In Singapore, face masks are a daily fact of life now. Ever since Covid-19 hit, wearing one has been required pretty much everywhere you go. Not all masks are created equal though…some do nothing but just cover your face. Others, provide a high level of protection, comfort and a secure fit. Guess which one the Phillips Fresh Air Mask Series 6000 is?
Yeah, it’s the latter. I mean, why would we review a normal face mask? That doesn’t make a sense at all!
So, is a premium mask worth the asking price?
Find out by reading on!
What is the Phillips Fresh Air Mask Series 6000?
The Phillips Fresh Air Mask Series 600 is a premium face mask with its own custom made ventilation device. The face mask is made up of an elastic material that Phillips’ dubbed as an ingenious technological micro-porous fabric. I don’t know what it’s made of too, though it feels rubbery and soft.
With an MSRP of SG$159, the Phillips Fresh Air Mask Series 6000 isn’t a spur of the moment purchase. It’s rather costly, not to mention that filters are SG$39 for a box of 5. Yep, it boils down to a filter being SG$8 a pop. Definitely a rather expensive investment.
If you ask me though, I’d say it’s totally worth it.
I’ve used the mask for a few times now and have come away impressed with everything; breathability, comfort and how secure it is . I used to use a generic valve mask but have found it hard to breathe through when I’m exerting myself. Regular face masks aren’t for me too. Due to their tight fit, I feel like I’m being waterboarded whenever I take a deep breath through my mouth. I needed something with room between my lips and the mask, just like the valve mask I used.
That’s when I came across the Phillips Fresh Air Mask Series 6000.
It’s exactly like my valve mask but much, much superior in quality.
The mask fits incredibly well to my face (and it will to yours too) with the rubber ear straps easily adjustable. I do wish the straps were thicker though as I can feel them digging into the back of my ears after prolonged usage. I suppose I can always loosen the straps, but that’d loosen the fit around my face and I’m not taking the chance of getting exposed that way. Here’s definitely where Phillips’ mask can be improved.
I honestly think they should’ve gone with a velcro scrap to secure the mask behind your head instead of a rubber strap that’s slung around your ears. Rubber eventually deteriorates, so I doubt that mask will be as secure in a year as the bands loose their grip. A velcro strap would definitely not have that issue AND it’d last longer too.
One other thing, I wish the mask was bigger.
As it stands, it barely covers my chin. I’d have preferred it to be longer but that’s a minor nitpick. For people (or kids) with smaller faces, it’s not going to be an issue at all.
That aside, I’ve no other complaints. It’s comfy to wear, the material’s soft and it’s quite roomy inside, without the material pressed up against your lips like most masks. You can talk comfortably without your lips feeling the filter.
Speaking of which, the filter’s for the mask N95, so if you’re looking for great protection against the virus, this is as good as you’re going to get unless you want to spring for a Hazmat suit. Each filter lasts up to 122 hours, so you’re going to get some bang for your buck. You’d better, considering as each filter’s SG$8.
As an N95 filter, that means it also filters out dusk, pollen, haze and bacteria too. Needless to say, it’s also pretty damn effective against Covid-19 too.
It’s also damn easy to put on.
You just slot in the left and right sides into tabs built into the mask and you’re done. No fussing, no mussing. It’s idiot-proof and incredibly low maintenance.
That’s also the case for the ventilation fan.
The device charges via micro USB, and needs 3 hours for a full charge. That’s a bit on the long side, especially as it’s supposed to last around the same time if you use it on Medium speed. You can prolong it if you use the Low fan setting but I found that it got a little stuffy at that speed. The High setting is obviously the best and most comfortable, but you’ll only get about 2 hours worth of juice.
You have to manually change the speed by tapping on the button on the ventilation fan’s exterior which is a bit of a hassle. For the price you’re paying, I don’t think it’s too much to have asked for some sort of app to control the mask. With an app, you could also view how much battery is left. As it stands right now, it’s all guesswork.
Charging the ventilation fan’s pretty easy.
Just lift up the right side filter and you’ll find the micro USB port nestled right under it. It doesn’t interfere with the filtration capability of the mask at all. I suppose with a long enough wire, you can even charge it while it’s being used. You’re going to get some weird stares though.
On Low, the fan doesn’t make that much noise. Medium and High does generate a slight hum but it’s only noticeable in quiet settings. I walked around Suntec City and Northpoint wearing the mask on High and didn’t hear a damn thing. I did notice it when I was in a Grab though.
As mentioned, on Low, I felt that the mask was akin to wearing a regular mask. It was a bit stuffy. Turning it on to Medium solved that issue completely. While it’s still not akin to not wearing a mask, air supply was noticeably better and I could breathe much easier. On High, it’s even better.
It still feels like you’re wearing a mask, but the air supply was stronger and much cooler. If it wasn’t up to the battery, High would be the default setting for me. There’s a profound difference between High and Low, and even High and Medium.
The ventilator’s also easily detachable from the mask, so doing maintenance on it is really easy.
You’ll want a can of compressed air to flush out the dust and dirt that accumulates as the vents are hard to reach with cloth. Reattaching it back to the mask is just a matter of slotting it in its groove and securing the clips. On the other side (where you charge), the machine has a built in magnet, so it stays in place without the need to be secured by anything.
One last thing to note. The mask won’t fog up your glasses when you exhale. I’m deadly serious. I tried my damnest to see if I could fog up my glasses but no dice. The fit’s so secure that no breath escapes to fog up your lenses. Great news for those with glasses.
Oh one more thing. Phillips? If you’re reading this, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE sell the ventilator by itself. I don’t want to buy a whole new mask if I want to get a replacement! Just offer it at a decent price (SG$90 perhaps) and I’ll buy a couple more for spares!
The Bottom Line.
Despite the high price and some technical issues, I love the Phillips Fresh Air Mask.
I love it so much I bought two for myself so I can swap out the ventilators when one dies (and charge the other one). There’s no higher praise than that. It’s a completely new world wearing the mask. You’re never going back to regular masks after this.
Yes, the rubber ear straps could be better and mask could be bigger. Are those deal breakers though? Not at all. The minor issues aren’t anywhere near enough to offset the comfort of using the mask instead of a regular one. The only thing that might be an issue for potential buyers’ has to be the high entry point. SG$159 is a rather steep price, especially considering that you’ll need to constantly shell out about SG$8 for filters.
For SG$159, I’d have expected Phillips to have thrown in a couple extra filters (you only get one with the mask) and a carrying case, but nope. All you get in the way of accessories are a charging cable and one filter.
Great premium mask that’s incredible to use but short battery life and high price means it’s not for everybody.
- Premium feel.
- N95 level protection.
- Secure fit for all faces.
- Makes breathing much easier.
- No noticeable noise outside.
- Doesn’t fog up glasses.
- No extra accessories.
- Rubber ear straps.
- Short battery life.
- Long charging time.
- Ventilator isn’t sold by itself.