Can JVC’s Air Purifier Make Air More Breathable Without Our Cars On The Vacation Road?

Crossovers, big departures, traffic jams, tunnels, heat waves and… pollution. The traditional infernal cocktail will undoubtedly be consumed without moderation on the road to summer holidays in our cars. To guard 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.

The size of a portable speaker

Make no mistake buying the KS-AP320 from JVC. Despite its appearances, it is not a bluetooth speaker, but a nomadic air purifier! It’s not the first of its kind, there are different ones on the market, but apart from LG for the home, it’s the first time that a consumer electronics manufacturer has entered the atypical market of the nomadic purifier. . No wonder that said, JVC is a specialist in on-board products (such as car radios, car speakers, etc.).

The KS-AP320 display shows indoor temperature and humidity level.
The KS-AP320 display shows indoor temperature and humidity level. -JVC

The KS-AP320 is a modestly sized piece of equipment (6.6 cm in diameter for 18 cm in height and 360 grams). In particular, it was designed to be housed in a cup holder like many vehicles have. Its cylinder, made of aluminum, is pierced by six cells which suck in the air to reject it, once filtered, on the top of the device. 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 that of the humidity level. The KS-AP320 plugs into a cigarette lighter socket, an adapter being supplied.

Three air quality indicators

Its use is childishly simple. When running, the purifier continuously sucks in air and expels it. A bright LED ring around its ventilation grille offers an accurate indication of the level of air quality. Green, the air is healthy; blue, it is of average quality; red, it is clearly polluted. 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 that of photocatalysis. A particle filter will first neutralize dust and pollen. It will need to be replaced approximately every six months (sold for less than 20 euros). A catalyst then neutralizes bacteria, odors and fine particles. By dismantling the device, we found that JCV used 6 tiny UV-A LEDs for this.

Efficiency with perfectible relevance

How to judge the effectiveness of this purifier that we tested during several car trips? Hard to say. First, because a car already has its own filter for its interior ventilation system. This prevents particles of exhaust gas present in the air from invading the passenger compartment (remember to change it every 20,000 kilometres!).

JVC's KS-AP320 purifier filtration system.
JVC’s KS-AP320 purifier filtration system. -JVC

Then, because we can only rely on the bright LED indicator of the KS-AP320 to know the quality of the ambient air. And if it is green next to the driver (as it was most of the time during our tests), does that mean that the children sitting in the back seat also have the same quality of air? ? Too bad that JVC does not communicate on the volume of air that its purifier can treat, nor in how long… And do not forget that the best way to purify the air in a car is, as for houses with windows, open the windows regularly…

There remains a device to be used, of course, with the windows closed. Undoubtedly one can imagine a relevant use during long night journeys in a car, but also under a tunnel with heavy traffic jams, or even in a car where a passenger is sick, or with a baby that one wish to protect. Good point also: the KS-AP320 removes bad odors from the cabin. Which can also be practical when traveling with a pet.