Omega makes theI've ever laid my hands on, so I expected similar results from the company's pricey flagship blender, the $480 Omega OM7560. Despite a robust 3-horsepower motor, however, the OM7560 stumbles when you use it to blend basic items like ice and dry nuts. A blender this expensive should be able to tackle it all.
The Omega's barebones controls and lack of extras were also disappointing. Unlike other similarly priced blenders, the Omega doesn't have any special blending modes or ingredient presets. Neither does Omega include a glossy cookbook, a staple of blenders at this end of the market.
If you're in the market for a high-end blender, you're better off with either the $455 sale for $480). Both smoothly blend anything you throw at them. The Blendtec has plenty of automatic functions to address a variety of foods or drinks you want to blend. And if you need some inspiration, you'll enjoy the slickly photographed cookbook Vitamix includes with the 7500.(now available for $300) or $529 (now on
Tall, not monster-sized
The 11.7-pound Omega is long and relatively slender, similar in size to the Vitamix 7500 and Blendtec Designer Series. Unfortunately, that makes it quite tall, enough that the blender may not fit underneath low kitchen cabinets. As a result, the appliance will eat up counter space unless you stash it somewhere out of sight.
Controls on this blender are sparse. The panel has just four buttons. The first three switch the motor on, off or fire in short bursts. The fourth key activates what Omega calls Infinity Control, the blender's only automatic preset. It's not targeted at a specific food or task. It merely oscillates the blade speed from slow to fast repeatedly.
The Omega also has two knobs on its base to adjust motor runtime and speed. The 64-ounce (1.9-liter) blender jar is relatively large. It's the same capacity offered by the Vitamix 7500. The 87-ounce container on KitchenAid's Pro Line Series tops both. Omega includes a tamping wand in the box as well. Other than a basic manual, that's it -- no glossy recipe book with fancy color photos. By contrast, KitchenAid and Vitamix blenders come standard with this sort of snazzy documentation.
Blends like a budget machine
On paper, the Omega should blend almost any food item without skipping a beat. The blender's muscular electric motor is rated at 3 peak horsepower. It's more than the Vitamix 7500 (2.2 horsepower) and equal to the $454 Blendtec Designer Series. Both of those blenders tackled all our tests easily.
Not so with the Omega. In many cases, the machine struggled to pulverize items that have only been problematic for inexpensive blenders like the. I often couldn't improve the situation, even when I used the tamping tool.
To see how the Omega handled a key ingredient, I dropped 2 pounds of supermarket ice into its plastic jar. After nine pulses, the blender transformed 75 percent of the ice into powder. But a few large ice chunks remained unscathed at the center of the jar. No matter how long I kept pulsing, the blender could not process the remaining pieces. A good machine can zip through the same amount of ice in 10 pulses or fewer. Even the Braun PureMix, a blender that had its own performance struggles, eventually transformed the same amount of ice into fine powder in 15 pulses.
The Omega performed much better as a smoothie maker. The blender rendered our test mixture of frozen strawberries and orange juice completely smooth in nine blade pulses. In fact, it almost hit the right consistency after seven pulses. We give passing grades to any blender able to complete the task in 10 pulses or less.
By comparison, both the Vitamix 7500 and Blendtec Designer Series Wildside cruised easily through our smoothie test. We had to give a helping hand to the KitchenAid Pro Line Series, but it eventually managed to pull through. The Braun PureMix failed the challenge even after 15 blade pulses.