The Arizer XQ2 dry herb vaporizer just dropped, and it’s one of the best value vaporizers you can buy. Instantly go from relaxing solo sessions with the whip to powering a party with bags, without busting your budget! Just like the original Extreme Q, this one does it all, but is easier to use, and even more versatile. Keep reading our XQ2 review for the full scoop.
Tasty vapor, any way you want it
The Arizer XQ2 dry herb vaporizer delivers quality vapor that’s light, tasty and effective, with a multitude of included accessories to change things up. The convection heat and glass parts gently release the vapor from your herbs in a way that preserves taste and feels comfortable, not overbearing.
There is a formula to Arizer vapor that’s unique. Every one of their vaporizers has a glass bowl for the herbs, and a slow, gentle heat profile. The vapor leans on the light and tasty side, but with potent effects. Sessions are meant to be slower, longer, and more relaxing, and the comfortable, flavorful vapor sets the mood. The XQ2 follows this tradition, and also has the versatility to serve vapor up however you feel - from a whip or bag, to a small bowl or large.
Vape from a whip or bag
Not sure whether to get a whip or bag based desktop vaporizer? Why not get one that does both? The Arizer XQ2 supplies glass attachments for either style! It’s a great way to figure out which you like best, or in which situations you prefer one over the other.
The XQ2 is vertically oriented, like a hookah, instead of a side attachment like most whip vapes. The three foot silicone tubing is perfect for solo sessions with the vape on a side table, but also swivels so you can pass it to a friend. I found the ritual familiar and relaxing, and prefer the whip when vaping on my own. The taste from the first few hits is amazing, and I find it easier to go at my own pace than with the bag.
I love sharing vapor with the balloon system. There’s a little more to sharing the whip, and it can be cumbersome to explain the proper draw speed. But bags are brainless. The vapor is already created, and all my friends have to do is breathe from the bag.
On my own, bags are a great way to go “cordless” with the XQ2. Blow up a bag, put the cap on the end, and you’re ready to wander anywhere with vapor at the ready. Replacing a worn out bag is easy with the silicone connector.
A bowl for flavor, and one for clouds
The Arizer XQ2 comes with two high quality borosilicate Glass Connoisseur Bowls - one for flavor that holds a little, and one for clouds that holds a lot. The bowls are identical, with a glass screen close to one end. The XQ2 comes with two black Tuff BowlGrips, which slip over one end of each Connoisseur Bowl to protect from burns.
When you install the Tuff BowlGrip on the end near the screen, a flavor bowl is born. Install it on the other end and you’ll have a cloud bowl. These Connoisseur Bowls are fantastic - the purity of an all-glass bowl with the versatility to handle both large and small loads! If you already have the original Extreme Q dry herb vaporizer, these are a great upgrade.
When I want a light and flavorful session, I grab the flavor bowl, load around 0.1 grams of dry herbs (it can hold up to twice that amount), and sip away. The flavors are strong, the vapor is light, and the sessions feel like they could go on forever. I found wispy vapor at 390F, with moderate vapor at 445F. Even on the highest setting of 500F, the herbs are high enough above the heater to barely cook between hits. The flavor bowl is also great for microdosing.
When it’s time to crank things up, I grab the cloud bowl and load anywhere from a third to a half gram of dry herbs. That’s a big bowl, and can easily serve a small group of people. The vapor thickens up by the second hit, even when set to 390F. The flavor on the back half of the cloud bowl usually suffers, as the herbs are closer to the heater and can cook a little darker with longer sessions.
Full digital temperature control - with a catch
The XQ2’s precision temperature controls are fully customizable from 122° F to 500° F (50° C to 260° C). Whether you want low temperature flavors or high temp clouds, your sweet spot is in there. While the lower end is welcome for a variety of dry herbs, most of our plants will combust, or catch fire, around 450° F (232° C). So why the extra headroom?
The temperature reading is at the heater itself, while your herbs are a little above it. In other words, your herbs are cooler than the heater, and the difference could be 50° F (28° C), or more. So don’t be afraid to crank it all the way to the top if you’re not satisfied at lower temperatures. I did. The important thing is that the temperature is consistent and repeatable. Use your senses to find out what you like and the XQ2 will deliver the same results every time.
All the bells and whistles
The user-friendly Arizer XQ2 is the most full-featured vaporizer on the market that doesn’t ask for cell phone assistance. You can blow up bags or use the whip, or even blow vapor through the whip with the 3-speed fan. If a water pipe is more your style, grab an elbow adapter, attach it to the XQ2 whip, and connect to your glass.
The large digital display is your window into a full suite of custom settings that’s easy to navigate with or without the remote control (that’s right, a remote - more on that in a bit). Tweak any of the following to your hearts’ desire: the LED lights, a delay start (safety feature), toggle between Celsius or Fahrenheit, an auto shut-off timer, an audible temperature alert, the audio beep volume, and the screen brightness.
The XQ2’s color light scheme that glows from the bottom is customizable. You can pick one of eight single colors, or switch it to Spectrum Mode for a trippy light show that changes color every two seconds. In Dynamic Mode, the XQ2’s colors mean something. Here are the important ones:
- Pulses from Yellow to Orange - Heating up. Wait for it…
- Blinks Green twice - Ready to vape!
- Pulses orange - Still ready to vape! This is what you’ll see most of the time.
- Pulses purple - Fan is on. Fill a bag or use it with a whip in fan-assist mode.
Smooth on-board controls and a programmable remote
The XQ2 and its predecessor, the Arizer Extreme Q, are the only vapes I can think of with remote controls that aren’t smartphone apps. But where the remote for the Extreme Q was almost required as it made up for flaws with the on-board controls, the XQ2 remote control has everything you need but isn’t necessary. The five buttons on the XQ2’s face (settings, power, fan, up and down) glide through the controls, and never frustrate me.
I still used the remote most of the time because of the new programmable temperatures. From the programmable remote control you can control the power, fan speed, volume, shut-off timer, and the color show, as well as the full digital temperature scale. But it also has three programmable temperature setting buttons. Set the temperature, hold the temp setting button you want programmed until it beeps, and bingo! It’s now programmed to your set temperature. And you get three of them! Once I landed on my faves, I never used the manual adjustments again. That’s convenient.
Familiar, better build
At a glance, the XQ2 could be mistaken for the Extreme Q vaporizer. But even a casual look will notice the XQ2’s bigger flat screen, more prominent buttons, and a more striking resemblance to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (It hurts me to know many of you won’t immediately get that reference.) Internally, the XQ2 boasts an isolated air path, an improved heating element, and features an optional air intake filter.
Five minute heat up time
The XQ2 is ready to go in around five minutes, as detailed in the instructions. The temperature display and colored Dynamic Mode lights will tell you the XQ2 is ready in under two minutes, but read the manual and you’ll find it takes an extra three to five minutes to heat the glass bowl enough to vaporize your herbs.
Turn the XQ2 on and get your herbs ready. Once the vape blinks green, put your loaded glass bowl on top and wait three to five minutes before liftoff. Time it yourself, though. If you forget and come back later, you’ll likely return to a room drenched in herbal aromas.
Some technique required
As mentioned above, the XQ2 isn’t brainless. If you hurry through the setup and try it before everything is heated up, hits will be airy and you’ll reach out for help. Just be patient, give it the time it needs to heat up, and it works great.
The XQ2 can serve up a wide variety of hits for many styles, but first you have to learn how to dance. Everything makes a difference - from draw speed (airflow) to load size, to which bowl to use and when to stir. For instance, here’s my technique for long whip draws and massive clouds that would usually put me to sleep:
- Set the XQ2 to 470° F (232° C) and wait for it to blink green.
- Load the cloud bowl with coarsely ground dry herbs up to the bottom of the Tuff BowlGrip. Give it a gentle tamp - not a pack.
- Place the loaded bowl on the XQ2, attach the whip, and wait five minutes.
- Take a long first pull (ten seconds or more) from the whip that starts off slow and gets faster towards the end. This hit is pure flavor with some visible vapor.
- The rest of my hits include small puffs for primer pulls to get a little heat into the herbs, and suck the herbs into place at the top of the bowl. I get the thickest vapor when I pull fast and the herbs are stuck at the top. My hits sound like this: puff - puff - puuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuff.
- I like to stir after every one or two long hits.
I know, I’m weird. But it works! You’ll find your own ritual that gets it just the way you like it.
Lots of hot, breakable glass parts
My tastiest vaporizers use glass somewhere in the vapor path. It preserves the flavor and is easy to clean. But glass brings its own challenges, mainly fragility.
The most durable vaporizers have no glass in them, but the XQ2 is loaded with it. So expect to replace the occasional piece of glass, depending on how accident-prone you are. All of the bowls are glass, as well as the connectors to the whips and bags, and are easy to order and replace. The heater cover is also glass, and if it breaks you’re in for a little do-it-yourself fix-it time - but that’s rare.
The more regular annoyance concerns hot parts. You need a place to set down hot glass during and after sessions, when you stir, reload, or take a break. The bowls and glass connectors can get really hot, especially at the highest heat settings, and you’ll probably get the occasional minor burn. Anything wood or metal works great for a landing spot for all those hot parts.
XQ2 is a massive value
At the everyday price of $199.95 the Arizer XQ2 is a massive value. Get it on sale, and it’s even better for you. When I look at the XQ2’s vapor quality, feature set and price point, it really has no equal. Whether you want one vape that does it all to ride off into the sunset with, or want a taste of everything before your next buy, the XQ2 gets it done.
Quick comparison to the Extreme Q
A lot of you want to know how the XQ2 compares to the original Extreme Q, so enjoy the full comparison. For now, here’s the short version: if you have neither, get the XQ2. If you already have the Extreme Q, upgrade to the new Connoisseur Bowls with BowlGrips, the Balloon Connector and Balloon Cap Pack. If you’re on a tight budget, get the Extreme Q and live with a few minor inconveniences like the rest of us have for the last thirteen years.
Arizer covers any workmanship and defect issues for 3 years, with no warranty for the glass parts. Like all of our products, the XQ2 is covered by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
What’s in the box
- Arizer XQ2 Vaporizer
- Power Adapter Charger
- XQ2 Remote Control
- 2 Glass Connoisseur Bowls
- 2 Tuff BowlGrips
- Glass Aromatherapy Dish
- 3” Silicone Whip and Glass Mini Whip Attachment
- Glass Balloon Mouthpiece with Balloon Connector, 2 Balloon Bags and a Balloon Cap
- Airpath Filter Cartridge
- Stainless Steel Stir Tool
- Dome Screen and Flat Screen
- Aromatic Botanicals sample
- Owner’s Manual
For best results
We have a full Tips and Tricks article almost done, but for now keep the following in mind:
- The whip works best with a moderate draw speed. Slow down if hits are weak.
- Blow bags on fan speed Low. Pause and stir in the middle if on a high temperature.
- Heat soak the bowl.
Our Cleaning and Maintenance Guide is coming soon, but until then, make sure to empty out the bowl after it’s spent. Brush or blow it out before things cool down and get stuck into place.
Who is the Arizer XQ2 for?
If one of your shopping priorities is getting the best value, the XQ2 is it. The hits are great, the taste is yummy, and it’s adjustable enough to satisfy most hit styles imaginable. The versatility is also off the charts - enjoy solo whip sessions, blow bags for parties, even use your water pipe adapter, all from the same vape.
It’s also great for beginners. The original Extreme Q was my first vape in 2008, when I didn’t know which I liked better - bags or whips. I enjoyed it for a few years before trying something new. The XQ2 is a great entry level vape that also performs well enough to satisfy more discerning vaporists.
Who is the Arizer XQ2 not for?
Purity comes at a cost, and the XQ2 has a lot of fragile glass pieces. It also has enough parts to overwhelm, and can confuse anyone who doesn’t want to read the manual. I fumbled with the hot parts at times, and there is some technique required for certain styles. It’s not dead simple like the Volcano, but it’s also not $479! If you don’t like to tinker, you might at times find the XQ2 frustrating.
I really like the changes Arizer made from the Extreme Q to the XQ2. The display is better and I can easily control everything on-board with the extra fan button - no remote required! But I still used the remote thanks to its programmable temperatures. The internals are cleaner with an air filter and airpath separated from the electronics. Throw in a cap for the bags and different bowls for large and small styles, and I’m not sure what else I’d do to make it better. In a year when new releases were mostly upgrades to existing vapes, this one stands tall. Arizer, a Canadian company, gave us a lot of improvementsand kept the price well within reach of the budget-minded.