Dyson has unveiled a new hair dryer, the Supersonic r.
To the uninitiated, it may look like a bit of pipe rendered in a familiar Dyson colourway but it is, in fact, a cutting-edge styling tool aimed at the professional market. It’ll retail at $569.99 in the US but, as yet, there’s no word on international pricing.
It’s seemingly called the r because of its r-shaped form, and the Supersonic because that’s the name of the original: the much-copied, mallet-shaped hair dryer Dyson launched in 2016, to universal acclaim – and to some complaining about its $429.99/ £329.99 price tag.
But the original was made for the general consumer market and the r is very much not.
With development starting in 2017, it’s been optimised for use in hair salons. Its weight, shape, button placement and filter are designed so that the dryer can be picked up and used effectively multiple times throughout the day, without the hair dryer getting clogged up with bits of hair and product, and without the stylist getting tennis elbow from wielding a heavy styling tool.
The r is 30% smaller and 20% lighter than the consumer Supersonic, weighing just 325g. The filter pops right off too, for easy cleaning.
Inside, there’s a new streamlined heater, comprising nine 0.25mm foils to offer a bigger surface area to heat the air and ensure there are no hot or cold spots. And it’s all made possible by a slimmed-down version of the digital motor that’s inside every modern Dyson vacuum cleaner.
The intelligent heat-control technology that features in all of Dyson’s hair care products has been upgraded, too, with RFID (radio frequency identification) chips in all five styling attachments included with the hair dryer. The hair dryer will recognise the attachment and adjust its settings accordingly – even remembering any adjustments the stylist made previously.
At this point, Dyson seems to have no plans to make the Supersonic r available to the consumer market. However, we’d be willing to bet that some of the tech will make its way into our hands in other products at the very least.
To find out more about the original Supersonic, read our review (spoiler: we think it’s very good), or for more recommendations, have a look at our round-up of the best hair dryers we’ve tested.