Shark HyperAIR vs Dyson Supersonic: which hair dryer should you choose

There’s no need to pay for an expensive salon blow-out, you can create a hairstyle that’s lustrous and full of bounce from the comfort of your home with one of the best hair dryers. A top-of-the-range hair dryer these days is certainly an investment, but they’re packed with technology that makes it easier and faster to create salon-style bouncy hair, with minimal effort.

If you’re thinking of buying one of the best vacuum cleaners then Dyson and Shark are two brands that will instantly spring to mind, but did you know they’re also rivals in the haircare market too? Dyson launched its first hair-dryer, the Dyson Supersonic back in 2016 and despite being costly, it was an instant hit. Shark is snapping at its heels though, with the HyperAir hair dryer, which is known as the Shark Style iQ in the UK.

So, if you’re wondering what the differences are and how to choose between the Shark HyperAIR vs Dyson Supersonic, we’ve got you covered. Here we’re comparing the two brands in terms of price, design, and features, and having reviewed both models, we’re drawing on our first-hand experience to give you the lowdown on these two hair dryers.

Shark HyperAIR vs Dyson Supersonic: key similarities

  • Both have three separate heat settings as single buttons, and a cool shot for fixing a style
  • They also both derive from vacuum cleaner brands (had to be said)
  • And both are a beautiful beauty appliances in their own, unique way

Shark HyperAIR vs Dyson Supersonic: key differences

  • The Dyson SuperSonic comes with far more attachments for styling the hair, although how useful you'll find all of these is debatable
  • Dyson Supersonic has a 0.4ft/0.2m longer cable than the Shark HyperAir
  • Positioning of the motor is in the handle of the Dyson Supersonic, whereas it's in the handle (as with most hair dryers) on the Shark HyperAir
  • Shark HyperAir has two given names depending on which country you reside - it's Shark Style iQ in the UK - whereas Dyson have kept it more simple with just the one name

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

Shark HyperAIR vs Dyson Supersonic: how we test

We've reviewed both the Shark HyperAir / Style IQ and Dyson Supersonic in our own homes, to blow dry our wet locks. 

When conducting our Shark HyperAIR vs Dyson Supersonic comparison we have tested them exactly the same. This means that we have assessed how quickly they dry below-the-shoulder length (or longer) hair on all the heat and speed settings available to us on the device. We look out for things such as frizz and shine, and the overall finished effect that both the hair dryers have left our manes in after blowdry. The cable length, handy features such as hanging loops and cool shot buttons are also design elements that we look out for.

After testing we can then draw direct comparison between the two hair dryers, which highlights any similarities and differences between them.

Shark HyperAIR vs Dyson Supersonic: Price

Compared to the rest of the market, there’s no denying it: both the Shark HyperAir and the Dyson Supersonic are expensive hair dryers although Shark promo codes could help bring the costs down of the HyperAir.

The HyperAir is the more affordable, setting you back $229.99 / £229.99 (about AU$400), and in the US, the hair dryer is shipped with the concentrator nozzle and an additional style brush attachment that combines a concentrator nozzle with a bristle brush. While in the UK it comes bundled with a concentrator nozzle, but rather than the style brush it has a diffuser, which will be needed by those with naturally curly hair. 

In the US, there’s also another HyperAir bundle that includes the concentrator nozzle, diffuser, styling brush, and an Air Wave, which acts in the same way as a hair curler would, for $249.60, which is better value. 

All of the attachments are also available to purchase separately, with the concentrator nozzle costing $24.99 / £19.99, the diffuser priced at $29.99 / £19.99, and the style brush attachment will set you back $29.99 / £29.99

To add to the confusion, the Air Wave attachment is currently only available in the US and costs $49.95, so you’ll practically need a pen and paper to decide which bundle is right for you.

The Dyson Supersonic is slightly pricer at $430 / £330 / AU$599 and is available worldwide from Dyson, as well as online retailers including Amazon

It comes with five attachments including a diffuser, concentrator nozzle, a wide-tooth comb, a fly away tool designed to smooth hair, and a gentle air attachment that reduces the air flow and temperature for sensitive scalps - this is better value if you’re planning on creating an array of styles with the hair dryer, and you also want to tame flyaways.  Each of the attachments is also available to purchase separately, priced at $39.99 / £30 / AU$99.

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer with attachments on countertop

(Image credit: Future)

Shark HyperAIR vs Dyson Supersonic: Design

When it comes to design, the Shark HyperAir sports the look of a traditional hair dryer with a wide barrel and an angled handle. However, the Dyson Supersonic has a more unusual look with a shorter barrel that packs a handle that sits in the middle, and includes the filter. 

The Shark HyperAir features a champagne-colored finish, while in the UK, the Shark Style iQ 9as its known) comes in a black and rose gold design. The Dyson Supersonic, however, is available in grey with fuschia accents and this year’s limited edition model known as Prussian Blue, which pairs a deep navy color with copper accents. 

Both hair dryers come with three temperature and three speed settings, and they both feature buttons on the rear of the barrel to control these settings. The Shark HyperAir also includes a 8.2 ft / 2.5m power cord, while the cable on the Dyson Supersonic is slightly longer at 9 ft / 2.7m. Neither hair dryer features a hanging loop either. 

Shark HyperAIR vs Dyson Supersonic: Features

When it comes to blow drying hair, we found the pair evenly matched. Both hair dryers offer 1600w of power, which meant the Dyson Supersonic took our damp shoulder-length hair to completely dry in three minutes and 26 seconds, and the Shark HyperAir took three minutes and 56 seconds, adding 30 seconds to drying time... although in the grand scheme of things, that’s not very long at all. 

Both hair dryers left our hair silky-smooth and shiny, with only a few flyaways, although when the Dyson was used with the fly-away attachment it completely eradicated them. We used the hair dryer without an attachment to roughly dry everything but the crown and then used the fly away attachment for the remainder - but it did add 32 seconds to the drying time. 

The Dyson was also marginally quieter in use, registering 74db on our decibel meter, compared to the 76db the Shark HyperAir registered. 

However, there are two areas where the Shark trumps the Dyson. One of which is the diffuser, which has extendable prongs to ensure the roots, as well as the tips of curly hair, are evenly dried, reducing the heat damage.

We were also impressed that, when the concentrator nozzle or diffuser was attached to the hair dryer, the temperature and speed settings were automatically adjusted to the optimum level to use that tool - ideal for anyone that’s unsure of how to use the Shark HyperAir to achieve their desired style. 

The back view of the Shark Style iQ hair dryer

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Shark HyperAIR vs Dyson Supersonic: Verdict

When it comes to choosing the best hair dryer, both the Shark HyperAir and the Dyson Supersonic can dry hair quickly and ensure plenty of smooth shine - we found ourselves leaving the house with a satisfying bounce when using both models.

However, as the Shark HyperAir is slightly more affordable, this is the better choice for most users - particularly if you have curly hair or are unsure about the settings you should be using when blow-drying for different styles.

That said, we do love the variety of attachments offered by the Dyson, so if you want a plethora of ways to create an array of different styles, or you particularly struggle with flyaway strands and want a hair dryer that ensures complete smoothness (plus comes with an attractive Prussian Blue finish) then the Dyson Supersonic is worth a look.

Carrie-Ann Skinner

Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.

With contributions from