Aspire Clearomizers – A Review
Introduction and General Notes
I’ve been using Aspire BDC clearomizers for a couple months now. Recently, my Aspire T3 510 BDCs were joined by the Aspire Vivi Nova, the Aspire ET, and the Aspire ET-S courtesy of the fine folks at MyFreedomSmokes.com. While there are differences in eLiquid capacity and materials from one device in the lineup to another, many of the qualities that matter most to Vapers are consistent throughout the line.
Beginning with aesthetics, I’ll admit that the designs are nothing revolutionary — in fact, they’re rather unremarkable, aesthetically. Frankly, almost nobody would point one out on a shelf and exclaim, “Oh, that’s an Aspire!” To tell the Aspire T3 510 from a run-of-the-mill T3 clearomizer, for example — or to tell the Aspire ET-S from an X.Jet Spider, for another — you would be obliged to pick it up and look for the branding.
Build quality is where the Aspire series begins to shine. The threads on these devices are smooth and sure-footed; unlike some other devices that come to mind, there are no “false starts” when threading the base of an Aspire into its tank after a refill. I also have yet to have a “confused base” issue — a term I use to describe the phenomenon where I try to unscrew the clearomizer from the PV only to discover that the tank is unscrewing from the clearomizers base instead of the clearomizer as a whole unscrewing from the PV.
Part of that “confused base” issue, by the way, is user error — the user turns the tank body instead of turning the clearos base. But part of what leads to that user error are bases where there is no texture and nothing to grasp. This isn’t the case with Aspire devices, which is why they score build quality points here.
But where the Aspire lineup really makes its mark is in the Performance department. Across the board, so far, every Aspire device I’ve tried has provided warm, thick, fluffy vapor, strong throat hit, and rich, vivid flavor — with some minor variations that I’ll go into shortly.
Now, as is always the case, this depends on the eLiquid you put into your device. I used a few other devices for comparison with the same liquid — Vaporetti’s Cafe Dolci Cheesecake — and the Aspire devices were unmatched by anything other than the Kanger Aero Tank and the X.Jet series. There’s a reason for that:
The Aspire line and the X.Jet line use the same atomizer heads. As far as I’m able to determine, exactly the same heads — fully cross compatible. The rest of the parts, not so much, so this isn’t a case of the X.Jet line being simply a rebranding of the Aspire line.
Let’s go into the individual devices now, and I’ll give you some specifics on each one.
We’ll begin with the simple 510. While NHaler doesn’t mention its eLiquid capacity on their site, I would guess — due to its size being similar to the Innokin iClear 16 — that it holds 1.6ml of eLiquid.
One of the things I like about the 510 BDC is one of the things some folks might or might not — its unremarkable looks. Specifically, its fully exposed clear tank sans aluminum or stainless steel “sheath” with cutout windows. While that keeps it from being as striking a visual statement as, for example, the X.Jet Spider, what it also does is make monitoring how much eLiquid you have left in it a whole lot easier. I’ll take a moment to explain:
While I appreciate the “sci-fi” look of slot windows on some devices, they do make it tough in certain lighting conditions to actually use them for their intended purpose of monitoring how much liquid you’ve got. Say you take your device to a bar — or you’re just in your living room watching television with most of the lights off.
In situations like those, low light might or might not give you a good look through a slot window — it usually doesn’t, for me — and backlighting isn’t going to work out terribly well, either, since the central airflow tube sits between the two windows, meaning it’s going to block the backlighting. With the 510 BDC, this is a non-problem.
The Aspire 510 is really the device in this lineup that I have the greatest amount of experience with, as I got my hands on a bunch of these a couple months ago and have used them regularly since. The 510 have always delivered an amazing vape for a device in its size and feature class. I have never had a dry hit, never experienced gurgling or flooding, and the atomizer heads have consistently provided with a ~2 week lifespan in this device.
John M – As a Vaper who has been spending his time with the X.Jet Spider I was hesitant to start messing with a system that worked. But, after vaping up a storm with the Aspire 510 my experience has pretty much been identical. I love these new wireless coils (really only hidden though), so it looks as though I’m going to be using both. They are superb!
Julia – I would much prefer something with more capacity, but you can’t argue with the vape experience. If I had my choice though, I’d pick the Vivi Nova every time. The Aspire 510 is a great clearomizer as a good price. It took a while, but the clearomizer has finally turned the corner.
The Aspire ET is, in my opinion, everything the original Kanger Protank Mini should have been. Nearly identical in dimensions and eLiquid capacity, even vaguely similar in appearance with its long, metallic eGo-threaded base and integrated steel mouthpiece, the Aspire ET takes the aesthetics up a notch with elegant rings of engraved pattern just above and below the tank wall. And the tank wall on this device is, itself, a step up in style, coming in multiple colors such as clear, smoke, blue, green, yellow, red, and purple.
It also does its closest competitor one better in usability, thanks to that same patterning, giving the user something to grip when unscrewing the ET from a recessed eGo connection. But it’s in performance that the Aspire ET just blows its competitor away, thanks to the dual coil and airflow that, while generous, manages to avoid being too airy.
In real world use, the Aspire ET is my go-to “night on the couch” solution; its use “on the town” is a little less regular due to its eLiquid capacity — for a proper night out on the town, which usually means between 2 and 3 hours of fairly heavy vaping, I prefer to take a device that I won’t need to refill before I get home.
But for kicking back on the sofa, turning down the lights, and taking in the latest feature film to hit Netflix, the Aspire ET has taken its place as my faithful sidekick.
John M – Now you see, here I see a lot of similarities with the EVOD’s, but without a hint of metallic taste. I’m not as sensitive to the details as John Castle is, so I got about the same vape experience with this one. Not too sure I would buy more of these when there are other Aspires here I would choose.
Julia – I agree with Mr. Castle, this is what the Protank Mini should have been. Aspire is becoming hugely popular because of performance, not some jacked up name recognition. I loved this one, no if, ands, or buts about it.
The Aspire ET-S is, in most respects, identical to the Aspire ET. What has changed from the ET to the ET-S is that the tank wall is polycarbonate on the ET, while it has been replaced with a Pyrex glass tank for the ET-S, with the addition of an aluminum sheath with slot windows.
And while I did mention earlier that under some conditions, my preference is for a fully transparent tank, I have to admit that the ET-S pulls off the “sheath with windows” paradigm beautifully.
Additionally, the glass tank and aluminum sheath give me much greater confidence in the ET-S’s ability to stand up to high-citrus liquids over the long haul.
It’s for this reason that I fully expect the ET-S to dethrone the ET in some circumstances as my around-the-house companion coming up this summer: I’m getting into the idea of specifically “summer-y” vapes, many of which, for me, are citrus-based.
A perfect example: Mountain Oak Vapors’ Red Drop — raspberry limeade. The reigning King of my summer vape rotation, the most unbelievably perfect answer to a 110 degree June afternoon. A little sweet. A lot tart. And amazingly refreshing.
Also hard on non-glass clearomizers after a while. So this summer, people are going to be seeing a lot of me and the Aspire ET-S packing that deliciousness inside it. The fact that it also delivers the same top of the line performance with every other eLiquid I could throw at it means that there’s a good chance, during those hot summer months, that I’ll be seen around the house with little else on my PV besides the ET-S.
Aspire Vivi Nova-S
The Aspire Vivi Nova-S is the big boy in the lineup, and I happen to have received the version that, like the ET-S, comes with an aluminum-sheathed glass tank. With a capacity listed at “just under 3ml”, you might be wondering if this greater size has an impact on its performance.
In my experience, the answer is ‘yes.’ What I have found is that the performance effect of size differences in clearomizers — not the eLiquid capacity, but the actual performance difference — is actually quite noticeable.
With the Aspire 510, for example, I get a respectable cloud of visual vapor output. With the Vivi Nova-S, however, I get a veritable fog bank by comparison. While throat hit on the ET or ET-S is respectable, I find that by inhaling from the Vivi Nova-S in the “slipstream” style, I can get a full lung hit all the way down into the bottom of my chest, which is a simply exhilarating sensation.
A quick digression to explain that: “Slipstreaming” is simply the act of adjusting one’s lips on the clearomizers mouthpiece in such a way that one draws in slightly more air along with the vapor-to-air mixture provided by the device itself.
So it’s not that slipstreaming makes a lung hit possible — it’s that this technique makes a lung hit from a device as potent as the Vivi Nova-S tolerable. (I almost used the word ‘comfortable’ there, but I don’t think most people would consider the sensation comfortable, really — fans of great, big, aggressive throat hit, yes; most people, maybe not.)
Another very nice feature of the Vivi Nova-S is that you can use any 510-compatible drip tip you like with it; at any rate, I have yet to find one among my own collection that won’t fit on the device.
Where will you see me with the Vivi Nova-S? Just about everywhere. My experience with this device here at home has taught me that this is my all day vape clearomizer. What I mean by that is that, when I have a liquid I consider to be my all day vape, the Vivi Nova-S is what I’ll be filling with it.
I took the review unit downtown for dinner at an Irish pub followed by a stroll up one side of the avenue and down the other, and got plenty of compliments both on the Vivi Nova-S’s good looks and on the performance (for those who were adventurous enough, and I thought ahead to expect a few, I washed and took with me a few older 510 drip tips.)
John M – By far this is lightyears ahead of the other Vivi Nova’s in months past. All the quality vape of the Aspire 510/ET and the X.Jet, with a nice bit or capacity bump. Definitely a great clearomizer. Glass lined too, I mean, come on. What’s not to love?
Julia: Life Changing indeed. I couldn’t agree more with both of you. The added capacity, the Aspire/X.Jet wireless coils, and one for the cloud-chasers among us, this is by far my favorite. I’m going to be looking to stock up on these guys, and a whole bunch of coil replacements too boot. If we were handing out stars, this would be a 5 Star winner. Choice Award Time!
Recommendation and Conclusion
Now we come to the moment when I give you my thoughts on whether or not the Aspire series provides the value you’re looking for in a clearomizer. Short answer: Yes. Long answer: What’s your usual vaping style? Close to home and all day vape? The Vivi Nova-S is for you. At work or out on the town during the day but with a few different liquids in tow for variety? I think you’d love the ET-S. Feel like a pub-crawl and want to be able to watch your eLiquid usage more easily? The ET is a good candidate for you. Or do you just want to keep things nice and simple, nothing fancy? The Aspire 510 won’t disappoint you.
Prices at the time of this writing MyFreedomSmokes has a terrific price point for each of the clearomizers reviewed above:
Aspire T3 510: $5.95 Aspire ET: $6.95 Aspire ET-S: $8.95 Aspire Mini Nova-S: $9.95John Castle