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Calphalon ActiveSense Blender Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Mar 30, 2022 at 10:27 am
Calphalon ActiveSense Picture
8.0
Multi-Purpose
7.4
Smoothies/Protein Shakes
8.9
Ice Crushing
8.2
Soups
7.9
Professional Use
Blender Type
Full Size Blender
Power
1,200 W

The Calphalon ActiveSense is a full-size blender with a 64-ounce main pitcher and a 24-ounce personal jar. It can make snow-like crushed ice, process hot ingredients, and produce spreadable but crunchy almond butter. The blender has a few preset modes for different recipes and lets you select what thickness you want for the final product. The digital display screen alerts you when the blender thinks you need to add more liquid to the recipe. Unfortunately, it struggles to process fibrous ingredients like raw kale and makes grainy smoothies. It's also not very well-built. The motor base feels cheap and can jump around on your counter when it's running.

Our Verdict

8.0 Multi-Purpose

The Calphalon ActiveSense is great for multi-purpose use. It has a versatile performance since you can use it to make snow-like crushed ice, decently well-blended smoothies, and process hot ingredients. It also makes spreadable almond butter, although it has a crunchy texture. There's a 24-ounce jar included for making single-serve drinks. Unfortunately, the blender struggles to completely liquify fibrous ingredients with either the main or personal jar, meaning it makes grainy smoothies if you add something like raw kale. Also, the motor base feels cheaply made.

Pros
  • Easy to clean.
  • Makes snow-like crushed ice.
Cons
  • Motor base feels cheap.
7.4 Smoothies/Protein Shakes

The Calphalon ActiveSense is satisfactory for making smoothies and protein shakes. You can use the smaller jar to make decent smoothies. ฮ—owever, it doesn't fully process raw kale, so if you add fibrous ingredients, the resulting smoothie has a grainy texture. It also struggles to completely blend chunks of frozen banana in the main jar. That said, it's easy to clean and makes snow-like crushed ice, which is nice if you like to add them to smoothies or make frozen drinks.

Pros
  • Easy to clean.
  • Comes with a personal jar.
Cons
  • Can move around when it's running.
  • Makes grainy smoothies.
8.9 Ice Crushing

The Calphalon ActiveSense is excellent for crushing ice. It takes no time to make snow-like crushed ice using its 'Frozen Drinks' program. Unfortunately, some parts of the motor base feel flimsy, and the design of the gears makes them less durable.

Pros
  • Makes snow-like crushed ice.
Cons
  • Motor base feels cheap.
8.2 Soups

The Calphalon ActiveSense is great for soups. You can use the main pitcher to blend hot ingredients like roasted vegetables if you remove the two-part lid's center piece. Unfortunately, it struggles to fully liquefy raw kale, meaning purees can have a grainy texture. That said, it may perform better with softer cooked ingredients. The blender's parts are all dishwasher-safe, and it's very easy to clean by hand as well.

Pros
  • Not too loud.
  • Can hot blend.
Cons
  • Makes grainy smoothies.
7.9 Professional Use

The Calphalon ActiveSense is good for professional use. It makes snow-like crushed ice, decent smoothies, and has enough power for tougher tasks like making almond butter. The main jar has a good 64-ounce capacity, and you can use it to process hot ingredients if you remove the center piece of the two-part lid. Unfortunately, the motor base feels cheaply made.

Pros
  • Easy to clean.
  • Not too loud.
Cons
  • Motor base feels cheap.
  • 8.0 Multi-Purpose
  • 7.4 Smoothies/Protein Shakes
  • 8.9 Ice Crushing
  • 8.2 Soups
  • 7.9 Professional Use
  1. Updated Mar 30, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Mar 22, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
16.7" (42.5 cm)
Width 6.6" (16.8 cm)
Depth 6.4" (16.3 cm)
Weight
7.1 lbs (3.2 kg)
Shaft Length (Immersion Blenders)
N/A

The Calphalon ActiveSense is a somewhat tall full-size blender. It's not overly bulky but still takes up some room on a kitchen counter or in a cabinet. It's a bit shorter with the personal jar attached.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Calphalon ActiveSense is decently well-built. The materials used for the jars and lids seem sturdy, and the motor base's display screen is of good quality. The lid seals securely with friction, and the bottom of the motor base is ventilated to let heat escape. There's a hole on the motor base under where the jar sits that lets any spilled liquid drain out. It also has small tabs that help it detect if you're using the main or personal jar.

ฮ—owever, the rest of the motor base feels cheap. The buttons wiggle when you're not using them and feel like they may get stuck after a while. The motor base can also jump around your counter when the blender is running, especially when you use the personal jar to process hard ingredients like frozen fruit. Its transmission uses a square-shaped gear while the jar has a star-shaped gear. It means you sometimes need to wiggle the jar to get it into place. It also wears out the gears more quickly since it causes more friction as they rub against each other. The gear assembly feels loose and is only held together by a rubber gasket. This design makes it easier to disassemble for cleaning, but it means you can't use the blender if you misplace the gasket.

Design
Main Jar/Beaker
Material
BPA-Free Plastic
Jar Capacity
64.0 oz (1,892.7 ml)
Beaker Capacity
N/A
Weight
1.8 lbs (0.8 kg)
Dishwasher Safe
Yes

The Calphalon ActiveSense blender's main jar has a 64-ounce capacity. You can clean it and its lid in your dishwasher.

Design
Additional Jar
Material
BPA-Free Plastic
Capacity
24.0 oz (709.8 ml)
Weight
0.9 lbs (0.4 kg)
Dishwasher Safe
Yes

The Calphalon ActiveSense also comes with a 24-ounce personal jar. It comes with a plastic hub that the blades screw onto, as well as sealable spout lid. There's a max liquid amount indicated in oz and ml on the side of the jar. The jar and lids are dishwasher-safe as well.

Design
Blades
Blade Type
Sharp
Blade Count
6
Removable
Yes
Dishwasher Safe
Yes

The Calphalon 2099742 ActiveSense has one blade assembly that works with the main jar and personal jar. The blades screw onto the black plastic hub and are held in place by a rubber gasket, so it's easy to remove them for cleaning. You can see the blades attached to the hub here. They're also dishwasher-safe.

Design
Lid
2 Part Lid
Yes
Lid Closing Type
Friction

There's a two-part lid for the main jar that seals with friction. The middle part is removable, meaning you can add ingredients mid-blend. You can also use the center piece as a measuring cup, and it holds about two ounces.

Design
Power Cord
Stow Away Compartment
No
Cord Length
2.8 ft (0.8 m)

The Calphalon ActiveSense's power cable is thin, and there's no place to stow or wrap it when it's not in use. It should be long enough to reach an outlet near your counter, though.

Design
In The Box

  • Calphalon ActiveSense motor base
  • 64 ounce main jar
  • Two-part lid
  • 24 ounce personal jar
  • Spout lid
  • Blade assembly (3 parts)
  • Quick start guide

Performance
Performance
Speed And Controls
Min Speed
3,400 RPM
Max Speed
16,200 RPM
Speed Dial
No
Pulse/Turbo Mode
Yes
Noise @ Max Speed
85.7 dB
On/Off Toggle
Yes

The Calphalon 2099742 ActiveSense has buttons for three preset speeds, a pulse mode, and on/off. There's also a play/pause button that starts and stops the blender once it's powered on. There are buttons for choosing from five 'food modes' for different recipes and selecting the desired thickness for the final product.

7.0
Performance
Almond Butter
Preparation Time
< 7 min
Texture
Crunchy
Spreadability
Great
Unprocessed Almonds/Chunks
No

The Calphalon ActiveSense makes decent almond butter. It makes evenly blended and easy to spread almond butter, although it has a crunchy texture. ฮ—owever, you need to use a spatula or another tool to stir the ingredients, or they won't get incorporated by the blades. The almond butter is a bit warm because of friction from the blades, and the process would be easier if the blender came with a tamper.

7.0
Performance
Smoothie (Best Jar)
Jar Used
Additional Jar
Preparation Time
< 2 min
Texture
Foamy and Grainy

The Calphalon ActiveSense makes decent smoothies in its 24-ounce personal jar. If you run the smoothie program twice, it makes a cold, well-blended smoothie with ingredients like kale and frozen bananas. It's foamy and has grains because the kale isn't totally liquified, though. Also, you have to keep a hand on the blender when you're processing frozen fruit in the personal jar since the motor base tends to move around.

6.0
Performance
Smoothie (Other Jar)
Jar Used
Main Jar
Preparation Time
< 2 min
Texture
Foamy and Grainy

The Calphalon ActiveSense makes unremarkable smoothies in its main jar as the 'Smoothie' preset doesn't work as well as it does with the smaller jar. After running it twice, you need to scrape the sides with a tool like a spatula and then continue blending at high speed to get the best results. It doesn't fully process the kale, so the smoothie is very grainy. It also leaves behind some unprocessed chunks of frozen banana. ฮ—owever, the motor base doesn't move around as much.

9.0
Performance
Crushed Ice
Preparation Time
0.5 min
Ice Quality
Snow Like

The Calphalon ActiveSense is fantastic for crushing ice. If you use the 'Frozen Drinks' program, it can easily crush a batch of 12 ice cubes into snow-like crushed ice.

Ease Of Use
Ease Of Use
Programs / Modes
Crushed Ice
No
Self-Clean Program
No
Single Serve
No
Timer
Yes

This blender has five programs for different recipes, including 'Milkshake', 'Juice', 'Smoothie', 'Salsa', and 'Frozen Drink'. It also lets you select the texture you want for the final product. You can choose between 'thick' or 'thin' for beverages like smoothies and 'chunky' or 'smooth' for food like sauces or dips. The manufacturer advertises this blender to use sensors to automatically adjust the blending speed, blade direction, and blending time to help produce the consistency you want.

8.0
Ease Of Use
Cleaning
Smoothie Cleaning
Simple
Almond Butter Cleaning
Simple

The Calphalon ActiveSense is very easy to clean. You can easily rinse it after making a smoothie in either jar. If you're working with stickier ingredients, you need to use a sponge or a brush to wipe the jar and blades, but the removable blade assembly helps make it easy.

Ease Of Use
Extra Features
Hot Blending
Yes
Additional Jugs
1 Personal Jug
Juicer Attachment
No
Food Processing Attachment
No
Heating Element
No
Noise Dome
No
Tamper
No
Vacuum Pump
No
Speed Adjustment Based On Jar Size
No

The Calphalon ActiveSense 2 Liter blender comes with a personal jar for making single-serve drinks. You can use the main pitcher for hot blending as long as you remove the center piece of the lid to allow steam to escape.

There are 'ActiveSense' sensors to automatically adjust your recipe's blending speed, blade direction, and the length of the blend, as well as to detect when the mixture needs more liquid. We tried blending a smoothie in each jar with frozen banana and kale, but no added liquid. The 'Add Liquid' alert did pop up, but it didn't appear consistently since we didn't get the alert every time we tried this recipe. The blender doesn't noticeably adjust its speed or blending direction depending on the jar or recipe, although it does seem to adjust the blending time. The 'Smoothie' preset lasts 35 seconds using the personal jar and 45 seconds using the main pitcher.

The blender doesn't come with a tamper, which would have been nice to use with the main jar. The manufacturer doesn't seem to sell a tamper separately either. They also haven't made replacement jars and lids available online, which could be annoying if you want an extra 24-ounce jar or lose one of the lids.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Calphalon ActiveSense comes in one color, 'Gray', and you can see the label for the unit we tested here. If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Blenders

The Calphalon ActiveSense is a full-size blender with a 64-ounce main pitcher and a 24-ounce personal jar for making single-serve drinks. Like the Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ or the Ninja Blender Duo with Auto-iQ BL642, it's advertised to automatically adjust the blending speed and time to produce the best results. Ηowever, the speed adjustment isn't noticeable and the 'Add Liquid' alert feature, which lets you know if there's not enough liquid in your mix to blend well, appears inconsistently. The motor base's build quality also isn't the best.

If you're looking for other options, take a look at the best blenders for smoothies, the best blender for frozen drinks, and the best blenders.

Breville the Fresh & Furious

The Calphalon ActiveSense is better than the Breville the Fresh & Furious for most purposes. The Calphalon comes with a 24-ounce personal jar in addition to its main pitcher. It makes better smoothies and crushed ice. You can also use it to process hot ingredients. On the other hand, the Breville has a much better build quality, and it's easy to clean by hand.

NutriBullet Smart Touch Blender Combo

The NutriBullet Smart Touch Blender Combo and the Calphalon ActiveSense have different strengths. The NutriBullet has a much better build quality and makes better-blended smoothies. It also comes with two personal jars, while the Calphalon only comes with one. On the other hand, the Calphalon can crush ice on its own for recipes like slushies or frozen desserts, can hot blend, and it's easier to clean by hand.

Ninja Professional Plus Kitchen System with Auto-iQ

The Ninja Professional Plus Kitchen System with Auto-iQ has an edge over the Calphalon ActiveSense. The Ninja has a significantly better build quality and comes with two 24-ounce jars for making smoothies, while the Calphalon only comes with one. The Ninja also makes better-blended smoothies. On the other hand, the Calphalon is better for making almond butter, and you can use it for hot blending. It's also quieter when it's running at maximum speed.

Ninja Foodi Power Pitcher System

The Ninja Foodi Power Pitcher System is better than the Calphalon ActiveSense for most purposes. The Ninja makes better-blended smoothies and smoother almond butter. It has a better build quality and has a greater number of jars and more accessories, including a dough blade. It's also much easier to clean by hand. On the other hand, the Calphalon is safe for hot blending. It's quieter when it's running at maximum speed and comes equipped with some unusual features, like the ability to select your recipe's desired thickness or texture.

Discussions