CSIRO recently acknowledged that portable air purifiers equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters demonstrate remarkable efficacy in enhancing indoor air quality. This comes off the back of research that 11% of the Australian population have asthma, and 19.3% suffers from hay fever and other related conditions.

The COVID pandemic really saw a massive uptake of air purifiers, for schools, businesses and homes. Much of that mentality is stuck with us despite being technically in “post-COVID” world. With thanks to XCD, we get to try out the new XCD Portable Air Purifier – a compact device designed to provide fresh, purified air in your personal space wherever you go.

XCD Air Purifier

First Impressions

The XCD looks a bit like a travel mug in about the same dimensions, and this is totally intentional.

One of the design features of the XCD is for it to fit into the cup holder of a car. So the device is cylindrical, small enough to fit into a standard cup holder. For the record the unit measures at 222 x 110 mm (height x diameter) and weights at 330 grams.

A short leather-sque loop attached near the top of the unit makes it easy to carry around.

On the rear of the unit at about the mid height point is a USB-C charging port.

Twisting the two halves of the cylinder in opposite directions will unlock the unit, allowing you access to the HEPA H11 filter.

The top of the XCD is a status screen. No need for a touch display here, just an old school lofi with fixed indicators. These are:

  • Battery icon – lights up when powered on, flashes when battery is low
  • Battery charging indicator – shows battery level and flashes when charging
  • Anion indicator – constantly on when the particle generation module is working
  • TVOC indicator – stands for Total Volatile Organic Compounds, this icon is constantly on to indicate detection of air quality
  • Wind speed indicator – Icon rotates when unit is in operation
  • Wind speed gear indicator – shows three levels of speed

XCD Air Purifier

In Use

Using the XCD is simple. There is only one button that controls all functions, which is limited to on, off, set the fan speed. One press to turn on, single press to cycle through the fan speed. Hold the button for three seconds to turn off.

It’s important to note that the TVOC sensor needs to be preheated for 120 seconds before the XCD unit is fully operational. During the preheating process, the air quality indicator will remain green and fan speed set to the lowest setting.

The air quality indicator will turn blue when it determines the air quality to be excellent, green for good, and red for medium or poor.

The information is clearly displayed and you can ascertain the status at a glance.

After all that, how well does it work?

I’m lucky in that I don’t have asthma, and hay fever is only when the pollen count is at the absolute extreme for an extended period. My partner however, suffers from hay fever just from the mention of pollen.

We also live in a suburb with a significant green wedge and many native trees. Hay fever can have such an impact on her that I have set up an automated alert every afternoon to her phone to tell her what the pollen count prediction is for the next day.

So the logical thing to do is to turn her into a guinea pig for this review. We put it on her bedside table running while we sleep. Over the course of a week I have notice that she seem to wake up less congested.

We also used the XCD in the car a lot, since we ferry our kids around to schools and activities constantly. One of the premise behind the XCD is to remove harmful NO2/SO2 traffic fumes from the air inside your car. It was ideal to be able to just pop the XCD into the cup holder and let it do it’s job.

Given the short travel time to get the kids to school, you do need to preplan it a little by turning on the device earlier so the TVOC sensor has time to preheat.

XCD Air Purifier

Other Thoughts

The XCD is rated to 40dB at it’s quietest operation. At the lowest fan setting you don’t really notice the noise, particularly with road noise (and chatty kids) in the car.

However in a dead quiet bedroom at night, it can be a little noisy. It doesn’t bother me very much given I can sleep anywhere anytime, but it could be annoying for some people if used in this setting.

The HEPA H11 filter does not require replacement. XCD recommends a monthly wipe down of its surface with a soft cloth as a maintenance routine.


What is HEPA H11?

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air.

There are two main types of HEPA filters, these being H11 and H13. Both types are considered to be medical grade and designed to remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in size from the air. This is equivalent to the N95 masks recommended during the COVID mask mandate.

I don’t get into a discussion about COVID particle size (ranges from 0.6 to 0.14 microns), there are scientific studies which will go into details at the efficiencies of HEPA filters and tiny virus particles. Spoiler alert: it is very efficient.

HEPA H11 filters are typically used in residential settings, which is the category the XCD falls in.

Another note is that the general consensus is that HEPA H11 filters must be replaced when they become dirty. So the take away is, whilst you can prolong the life of the filter in the XCD with regular wipe downs, at some point this will need to be replaced.

XCD Air Purifier



I struggled a little to decide on where this one falls. But upon reflection, if you are an allergy sufferer that had benefitted during the mask mandate, this falls more into the essential category. For someone like me, personally it feels like a treat. That said, to be using in the car for the whole family with the goal of providing cleaner air for the little ones, it is certainly far more convenient and less of a hassle than asking everyone to put on a N95 mask.

The XCD Portable Air Purifier has an RRP of $129 and is available exclusively at JB Hi-Fi.

DRN would like to thank XCD for providing the review unit.