Crossings, major exits, traffic jams, tunnels, heat waves and… pollution. The traditional infernal cocktail will undoubtedly be consumed without moderation on the way to the summer holidays in our cars. To protect against this, JVC launches its KS-AP320, a nomadic air purifier dedicated to the living spaces of our cars. What is it worth? “20 Minutes” turned on the ignition to test it.
About the size of a portable speaker
Make no mistake buying the KS-AP320 from JVC. Despite its appearance, it is not a Bluetooth speaker, but a nomadic air purifier! It is not the first of its kind that is different on the market, but apart from LG for the home, it is the first time that a consumer electronics manufacturer has entered the so atypical market of the portable cleaner. . It’s no wonder that JVC is a specialist in on-board products (such as car radios, car speakers, etc.).
The KS-AP320 is a piece of equipment of modest size (6.6 cm in diameter by 18 cm in height and 360 grams). In particular, it was designed to be placed in a cup holder, which many vehicles have. Its cylinder, made of aluminum, is pierced by six cells, which suck in the air to reject it, once filtered, at the top of the unit. There is a touch control panel to adjust the filtration speed on two levels, but also to know, thanks to a double LCD display, the ambient temperature and humidity level. The KS-AP320 plugs into a cigarette lighter, and an adapter is included.
Three air quality indicators
Use is childishly simple. When running, the purifier continuously sucks in air and expels it. A bright LED ring around the ventilation grille provides an accurate indication of the level of air quality. Green, the air is healthy; blue, it is of average quality; red, it is clearly contaminated. A simple test by blowing cigarette smoke on the device demonstrates its responsiveness: the luminous ring immediately turns red!
The filtration process used by JVC is photocatalysis. A particle filter will first neutralize dust and pollen. It needs to be replaced approximately every six months (sold for less than 20 euros). A catalyst then neutralizes bacteria, odors and fine particles. Disassembling the unit we found that JCV used 6 tiny UV-A LEDs for this.
Efficiency with perfect relevance
How to rate the effectiveness of this cleaner, which we tested during several road trips? Hard to say. First, because a car already has its own filter for its interior ventilation system. This prevents particles of exhaust gas in the air from entering the cabin (remember to change it every 20,000 kilometers!).
So because we can only rely on the bright LED indicator of the KS-AP320 to know the quality of the surrounding air. And if it’s green next to the driver (as it was most of the time during our tests), does that mean the kids in the back seat also have the same air quality? It’s a shame that JVC doesn’t communicate the amount of air that its purifier can process, nor how long… And don’t forget that the best way to clean the air in a car is, as for houses with windows, open the windows regularly…
There is, of course, one unit left that must be used with the windows closed. One can undoubtedly imagine a relevant use during long night journeys in a car, but also under a tunnel with dense traffic jams, or even in a car where a passenger is sick, or with a baby that you want to protect. Good point too: the KS-AP320 removes bad odors from the cabin. Which can also be handy when traveling with a pet.