Dyson is best known for its high-end vacuum cleaners, fans and Airblade blow dryers -- so it's perhaps no surprise that the British company is turning its turbine-centric attention to the humble hairdryer.
The Dyson Supersonic is slimmer, lighter and quieter than just about any hairdryer out there, but expect to splash out -- this quirky bedroom accessory will set you back £299 when it goes on sale in June in the UK. In the US it will go on sale in September for $399, from Dyson.com and Sephora. No Australian launch plans have been confirmed, but the UK price equates to around $AU570.
Most hairdryers see the air-generating tech loaded into the head of the device, but Dyson's opted to squeeze its own-brand motor into the stalk instead, leaving the Supersonic's head free to exist as a great big cylinder. Dyson enthusiasts will recognise this look from the company's range of blade-free desk fans and heaters.
This is another outing for Dyson's Air Multiplier tech, which sees a torrent of air forced out of the narrow band that surrounds the edge of that circle. As an enthusiastic user of hairdryers, I can testify that the air the Supersonic pushes is really quite impressive, bearing in mind its small size. It's remarkably quiet too, emitting more of an insistent hiss than the angry roar you get from many hairdryers.
The Supersonic comes with three nozzles, which stick onto the end of the dryer with the inestimable power of magnets. Those extras include a smoothing nozzle for gentle drying, and a diffuser, which disperses air broadly through your luscious locks.
The Supersonic comes with a healthy number of controls, triggered via a series of buttons on the rear side of its tube-shaped head. With mechanical keys you can choose between four heat settings and three airflow settings, to tailor your blow-dry. There's a button for a shot of cold air too, if you want a blast of air to lock your styled 'do in place.
If you're the kind of person who gets excited by hairdryers, then Dyson's Supersonic should have you on the edge of your seat. In my brief hands-on time it felt like a very capable dryer, but this unusual bit of gadgety comes with a wince-inducing price tag. At £299/$399/AU$699 it's drastically more expensive than even high-end rival dryers -- a hairdryer from respected brand Parlux can be yours for less than a third of that online.
Whether Dyson's tech can still be good value at such a high cost remains to be seen, but for those who spend a lot of time fussing over their hair, it's interesting just to see a new take on an established bit of household tech.
The Dyson Supersonic will be on sale in Japan imminently, with a release in the UK and Australia in June. There's no word yet on a US release, but we'll update this First Take as we learn more.