Braun Shaver Reviews

Braun Series 7 790CC Review

Braun Series 7 790CC

Main features at a glance:

  • Pulsonic Technology with 10,000 micro vibrations per second to help capture more hair
  • 3 Personalization Modes for a more individual shave, from sensitive to intensive
  • ActiveLift captures flat-lying hair in problem areas for a smooth and precise shave
  • OptiFoil – for the closest Braun shave ever
  • Contour-adaptive shaving head
  • Pop-up precision long hair trimmer
  • Wet and dry shaving
  • Clean & Renew – at the touch of a button automatically cleans, charges and lubricates to keep the shaver feeling like new every day
  • Quick 5 minute charge for up to 50 minutes of cordless shaving

Braun hardly needs an introduction as one of the top electric shaver brands. Perhaps taking a cue from BMW, their product lineup comprises three models: The Series 7, Series 5 and Series 3. Series 7 is their top of the line, Series 5 midrange and Series 3 budget.

Let’s take a closer look at one of their most popular premium models, the Braun Series 7 790CC.

Design and Build quality

At first glance, the 790CC could easily pass as a lightsaber hilt – one used by a Jedi master. The clean monotone industrial design is all business, with its all-seeing blue eye staring down your beard – which is probably wetting its follicles in fear at this point.

In your hand it feels like a finely crafted weapon, perfectly balanced and immediately at home as an extension of your body.

Performance

Being part of its flagship series, the 790CC is loaded with every bell and whistle Braun has to offer and is packed with some impressive new technology.

The features unique to Braun are the Pulsonic micro-vibration and ActiveLift technologies. When working together with the contour-adaptive swiveling head, this shaver goes through your stubble like a light saber through, well, just about anything. Anything and butter.

The ActiveLift grill works its magic by propping the hairs up – including those stubborn flat-lying ones – so that they’re ready to be fed into the OptiFoil grill where razor sharp blades that vibrate 10,000 times per second seal their fate.

Because of its cold hair-cutting efficiency, you’ll rarely need more than a couple of passes to get the job done, resulting in a smooth razor blade-like shave with little to no skin irritation.

It’s also a very quiet performer – you probably won’t know if it’s actually on until you put it to your face or look at the glowing LCD display. If you live in a small apartment this is a pretty big plus – no more waking up the missus while you take care of Darth Mane.

The 790CC is a 100% waterproof wet/dry shaver, so it’s good for use in the shower too. It’s bundled with Braun’s Clean & Renew cleaning system, which is indicated by the “CC” suffix. It’s an unnecessary upsell feature that makes zero difference to the shaving experience, but some people will appreciate the automatic cleaning function.

Conclusion

The Braun 790CC is hands down the best foil shaver out there. If you’re looking for a top performer with all the nice extras, look no further. The Force is strong with this one.

Pros: As close as you’re going to get to a manual razor shave, solid engineering and build quality, good ergonomics, quiet operation, comes with Clean & Renew system for easy maintenance. Plus you get to pretend you’re a Jedi.

Cons: Clean & Renew system base takes up significant of space and requires refills. On the pricey side, but the saying “you get what you pay for” applies here.

 

Braun Series 5 550CC Review

Braun Series 5 550CC

Main features at a glance:

  • Contour-adaptive shaving head easily adapts around jaw line and under the chin
  • ActiveLift captures flat-lying hair in problem areas for a smooth and precise shave
  • Triple action cutting system shaves progressively closer
  • OptiFoil – for the closest Braun shave ever
  • Pop-up precision long hair trimmer
  • Clean & Renew – at the touch of a button automatically cleans, charges and lubricates to keep the shaver feeling like new every day
  • Quick 5 minute charge

The Series 5 is Braun’s mid-range line, offering most of the Series 7’s features at a more affordable price point. How does it compare to its older sibling?

Design and Build quality

The 550CC is a gorgeous piece of machinery, with a brooding matte black surface paired with glossy accents and a metallic crown. If it were a Transformer, it would probably be a Decepticon. A cool Decepticon like Soundwave, not slimy Starscream. When docked with the included Clean & Renew cleaning system, it could be easily mistaken as a futuristic art piece.

Quality-wise it feels like a well-polished hair-killing machine, sharing a similar high quality build as the Series 7. So now that we’ve determined that, yes, this is one sexy looking mofo – can it perform to expectations?

Performance

The short answer is: Yes. It’s helped by the fact that it retains most of the higher-end Series 7’s best features, namely the contour-adaptive shaving head, ActiveLift, OptiFoil and precision long hair trimmer. That’s a lot of marketing-speak, but what it means is that it essentially delivers a similar quality shave as the more expensive Series 7 models at a more agreeable price point.

So what’s the difference? For one, the Series 5 models lack the customized settings (sensitive, normal, and intense) of its higher end counterparts, but it’s not a big compromise.

Where the differences become apparent is the blade engine. While the Series 7 will mow through three day’s worth of growth without as much as a twitch, the Series 5’s slightly less powerful motor might require a couple more passes to get the job done.

But it’s by no means a slouch. The differences are relative, and judged on its own merits, the 550CC is one of the top performers in its price range. Bottom line is, it gets the same job done, but slightly slower. If you don’t plan to keep a thick bushy beard, there is probably little reason to spend the extra dollars for a marginally faster shaving experience.

Conclusion

The Braun 550CC is a solid mid-range offering that shares a lot of the same DNA as its pricier older siblings. It lacks some of the bells and whistles of the Series 7, but nothing that affects what really matters: a decent shave. And in that, it delivers with aplomb. Its rival the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 2D 1150X is worth considering if you prefer rotary over foil, but the 550CC definitely belongs in anyone’s shortlist.

Pros: Comparable performance to the more expensive Series 7, stylish industrial design, excellent build quality, great overall value. Comes bundled with the Clean & Renew system for easy maintenance.

Cons: Lacks sensitivity settings feature of the Series 7, Clean & Renew system base takes up significant of space and requires refills. Doesn’t transform into a robot.

Braun Series 3 380S-4 Review

 

Braun Series 3 380S-4

Main features at a glance:

  • New SensoFoil design
  • Triple Action FreeFloat System
  • Wet & Dry shaving
  • Precision long hair trimmer
  • Fully washable for easy cleaning
  • 3-stage LED display for low charge & battery status
  • Cordless use for up to 45 minutes
  • Quick charge option

The 380S-4 is the best-selling model from the Braun 3 Series entry-level range. How does it stack up to the Series 5 and 7?

Design and Build quality

If you like blue, you’re going to have a good time with the Braun 380S-4. You might even catch yourself humming Eiffel 65 as you go at it. Don’t worry, it’s ok.

The 380S-4 sports a futuristic design that would look perfectly at home in a sci-fi movie starring Tom Cruise, who is in his bathroom one fine morning intensely shaving his beard in intense Tom Cruise slo-mo, and then suddenly – BOOM – an alien spaceship crashes through his apartment and he stares at the explosion intensely, and uses the shaver to tase an alien foolish enough to enter the intense gaze of Tom Cruise…

Aaaaand as we’ve come to expect of Braun, there’s nothing entry-level about the quality: The shaver feels fantastic in the hand with a reassuring heft, and the build quality is top-notch. Now on to the good stuff!

Performance

The 380S-4 features Braun’s SensoFoil tech, which opts for rounded honeycomb perforations on the foil over the standard circular pattern of other manufacturers. It’s great at capturing short hairs, and because it gets more hairs with every stroke, it means fewer passes and less skin irritation.

While it doesn’t have the contour-adaptive shaving head of the Series 5 and 7, it does have the Triple Action FreeFloat System that takes care of those tricky areas of your face like the neck and jawline really well. The system features two cutters for short hairs and a trimmer sandwiched in the middle for long hairs, all three elements floating independently to ensure a smooth shave regardless of the terrain.

One great feature on all recent Braun shavers is the pop-up trimmer. It’s great that they included it with the Series 3. It comes in handy when you’re shaping your sideburns and that tricky area between your nose and mustache. They could have easily decided to omit that feature to better segment the models, but they didn’t, so props to Braun for that.

Unless you’re traveling and forgot to bring the charger with you, battery life is not going to be an issue. The 380S-4 is rated for up to 45 minutes on a full charge, but you’ll be able to get a full shave in after a quick 5-minute charge.

Conclusion

The 380S-4’s shave quality doesn’t quite match the closeness of the Series 7, but it’s not a huge difference, unlike the price. For a lot less money than the Series 7, you get a very solid Braun shaver with very few compromises. It’s perfect for first timers or those on a tight budget.

Pros: Great all-round performer, works wet and dry, easy to maintain, fantastic value at under $100, plus it looks great in blue.

Cons: Doesn’t come with the Clean & Renew system bundled with the higher end series, (but some people prefer it that way, avoiding an unnecessary added cost), many other good options from competing brands at similar prices.

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