First I would like to disclose that I received the Panasonic EH-NA65-K hand-held hair dryer with nanoe™ technology in exchange for my review.
Being a man with average length hair, I am not the target audience for this particular product, but I have used a hair dryer on days I am leaving the house, for forty-plus years. I think that qualifies me to make a few observations based on past experiences.
I have noticed in more than one place that this dryer is referred to as black/pink. The trim color looks red to me under “warm," incandescent light bulbs, but does have a slight pinkish hue in daylight from the window. The main body color is a matte black finish that gives the product an expensive look. While it does not have a cord reel, the long cord is nice to have especially if you are using the dryer someplace other than at a bathroom vanity. The dryer I was using before the Panasonic was delivered has a retractable cord and I do not especially care for it as I found the cord a little on the short side and I never retracted it anyway (it was a hand-me-down from my wife). The switches on the Panasonic for fan speed and air temperature while not Lexus-like in feel, do appear to be a little nicer than other hair dryers I have experienced. The three included accessories easily, but securely, snap on and off of the dryer’s nozzle. Overall, the product makes a good first impression, as it should considering the MSRP price point.
The first thing I noticed about the Panasonic when I used it was that it is noticeably quieter than the dryer I was previously using. Since a hair dryer spends its working life about a foot from your head, I decided to round up all of the dryers I could find (current one, one from a suitcase, and one I took to work to remove stickers) and compare them with the Panasonic using a sound meter app on my phone. I will refer to them as A, B and C. Dryer A has two fan speeds, and it produced 80 and 91 decibels respectively at about 12 inches from my phone. Dryer B has three fan speeds that produce 76, 85, and 87 decibels. Dryer C has two fan speeds and produced 76 and 89 decibels. The Panasonic has two fan speeds and produced 72 and 81 decibels. In my opinion, a very noticeable, and welcomed difference in noise output.
I then checked the heat produced at the nozzle using a hand-held, laser-aimed, infrared thermometer. I checked a few different spots at the nozzle exit and aimed from the side so that I wasn’t aiming directly at the heating coils. I also did not take measurements of the “cool” setting as that is just the fan blowing air without the heating elements running. All of these hair dryers claim 1875 watts of heating “power," so I kind of expected similar temperatures on their “high” heat settings. Dryer A has two heat settings and produces temperatures of 117 and 148 degrees Fahrenheit with the fan running on the low setting. Dryer B cannot adjust heat and fan settings separately and since it has three fan speeds, it has three heat settings also, producing 108, 125, and 157 degrees Fahrenheit. Dryer C (again separate speed and heat adjustability) produces 126 and 144 degrees, both while using low speed on the fan. The Panasonic EH-NA65-K with separately controlled fan speed and heat settings (in my opinion, the only correct way to make a hair dryer), produces 110 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit on the low fan speed.
The last thing I could measure objectively was the weight of the hair dryers. This can make a difference for some people when they have to wave this thing around their head for 10 minutes or more if they have long, thick hair. Dryer A which happens to be an ionic dryer and the one with the retractable cord, weighs 1 pound 3 ounces. Dryers B and C which are bare-bones and inexpensive, weigh 13 ounces and 12 ounces respectively. The Panasonic which at first glance looks somewhat big and bulky, also weighs 1 pound 3 ounces. All weights were taken on an electronic, digital food scale with the cord supported so that it didn’t influence the measurement. I have also attached a picture of the four dryers to illustrate their relative dimensions.
Would I recommend this hair dryer based on performance…absolutely. At this price…definitely not for everyone.