Dyson Supersonic Nural review: tech-packed and time-saving

Dyson's new hair dryer is filled with smart styling innovations

Dyson Supersonic Nural hair dryer
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Dyson Supersonic Nural is an outstanding hair dryer. Its Scalp Protect mode, which adjusts temperature based on distance from the head, is great news for those with damaged hair or a sensitive scalp. Other innovations – auto-pause when the dryer is put down, the ability to remember setting preferences with each individual attachment – all streamline the styling process. The pricing will put it out of reach of many, but in terms of performance, I can't fault it.

Pros

  • +

    Dries hair quickly and effectively

  • +

    Innovative Scalp Protect mode

  • +

    Well-designed attachments

  • +

    Drops to low-power when set down

  • +

    Lightweight and easy to maneuver

Cons

  • -

    Handle slightly short

  • -

    Overkill for many customers

  • -

    Investment pricing

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Dyson Supersonic Nural: two-minute review

The Dyson Supersonic Nural hair dryer is the most hi-tech hair dryer I've ever used. The headline feature here is the 'Scalp Protect mode', which senses how far away your head is, then heats up or cools down to maintain what feels like a constant temperature on your scalp. All that means less heat damage; even if you put it right up to your head, it won't burn.

The Nural can also sense when you put it down, and drop into low-power mode in response, and when not using Scalp Protect mode, it also remembers your airspeed and temperature preference for each specific attachment. On test, I found these techy features all worked as they were meant to. While I guess they're not strictly essential to the hair drying experience, they're not just a gimmick either – each helps streamline and speed up the styling process. 

Alongside these new innovations, the Nural also has all the things that made the original Supersonic – widely considered the best hair dryer on the market (read about it in our Dyson Supersonic review) – so popular. Namely, very fast and efficient airflow, a design that's comfortable and easy to wield, and a range of well-designed, magnetic attachments that clip easily on and off. These attachments cater to a range of different hair types (short, long, straight, coily and curly) and include a unique Flyaway tool, which tames stray hairs with alarming effectiveness. 

While the attachments are broadly the same as with the original Supersonic, I would like to give a special shout-out to the redesigned diffuser, which can now be used without the prongs in so-called Dome mode, designed to define your curls. I have natural slight curls, and it's the only diffuser I've ever been able to use that hasn't transformed my hair into a frizz-ball of epic proportions. 

Of course, it's far from cheap. In fact, so far that 'cheap' isn't even a dot in the distance. The Nural's list price of $499.99 / £399.99 / AU$750 puts it firmly beyond the reach of many, and will perhaps make you question the necessity of owning a hair dryer that glows like a UFO and knows how close it is to your head at any time. But if you want the best of the best and have the budget for it, I have basically no complaints about how well the Nural works. 

That's the short version; read on for my full Dyson Supersonic Nural review. Alternatively, for more on this brand's haircare range, head to our Dyson AirWrap review,  Dyson Airstrait review or Dyson Coralle review.

Dyson Supersonic Nural hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

Dyson Supersonic Nural review: price & availability

  • List price: $499.99 / £399.99 / AU$749
  • Available: globally
  • Launch date: May 2024

The Supersonic Nural was announced in March 2024, and became available across the US, UK and Australia shortly after. 

Regardless of territory, it's expensive. At TechRadar, we consider any hair dryer over $200/£200 to be a premium product, and at list price, the Nural is twice that. In the US it's $499.99, in the UK it's £399.99, and in Australia it's AU$749.

It's the priciest hair dryer I've tested, but then it's also the most high-tech – by some margin. You're not paying just for the Dyson name, you're paying for the innovation and the engineering. (Okay, and a little bit for the Dyson name.) While I'm not especially mad at how expensive the Nural is, I do think it would be useful to be able to pick a cheaper option with fewer attachments. With their individual sensors and magnetic design, these are presumably driving up the price, and most people will only need two or three. 

For comparison, at time of writing the original Dyson Supersonic is $429.99 / £279.99 / AU$649. So the price jump between the two models is biggest if you're in the UK.

The most expensive GHD model is the GHD Helios, which is significantly cheaper, with a list price of $279.00 / £159 / AU$280. But it's nowhere near as intelligent as the Nural; you're definitely not getting like-for-like.

  • Value for money score: 4 out of 5

Dyson Supersonic Nural specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Wattage: 1,600W
Voltage 120V (US), 220-240V (UK)
Air flow13.3 l/s
Dimensions (H x L x W):10 x 4 x 3.1" / 245 x 97 x 78mm
Weight: 1.9lb / 680g
Airflow settings: 3
Temperature settings:3 plus cool shot
Cord length:8.6ft / 2.62m
Attachments: Wave+Curl diffuser, gentle air attachment, styling concentrator, wide-tooth comb, flyaway attachment

Dyson Supersonic Nural review: design

  • Scalp Protect mode adjusts temperature based on distance from head
  • Wide range of magnetic attachments for different hair types
  • Light and easy to wield, although handle could be a bit longer

At time of launch, there are two different colorway options: Vinca Blue/Topaz (which I would call purple and orange) and Ceramic Patina/Topaz (turquoise and orange – the version I tested for this review). Otherwise it looks very similar to the original Supersonic – a streamlined version of a hair dryer, with a relatively small and lightweight barrel at the top, with most of the weight in the handle.

While Dyson seems to be getting into the habit of adding tiny, largely unnecessary screens to its new releases (looking at you, Airstrait), the Nural has escaped the curse. Instead, it's operated via buttons – a sliding on-off switch and cool shot button on the handle, and temperature, airspeed and Scalp Protect mode buttons on the barrel. All are small and unobtrusive.

Close up of temperature and air speed controls on Dyson Supersonic Nural hair dryer

Air speed button and indicator lights run around the left side of the barrel, and temperature switch and lights on the right (Image credit: Future)

At the bottom of the handle is a filter cage. To clean, Dyson recommends snapping the cage off (it's magnetic), soaking it for 30 minutes in soapy water, rinsing and drying. The filter can be wiped with a dry cloth to get rid of anything that may have built up there.

Dyson Supersonic Nural hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

At time of writing, the Vinca Blue colorway comes with a cushioned 'presentation case', but there isn't one with the turquoise – sorry, Ceramic Patina – option that I tested. I felt both slightly short-changed, and a bit sad, that I couldn't put my Nural to bed like a little prince, but it's not a major issue.

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Settings

You have three temperature settings (high, medium, low), plus a cool shot. There are also three airflow speeds – high (for when you're in a rush, or if you're a generally impatient person), medium (for regular use, if you're not an impatient person) and low (for diffusing).

Air speed and temperature are adjusted by pressing little buttons on the main barrel of the hair dryer, with three tiny LEDs to indicate which setting you're using. The Nural also has sensors that recognize which attachment is connected. When you snap on each one, it'll automatically swap to your last-used temperature and speed settings, to save you having to manually adjust as you go through your routine.

Close up of scalp protect button Dyson Supersonic Nural hair dryer

Scalp protect mode adjusts temperature depending on how close the dryer is to your head (Image credit: Future)

As well as the manual settings, there's the all-new Scalp Protect mode, activated via a button on the barrel with a hair follicle on it. When activated, the Nural uses a Time of Flight sensor to measure how close to your head the hair dryer is, and adjust so it maintains a consistent temperature. So when you have the Nural right up to your scalp, it'll lower the temperature, and if it's further away, it'll increase it. The idea is to minimize heat damage to the hair, was well as helping you avoid burning your scalp if you want to have the dryer right next to your head for precision styling.

To hammer home how space-age this feature is, the whole inside of the main barrel will illuminate to indicate the temperature – bright red for the hottest setting, down to blue for the cool shot. Is it strictly necessary? No. Is it cool? Yes. Is it hard to photograph effectively? Absolutely.

Dyson Supersonic Nural hair dryer

If you put down the Nural while it's still switched on, it detects this and lowers temperature and air speed (Image credit: Future)

Finally, there's a Pause Detect function, which uses a motion sensor to identify when you've put the dryer down, and automatically cut the heat and minimize the airflow in response. There's intentionally a slight delay so the Nural doesn't cut out every time you pause slightly mid-style. This function is automatically on, unless you have a diffuser attachment connected.

Attachments

All versions of the Dyson Supersonic Nural come with the full selection of styling attachments. These are magnetic, and snap on and off the barrel of the dryer. They're broadly the same (save for some slight design tweaks) as those included with the original Supersonic, with the exception of the Diffuser, which has been redesigned more thoroughly.

Wave+Curl diffuser

This is the large diffuser, for waves and curls. It has been redesigned for the Nural, and can now be used in two ways. The central part, with the prongs, can be removed (it's magnetic) to leave a bowl-shaped attachment that Dyson calls 'Dome mode'. 

'Diffuse mode' (with prongs), is designed to add volume at the root, whereas Dome mode is designed to help define your curls. Dyson recommends you use the diffuser attachments with medium heat and medium airflow. It's the only attachment not to be compatible with Pause Detect. 

Gentle air attachment

This has crimped edges, and is designed to very slightly diffuse the airflow, for gentler drying compared to using it without. This one is a little confusing – a Dyson community page states it's 'engineered to be kinder to fine hair and sensitive scalps' but creating a 'gentle, cooler airflow', but then suggests it's used with high heat and high air flow. It is compatible with scalp protect mode.

All the styling attachments that come with the Dyson Supersonic Nural hair dryer

Clockwise from left: flyaway attachment, Styling concentrator, Wave+Curl diffuser (Dome mode), diffuser insert, Wide-tooth comb, gentle air attachment (Image credit: Future)

Styling concentrator

Like your standard concentrator, this channels the air into a wide, thin blade, for smooth styles. It's designed for use with high heat and medium airflow, but can also be used with Scalp Protect mode.

Wide-tooth comb

A broader concentrator, with a comb extension, this attachment detangles your hair as it dries it. Dyson says it's for shaping and lengthening curly or coily hair, and it's designed to be used with high heat and high airflow. 

Flyaway attachment

This is for use on dry, straight hair. It uses 'Coanda airflow' – the same hair-bending phenomenon that powers the Airwrap – to flatten down flyaways. It's designed to be used with low heat and high airflow.

  • Design score: 4.5 out of 5

Dyson Supersonic Nural review: performance

  • Fast and effective drying; well-designed attachments
  • Scalp Protect mode works well and doesn't impact drying time too much
  • Auto-pause is useful

If Dyson really knows how to do one thing well, it's move air about. That's a more impressive specialism than it sounds – it's what earned Dyson reputation as the brand behind the best vacuum cleaners and the best fans around. And I wasn't surprised to find that the hair drying part of the Supersonic Nural is extremely effective. For rough drying, it gets the job done, and fast.

Because of the more compact shape and the fact that most of the weight is in the handle, it's more comfortable to hold, and easier to wield, than a traditional dryer. My only real complaint with the design is that the handle is a touch short for me – I'm either in danger of accidentally activating the cool shot button or getting my own 'cool shot' to the hand courtesy of the fan grille at the base of the handle.

Concentrator nozzle being snapped on to Dyson Supersonic Nural hair dryer

The Nural detects which attachment is added and adjusts its settings to those last used with that attachment (Image credit: Future)

As someone who has a habit of defaulting to the maximum settings on any haircare gadgets, I wasn't sure if Scalp Protect mode would be one of those features I'd end up neglecting, having prioritized extra sleep time over my long-term hair health. However, that hasn't been the case so far. 

I found that there was no appreciable difference in how long it took to rough-dry my hair in this mode compared to my usual blast-it-with-heat approach. This might be partly to do with the fact that the airspeed is so effective that it means you're not relying so much on cranking up the heat to get your hair dry. Scalp Protect mode has become my go-to for whenever I just want to quickly dry my hair. 

Dyson Supersonic Nural hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

When comes to styling, the magnetic attachments snap on and off with just the right amount of effort – not so much it's a struggle, or requires the gripping of anywhere other than the dedicated stay-cool sections of the attachment, and not so little that there's a danger the tool will fall off mid-style.

The Attachment Learning tech worked as intended – in use, the Nural reliably remembered my last-used temperature and airspeed preferences. This feature will be useful for anyone who regularly uses a few different attachments for styling. Like many of Dyson's tech innovations here, it's not essential, but it does remove one of the annoying, fiddly parts of hair styling and streamline the process that little bit more. It's not just a gimmick. Exactly the same goes for the Pause Detect when the dryer is put down.

I also appreciate Dyson branching out past your standard diffuser-and-concentrator package to offer attachments for different hair types, although it has taken a bit of experimenting to figure out exactly how some of them work and what they're for (this Dyson community page has come in handy). The Flyaway attachment is a standout, using the same hair-bending Coanda airflow effect that the Airwrap is based on to flatten out flyaways and leave a smooth finish with absolutely minimal effort.

As someone with naturally slightly curly hair, I was also impressed with the redesigned Diffuser. Regular diffusers leave my hair super-frizzy, but the 'Dome mode', created by removing the central prongs, gave me smoother, more defined curls. (You can see how it works in the video above.)

Overall, minor niggle about the length of the handle aside, I really have no complaints about the Supersonic Nural's performance. It's by far the best hair dryer I've used. 

  • Performance score: 5 out of 5

Should you buy the Dyson Supersonic Nural?

Swipe to scroll horizontally
AttributeNotesRating
PriceIt's wildly expensive, but the tech, build quality and engineering help justify that price.4/5
DesignCompact and easy to wield, with a wide range of useful attachments and some clever tech innovations.4.5/5
PerformanceDries quickly and effectively; tech innovations work reliably and help streamline the styling process. 5/5

Buy it if...

You want to invest in the best hair dryer around
It's not cheap, but it is the best hair dryer I've ever used. The tech innovations – Pause Detect, remembering setting preferences for individual attachments – work reliably and are genuinely useful, rather than just being a gimmick.

You have damaged hair or a sensitive scalp
The Scalp Protect mode, coupled with efficient and powerful airflow, make this a great choice for anyone with heat-damaged hair or a sensitive scalp.

You have complicated styling needs
Where the Dyson Supersonic Nural really comes into its own is for those who want/need to use multiple attachments to style their hair. It's designed to streamline and speed up the styling process, as well as offering a high level of control over the finish.

Don't buy it if...

You have basic hair needs
If you just want to rough dry your hair a couple of times a week, the Nural is going to be overkill. Where it comes into its own is with people who want to style rather than just dry.

You're on a budget
There's no getting away from the fact that this is one expensive hair dryer. While the advanced features are nice to have, none are essential, and those on a budget will be able to create the same results (albeit with more effort) using a more basic hair dryer.

How I tested the Dyson Nural Supersonic

  • I used it as my primary hair dryer for a month
  • I tested all the attachments and features

For this Dyson Supersonic Nural review, I used it as my primary hair dryer for a full month. I tried out all the various attachments and settings, using it to create a range of different styles and finishes. I compared it to other dryers I've used, including the original Supersonic, in terms of how long it takes to dry and style, and how easy it is to use. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed July 2024

Ruth Hamilton
Homes Editor

Ruth is TechRadar's Homes Editor, reviewing and writing about everything from air fryers to vacuum cleaners to coffee machines, as well as the latest smart home gadgets. She's here to help you find the perfect kit to upgrade your home. Prior to making the shift to Homes, Ruth was TechRadar's Sleep Editor, testing and reviewing mattresses and other sleep products. She's also a certified Sleep Science Coach.