Dreo Macro Max S review: A sleek and excellent smart air purifier with an air quality monitor

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We don’t often review air purifiers, but we’ve done a few. Generally, the ones we have touched on have been basic and mostly tech-free. But the Dreo Macro Max S is a bit different as this air purifier incorporates smart features that may pique some users’ interests. This device has an onboard air quality monitor and can integrate with Alexa and Google Home, both excellent smart assistants for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Before we dive into this, it is essential to note that an air purifier is one of the more difficult things to review. There are so many factors at play here. From geographical location to how sensitive users are to allergens and pollutants in the air in their immediate area. I don’t see air purifier reviews as scientific, and my results will differ wildly from yours. So I would take this review more as a user experience and know most of what I say isn’t going to be a direct application to everyone.

Specifications

The Dreo Macro Max S has the following features and specifications:

  • 3-stage, active filtration system
  • H13 true HEPA electrostatic filter
  • Dedicated air quality monitoring channel
  • Large air quality monitoring display
  • Smart WiFi and voice control
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Smart filter life algorithm
  • 24dB ultra-quiet performance
  • Certified by AHAM, ENERGY STAR, FCC, ETL, and more
  • Dimensions: 11.02″D x 11.02″W x 20.96″H

What’s In The Box

  • Dreo Macro Max S
  • 3-in-1 H13 True HEPA Filter
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Manual and Documentation

Design

Dreo Macro Max S review: A sleek and excellent smart air purifier with an air quality monitor

The design of the Dreo Macro Max S is something special. Generally, the look of air purifiers isn’t all that…pretty. But Dreo put a little extra care into making the Macro Max S look nice, and it doesn’t feel like an eyesore in the surrounding decor.

The unit is primarily a smokey grey or dark silver color with black and silver accents. This is a wild guess, but like many other manufacturers of almost everything, it seems Dreo was going for an Apple-inspired look. It certainly has a sleek, minimalist, and clean look to it.

A handle is used at the back to access the included H13 true HEPA electrostatic filter. I wouldn’t use this handle to carry the unit, as the door is held with a few tabs and magnets. The handle is not designed as a carrying point, only an opening point. The back also has vents for air circulation.

These vents are also located on the left, and right sides of the Dreo Macro Max S. Dreo did a fantastic job of making these vents visually appealing. Instead of simple slats or lines, they used a rounded hole design with different-sized holes. It’s a lovely design cue and does what it should functionally, but it looks sleek.

At the top is another black vent with diagonal slats where the air is pushed out through. The top also has a touch interface panel that you can use to control the Dreo Macro Max S. Here are the functions of that control panel.

Dreo Macro Max S review: A sleek and excellent smart air purifier with an air quality monitor
Dreo Macro Max S Control Panel is located at the top of the machine.
  • Power Button: Press to turn the power on or off. Long press 10 seconds to reset to factory settings.
  • Display Info/Filter Reset 5s: Press to change the information shown on the LED display between clean air, PM 2.5 concentration, or filter life. Long press for 5 seconds to reset the filter change reminder.
  • Sleep Mode Button: Press to activate the Sleep Mode. Pressing Auto Mode or Fan Speed Mode buttons will deactivate Sleep Mode.
  • Auto Mode: Select to purify and adjust the fan speed automatically based on air quality conditions.
  • Timer Button/WiFi Connection Button (5s): Set a time for the air purifier to turn on/off from 1H to 12H. The time is shown on the LED display. Long press for 5 seconds to start WiFi connection settings.
  • Fan Speed/Turbo Mode: Each press will change the speed from level 1 to 3, then activate Turbo Mode; when Turbo Mode is on, the next press will cycle back to speed level 1. Note: Turbo Mode may be louder than other lower fan speed settings. Only use this mode when air quality is extremely poor.

At the front of the Dreo Macro Max S, you will find another LED display that shows various information. The image below shows what you can expect on this front display.

Dreo Macro Max S review: A sleek and excellent smart air purifier with an air quality monitor
Dreo Macro Max S LED Display

This long LED display is an excellent addition, and I especially like the air quality indicator colors. The image below shows the Dreo Macro Max S LED display lit up in blue, indicating excellent air quality.

LED Display air quality indicator
Dreo Macro Max S

The overall footprint of the Dreo Macro Max S is excellent. It’s not massive where it takes up a lot of space, but it’s not tiny either. The filter is large and takes up about 60% of the inside of the unit. So weight isn’t an issue, as the Max S weighs around 12 lbs with the filter.

Overall, I really like this design. It’s sleek and minimal, which lends itself well to most decor. The engineers and designers at Dreo seemed to have done their jobs by combining great looks with functionality.

Ease of Use

Dreo Macro Max S review: A sleek and excellent smart air purifier with an air quality monitor

After unpacking the Dreo Macro Max S and before you plug it in, ensure you remove the packing materials from inside and around the filter. You do not want to plug the unit in and run it until you’ve correctly unpacked it.

Once unpacked and shed of its packing materials, you can plug the unit in. At this point, you can use the unit without the app and use the touch control panel. Doing this will not give you the full features of the Dreo Macro Max S. But if you want this to work as any other air purifier, you can tap the setting you wish to, and you’re off.

You must connect the Dreo Macro Max S to your WiFi for the air quality monitor and smart features. We will go over the app in the next section and more functional bits in the Performance section.

Once you are connected, everything is at your fingertips in the app, with complete control over the Max S and your air quality reports and options to connect to Alexa or Google Home. The Dreo does come with a quick start guide that shows you how to connect your Max S to WiFi. It is a simple process, but you should know that it will work with 2.4GHz networks only; 5ghz networks will not work.

Overall, the Dreo Macro Max S is simple to use and set up. The app walks you through everything easily, and you’re good to go once it is done.

App

The Dreo app is available for Android and iOS and is straightforward. Here are the steps for connecting the app to the Dreo Macro Max S.

  • Launch the Dreo app and create an account
  • Ensure Bluetooth is turned on your mobile device
  • Plug in your Dreo Macro Max S
  • Tap ADD DEVICE and select the Dreo device within the list
  • Hold the “Display Info/Filter Reset 5s” button on the touch panel for five seconds
  • Follow the instructions within the app, and you are all set
  • For Alexa and Google Home:
    • Go to Device Settings
    • Voice Control
    • Tap Alexa or Google Home
    • Follow the instructions to connect Max S to your chosen voice assistant
    • You will need the Alexa or the Google Home app installed
    • Open your voice assistant app and add a device/follow the instructions to connect

Once you have the app and your preferred voice assistant (optional) connected, you’re ready to explore and use the app. The app uses a simple interface; within the app, you can:

  • Control the fan level
  • Set sleep mode
  • Turn the light on or off
  • Turn on or off adaptive brightness
  • Turn on or off the control panel sound
  • Turn on or off the child lock
  • Switch the display info from air quality, clean air, and filter life
  • Monitor PM2.5 air quality with day by day chart
  • See filter life
  • Update firmware
  • Update account settings

The most important parts of the app are your air quality charts and the setup of your voice assistant. Otherwise, many of the other things can be done via the control panel.

Overall, the app is very straightforward; the only reason I can see to go in daily is to look at your air quality performance.

Performance

The performance of the Dreo Macro Max S is probably the most challenging part of this review and the most subjective part. My environment is different than everyone else’s. Our family’s needs and health challenges are different from everyone else’s. Our climate and location are different; there are so many factors to calculate that I can’t say for sure that my performance observations will be yours.

I have two children with severe allergies, mainly in spring and summer. So their allergies have not affected them during the testing of the Dreo Macro Max S. I can say that the dust levels in the room where the Max S is installed have come down substantially. It is noticeable in the vents of the Max S as well.

I feel the air quality has improved in the space where I have the Max S. Our living, dining, and kitchen area are open-concept rooms, so the Max S covers this entire area. One thing I did notice is when cooking meals, the Dreo Macro Max S kicks into high gear, and the air quality monitor goes into the yellow zone. This does show me that the air quality monitor is working and works well.

Dreo Macro Max S review: A sleek and excellent smart air purifier with an air quality monitor

Thankfully, the only times the air quality has gone down below 90% has been during meals and a few times when neighbors burned leaves. So I can confirm that the monitor is doing its job. I am interested in how the Max S fares in spring and summer. If my kids have fewer reactions to allergens, then I will know if the filtration of this air purifier works. I may update this review after August with that data.

One last point in the performance, the Max S is quiet. You cannot hear anything when it’s in auto mode, and the air quality is good. If the air quality gets bad, the fans kick in harder, and you can hear them, especially if it goes into turbo mode. But this is rare, and when it kicks on when making meals, it only lasts for a few minutes.

Overall, the performance of the Dreo Macro Max S seems to be great. Dust in and around the room it is installed seems to have been cut down. The air quality monitor works excellently, and the app’s chart is nice to see for a visual. But remember, the variables in your environment may give you different results.

Price/Value

The Dreo Macro Max S is priced at $239.99. The Dreo website has it listed for $219.99 as of this review, and Amazon has it for $197.99 as of this review. Replacement filters are priced at $49.99. These prices may be a bit expensive for some users, but this system has good value. The air quality monitor and smart features make this worth the asking price.

Wrap Up

The Max S may not be for everyone, but this is a solid choice for those who want smart voice control and an excellent air quality monitor. As for the price of replacement filters, most air purifier units with good filters have costly replacements. There are other cheaper options without the features the Max S has that are probably great as well. But the smart features and air quality monitor set the Max S apart.

Last Updated on January 16, 2023.

Dreo Macro Max S

$239.99

Design

9.5/10

Ease of Use

9.0/10

App

9.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Price/Value

8.5/10

Nailed it

  • Nice looking design
  • Easy control layout and operation
  • Nice clean app with good info
  • Alexa and Google Home for those who like that
  • Good performer at least from what we can tell

Needs work

  • Price tag may be too much for some
  • Replacement filters may be too costly for some
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