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Square E-Head Review: The Best E-Hookah Yet?

  • October 6, 2014 /

square e-head review: the best e-hookah yet?

Once upon a time, E-hookahs were nothing more than a basic curiosity. Things are different now, though, and with the invention of electronic hookah bowls, the gap between vaping and enjoying a traditional hookah setting has decreased considerably.

The Square E-Head is a particular e-hookah device that has been gaining quite a lot of traction as of late. Some people are even suggesting that it emulates actual smoking so well that they’re able to make a complete switch to vaping.

These are lofty claims indeed, so are they too good to be true? Can the Square E-Head actually act as a decent substitute for actual shisha and charcoal? This review will take an in-depth look at the Square E-Head and answer this very question.

What Is The Square E-Head?

The Square E-Head is, as you may have guessed by now, a brand new e-hookah device. There’s a twist here, though. Electronic hookah devices of yore were nothing more than rebranded e-cigarettes that emphasized flavor over nicotine content. They acted as decent portable option for users wanting a quick flavor fix, but nothing more than that. There’s no way hookah pens could ever effectively replace a traditional hookah session.

The Square E-Head is a little different. Actually, it’s completely different–all thanks to its form factor. As the name suggests, the E-Head takes the place of a traditional hookah bowl, so using one requires an actual hookah. As you inhale on your hookah hose, the E-Head releases e-liquid vapor down through the stem, it filters through water in the base, and–voila! As you inhale, you get e-liquid vapor. The process is remarkably similar to that of smoking actual shisha.

 

Want more? Check out these other fantastic e-hookah heads!

 

How Does The Square E-Head Work?

If you’re familiar with vaping, then you already know all about the inner working of a Square E-Head. Just like the many e-hookah/e-cigarette devices before it, an E-Head has three main components:

  • A chamber for e-liquid.
  • An atomizer (this heats up the e-liquid)
  • A battery (this powers the atomizer)

Believe it or not, that’s pretty much it. The battery sends a charge to the atomizer, the atomizer heats up and vaporizes the e-liquid resting in the chamber, you inhale the vapor. There’s no big mystery here, and it’s refreshingly basic.

The difference, of course, is the fact that the E-Head requires an actual hookah pipe to function. We’ll touch on more of this a little later in the review.

e-head chamber

The included e-liquid chamber holds up to 8ml of your favorite stuff

What Comes Included With A Square E-Head?

The first thing I noticed actually has nothing to do with the E-Head itself; rather, it was the packaging it came in. The box itself is incredibly sturdy, with a noticeably “premium” feel to it. In the unboxing video (you can check it out down below) I mentioned that the packaging is comparable to those found with Apple products. Not exactly a game changer, but excellent packaging is still a good sign. It shows that Square cares about their products.

The E-Head itself was a little bigger than what I was expecting–a little taller than a standard hookah bowl, and maybe a pinch wider. It arrived fully assembled, with a chamber/atomizer already inside the unit and a rubber grommet firmly placed on the bottom.

The lower section of the box included an extra chamber/atomizer (a nice touch), a wall-outlet power charger (not the typical USB output), a quick start guide, and an instruction manual.

The box also included a 25ml bottle of Square Drops, their proprietary (nicotine free) e-liquid. I should note that I didn’t have a choice of flavor here–I got a bottle of “Mint Spear,” but these are apparently random. Mint has never been a preferred flavor of mine, but this isn’t a big deal. I have plenty of other e-liquid options to choose from.

Square E-Head Construction Quality

Thankfully excellent construction isn’t something exclusive to the packaging. All of the components of the Square E-Head are made up of tough, rugged plastic. I didn’t perform any sort of durability test (I’m not the destructive type), but it seems as if the E-Head can take a moderately good beating before any sort of cracking occurs. With that–I still don’t recommend testing this out.

Alright, I mentioned that the E-Head itself comes in several different components, so let’s take a closer look at what the are and how they work.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s look at these from the ground up.

The base has two notable halves (okay, it’s not exactly 50/50 but you get the idea). The bottom half is made up of black plastic, and it’s the part you secure onto the top of a hookah. The upper half is clear, allowing you to actually see the e-liquid chamber and the atomizer.

The top component of a Square E-Head is actually far more interesting for two reasons: first of all, it’s where the battery is located. But more importantly, it features an intricate touch screen interface that allows you to control the voltage via easy to use (+) and (-) signs (from 3.2 to 6.0 volts).

Even neater–the top component has an LED screen that shows you how much battery life your E-Head has left, the current voltage you’re running, how many puffs you’ve taken, and the length of each puff. I was thoroughly impressed with this.

Finally, we have the 8ml e-liquid chamber. This is where you’ll find the atomizer as well. The top of it unscrews, allowing you to fill it with your favorite e-liquid. You can also remove the atomizer when you need to clean the chamber.

square e-head components

The Square E-Head Disassembled

Setting Up The Square E-Head

Reading the included instruction manual is always a good idea, but honestly, setting up the E-Head is an incredibly simple process. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:

  • Step One: Unscrew the battery/touch screen from the base.
  • Step Two: Remove the chamber/atomizer (it usually falls into the base)
  • Step Three: Make sure that the atomizer is securely fitted into the chamber.
  • Step Four: Add your favorite e-liquid into the chamber. Fill it up at least half-way.
    • NOTE: Make sure you avoid filling up the atomizer with e-liquid!
  • Step Five: Screw the chamber top on, and snap it onto the bottom of the battery component.
  • Step Six: Screw the top component onto the bottom component.
  • Step Seven: Place the E-Head on a prepared hookah pipe.
    • Note: As with any other hookah bowl, you’ll need a rubber grommet. Mine came pre-installed on the E-Hose, but it’s a good idea to double check this.
  • Step Eight: Smoke as you would a regular hookah.

That’s it, folks! It’s a super simple process, and far more foolproof than a setting up a traditional hookah bowl. You can watch me do it in the video below.

Activating The Square E-Head

Using the Square E-Head is as simple as smoking a regular hookah.

Once the battery is fully charged (it takes about two hours the first time, and about an hour after that), just place the E-Head on top of your hookah pipe and start inhaling. The E-Head lights up around the edges (it looks super awesome), and it releases e-liquid vapor through the stem.

Oh, and for reference, the battery itself lasts about two hours. You can also use the E-Head plugged while it’s plugged into a power socket.

e-head touchscreen

The Square E-Head features a control touch screen to adjust voltage

How Does The Square E-Head Compare To A Traditional Hookah Session?

And now, the section you’ve been waiting for: how does the Square E-Head stack up against using shisha and charcoals?

The answer: amazingly well.

A little background here–I’m a seasoned hookaholic. Up until receiving my Square E-Head, I smoked several bowls of shisha a day. It’s been like this for the better part of a decade.

So naturally, I was incredibly sceptical about the promise of an e-liquid hookah alternative.  But I have been using the E-Head exclusively now, and I’m not going back to my old ways.

Why? Because vaping on e-liquid via the E-Head is amazing. It’s so close to “the real thing” that I’m not even sure what “the real thing” is anymore.

Breaking It All Down

For starters, the psychologic association of smoking actual hookah remains intact. I’m using the exact same hookah pipe that I’ve had for years now, inhaling from the same exact hose, in the same exact environment–my living room.

Next, we have the consistency of the “smoke.” Since the e-liquid vapor passes through water from the base, it feels exactly the same as before. Honestly, if there’s a difference between the consistency of vapor produced by an E-Head over a traditional hookah set-up, I don’t notice it.

Oh, and what about the clouds? Yeah, they’re huge. With the right voltage/e-liquid set-up, sometimes the clouds produced by an E-Head are bigger than shisha set-ups. So cool.

The Taste and Nicotine Question

For my very first E-Head trial, I used a nicotine free e-liquid solution. Despite the fact that mint has never been a shisha flavor I would have picked, I still gave the included “Mint Spear” Square Drops a try.

The flavor was (as expected) very minty. While I did enjoy it (as much as I can enjoy mint), it still felt like something was missing. The clouds were there, yes. And I was getting plenty of flavor. Their just wasn’t much bite to it.

Remember how I said that I was all about smoking shisha multiple times a day? Yeah, I’m hooked on nicotine. So for my next batch, I used a different e-liquid that contained 2.2% nicotine and mixed it with some more of the nicotine-free Mint Spear (just a few drops did the trick).

This was leaps and bounds better. Not only did it taste great, but it provided me with that special hookah buzz usually reserved for shisha tobacco sessions.

Benefits Of Using A Square E-Head

There are quite a few reasons as to why I decided to make the full-time switch to e-hookah. Most of them are health related. I’m not going to dive too deep into the health risks of smoking shisha and charcoal here, though. My reasons are going to be different from yours, and your reasons are different from somebody else’s. That’s just how it goes.

That said, using the E-Head has opened my eyes to a slew of additional benefits that I hadn’t even thought of until I made the switch. Here are some of the bigger ones:

  • Shorter hookah sessions. Here’s the deal: a standard hookah bowl takes about an hour to smoke through, and this doesn’t include the 10 minutes or so of setup and however long cleanup takes. Sometimes, though, I just want to smoke for shorter amounts of time. But a 20-30 minute hookah sessions are a waste of perfectly good shisha and coals. Guess what? The E-Head doesn’t have this problem. Your hookah sessions are as short (or as long) as you want them to be.
  • Minimal cleanup. Hey, since we’re on the topic of cleaning up, did I mention that the E-Head is pretty much a hassle free affair? Wiping the components down and cleaning out an empty changer is way easier than cleaning up after a messy shisha session.
  • Social aspect remains intact. Since the E-Head uses my actual hookah, I can still have friends over for a nice hookah smoking get together. It’s way less awkward than passing around a hookah pen.
  • No more carpet burns. I have ruined many a carpet thanks to dropped charcoal. Never again.

What You Need To Look Out For

Keep in mind that it’s not all roses. While I do love using my Square E-Head, there are still some thing you need to look out for.

Don’t use just any e-liquid–don’t go to your nearest gas station and buy a tiny bottle of cheap, no-brand Chinese-made garbage. While vaping is (probably) a heck of a lot safer than smoking tobacco, you’re still inhaling foreign substances into your lungs. Stick to trusted, well-established brands, like Starbuzz, Fantasia, Square and Hookahfina (just to name a few). Most retailers that carry the Square E-Head are going to have e-liquid from reputable companies.

Another issue–the atomizer burns out after a while. This is something that you’re going to find with all vaping products, so it’s not really a knock against the Square E-Head–just something to look out for. The E-Head comes with an extra chamber/atomizer, but I recommend buying a few additional ones just in case (you can find them for around $10 to $15). For the record, I get about 3 months out every atomizer.

One more thing (and I hope this is obvious)–the Square E-Head WILL NOT WORK without a hookah. So make sure you have one.

How Much Does The Square E-Head Cost?

The E-Head retails for $150, and Square sells it directly for $140.

BUT! I found an even better price: Southsmoke.com sells the Square E-Head for only $99.99 which is considerably cheaper than everywhere else. And this is their regular price for it–it’s not even on sale!

Oh, and another great thing about buying from Southsmoke.com that I can’t forget to mention–their awesome deals! Before you pay for your order and check out, make sure to glance at their Deals/Offers section and see if your order qualifies for free stuff. I got a free travel hookah with with order. Not too shabby!

The Verdict: Is The Square E-Head A Viable E-Hookah Option?

ehead_inaction

I haven’t been cryptic at all with this review, so you can probably guess the answer.

And the answer is yes.

The Square E-Head is simply amazing, and I give it my absolute recommendation–from one hookaholic to another.

But what’s a review without some pros and cons? Fear not, dear reader–I haven’t forgotten about them. Here you go:

Pros:

  • Amazing flavor (with the right e-liquid)
  • Voltage control allows you to tweak the vape to your hearts content
  • It’s so close to smoking actual shisha you probably won’t know any better
  • Built tough
  • Retains the all-important social aspect of smoking hookah
  • It lights up when you vape. How cool is that?!
  • Long lasting battery
  • You can use it while it’s plugged in
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons:

  • Getting the right e-liquid concentration is a study in trial and error.
  • Requires an actual hookah pipe, thus not as portable as electronic hookah pens.
  • Uses more e-liquid than hookah pens

Read this next: ePuffer E-Hookah Head Review: Sub-Ohm Vaping on a Hookah Pipe