Item: SodaStream Source
Price: about $150
Overall Impression: An elegant redesign of the iconic home soda maker.
In my household, we've been SodaStream users for years, first with the Pure model and then the Fizz. Although these home carbonators have been very functional for making sparkling water and soda, I've never really loved SodaStream's product design. That is, until designer Yves Béhar got involved.
Characteristics and Specs: Snap-lock bottle mechanism locks the 1-liter, BPA-free carbonating bottle into place with a single-push motion. LED indicator displays carbonation level (mild, medium, or high fizz). Uses 60L carbonators. Available in white, black, red, blue, metal and non-metal finishes. Dimensions are approximately 9 x 5 x 18 inches. Made in Israel.
Favorite details: It's easy to snap bottles in and out, and the beautiful design makes this one gadget I'm happy to leave out on the counter.
Potential problems: Not everyone will enjoy the high-pitched sound.
Splurge-worthy? Yes, if you drink a lot of carbonated water and/or soda.
Good for small kitchens? The Source is not tiny, but it does have an uncluttered look that can help in a small space. It's also not heavy; if you don't have a permanent place for it, it's easy to move it around.
I've had my eye on the Yves Béhar-designed SodaStream Source ever since it was announced last spring. Visually, I love it; it's clean, modern, and despite being mostly plastic, it doesn't look cheap. This particular Source has a metal finish, which is a sophisticated touch.
Behar's clever redesign has a new mechanism so that bottles can be quickly snapped and locked into place rather than screwed in and out. Operating the machine is clean and easy, as you simply press down on the top/front portion -- no levers or buttons. An LED indicator for controlling carbonation level is not an entirely new feature, but the Sources's graphic droplets are much more attractive than the indicator on the Fizz.
When carbonating, most SodaStream models make a loud buzz (as if they, ahem, ate too many beans), which often elicits giggles from guests. Whether this is better or worse, I don't know, but the Source instead makes a high-pitched noise that my partner likened to a banshee scream. (Elsewhere I saw it compared to an unpleasant tea kettle.) I'll continue to happily use the Source, and am very impressed with it otherwise, but thought this did bear mentioning.
→ Find it: SodaStream Source - Metal Edition - White, $149.95 at Amazon
Related: SodaStream Fizz Home Drinks Maker
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: 1-4. Emily Ho; 5. SodaStream)