Pre-orders for Dyson's super fancy hair dryer are now open in Australia. From today you can put your cash down on the $699 Supersonic, which will hit retailers 9 July.
We got hands on with the Supersonic at its launch in Japan this April, checking out its intelligent heat control to help protect hair from extreme heat damage, fast yet focused airflow, engineering designed for balance and fabled lack of excessive noise.
"Hair dryers can be heavy, inefficient and make a racket," said James Dyson. "By looking at them further we realised that they can also cause extreme heat damage to hair. I challenged Dyson engineers to really understand the science of hair and develop our version of a hair dryer, which we think solves these problems."
There will be a phased retail release of the Supersonic, which Dyson says is due to "unprecedented international demand". On 9 July from 12pm Myer in Melbourne City and David Jones at Elizabeth Street in Sydney will have the hair dryers available.
On 10 July the Supersonic will be "widely available" from other selected Myer and David Jones stores nationwide as well as on on the Dyson website.
Dyson invested almost $95 million in the development of the Dyson Supersonic including creating a state of the art laboratory dedicated to investigating the science of hair. Dyson engineers studied hair from root to tip, understanding how it reacts to stresses, how to keep it healthy and how to style it.
Over four years they tested the product on different hair types and built test rigs, which mechanically simulate hair-drying techniques — which can differ around the world. To date over 1010 miles of real human hair have been used in testing.
The Supersonic is powered by the patented Dyson digital motor V9, which was created in-house by a team of over 15 motor engineers specifically for this machine. It is Dyson's smallest, lightest, most advanced digital motor.
The Dyson digital motor is engineered to be powerful yet compact, it is small enough to be positioned in the handle rather than the head; because of this the machine is engineered for balance. Most conventional hair dryers have the motor in the head of the machine.
Some conventional hair dryers can reach extreme temperatures, especially when held close to your head. This can cause extreme heat damage to your hair. The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer has intelligent heat control, helping to ensure hair isn't exposed to excessive temperatures.
A glass bead thermistor measures the temperature 20 times a second and transmits this data to the microprocessor, which intelligently controls the patented double-stacked heating element.
As expected, the Supersonic uses Dyson's air multiplier technology — the volume of the air drawn into the motor is amplified by three due to this technology, producing a high pressure, high velocity jet of air.
Traditional hair dryers can sometimes have a weak airflow, meaning they are slow. Others can have strong airflow, but it is not necessarily controlled. The Supersonic aims to create a focused jet of air, angled at 20 degrees for controlled, precise drying and styling. This allows you to dry and style at the same time.
In terms of noise — a team of Dyson aero-acoustic engineers sought to understand how the acoustics of this machine could be optimised. By using an axial flow impeller inside the motor they have simplified the pathway of the air reducing turbulence and swirling.
By giving the motor impeller 13 blades instead of the usual 11, Dyson engineers pushed one tone within the motor to a sound frequency beyond the audible range for humans.
Also, because the motor is small and compact Dyson engineers have been able to embed it in the handle, surrounded by acoustic silencers to further reduce sound.
It's got four heat settings, four heat settings, three airflow settings and a cold shot too. Dyson engineers have created three precisely engineered magnetic attachments, with 16 patents pending, to further control this airflow allowing you to achieve a range of different styles.
The smoothing nozzle dries hair gently, using smooth, wide air, allowing you to dry and style at the same time; the diffuser is engineered to disperse air evenly around each curl, simulating natural drying, helping to reduce frizz and improve definition.
The attachments remain cool to the touch using heat shield technology. The hot air is contained within a sandwich of cold air meaning the surfaces of the attachment stay cool, and being magnetic, each nozzle is easy to attach and adjust.
$699 is a significant investment for a hairdryer, but that hasn't stopped it from selling like hotcakes elsewhere in the world. Time will tell if the Australian market follows the trend.