Ambient Weather has been around a long time, initially as a great place to find deals on all kinds of weather instruments. These days, the company focuses on its own branded weather instruments and gadgets. That move has paid off: ambient weather stations have become somewhat of a ‘cult favorite’ among weather enthusiasts, thanks to a great mix of functionality and price.
Ambient stations often have features that other weather stations don’t at the same price point, and the company has fully embraced smart home technology. Every internet-connected Ambient Weather station supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. And the accuracy of Ambient Weather’s stations is surprisingly good for the price. So which one should you buy? Keep reading.
First, let’s start out with some commonly asked questions we hear from our readers.
What is the difference between the Ambient weather station models?
Unlike other weather stations, the differences between Ambient weather station models are not as significant. The main difference is in sensor quality and sensor reporting frequency. The WS-5000 reports the most frequently and has a sonic anemometer. The WS-2902C and WS-2000 use a lower quality sensor suite.
Who should buy the WS-2902C?
The Ambient Weather WS-2902C is an excellent entry-level weather station and is one of our top choices for casual weather observers. In our tests, the WS-2902C performed nearly as well as the Davis Vantage Vue — for a fraction of the price. Add the internet connectivity of this station, not something you often see in entry-level stations, and it’s a real bargain, in our opinion.
Who should buy the WS-2000?
The Ambient Weather WS-2000 uses the same sensor suite as the WS-2902C. However, the WS-2000 swaps out the LCD console for the much better console found in the WS-5000. This allows the WS-2000 to support the wide array of optional sensors that Ambient Weather provides, but at a much more affordable price.
Who should buy the WS-5000?
The Ambient Weather WS-5000 is the company’s latest model and includes a brand new sensor suite. The rain gauge is separate from the rest of the sensor suite for more optimal placement, and Ambient has replaced the traditional cup-and-vane anemometer with sonic technology. Our tests found this station incredibly accurate and are our current top pick among weather stations.
Can I connect my Ambient weather station to the internet?
Yes. In fact, Ambient Weather offers the most connectivity options of any weather station manufacturer. Along with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, you’ll also be able to use IFTTT to let your Ambient weather station control your smart devices.
How accurate are Ambient weather stations?
Overall, Ambient Weather has scored well in our accuracy tests. The WS-5000 is as accurate as the Davis Vantage Vue, and the WS-2902C does respectively well for a budget weather station. We haven’t directly tested the WS-2000, but it uses the same sensor suite as the WS-2902C, so it would have similar accuracy.
What are some alternatives to an Ambient weather station?
Does Ambient Weather also make weather station mounts?
Yes, they do, and these mounts are compatible with other weather station brands as well. We’ve listed our favorite mounts in our weather station installation guide.
Did the Ambient Weather WS-5000 increase in price?
Yes. Ambient Weather raised the price by $100 in mid-2021, and another $10 after Black Friday. Component shortages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation are likely to blame, but there is updated communication hardware that gives it three times the range of previous WS-5000’s.
WS-2000 vs. WS-2902C
We think that those debating between the WS-2000 and WS-2902C will want to consider their budget first. The WS-2902C is a great station for the money. However, the better console makes the WS-2000 more expandable.
If you are looking to casually observe the weather, then the WS-2902C is fine. However, if you think you might have additional uses for your weather station down the road, then the WS-2000 is the better long-term choice.
WS-2902C vs. WS-5000
The WS-2902C and the WS-5000 are aimed at two totally different types of consumers. The WS-2902C is an entry-level weather station. The WS-5000 is intended for weather enthusiasts and those looking for better accuracy. If you’re deciding between these two if you can afford it, opt for the WS-5000 instead.
The WS-5000’s expandability is a big plus for us. And with a ton of additional sensors available, the WS-5000 is more suited for specific applications, such as agriculture.
The WS-5000 is Ambient Weather's top-of-the-line weather station, and it shows. Accuracy is on par with the Davis Vantage Pro2, and smart home connectivity a new sonic anemometer make this our top pick.
- Great full-color console
- An impressive list of optional sensors
- Smart home connectivity
- Improved barometer and rainfall accuracy (from WS-2902 series)
- Cumbersome console setup
- Some sensors had to be reset to connect to console
WS-2000 vs. WS-5000
While the WS-2000 and WS-5000 share the same console, the WS-5000 introduces an updated (and we’d argue far more accurate) sensor suite. This makes the WS-5000 our preferred weather station for pro-level users looking for alternatives to Davis weather stations.
This said, if you’re looking for true pro-grade accuracy, we’d still recommend a weather station like the Davis Vantage Vue, and especially the Davis Vantage Pro2. Even without decent smart home connectivity, Davis still is the most accurate personal weather station on the market.
If the WS-5000 is too expensive for you, consider the WS-2000 instead, which features the same higher-end console, but with the WS-2902's sensor suite.
Ambient Weather makes outstanding weather stations and often surprised us with how accurate the sensors were, which is hard to find in lower-priced weather stations. Plus, they’re future-ready with smart home capabilities that few other manufacturers offer gives them an advantage in a competitive market.
No matter which one you choose, you’ll be backed up by great customer service. In all our experiences with their support team, questions and issues were handled and dealt with promptly. This is one area where the industry as a whole could improve on, and Ambient Weather is doing it the right way.