Arizer released the XQ2 dry herb vaporizer, the successor to the Extreme Q that’s been over ten years in the making. If you’re on a tighter budget, the Extreme Q is still the vape to beat. But for the small price difference, the XQ2 is the better value. Here comes our full head-to-head matchup: the Arizer XQ2 vaporizer versus the Extreme Q!
Both have great vapor quality
As you’ll soon see, Arizer did a lot to the user interface and accessories for the XQ2, but is the vapor production any better? The Extreme Q vaporizer is no slouch in the vapor department, and as long as I used the same bowl on both units during side-by-side testing, I couldn’t tell them apart. Both convection vapes started sessions out light and tasty, and could cook the herbs as far as I wanted. Bottom line, they both perform well above their price points, and will continue to dominate the value category in desktop vaporizers.
Accessories are interchangeable
We will go over the differences below, but all the high quality aromatherapy accessories for both vapes are interchangeable, except the remote controls. Arizer Extreme Q accessories will fit and work on the XQ2, and vice-versa. The XQ2’s glass bowls and balloon bag accessories improve on those for the Extreme Q, so I recommend you buy XQ2 accessories as replacements instead of Extreme Q accessories. The silicone whip attachment with dome screen, power adapter, glass balloon mouthpieces, aromatherapy dish, and glass mini whip, however, are the same.
Both vapes heat up in about 5 minutes
The Extreme Q and XQ2 have very similar heat-up times. Both digital displays reach set temperatures at the same speed (one to two minutes), and both vapes require three to five minutes to preheat the bowl and herbs before the thicker vapor flows. It feels like the XQ2 gets punchier a little faster, but it’s too subjective and too close to call.
Same temperature scale
The Extreme Q’s precision temperature control has a wide scale, from 122° F to 500° F (50° C to 260° C) and so does the XQ2. That’s all anyone needs to vaporize any herb at any temperature, so everyone gets what they want. Savor the flavors at the lower temps, or push out clouds at the higher temps.
Both vapes measure and report the temperature at the heater, which can be more than 50° F (28° C) hotter than the bowl. This was a minor point of confusion for Extreme Q users, and will continue with the XQ2. Use the temperature readout as a guide, not gospel, on both vapes.
On-board controls are better with XQ2
The on-board controls for the Arizer Extreme Q were cumbersome at best, and more often frustrating. It took five button presses to turn on the fan, and eight to turn it off - ouch. Most people use the remote exclusively to avoid the mess.
The XQ2 menu navigation is smooth as butter, thanks to an extra dedicated fan button and the new LED flat screen. One press to get the fan on, and no more than three to turn it off. The remote is no longer required, and I went a while without even using it. Then I found out it was programmable! The XQ2 easily wins the "ease of use" contest.
XQ2 programmable remote is more intuitive
The Arizer XQ2 remote control has a new layout that is more intuitive, works better, and uses fewer buttons. Best of all, it comes with three programmable buttons for custom temperature settings! The Extreme Q remote control, by comparison, has six preset temperature buttons, all in Celsius.
Somehow Arizer completely flipped the script. The Extreme Q has two control methods (on-board and remote control) that work well when used together, but both are lacking when used on their own. I didn’t use the on-board controls by themselves for lack of a fan button, and I didn’t like the remote controls because of the temperature buttons. The XQ2 holds the opposite position - the on-board controls work perfectly by themselves, and so does the remote!
XQ2 Bowls are superior
The Arizer XQ2’s borosilicate glass connoisseur bowls are more versatile than the older Extreme Q’s bowl, and the flavor is great thanks to the all glass screen.
The XQ2 comes with two Connoisseur Bowls that have a glass screen installed nearer one end of the adapter. Use the bowl with the screen in the lower position, and you have a Cloud Bowl that can easily hold a third of a gram, if not more. Flip it over so the screen is in the upper position, and it becomes a Flavor Bowl that holds no more than 0.2 grams.
XQ2 bag - problems solved
I have longed for a mouthpiece cover for the Extreme Q bag since 2008, and the XQ2 finally brings it! I can now cap the bag instead of holding my thumb over the mouthpiece. It’s a simple solution, and I recommend it for anyone who already uses bags with the Extreme Q. With the XQ2 you can take a hit and seal the bag for a little later.
Arizer also improved the bag assembly procedure. The bags for the Extreme Q can be really hard to assemble, but the new Balloon Connector solves that issue. No more tight o-rings to fight!
XQ2 blows bags quicker
Cut down that wait time! The fan is stronger on the Arizer XQ2 vaporizer, and can fill a bag in two-thirds the time of the Extreme Q. You can't tell from blowing up empty bags - you have to load the bowl to appreciate the stronger fan. The restriction is the same, but the new fan on the XQ2 keeps the airflow consistent, across all fan speeds.
XQ2 has a better build
Arizer also improved a lot of things you’ll never see, but will notice. The XQ2’s has an isolated airpath, and it has an optional air filter on the bottom. If you look down into the XQ2 from the top, you’ll see a ledge to catch any debris that used to fall into the Extreme Q. Arizer also improved the heating element, but you can't tell from just looking. Overall, the XQ2 performs better and is easier to clean.
The XQ2 light show has more going for it than the Extreme Q. In Dynamic mode, the light show isn't just fun, it communicates with different colors and fades. If you just want trippy, Spectrum mode rotates through the LED light colors with nothing to say.
The XQ2 is clearly an upgrade to the Extreme Q, with a recognizable shape and a sleek, smoother look. Both vapes are the same size, and the XQ2 is only two ounces heavier. But the XQ2 looks more modern, with a bigger, easier-to-read display and more rounded shoulders. If you like trippy light displays, the XQ2’s multi-colored action is more entertaining than the single-colored light on the Extreme Q.
XQ2 costs $50 than the Extreme Q
The XQ2 costs a third more than the Extreme Q, but that’s a lot of money in the budget vape range. There is very little that can compete with the value of the Extreme Q at $150, but the XQ2 might be the closest rival. It’s a luxury to have both options to choose from when on a budget.
Which should you get?
Most people should get the XQ2
The Arizer XQ2 desktop vaporizer improves on the Extreme Q in almost every way, except the vapor quality. The Connoisseur Bowls make an already versatile vape even more so, and the updated controls are fantastic. After using the XQ2 for a couple months, I wouldn’t go back to the Extreme Q just for the controls alone. I also haven’t used the Extreme Q’s Cyclone Bowl since trying the Connoisseur Bowls.
The Extreme XQ2 - extreme value with all the goodies.
- Strong, tasty vapor
- Ready in five minutes
- Hit from a whip or bag
- Programmable remote control
- Trippy lights tell you when to vape
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Extreme Q for a tighter budget
If you just can’t reach for the extra $50 right now, there’s no shame in the Extreme Q. It’s ruled the value roost for the last ten years, and has a solid track record. You can always upgrade the bag and bowls later on, if your budget opens up.
The Arizer Extreme Q vaporizer continues to be the king of value.
- Best vaporizer value
- Whip and bag delivery
- Tons of options and customizations
- Remote control and stylish lights
- Digital temperature control
- Unlimited desktop power
If you already have the Extreme Q
I would order two Connoisseur Bowls and two Tuff BowlGrips and enjoy the new bowl configurations. The Cyclone Bowl can’t match them, whether you want to micro- or macro-dose. If you like to use the bags, grab a Balloon Connector and the Balloon Cap Pack. They probably fix everything you don’t like about the bags you already use.