade silicone face guard on the inner cover. This is done by attaching the metal prongs on the back of the face guard to the magnets – one on top and two below the inner cover – on the central rear of the device.
The result is an air chamber that filters and circulates air to help you breathe easier. Of course, you need to charge the mask before you start using it.
The mask looks heavy, according to my colleagues and friends who saw me wearing it. Not doubt that it is definitely heavier than a cloth or disposable face mask. However, it actually does not feel heavy when worn; even though it weighs around 123g.
Using the elastic loops, there are no discomfort on my ears despite wearing it for hours. LG has included a strap extender that you can placed on the back of your head to ease the pressure on your ears, if you need it.
To power up the mask, press the power button for two seconds. You can hear the fans spilling once it is powered up. To turn on the VoiceOn projection, press the power button again.
With the VoiceOn projection turned on, I tried some heavy breathing to make myself sound like Darth Vader. Obviously, my wife was not impressed with the breathing.
+ Discreet design
+ Very comfortable to wear
+ More breathable and cooler than normal masks
+ Does not cause fogging of my glasses
+ Voice projection works well
– App not released yet
With the VoiceOn turned on, she said she can hear me better. In fact, I can order coffee at my noisy neighbourhood coffee shop without much issue using the VoiceOn. However, my wife feels that it is still a bit muffled compared to when I am wearing a disposable face mask.
But I find the comfort level of PuriCare Wearable to be much higher than that of a disposable face mask. Not only is it cooler and more breathable, thanks to the dual fans; there is no fogging of my glasses. This is so even when I was taking a 30 minute walk under the hot sun around my neighbourhood.
However, I would not recommend jogging with this mask. It just keeps bobbling and slipping down my face during jogs.
Due to the lack of scientific equipment, I cannot ascertain whether the PuriCare Wearable really filters out the allergens, viruses and bacteria as advertised. But I have been wearing the mask for two weeks, and my ART test turns out to be negative.
The HEPA filter is supposed to last for a month, while the inner cover filter is supposed to last for a day. The package includes two HEPA filters and 15 inner cover filters. You can buy extra HEPA filters ($30 for a pack of two) and inner cover filters ($20 for a pack of 30) when required.
The PuriCare mask actually comes with Bluetooth. However, the app connecting to the mask has not been released yet. Thus, I have yet to test it. This app is supposed to allow users to track their breathing and manage the mask from a smartphone.
The mask requires two hours of charging and a full charge will last around eight hours, according to LG.
Having used the mask for a full 4 hours, I am happy to report that the battery light indicator remained green. It will turn orange if the battery level is below 60 per cent. As such, I think the mask might last longer than eight hours.
The LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier (2nd Gen) is undoubtedly a super comfortable and really breathable battery-powered face mask. In fact, it is almost the perfect mask except for its price tag.
It is really expensive at S$249, compared to regular masks and even the Razer Zephyr. This one downer might also be the deal breaker. That said, if you are willing to pay for it, you will not regret it.
BATTERY LIFE: 8/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 8/10