Dyson: Supersonic vs Airwrap hairdryer attachment
Impulse buys are pretty much out of the question given Dyson's price tags. Two years ago, I invested in the «Airwrap» multistyler after much reflection and a solid test phase. And I've never regretted it. With the Airwrap attachments, I have so many different styling options at my fingertips – all with the one appliance. It comes with a curling attachment, smoothing brush, round brush and a hairdryer attachment that gives my regular hairdryer competition because a) it's heavier than the Airwrap b) the Dyson attachment dried my hair just as quickly and c) it was quieter than my regular hairdryer.
But now Dyson also has the «Supersonic» as part of its range. It's like a Tesla of the hairdryer world. And in fact, it launched before the Airwrap.
This is like no hairdryer I've ever held before.
Dyson fans who have tried both appliances have assured me that the Supersonic has a much stronger air flow than the Airwrap with its own drying attachment. Dyson also confirmed that the Airwrap hairdryer is weaker than the Supersonic. But what no one wants to tell me is how much weaker. I'm on a mission to find out and answer the following question along the way:
is it worth getting the Supersonic if you already have the Airwrap?
Comparing the Supersonic and the Airwrap
The Supersonic is in a league of its own. At least, that's the feeling I get the first time I point the air jet at my mane. My hair swirls as though it's been hit by a hurricane. But feelings are subjective. I want to measure it. That's why I won't just be comparing the settings on these two appliances. I'll also be looking at the air flow speed, noise level and time it takes to dry my hair.
The Supersonic has three power levels, three heat levels and a cold mode. The set also comes with various attachments, including a diffuser (curling attachment) as well as a smoothing and styling nozzle. It works with other attachments that you can buy separately.
The Airwrap has three power levels, two heat levels and a cold mode. Unlike the Supersonic, the Airwrap doesn't currently have any extra attachments that let me customise the hairdryer for my own hair. But it does have attachments for hair styling.
I tested out both of the appliances on the highest setting, be it the highest air flow speed or highest heat level, so I could compare the maximum performance.
I want to find out just how strong the air flow is so enter the wind gauge.. I tuck the wind gauge 20 cm away between a crystal and a marble container and direct the air jet onto it. That's the same distance as the hairdryer is from my head.
This set-up works well for the Airwrap. The Supersonic, on the other hand, blows the wind gauge right over so I have to hold it up with my hand. The results are in...
With a maximum air flow speed of 95.9 km/h, the Supersonic isn't far off my first impression, namely being caught in a hurricane. The definition for that is anything over 117 km/h. I get a reading of 74.5 km/h for the Airwrap. To put it into perspective, the Airwrap can achieve 78% of the air flow speed of the Supersonic. I'm sure that difference will be reflected in the time it takes to dry my hair.
For context, my hair is long and thick. And it usually takes ages to dry it. Something that clearly saved me time would be a decisive factor in my decision to buy the Supersonic.
The stopwatch is on until my hair is completely dry. It takes 4 minutes 48 seconds with the Supersonic. And with the Airwrap, 9 minutes 38 seconds. In other words, the Supersonic saves me about 5 minutes. Over the course of a year, that's 4 hours 20 minutes. Assuming I only wash my hair once a week.
Do you remember me mentioning at the start that the Airwrap is quieter than a traditional hairdryer? According to my sound level meter app, there's no difference between the Airwrap and Supersonic as far as noise goes. They're both equally loud at a maximum of 115 dB. In other words, they're both quieter than my old hairdryer.
In summary, the Supersonic features one more heating level than the Airwrap and gives you the option to customise with hair-specific attachments. It also offers an air flow speed 29% higher than that of the Airwrap. When I put it to the test, the Supersonic dried my hair twice as fast as the Airwrap. In terms of noise, there was nothing to set the two appliances apart.
But those are just the details. When it comes down to it, both of them dry your hair. The question now is, am I prepared to shell out about 400 francs for the extra performance?
In a word, yes.
Saving time and having a more pleasant experience are things that are important to me. So I'm ready to pay for that. And in case you're wondering if my Airwrap hairdryer attachment is now collecting dust... nope. It's really handy for when I'm travelling. So yeah, on second thoughts, maybe it is collecting a bit of dust at the moment. Travelling isn't exactly on the cards just now. Even less so now that I've splashed out on the Supersonic.