What Ambient Weather Station Should I Buy?

Filed Under: Ambient Weather,Weather Stations

We break down Ambient Weather's extensive weather station lineup

The Ambient Weather brand has been around for a long time, initially a great place to find deals on all kinds of weather instruments, but now selling its own branded weather instruments and gadgets. That move has paid off: their stations have become a ‘cult favorite’ among weather enthusiasts, thanks to a great mix of functionality and price. While our international readers may recognize some of these as Ecowitt weather stations, they offer some functionality that Ecowitt does not.

Ambient weather 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 is surprisingly good for the price. So which one should you buy? Keep reading.

Ambient Weather Stations Currently Available

Best Expandability

Ambient Weather WS-5000

9.7

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 and a new sonic anemometer make this a top pick.

No Console Required

Ambient Weather WS-5000-IP Ultrasonic Professional Smart Weather Station

9.5

If you don't need a console, the WS-5000-IP doesn't have one, and saves you $90.

Best Mix of Value and Functionality

Ambient Weather WS-2000

8.8

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.

Budget Pick

Ambient Weather WS-2902

8.8

We were surprised with how accurate the Ambient Weather WS-2902 was, given its price. We wholeheartedly recommend this to weather watchers on a budget.

Ambient Weather WS-1965 WiFi Weather Station

8.2

The WS-1965 is Ambient's cheapest weather station with internet connectivity.

Ambient Weather Company Profile

Ambient Weather has had an online presence since 1998, when it started as an online shop selling various manufacturers’ weather instruments, gadgets, and accessories. Several years ago, Ambient Weather turned to worldwide digital instrument maker Fine Offset to produce its own branded line of weather instruments (Ecowitt and several other manufacturers also use Fine Offset, too).

While station components are manufactured overseas, Ambient Weather develops its software and assembles them completely in the United States, initially at Ambient Weather’s original Arizona headquarters and later in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania. Boothwyn is home to Nielsen Kellerman, who acquired Ambient Weather in 2019.

Ambient Weather joined two other long-standing names in weather instrumentation, including Kestrel, a brand NK launched in 1996, and fellow American-made professional weather station maker Rainwise, which it acquired in 2020. With the three brands, Nielsen Kellerman is now the largest manufacturer of personal and professional-grade weather stations in the United States, both by volume and market share.

Ambient Weather Station Comparisons

We often get asked about which Ambient weather station a reader should pick. We’ve compared Ambient Weather’s most popular models below to compare the differences between the various models. While we’ve listed all the current main models above, we only currently recommend the WS-2902, WS-2000, and WS-5000 models.

WS-2000 vs. WS-2902

We think that those debating between the WS-2000 and WS-2902 will want to consider their budget first. The WS-2902 is an excellent station for the price. However, the WS-2000 console allows you to add and view additional sensors and is certainly better quality. If you want to observe the weather casually, then the WS-2902 is fine. However, if you think you might have other uses for your Ambient weather station down the road, then the WS-2000 is the better long-term choice.

Who should buy the WS-2902?

The Ambient Weather WS-2902 is an excellent entry-level weather station and is one of our top choices for casual weather observers. In our tests, the WS-2902 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-2902. 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 vast array of optional sensors that Ambient Weather provides, but at a much more affordable price.

AmbientWeather.net dashboard for ambient weather stations
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The Ambientweather.net dashboard.

WS-2902 vs. WS-5000

The WS-2902 and the WS-5000 are aimed at two different types of consumers. The WS-2902 is an entry-level Ambient weather station. The WS-5000 is intended for weather enthusiasts and those looking for better accuracy. If you’re deciding between these two and can afford them, 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. However, it’s also one of the most expensive weather stations on the market, and we don’t feel comfortable recommending the WS-5000 unless you have the budget for it.

Did the Ambient Weather WS-5000 increase in price?

Yes, this Ambient weather station was once a much better deal. The station initially retailed for $329.00 on Amazon and elsewhere. However, the retail price has increased three times since its launch: by $100 in mid-2021, $10 after Black Friday 2021, and another $10 in late Spring 2022. Component shortages resulting from 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-5000s. Ambient Weather also has the WS-5000-IP, which replaces the console with a Wi-Fi base station — and is about $90 cheaper. The app is fully featured and works as good, if not better, than a console.

WS-2902C UV and light sensors
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Close-up of the sensor suite found on the Ambient Weather WS-2000 and WS-2902C.

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 more accurate) sensor suite. This makes the WS-5000 our preferred Ambient 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.

Who should buy the WS-2000?

The Ambient Weather WS-2000 uses the same sensor suite as the WS-2902. 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 vast array of optional sensors that Ambient Weather produces, 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 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, although the high price is a significant barrier for most shoppers.

Our Test Results for Ambient Weather Stations

Below we’ve shared our scoring for the Ambient Weather station models that made our rankings for the Best Weather Station of 2023. Three stations made our final rankings for this year, the WS-2902, WS-5000, and WS-2000. To learn more about our scoring methodology, click here.

WS-5000 sensor-suite in the rain
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Ambient Weather WS-5000

Review Score: 92/100

ambient weather WS-2902C
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Ambient Weather WS-2902

Review Score: 88/100

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Ambient Weather WS-2000

Review Score: 88/100

Ambient Weather Station FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions from our readers about Ambient weather stations.

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, WS-7078, and WS-2000 use lower-quality sensor suites.

How Can I Contact Ambient Weather Customer Support?

Customers can get support for their Ambient weather station by calling (480) 346-3380 between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mountain Time, Monday through Friday, or by emailing [email protected].

Can I Connect My Ambient Weather Station To The Internet?

Yes. 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 scored well in our accuracy tests (see here). The WS-5000 and Davis Vantage Vue both have near-pro grade accuracy, and the WS-2902C performs 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, which would have similar accuracy.

What Are Some Alternatives To An Ambient Weather Station?

If you’re considering either the WS-2000 or WS-2902C, we’d recommend considering the Davis Vantage Vue or the WeatherFlow Tempest. Prospective buyers of the WS-5000 should also consider the Vantage Pro2 if you want accuracy.

Does Ambient Weather Also Make Weather Station Mounts?

Yes, they do, and Ambient Weather station mounts are also compatible with other brands, too! We’ve listed our favorite mounts in our weather station installation guide, and we’ve listed below the most popular selling models based on different mounting scenarios.

Wrapping Up

Ambient Weather stations are outstanding and often surprised us with how accurate they 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, giving them an advantage in a competitive market.

No matter which one you choose, you’ll be backed up by excellent customer service. In all our experiences with their support team, our customer service representative handled questions and issues promptly. This is one area where the industry could improve, and Ambient Weather is doing it correctly.

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Our commitment to accuracy

All content on The Weather Station Experts is written by or reviewed by humans before it is posted to our website. Our contributors and editors include degreed meteorologists and scientists, all committed to providing our readers with the highest-quality content. If you spot an error, please let us know.

About the Author

Ed Oswald

Ed Oswald has nearly two decades of experience in technology and science journalism, and specializes in weather stations and smart home technology. He's written for Digital Trends, PC World, and TechHive. His work has also appeared in the New York Times. When he isn't writing about gadgets, he enjoys chasing severe weather and winter storms.
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