Dyson Supersonic hair dryer: everything you need to know about the high-speed hair hammer

The look and innovation are very Dyson, as is the price

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Hot on the heels of its un-knock-over-able Cinetic vacuum cleaner, Dyson V8 Absolute and its foulness-sucking air purifier, Dyson has released its biggest new product of 2016. No, it's not Thor's hammer; it's the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer!

Dyson Supersonic design

As you can see, the Dyson Supersonic employs all the brand's usual design language in terms of appearance, colour palette (there's also a white version) and the use of its bladeless fan Air Multiplier tech.

In fact, if you wanted to explain the Supersonic in the simplest terms possible, you might call it a handheld, miniature version of its Hot/Cold fans. Though we doubt Dyson will be marketing it quite like that.

Dyson Supersonic research

The Supersonic is the result of 600 prototypes - some of which you can see here - £50 million in R&D, four years, 103 engineers and 'over 1,010 miles of real human hair'. The latter was used for stress testing and scientific evaluation. And, obviously, blow-drying.

Dyson Supersonic performance

Dyson crows that the Supersonic is, 'Up to eight times faster' than the current top-selling hair dryers in Japan (the country has a huge market for hair-styling tech, relative to its size), 'and half the weight'.

Clearly this is a hard claim to evaluate but we can confirm from our testing so far that it is extremely light and manoeuvrable. That's in part because the V9 digital motor is compact enough to sit in the handle rather than - as is more usual - the head of the dryer, giving better balance. A filter keeps dust out.

Sucking in air through the handle and rear, the Supersonic performs what scientists call 'blowing very hard indeed', but with impressively focussed direction and accuracy. Heat control tech in the head of the Supersonic monitors the heat of the air as it's blown out, maintaining an even temperature and preventing the kind of chronic over heating that your precious curls assuredly do not enjoy.

It also doesn't make a huge amount of noise for such a powerful thing. That's due to clever accoustic engineering and because (deep breath): 'An axial flow impeller inside the motor… simplifies the pathway of the air, reducing turbulence and swirling. And 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.'

Well yes. It seems obvious when they put it like that.

Dyson Supersonic controls

On the head, you have the temperature up/down controls. There are four heat settings and one for cool air only.

On the handle, that's the on/off switch and a cool blast button for instant bursts of cold air, for setting styles.

Dyson Supersonic tools

The range of attachments - smoothing nozzles of various aperture sizes, diffusers, et al - attach via magnets and remain cool to the touch, thanks to Heat Shield tech.

Dyson Supersonic price

Of course, Dyson's innovations seldom come cheap, and the Supersonic is very much at the premium end of the hair dryer market - there's also a fully pro version for stylists and hairdressers. In fact, a brief perusal of Amazon and John Lewis brings up NO rival products even in its ballpark, price-wise.

Even so, we wouldn't bet against Dyson making a success of its lightweight, high-powered Thor's hammer of a hair dryer.