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Air hockey game tables are more than entertaining – they also provide stress-relief for both kids and adults alike. ESPN, as a renowned sporting company, also offers their own set of indoor air hockey tables for you to choose from.
In this article, I will review four of their best tables: the 60-inch, 72-inch, 84-inch, and 90-inch models. To help you decide which of them to buy, I have written down their similarities and differences for you to look through.
A Quick Look at the ESPN Air Hockey Tables
All four of these ESPN air hockey tables are for indoor use and are equipped with electronic scoring and sound effects. What makes them different is mostly their physical design and size.
Before we dive into the similarities and differences between the products – and their resulting advantages and disadvantages – let’s start with a brief review of each.
ESPN 60-Inch Air Hockey Table
The most compact in this set of reviews, this basic air hockey table has four pushers and four pucks. However, it also has two cup holders and storage pots so you can keep everything organized, and have your favorite drinks during each match. It has a 3/4-inch thick high-gloss playfield to ensure fast and smooth movement of the puck.
The LED scorer is simple and easy to read, and set-up a breeze due to the push-button controls. There are also 6-inch leg levelers at the bottom in case you are playing on uneven ground. To keep kids safe, it has protective corner caps as well.
What’s more, the design also lets you put a table tennis conversion top on it to conserve space. The air hockey table comes pre-assembled and you only need to attach the supporters and legs then install the fan. It is backed by a 90-day limited warranty.
ESPN 72-Inch Air Hockey Table with Table Tennis Top
A slightly bigger model than my previous pick, this one has a 1/2-inch-thick playing surface with PVC finishing to prevent dead air spots during gameplay. The table has reinforced legs to keep it stable, while the 4-inch leg levelers allow you to play evenly, wherever you place it.
Moreover, it is also capable of table tennis top conversion, which is included (and can be stored) underneath the air hockey table when not in use. Storing the table tennis accessories is also easy thanks to the built-in hanger and rack. The weight of the table is 62 pounds, so setting it up is easy enough. As for players, it is applicable for the older kids who are around 9 to 11 years of age.
What’s unique about this air hockey table is the LED electronic scorer uses simple bars so whoever fills up all of the lights is the winner of the match. Measuring 32 inches in height and 37 inches in width, the set comes complete with pucks and pushers (for air hockey) and paddles, a net, posts, and balls (for table tennis).
ESPN 84-Inch Air Hockey Table with Steel Legs and Overhead Scorer
If you are into air hockey tables that have overhead scoring, you will like this model. Aside from having a high-gloss playfield, it sports a rubber ring at the bottom of each leg leveler that adds more stability than your standard air hockey table. What’s more, it even has premium metal legs for added durability.
The electronic scorer is easy to navigate due to the simple design. The table also has two cup holders and storage areas to keep your pucks and pushers organized when not in use. The LED scorer of this one is also in bars, just like with the 72-inch table, making it easy to track progress.
As with most air hockey tables, you only need to attach the fan, supporters, and legs when it arrives. The table weighs 62 pounds so it will be easy to move when installing. It is also backed by a 90-day warranty.
ESPN 90-Inch Air Hockey Table with Touch Screen Controls
With touch controls, this air hockey table will appeal to you if you don’t like the hassle of push-button mechanisms. The playing surface measures 83.25 x 42.5 inches and it runs with a 120V UL-certified blower motor to keep the airflow constant and free of dead spots. Also, since it is a touch-control system, navigating through the sound effects is a breeze.
Adding to its durability is the UV coating, especially if you set it near sunlight since sun damage can warp the playing field. It also has a clear LED scorer to easily keep track of the game. There are 6-inch leg levelers as well as full panel leg supports for added stability.
To keep the puck inside the playing field as much as possible, it has 3/5-inch thick black laminated aprons on the side, as well as reinforced top rails with an acrylic finish. The set comes with four pucks and pushers that are ready to be used.
Similarities Shared by the Four Tables
As they are from the same manufacturer, all four of these ESPN air hockey tables do have similar points and features, such as the following:
All of them use electronic scoring, which makes it easier to track who is winning the game. However, they have different layouts for the electronic scoreboard.
These leg levelers are important when it comes to playing the air hockey table on uneven surfaces. Not all homes and office rec rooms were built on even ground. By maintaining a straight surface, gameplay stays fair and there aren’t any advantages (or disadvantages) given.
Reinforced Leg Panels
Did you notice that all four of them have leg panels for added support? After all, stability is important for table games such as air hockey, since the puck should be moved on a surface that is even, to avoid dead spots when playing.
Differences Between the Four Tables
Although they are from the same brand, each of these four tables have their unique differences, such as the following:
Although this is a no-brainer, all four of these air hockey tables are at different sizes, as mentioned above. It is important to know the size before you buy so you’ll correctly fit it into your man cave, office rec room, or kids’ room.
Asking about the table size of any air hockey table (or game table, for that matter) is also important depending on who will use it. For instance, smaller tables are okay for kids but are not advisable for hard-hitting adults and teens – no one wants their puck flying off the table every turn!
Controls and Scoring
The 84-inch table has an overhead scorer while the rest have normal digital scoring systems. They are all different when it comes to controls, however, since the 90-inch one has a touch control panel while the others have a push-button type.
Also, the 60-inch and 90-inch tables both use digital numbers to track scoring while the 72-inch and the 84-inch models feature LED bars to count each player’s score.
Leg Leveler Height
Some of the leg levelers in these models are six inches while others are four inches. Leg levelers are crucial when maintaining an even playing surface, nonetheless.
One of the tables mentioned above, the 84-inch table features steel legs for reinforced durability. Aside from the panel design (which all of them have) having steel legs keeps the table still and stable during rough play.
Which of the ESPN Air Hockey Tables Should You Get?
If you want a simple and straightforward air hockey table, the 60-inch table is for you, especially if you’re looking for a model for kids to play with. However, the 72-inch table is a better choice for you when it comes to table tennis conversion since it already has its accessories rack to save space (ideal for apartments and small condo units).
The 84-inch table with steel legs and overhead scorer appeals best to those who want a cool addition to their man cave or rec room with convenient and durable features. Or, if you don’t like push-button controls, you might want to check out the 90-inch table with touch screen controls instead.
Air hockey tables come in different sizes so you have to choose carefully depending on your room size and who will play the game. ESPN Air Hockey Tables are quality products, so they are a good investment when it comes to material, reinforced durability on the legs, and of course, the electronic scoring system.
Just remember that whichever you choose out of these four models, you have to properly clean, repair, and maintain them to avoid getting dead spots and accidents.
Also, make sure to check the list of my favorite air hockey tables overall if you didn’t find you like in this article.