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405 of 433 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love my Sodastream... with a word of warning and solution
I love my Sodastream machine the convenience and variety of flavors are worth the purchase price... but you cannot save money using these machines unless you make your own syrups and/or use alternative ways to supply CO2.

First the CO2. The Sodastream 130-Liter Carbonator that is supposed to do 130 liters will actually only do around 75, exchanges/refill is $30...
Published 19 months ago by M. Fugarino

versus
314 of 389 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The truth that consumers need to fully understand, GET EDUCATED - CO2 has 1,500% markup, not economical
My hope would be that SodaStream would have some interest in the public good and the environment by creating a win-win situation that reduces waste. In reality, this suite of products represents an epic deception of consumers.

While the general idea of this product is solid, consumers should understand that they are grossly overpaying for SodaStream carbon...
Published 19 months ago by P. Scott Pope


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405 of 433 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love my Sodastream... with a word of warning and solution, December 1, 2012
This review is from: Sodastream Dynamo LX Home Soda Maker Deluxe Mega Pack (Kitchen)
I love my Sodastream machine the convenience and variety of flavors are worth the purchase price... but you cannot save money using these machines unless you make your own syrups and/or use alternative ways to supply CO2.

First the CO2. The Sodastream 130-Liter Carbonator that is supposed to do 130 liters will actually only do around 75, exchanges/refill is $30 each giving you about $0.43 in CO2 cost for each liter made. Using the cheapest Sodastream syrup you are looking at an additional $0.42 a liter and $1.67 per liter for the cane sugar syrup. This gives you a $0.85 cost per liter ($1.70 per 2 liter) using the cheapest Sodastream syrup and $2.09 per liter ($4.18 per 2 liter) for their cane sugar syrup. These per liter prices are much higher than what you can find soda on sale for in 2 liter bottles. You cannot save money doing this.

The good news is by making your own syrups using snow cone concentrate bought bulk online or unsweetened kool-aid, pure Sucralose powder and critic acid bought from Amazon you can get the syrup cost down to as low as $0.20 per liter. Detailed instruction for doing this can be found online.

As for CO2 you options are adapters/hoses (at a fairly hefty upfront cost) so you can use soda machine CO2 tanks or a Paintball tank adapter (at a lesser but still significant upfront cost). Doing this you can get the CO2 cost down to well below $0.10 a liter. If you drink a lot of soda you will recoup the up front cost in 2-5 months and then the savings are huge. Some folks have concerns about using paintball tanks as the CO2 is not "food grade" I do not have concerns because I worked in the paintball industry 12 years and the gas suppliers we used filled our tanks from exactly the same source as "food grade", I suspect this is true pretty much everywhere but then that is a choice you have to make. Home brewers have been using non "food grade" for decades with no issues.

If you make your own syrup and find alternative CO2 you can save a good deal of money but only if you do those things. Either way I enjoy my Sodasteam.
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217 of 236 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Costco model- way overpriced here, November 30, 2012
This review is from: Sodastream Dynamo LX Home Soda Maker Deluxe Mega Pack (Kitchen)
I purchased this Sodastream at Costco. According to Sodastream's website this model is only available at Costco. I normally don't comment on Amazon pricing but the markup is so high here it needs a comment. So you can save yourself some money by purchasing it directly at Costco. Black Friday price was $79.99 and everyday Costco price is $99.99. This comes with three carbonation bottles. Two 1L and one 1/2 liter bottles and 12 sample drink mixes. It also includes the big 130L C02 cartridge which means it will carbonate many more bottles than those dinky 30L and 60L CO2 cartridges. You can find locations to exchange the big 130L bottles on the Sodastream site. The Staples chain is exchanging the big 130L cartridges. Staples is my planned exchange store and it's close to my home. So all my advance research paid off. The instructions were easy to follow and within five minutes out of the box I was up and carbonating my first water bottle. I'm not a big fan of colas but now that Sodastream has the Natural syrups (made with sugar and not HFCS high fructose corn syrup) I'm willing to buy and try the cola syrups.

PROS: Cheap price for Sodastream models
Comes with the largest C02 cartridge- 130L so many months between C02 cartridge changes
Three carbonation bottles included
12 Trial drink flavors
Eliminates dragging home the heavy cases of Pelligrino bottles we used to buy
Ease of use even a child (supervised) could use it

CONS: Slave to the Sodastream money machine for cartridge refills and soda syrups (not everyone will see this as a con)
Flimsy cheap plastic body
Difficulty finding an exchange site that accepts 130L cartridges
Proprietary fittings on the C02 cartridge. If the 130L refills become excessively frequent or expensive I plan to purchase the equipment on Amazon and start doing the refills myself but I'm hoping the 130L size will make the need for refills infrequent.

So far I like this machine. After reading the Amazon reviews I now keep a jug of cold water and the bottles in the refrigerator ready for use. The colder the water the better it absorbs the carbonation. This model puts plenty of fizz in the liquid which was my biggest concern. I almost purchased the Fizz model because you could adjust the carbonation amounts but this model requires three pushes on the carbonation button so you could easily adjust the fizz by simply reducing the number of C02 button squirts you use. That eliminated the Fizz which was more expensive. I'm glad I bought the Sodastream and I do recommend this model.
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103 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deciding between the Dynamo and the Genesis? Here are my thoughts., November 29, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I own both the Sodastream Dynamo and the Genesis. Here are my two bits:

Ease of use: Genesis

Despite being a sold as a 'step up' from the Genesis in terms of style, I actually prefer the Genesis over the Dynamo for its simplicity. I found the bottle loading mechanism of the Dynamo more complicated and ended up spraying soda water all over my kitchen a couple of times until I got the trick.

Time between CO2 refills: Dynamo
Ease of CO2 refill: Genesis+/-

The real advantage of the Dynamo over the Genesis is the larger CO2 canister (130 vs. 60 lit). I use my Sodastream multiple times per day and found I had to refil the smaller CO2 canister of the Genesis more frequently. That said, at least where I live, the 60 lit CO2 canisters are much easier to exchange (available at Bed Bath & Beyond for $15 and you can use a 20% off coupon). To refill the 130 lit CO2 canister, I will need to exchange through the mail.

Overall Recommendation: Too close to call - it depends on which features are most important to you.
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65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for selzer, not great as a Coke/Pepsi substitute, May 15, 2013
This review is from: Sodastream Dynamo LX Home Soda Maker Deluxe Mega Pack (Kitchen)
I've read a lot of these reviews, but I haven't done my own detailed math analysis. I tend to agree with people who believe that as a Coke/Pepsi replacement, Sodastream isn't the bargain or deal that it claims to be.

However, it is a good deal if you just like sparkling water. Buying club soda at the store is not cheap, and the bottles lose their fizz if you don't consume the whole thing in one day after opening. The Soda Stream bottles do a good job of holding fizz even over a few days.

We mostly use ours for plain water and add a squeeze of lemon or lime after adding the fizz. I am not super impressed with their soda flavorings. They tout that they are HFCS free, but they use other sweeteners like Splenda and it gives it a bit of a unique and unfamiliar taste. It's not like they're using pure cane sugar. I don't hate it, but you won't be fooled into thinking it's the real thing. It's just a little different. But, if you're not super brand loyal to a particular pop, then this will be fine. But if you like a lot of variety, the syrup bottles are going to fill up your fridge.

The thing is, Coke/Pepsi are so cheap in grocery stores because of all the special marketing they do (like buy one get 2 free case specials, etc.). From a pure economical side, you're better to keep buying those as needed. If you're motivated by environmentalism (I'm not), then I guess Soda Stream is a good move.

The whole device is little more than a cheap plastic housing for a CO2 tank. Be careful snapping it together because I could definitely see the plastic cracking if you are careless. Once together though, it's easy to use. Requires no plug in and it's pretty streamlined to take up little room on the counter. Wipes clean and looks OK on the counter.

TL;DR Summary:

-Won't sufficiently replace your desire for real Coke or Pepsi (or other brand name flavors)
-Great for sparkling water
-Fun if you want to experiment with your own flavorings and recipes
-Convenient, but you have to keep cold bottles of water on hand in the fridge for the best fizz
-Not as cost efficient in replacing pop as they want you to believe
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314 of 389 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The truth that consumers need to fully understand, GET EDUCATED - CO2 has 1,500% markup, not economical, December 15, 2012
This review is from: Sodastream Dynamo LX Home Soda Maker Deluxe Mega Pack (Kitchen)
My hope would be that SodaStream would have some interest in the public good and the environment by creating a win-win situation that reduces waste. In reality, this suite of products represents an epic deception of consumers.

While the general idea of this product is solid, consumers should understand that they are grossly overpaying for SodaStream carbon dioxide refills. In fact, the prices charged are sixteen times (16x) wholesale costs or many, many times more expensive than the prices a restaurant would pay. In Europe, frugal consumers are aware of such markups and actually purchase their own restaurant-sized CO2 refills. In the US, we aren't so frugal.

Other than the outrageous costs for the CO2 refills, there are other issues with the SodaStream Fountain Jet. One is the construction quality is quite low with very thin molded plastic and little weight. Additionally, the taste of generic soda flavors do not match that of the brand name products.

Below is the calculated cost per two liter for the output of SodaStream soda. This includes the cost of the consumables AND the equipment costs. I have used very generous assumptions, including a low discount rate (i.e. cost of money).

Transportation costs were not factored because 1) purchases of typical groceries should more or less overlap with soft drink purchases 2) grocery delivery has long been available in many areas 3) most people live closer to a grocery store than to a home furnishings store (I walk 100 ft. for groceries and drive one mile for BB&B) 4) the reverse logistics for the CO2 refills is an extra expense for the retailer that has to be factored into its profit margin and will ultimately be borne by the consumer.

One of the reasons Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy's and Crate and Barrel choose to carry SodaStream is that they want the consumer to make MORE FREQUENT trips to their establishments for consumables. Instead of going to such establishments once every 3 to 6 months, customers will now visit once every 1 to 2 months. That makes an enormous difference for generating impulse purchases at such retailers. One could argue then that transportation costs could increase for the individual consumer.

Total Costs = $1.73 per Two Liter -- More Expensive Than Retail

*Concentrate
Flavor cost bottle of concentrate $4.99
Liters of product per container 12
Flavor/l $0.42

*Carbonator
Volume of CO2 130
Cost of CO2 per refill (130 liters) 29.99
CO2 cost per liter $0.23

*Sodastream Equipment Costs - Amortization Per Liter
Equipment cost $89.00
Equipment life (years) 5
Discount rate (cost of money) 8%
Liters per month 10.00
Monthly amortized cost $1.80
Cost of equipment per liter $0.18

*Water Cost with Brita Filtration
Municipal water costs per liter in US $0.0004
Brita filter three pack (454 liters of water output) $16.95
Brita cost per liter $0.0373
Water and filter costs per liter $0.0377
(assumes you already own Brita Pitcher so no equipment costs, just incremental filtration)

***TOTAL COSTS PER TWO LITER = (Flavor + CO2 + Equipment + Filtered Water) * 2
SodaStream Total Cost Per Two Liter = $1.73

Without filtered water:
SodaStream Total Cost Per Two Liter = $1.65

*****What does CO2 Really Cost????

THE MATH BELOW IS WHAT SODASTREAM DOESN'T WANT THE CONSUMER TO KNOW

*Restaurant Carbonation (note distributor prices, so there is still a distributor profit)
weight of CO2 contents of large restaurant CO2 tank: 50 lbs
weight in grams: 22,680 grams of CO2
cost to refill - Summer 2011: $35

CO2 grams/liter of carbonated water: 7 grams

*Efficiency of Restaurant CO2 Carbonation
losses: 10%
available CO2 in tank (residual is required for pressure): 85%
net accessible CO2 of total: 77%
usable grams of CO2: 17,350 grams

*Output
carbonated liters of water: 2,479
cost per liter in USD$: $0.014

*SodaStream Output
SodaStream Refill: 130 liters (quoted end product)
Cost per refill: $30.00
cost per SodaStream carbonated water: $0.231

*SodaStream Markup Economics
ratio of SodaStream to Restaurant prices: 16.3x
SodaStream inflation price over restaurant pricing: 1534%
math: [y/x-x] to give increase over base case restaurant pricing

This is an incredible 1500% markup

Pros
Saves plastic
Allows flexible mixture of flavors

Cons
Cost of output is not compelling
Grossly inflated CO2 refill costs
Another store trip required for refills separate from grocery store visit

***Disclaimer: I am an investor who has used the product multiple times. At the time of this review, I did NOT have an investment in SodaStream either short or long. In the past, I have both owned the stock and shorted it (bet against it). I may be on either side of the trade by the time you read this -- I am not very sentimental.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works GREAT but good luck refilling it!, February 16, 2013
By 
Mark Insko (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This has been such a mixed bag, this purchase. The mechanism itself is amazing and works beautifully. But the tank refilling is a giant pain. I live in a huge metropolitan area and had to travel from Target to Sur la Table to Macy's to Bed Bath & Beyond to Staples finally (!) to get the tank replaced. AND it cost $30 to replace it. We're saving money on bottles of sparkling water, but that's a pretty steep price for a replacement canister. We originally bought the larger canister because we wanted it to last, but were not warned that it would be so difficult (much more so than the smaller ones) to get replaced/refilled. If this review were based solely on the product, it would easily get a 5 star review, but the nature of the product is that it involves a certain level of service that is promised by the company but not delivered upon.
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42 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it, June 9, 2013
This review is from: Sodastream Dynamo LX Home Soda Maker Deluxe Mega Pack (Kitchen)
I bought this as a gift to surprise my wife as she has always wanted one. I regret it. The only good thing is that it was easy to set up. Here are my reasons for the low rating:

- it's loud
- it leaks or sprays water when you press the button
- The syrups taste awful. There's a strange after taste. We ended up throwing then all away
- It doesn't give you the same type of carbonation as store bought soda.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge it on your first use, February 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sodastream Dynamo LX Home Soda Maker Deluxe Mega Pack (Kitchen)
I purchased this for my husband for Christmas as he loves his soda. He grumbled a lot the first few times he used it, but knowing what to look and listen for from the things listed in the instructions he quickly changed his mind. He is still picking out his favorite flavors but he uses this machine every day.
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99 of 133 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Most egregious consumer ripoff of the 21st century - CO2 has 1,500% markup, August 21, 2013
While the product concept is entirely sound, the SodaStream business model is about as honest as Amway, vehicle repair insurance and healthcare discount cards.

^^^Consumers -- do the math, get educated. So much product promotion is opaque, making it impossible for consumers to make rational decisions.

While the general idea of this product is solid, consumers should understand that they are grossly overpaying for SodaStream carbon dioxide refills. In fact, the prices charged are sixteen times (16x) wholesale costs or many, many times more expensive than the prices a restaurant would pay. In Europe, frugal consumers are aware of such markups and actually purchase their own restaurant-sized CO2 refills. In the US, we aren't so frugal.

Other than the outrageous costs for the CO2 refills, there are other issues with the SodaStream Fountain Jet. One is the construction quality is quite low with very thin molded plastic and little weight. Additionally, the taste of generic soda flavors do not match that of the brand name products.

Below is the calculated cost per two liter for the output of SodaStream soda. This includes the cost of the consumables AND the equipment costs. I have used very generous assumptions, including a low discount rate (i.e. cost of money).

Transportation costs were not factored because 1) purchases of typical groceries should more or less overlap with soft drink purchases 2) grocery delivery has long been available in many areas 3) most people live closer to a grocery store than to a home furnishings store (I walk 100 ft. for groceries and drive one mile for BB&B) 4) the reverse logistics for the CO2 refills is an extra expense for the retailer that has to be factored into their profit margin and will ultimately be borne by the consumer.

One of the reasons Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy's and Crate and Barrel choose to carry SodaStream is that they want the consumer to make MORE FREQUENT trips to their establishments for consumables. Instead of going to such establishments once every 3 to 6 months, customers will now visit once every 1 to 2 months. That makes an enormous difference for generating impulse purchases at such retailers. One could argue then that transportation costs could increase for the individual consumer.

Total Costs = $1.73 per Two Liter -- More Expensive Than Retail

*Concentrate
Flavor cost bottle of concentrate $4.99
Liters of product per container 12
Flavor/l $0.42

*Carbonator
Volume of CO2 130
Cost of CO2 per refill (130 liters) 29.99
CO2 cost per liter $0.23

*Sodastream Equipment Costs - Amortization Per Liter
Equipment cost $89.00
Equipment life (years) 5
Discount rate (cost of money) 8%
Liters per month 10.00
Monthly amortized cost $1.80
Cost of equipment per liter $0.18

*Water Cost with Brita Filtration
Municipal water costs per liter in US $0.0004
Brita filter three pack (454 liters of water output) $16.95
Brita cost per liter $0.0373
Water and filter costs per liter $0.0377
(assumes you already own Brita Pitcher so no equipment costs, just incremental filtration)

***TOTAL COSTS PER TWO LITER = (Flavor + CO2 + Equipment + Filtered Water) * 2
SodaStream Total Cost Per Two Liter = $1.73

Without filtered water:
SodaStream Total Cost Per Two Liter = $1.65

THE MATH BELOW IS WHAT SODASTREAM DOESN'T WANT THE CONSUMER TO KNOW

*Restaurant Carbonation (note distributor prices, so there is still a distributor profit)
weight of CO2 contents of large restaurant CO2 tank: 50 lbs
weight in grams: 22,680 grams of CO2
cost to refill - Summer 2011: $35

CO2 grams/liter of carbonated water: 7 grams

*Efficiency of Restaurant CO2 Carbonation
losses: 10%
available CO2 in tank (residual is required for pressure): 85%
net accessible CO2 of total: 77%
usable grams of CO2: 17,350 grams

*Output
carbonated liters of water: 2,479
cost per liter in USD$: $0.014

*SodaStream Output
SodaStream Refill: 130 liters (quoted end product)
Cost per refill: $30.00
cost per SodaStream carbonated water: $0.231

*SodaStream Markup Economics
ratio of SodaStream to Restaurant prices: 16.3x
SodaStream inflation price over restaurant pricing: 1534%
math: [y/x-x] to give increase over base case restaurant pricing

This is an incredible 1500% markup

Pros
Saves plastic
Allows flexible mixture of flavors

Cons
Grossly inflated CO2 refill costs
Another store trip required for refills separate from grocery store visit
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, May 22, 2013
We love our Sodastream. We drink gallons of carbonated water in the summer months and this gadget makes great sparkling water. It is easy to use and if it actually makes the amount of carbonated water per tank that it says it does it is economical.

I really love the citrus infused sparkling water available from Arrowhead and Crystal Geyser. To make my water taste really great I fill a 1 liter carafe with filtered water and add a couple of orange and lime slices (remove all pits and do NOT squeeze the slices) to give the final product a hint of citrus. Some things to remember when trying this:

Be sure that the peels on the fruit are really clean before slicing the fruit. In order to avoid getting juice in the water rinse the fruit slices
before adding them to the carafe.

I refrigerate the water and fruit slices overnight and then fill my Soadastream bottles with the water (no fruit slices in the bottles) to make my carbonated water.

Do not squeeze the fruit into the water or add sugar (or anything else) to the water before carbonating it.

The same citrus slices can be used a bunch of times to flavor the water. Just leave them in the carafe, refill the water, and it put back in the
refrigerator. I change the slices about once a week.

We bought our Sodastream at Costco so it uses the larger 130L CO2 tank. It is not easy to find refill tanks as Costco does not carry them and neither do most other places that sell Soadstream machines. This is the only reason for the 4 star review. If I could easily obtain the 130L replacement CO2 tanks I would give this product a "6 star" rating. (I have been told that my unit can use the smaller tank so if I have to I will replace my 130L carbonator with a 60L tank.)

September 2013. I got an email from Sodastream informing me that the 130 liter carbonators are now available at Bed, Bath & Beyond and Office Depot. Bed,Bath & Beyond will allow you to use their 20% off coupon when purchasing the refill tanks.

I would like to address the cost of making carbonated water (we don't make sweetened soda) with the SodaStream. While I agree with Scott Pope that restaurants can produce carbonated water for less money than I can using the SodaStream, the stuff I make is still much less expensive than buying the Crystal Geyser carbonated water that we used to drink. The fact that I like what I make better than the Crystal Geyser is icing on the cake.

I spent a great deal of my adult life working in a park where we had a concession stand and we made the bulk of our profit off the soda machine. When co2 and syrup are purchased in large, refillable tanks the cost to produce the soda goes way down. I do not have room in my kitchen for a commercial soda machine. If I had the room I would not want one as I remember what it took to keep it clean. The SodaStream allows me to make carbonated water in my own home and I think it's great. The fact that it costs more to use than a commercial machine does not bother me as I never expected anything else.
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Sodastream Dynamo LX Home Soda Maker Deluxe Mega Pack
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