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Breville BBL605XL Hemisphere Control Review

*Est. $200
Reviewed
August 2014
by ConsumerSearch
Breville BBL605XL Hemisphere Control Blender

Best blender for general use

Pros
  • Excellent performance from purees to ice
  • Five speeds, three additional presets
  • Simple and intuitive to use
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Quiet and well-built
Cons
  • Some durability complaints

Bottom line

The Breville Hemisphere Control blender could be the only countertop blender you'll ever need. It's stylish, versatile, easy to use and clean, and is a high performer even on tough, ice-crushing jobs. There are cheaper blenders that perform similar tasks, but not as well, and test after test shows this Breville works as well as much pricier models. It comes in three colors. Some owners say it broke in the second year, but those complaints are few and far between.

Breaking it down

Performance

Ranks up there with high-end blenders. The Breville Hemisphere Control is the one blender that consistently sits at the top of "best of" lists along with the big boys from Vitamix and Blendtec. More than one professional review source tests and ranks it along with a number of other blenders, naming it a "Best Buy" along with the much more expensive models. In professional tests, it gets equally high scores for crushing ice, making nut flours and butters, and for blending consistency for pesto, soups, sauces and yogurt. It even passed what reviewer Ry Crist at CNET calls "the torture test," seeing if it could pulverize a block of cold cheddar cheese into a usable texture. It also gets raves from owners and experts for its quiet operation. 

Ease of use

Couldn't be simpler. With intuitive, easy-to-operate controls, the Breville Hemisphere Control could not be easier to use. The blending options feature five speeds and three presets, all of which are clearly labeled to denote their function, thus taking the guesswork out of any mixing/blending task. The unique, hemispherical shape of the Breville keeps food from getting stuck in crevices, making it easy to scrape and clean. All of the jug parts are dishwasher safe. The lid and cord even feature handy "loops" to make them easier to grab and lift, and the cap can be used for measuring. The cord wraps neatly around the unit when not in use.

Appearance

Enough finish choices for any kitchen. It's always hard to decide what to do with a mid-sized appliance -- leave it conveniently on the counter, or hide it away when not in use. In the case of the Breville Hemisphere Control, we say pick a color and leave it out. The three finish options are available: The Breville BBL605XL comes in Brushed Metal, while the Breville BBL605BSXL is Black Sesame and the Breville BBL605CBXL is Cranberry Red. At 16.5 inches tall, the blender might not fit under every counter, but, at 7 inches by 8 inches, it's not a space hog otherwise. The 48 ounce capacity jug is BPA free.

Durability

A few mixed reviews. Experts give the Breville Hemisphere Control high marks for durability, with one professional testing organization saying their units had not slowed down even after making 400 smoothies with tough, leafy veggies and chunks of frozen fruit. Another well-respected product test site gives it an Excellent for durability. Most owner agree, but we found a few who complained that their unit had broken in the second year of use -- after the one-year warranty expired, but sooner than they though it should for the usage they got. Reviews for customer service are mixed, some praise it, while others pan it. Based upon Breville's overall reputation for quality and customer service, we still recommend the Breville Hemisphere Control.

Where To Buy
Breville BBL605XL Hemisphere Control Blender

 (650 reviews)
Buy new: $249.99 $191.97   38 Used & new from $167.18

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Our Sources

1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine

This testing was originally performed in September 2012 with editors challenging nine blenders, including the Breville Hemisphere Control, with a variety of blending tasks. It was updated in January 2014 to include long-term durability results. Testing is thorough, long-term and now includes real-world durability.

Review: Blenders , Editors of Cook's Illustrated, January 2014

2. CNET

Ry Crist conducts rigorous testing of the Breville Hemisphere Control blender, along with seven other blenders, both high- and low-end models. The review compares and contrasts the blenders, and the Breville is one of the top picks, earning an overall rating of Excellent. It performs as well as blenders costing twice as much or more.

Review: Breville Hemisphere Control Blender review This Breville's performance stands out, Ry Crist, March 7, 2014

3. ConsumerReports.org

Editors of ConsumerReports.org test and rate 79 countertop blenders, including the Breville Hemisphere Control. Testing methodology includes blending yogurt, pureeing soups and crushing ice for smoothies. They also evaluated convenience, noise and durability. User reviews are also helpful for real-world perspective, but are not part of the editor's evaluation process.

Review: Blenders, Editors of ConsumerReports.org , Not Dated

4. Good Housekeeping

Testers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute test 38 blenders over a range of tough tasks. The Breville Hemisphere Control receives their second-highest rating -- a letter grade of A. Performance-wise it excelled in every area. Keeping it from an A+ were two issues: Tomato sauce left stains on the jar, and calls to customer service were never returned.

Review: Breville the Hemisphere Control Blender BBL605XL, Editors of Good Housekeeping, July 2013

5. Men's Journal

Chef and restaurant owner Jesse Schenker tests four blenders for Men's Journal. He likes the Breville Hemisphere Control BBL605XL the best -- even better than the Vitamix Professional Series 500, saying it's "intuitively designed and simple to use."

Review: Best Blenders to Step Up Your Culinary Game, Damaris Colhoun , Not Dated

6. Amazon.com

With more than 560 owner reviews posted, the Breville Hemisphere Control BBL605XL earn an overall average of 4.2 stars out of 5. Most praise its outstanding performance and usability, but there are a few scattered complaints about durability. It's not clear if the unhappy customers attempted to contact customer service, however. While this page is for the brushed metal version, reviews for the other two color options are included as well.

Review: Breville BBL605XL Hemisphere Control Blender, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2014

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