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The Arizer XQ2 has a very nice shape, the tasteful curves and lines of the design make the EQ look utilitarian by comparison. It has a vibrant full colour screen on the front and cool coloured LED lights in a ring around the bottom and reflect nicely on a table. The same coloured light also comes up through the glass heater cover at the top. The improved silhouette, screen, and lights all make the XQ2 look very modern.
The XQ2 is powered by a ceramic heater which provides convection heating, but the glass also gets super hot with use, so I would think that you have to be getting at least some conduction in addition to the convection. The device stands around 6.5” tall and is just over 6” wide at the base. Without the power cable or any glass, the unit itself weighs in at only 490g. It reminds me of the DynaVap Orion in the way that it seems almost weirdly light for its size, and I wouldn’t complain if it was a little bit heavier, as it would give the device a more substantial feel.
The coloured LEDs are fully controllable, you can select one of eight different colours if you prefer it to permanently be a single colour. You can also set it to cycle through all the colours (which is my favourite), or you can use dynamic mode which means the colour of the lights will change depending on what the vaporizer is doing.
You can control the settings and function of the device with the five buttons on the base of the unit, or with the included remote control. The remote control is handier than I expected it to be, I mainly use it sitting on the table directly in front of the XQ2 because I find it easier to control with the remote and it also gives access to a few different options which aren’t available while using the buttons on the base of the device itself.
There are three temperature presets that can be programmed by simply selecting your temperature with the arrow buttons on the device or the remote control, and then holding one of the three buttons until you hear the device beep and lock in your temperature. With the remote you can directly control the fan speed, rather than having to cycle between speeds when using the XQ2 base buttons. The gear icon button is used to access the settings menu, and pressing the up and down arrows changes between the options. The device is very customizable, you can adjust the audio beep volume, whether it’ll give you a temperature alert, and things like a delayed power-on, which makes it so you have to hold the power button for two seconds to turn it on.
You get an abundance of parts with the Arizer XQ2, it could be a little overwhelming for new users as it seems like a lot of stuff that you need to use. The main reason it comes with so many things is that it’s a multi-purpose device and it includes the accessories for each of the different purposes.
It comes with the new connoisseur bowl, which has a simple upgrade from their old one, instead of having the glass screen in the middle it sits closer to one end, so it has a massive cavernous party bowl which Arizer calls the cloud chamber. The cloud chamber also sits closer to the heater for a thicker extraction. When it's inverted it functions as a microdosing bowl that they call the flavour bowl, it holds considerably less and won’t give you clouds that are so massive, but a thick extraction is definitely possible with either bowl.
HEAT-UP TIME AND POWER
HEATS TO TEMPERATURE SUPER FAST
The Arizer XQ2 heats to temperature super fast. Arizer recommends putting your bowl on for three to five minutes to prime the material before you actually draw the heat through it, if you just hit it immediately you’ll need to pull on it quite a bit before you get any vapour. You can leave the bowl on here for extended periods, keep in mind that the glass will get super hot and you will lose a little bit of extraction, but you don’t necessarily have to put it on and off every time if you plan on hitting it multiple times over a few hours for example.
The power cable is super long with two cables of equal length and the brick in the middle, so it’s easy to position the XQ2 pretty much anywhere without worrying about the cable pulling on it.
HOW TO USE THE ARIZER XQ2
USE A COARSE GRIND FOR BEST RESULTS
There are three different ways that you can use the XQ2 - with a whip, a bowl, or for aromatherapy. The aromatherapy method is not one I use often. The aromatherapy bowl can be used for things like lavender, chamomile, orange peel, or any other botanicals that you would like to aromatize. Simply place the bowl on the heater and turn on the fan to spread the extraction through the room.
The two main methods both use the connoisseur bowl, a coarse grind is recommended regardless of which side of the bowl you want to load. This is the first time I have found that a coarse grind makes a massive difference in the performance. When I tried my usual fine grind I just didn’t get very good results, but when I changed out my screen for a coarse one it was a night and day difference, so make sure you don’t use too fine of a grind.
Fill the extraction chamber up to where the frosted joint begins or even a little higher. After you have let the bowl heat up for three to five minutes, take a long consistent draw to get the best results. The first couple of hits usually have no visible vapour, just pure delicious terps, after those initial hits it starts spitting big clouds out.
The XQ2 includes a three foot silicone whip with a glass tip on it, and it has an 18mm male joint which connects to the connoisseur bowl. Keep in mind when you are using the whip that while you can simply inhale through it, you can also turn on the fan for an assisted draw. After I have a number of good hits and my bowl is starting to get a little bit cashed, I like to use the assisted draw and just inhale as the vapour comes out, exhale, and repeat, it’s a good way to finish a bowl up.
When you want to use the balloon, place the bowl onto the heater and give it time to warm up. I also like to put the whip adapter on at the same time so it can warm a bit too, which seems to help. After five minutes, suck all of the air out of the balloon, place it on the XQ2, and turn the fan on. A good way to do it is to start with a low temperature to warm up your material and then either keep it low throughout if you are OK with it taking a while to fill the balloon, or turn it up to medium or even high if you want it done in a hurry.
The balloons now have a nice little silicone cover that you can put on to seal the vapour inside when you’re not using it, which is a handy upgrade. The end of the balloons is a 10mm male size, which means that you can natively use them in any 10 mm female joint. I really like this, it makes it super easy to rip this one through a water pipe, which is never a bad idea.
My favourite way to use the XQ2 is with the flavour bowl and a nice coarse grind, I then use the balloon system at somewhere between 400°F-415°F, keeping the fan on low for the entire fill. My second favourite is with the connoisseur bowl filled up with a nice coarse grind, then hitting that with the whip and no fan assist, the terps are absolutely crazy with this method.
PRODUCES EXTREMELY STRONG AND MASSIVE HITS
The vapour quality of the XQ2 is very nice. The convection heating means the terps are just incredible. If you use the whip at a lower temperature, around 380°F, the first few hits will have virtually no vapour, but the terps will be overwhelming. I found using the whip nice and smooth with the cloud bowl, but with the flavour bowl I found it to be too warm because I had to turn the temperature up to get any vapour. When using the balloon I find it to be pretty smooth, even at higher temperatures, because the vapour slowly gets cooler while it’s in the balloon.
At higher temperatures or with a super full bowl you can get extremely strong and massive hits, I found the XQ2 to be quite a strong device when hitting those low fan-speed balloons. When loading the bowl with 0.2 g and then running the fan at low the amount of vapour produced is pretty insane. Even at a higher temperature like 415°F the ABV still looks pretty good, so it seems like it creates quite a clean extraction.
The Arizer XQ2 is an affordable and comparable alternative to a higher end desktop vaporizer like the Hybrid Volcano. I think the Volcano does a better job, but the Volcano also costs around double the price of the XQ2, so the value for money of the XQ2 is tremendous.
You can get ultra thick balloons of vapour with the XQ2. While some people chase flavour, many people are after those opaque bags, and when you use this one at a higher temperature with a full chamber and low fan speed the bags can be so thick that it looks like you have milk inside.
I think Arizer did a great job of refreshing the original EQ with the new XQ2. Physically the device looks generations ahead of the old one because it actually has a nice aesthetic instead of being so utilitarian. The device also comes with a huge amount of kit when you purchase it, there are no additional accessories that you need to buy, it’s a lot of function right out of the box.
Compared to something like the Volcano, the XQ2 has much more glass involved so there’s more risk of breaking something. There are multiple glass connections when using the whip or the balloon, I did find it a bit clunky at first and broke one of the bowls during testing.
No matter how I tried, I did not get good results with the whip and the flavour bowl. When I turned the temperature up high enough to get results, I found that it was uncomfortably warm, and at lower temperatures I did not get the extraction I desired. When using the cloud bowl these problems are eliminated, you just need to load a tremendous amount of material into the cloud bowl, which not everyone will want to do.
When you leave the glass pieces on the heater core for longer periods, they get very hot and can be a little dangerous. If you go to grab it off of the heater without thinking about it, you could burn your fingers. I recommend using the tuff bowl grips that are included as you are far less likely to burn yourself that way and the bowl is more likely to survive an impact with them on.
AN AFFORDABLE DESKTOP VAPORIZER THAT GIVES EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE
The Arizer XQ2 is a well priced, excellently performing desktop vaporizer from a solid manufacturer that has over a decade of experience in the industry. The new connoisseur bowl is a welcome addition, as both the cloud and flavour bowl setting offer a unique experience. Being able to cook up nice thick balloons or use it with a whip adds great flexibility to the unit and further increases the value.
I find the multiple glass connections can be a little hot and clunky, especially when you first get the device, but once you have some time with it I don’t think you’ll find it awkward to use.
The aesthetic upgrades as well as the tremendous value the device offers will make this an appealing unit for anyone looking for an affordable desktop option that gives excellent performance.
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