Who doesn’t like dry hands? Dyson have been at the forefront of bathroom technology since the introduction of their iconic (and polarising) Airblade machines. Personally I’ve been waiting for James and co to unleash their version of Demolition Man’s “Three Seashells” but until that day (and it is coming), I’ve been making do with Dyson Airblade dB – which is now 50% quieter.
Noise has never been a real issue for me – I try to keep conversation in the toilet to a minimum and gushing blasts of hot air are a great way from keeping conversations about “the match” or “the trains’ from reaching my ears. I will also happily listen to Merzbow and Boredoms records. However, I don’t have small children with delicate ears – nor do I work in trade locations where noise is a real issue.
The engineers have redesigned the blades on the original Dyson Airblade hand dryer and altered the angle at which the air travels. Each machine already packs a Helmholtz silencer inside but this has been tweaked in order to reduce irritating frequencies – those resonating at 1500htz.
“But surely this will have an effect on quality?” No of course not – especially if you know Bettridge’s law of headlines. According to the man himself James Dyson said: “Powerful machines create noise. Others might decelerate their motor; reducing airflow – and therefore performance – to make machines they claim to be ‘quiet’. But by focusing on acoustic engineering, Dyson engineers ensured that Airblade is still the fastest hand dryer, but with reduced volume”.
Two sheets of high velocity unheated air travel through 0.4mm scallop-shaped (so close to three seashells!) apertures acting like virtual windscreen wipers, scraping hands dry. The scallop resemblance isn’t just a quirky design feature, but instead intended to increase the distance the two sheets of air travel. They’ve also tweaked the angle of the air exciting the machine so the colliding sheets make even less sound – finally dry hands and nuanced bathroom conversation are no longer mutually exclusive.
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While the initial outlay is far from cheap, the running costs are much lower – the Dyson Airblade dB hand dryer is able to dry 18 pairs of hands for the price of a single paper towel (which struggled to dry a single pair).
The Dyson Airblade dB is out now with a recommended retail price of £699.99