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Duux Whisper Essence review: The best pedestal fan under £100

Our Rating :
£99.99 from
Price when reviewed : £99
inc VAT

The features might be basic, but the Duux Whisper Essence is effectively a premium pedestal fan at a surprisingly affordable price


  • Good looks
  • Decent airflow
  • Quiet at most speeds


  • Limited speeds and features
  • No remote control

Before Meaco came along with its superb Sefte 10in Pedestal Air Circulator, Duux’s Whisper Flex was the finest tall cooler around. Even now, with its near-silent running and excellent airflow, it’s one of the best fans out there. The only problem? It’s a relatively pricey purchase. Like the Sefte, it’s a luxury fan, and you’ll have to pay £140 or more for the privilege of owning one.

Now, though, if you don’t mind losing a few features, you can have the next best thing at a significantly lower price in the shape of the Duux Whisper Essence. Not only can it create the same 2,300m³ per hour airflow as the Whisper Flex, but it’s every bit as quiet; Duux claims noise levels as low as 13dB when it’s running on its lowest settings.

I’ve spent the last week or so testing the Duux Whisper Essence, and I’d say it gives you roughly 90% of what’s great about the Whisper Flex for roughly 70% of the price. What’s not to like?

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Duux Whisper Essence review: What do you get for the money?

The Duux Whisper Essence will set you back a very reasonable £99, an outlay that gets you a stylish white pedestal fan with an 11in blade, standing 96cm high. The general look and feel are broadly similar to the Whisper Flex, but there are a handful of key differences. It has a circular base and cylindrical stalk, but there’s no display with a dial on the former, while the latter is a single part and can’t be split to allow the fan to be set up at different heights. There’s also no remote control, with all the controls built into the main motor unit, on the top behind the fan itself.

The Whisper Essence involves a little construction before it’s good to go. The stalk needs to be plugged into the base, and then the motor unit locked in on the top. After that, you need to remove the fan in its cardboard packing from the grille and attach both to the body of the motor unit. It’s not a long or arduous process, especially if – unlike me – you spot the small screw at the bottom of the grille assembly that prevents you from rotating the front grille from its locked position so that you can open it up. It might have been nice for the otherwise clear instructions to point this out.

Once built, it feels very sturdy, with no obviously creaky or rattly parts. The base is heavy enough to stop the fan from toppling at the smallest knock, but at 3kg it won’t be a problem carrying it around from room to room.

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Duux Whisper Essence review: What features and settings does it have?

The Whisper Essence is fairly barebones when it comes to features, with just seven speed settings to the Whisper Flex’s 26. The Essence also has a simple off-timer with settings from 1-8 hours. There are no smart features, nor sleep and natural settings as you might find on some more expensive pedestal fans. And where the Whisper Flex gives you 90-degree horizontal oscillation and 100-degree vertical, the Whisper Essence sticks to a wider 120-degree horizontal arc of movement, with no vertical. However, you can adjust the angle by up to 50 degrees upwards and ten degrees downwards.

Duux Whisper Essence review: How well does it perform?

In our tests, I didn’t quite reach the 3.7m/sec I recorded with the Whisper Flex, but 3.3m/sec at the maximum speed setting at a 1m range isn’t to be sniffed at. Sure, that puts it behind the Princess Pedestal Air Circulator (£125) at 4.3m/sec, and even further behind the ridiculous powerful Meaco Sefte 10in at 7.6m/sec. Yet it still gives you enough oomph for a decent airflow from a 1-3m distance in a fairly large room.

At that speed it’s not hideously noisy, putting out 44.1dBA. And you can turn the speed down to the fourth speed setting and get a 1.9m/sec airflow with a quiet 35.8dBA. Even at its lowest setting, I could still feel a comfortable 1.4m/sec breeze, with the noise level dropping to 32.2dB. At this point, it was virtually silent over ambient levels of noise.

In general use, the Whisper Essence is a very easy fan to live with. I found that with the 120-degree oscillation it could move plenty of air across a big, wide area, and I didn’t find the restricted selection of speed settings a problem. If anything, it’s quicker to go from low to high when you’ve only got to tap the + button six times.

There’s only one source of illumination to worry about – a seven-part bar to show the current fan speed – and this fades within seconds when the controls aren’t being touched. Put it on the lower settings, and you don’t really need a specific night or sleep mode.

Power consumption is also impressively low – just 2.8W on the lowest setting and 13.2W when it’s running at full tilt. That’s lower than the Whisper Flex, and also lower than the Meaco Sefte.

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Duux Whisper Essence review: Is there anything we didn’t like?

With no remote control, you’ll have to rely on the controls on the fan itself, and these are a little tricky to see and reach unless you’re standing right in front of the fan. You might find them tricky to spot in a dark or gloomy room. Still, they’re well laid out and large and responsive enough to use, so I can’t see this being a deal breaker for anyone.

Duux Whisper Essence review: Should you buy it?

Duux has dropped a few features to bring the Whisper Essence to a lower price point, but they’re the kind of features that a lot of users won’t be all that concerned about. It looks good, it’s powerful enough to work in most rooms and it’s nice and quiet at all but its highest speeds. If you don’t want to spend more than £100 on a pedestal fan, it’s the best one you can buy. I’d even say it’s right up there with the best fans of any type at that price.

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