Whether you need to replace a Braun or want to buy your first, you need to know whether the Series 9 is worth the extra money you will shell out. To determine which one is better, it’s time for our Series 7 versus Series 9 showdown.
The Braun Series 9 outperforms the Series 7 in the speed and comfort categories. Because of its additional shaving elements, the Series 9 performs better with thick, coarse hair. However, the Braun Series 9 costs almost twice as much, and you will need to decide if the faster shave is worth the extra cost.
Braun’s shavers have an excellent reputation as electric shavers, but you might be wondering if the Series 9 shavers live up to that reputation.
Basic Features of the Braun Series 9
Let’s start with performance features.
5 shaving elements. The head of the Series 9 consists of a titanium lift and cut trimmer, a skin guard, a direct and cut trimmer, and 2 OptiFoils to protect your skin.
Flex head. The cutting elements are mounted on a pivoting head so that you get more skin contact.
Sonic technology. The Series 9000 shaver performs 40,000 cross-cutting actions every minute. The 32bit chip helps the shaver adjust power as needed.
Those features combine to give you a gentle and close shave. However, Braun doesn’t stop there. The Series 9000 shaver also has a trimmer for shaping beards or sideburns. The trimmer slides out of the back of the shaver.
The flexible shaver head can be locked in five positions, which helps when shaving jawlines and sensitive areas, such as under your nose.
Whether you shave dry or use a foam or gel, the waterproof Braun can handle either. Braun Series 9 shavers are waterproof.
Braun claims the Li-Ion+ battery will give you a month of shaves on one charge. If you forgot to charge up the battery, a five-minute charge will provide you with enough juice for a shave.
The Li-Ion batteries have no memory effect, and their discharge rate is low. For those who travel overseas, the Braun automatically adapts to different voltages.
Basic Features of the Braun Series 7
These are the performance features of the Series 7 and how they compare to the Series 9.
- 3 shaving elements. The Braun has 3 instead of five shaving elements. The 2 OptiFoils and a center skin guard.
- Flex head. The flex head rotates 360 degrees, which is good. The Series 9 head pivots in 10 directions, giving a little more flexibility.
- Auto Sense Technology. Both the Series 7 and 9 rely on Autosense technology, although the Series 7 does not have the additional sonic feature. It’s difficult to tell how much of a difference that makes.
The Series 7 has the same performance features, but they are not quite as advanced. That is to be expected, as the 9 is a newer model. The question is whether you would be able to tell the difference in your shave.
Series 7 Differences
As to the battery, the Li-Ion battery still has a five-minute quick charge feature. Charge time is a week less than the Series 9. Both shavers are waterproof and can be used for dry or wet shaving.
The most significant difference is the Series 7 approach to how to groom beards and sideburns. While the Series 9 has a flip-out trimmer, the 7 uses an EasyClick feature, which allows you to click different heads onto your shaver. You can buy up to five attachments:
- Beard trimmer
- Precision trimmer
- Body groomer
- Cleansing brush
Although those sound great at first glance, we are not sure if they are worth the hassle. With the Series 9 (and the older Series 7), you can pop up the trimmer while the shaver is still running. The EasyClick system requires you to turn the machine off, remove the shaving cassette, and then snap on the attachments.
If you trim a beard, this feature could be useful. However, getting the heads off is tricky, and they are made of plastic. If you regularly trim a beard, you might be better off with a separate beard trimmer.
Both Series 7 and 9 have a cleaning station. There are some differences between the two, but you will not be able to use them interchangeably. If you have a Series 7 and plan to update to a 9, you can’t buy the shaver by itself—you will have to buy the cleaning station for the 9.
An odd quirk is that the Series 9 solo model will not work with a cleaning station. Another, more serious issue is that the new Series 7 models do not have an active drying system in their cleaning station. If you read a review that claims they do, it has not been updated to reflect the most recent changes.
The Series 9 cleaning station uses a fan to dry the shaver’s head, a process that takes about 40 minutes. The Series 7 air dries the head. Even though cleaning foil shaving heads manually is straightforward, the Braun cleaning stations perform two important functions—sanitizing and lubricating.
Which Model Should You Purchase?
The Series 7 is for you if
- You have sensitive skin, and your beard is moderate
- You shave more frequently
- You are satisfied with an excellent shaver and don’t want to break the bank
The Series 9 is for you if
- Your skin is extremely sensitive, and you have coarse or wiry facial hair
- You want the fastest shave
- You don’t shave every day
- You want a shaver that will also shave your head
The AutoSense Technology of the Braun Series 9
So what exactly is Autosense technology, besides a marketing gimmick?
Braun says that both the Series 7 and Series 9 can “read your beard,” delivering more or less power depending on your beard’s thickness. Braun claims this happens 13 times a second. A thicker patch of hair or as you make micro-moment changes in your speed, the AutoSense technology responds to those adjustments more quickly than you could.
Braun advertises the Series 9 is the “world’s most efficient shaver.” How exactly did they decide that? Braun bases that claim on a series of 11 independent tests on 3-day beards. Half of the tests were based on objective measures of the length of hair. The other tests were subjective tests where consumers rated the shaves.
The models tested included Philips Series 9000 models, two Panasonic Lamdash 5 models, and the Remington ShartEdge Pro. The tests were done on 3-day old beards using a split-face mode—one half shaved with the Braun 9 and the other side with a competitor. In each trial, the Philips Series 9000 was judged to have a closer, more efficient, and gentler shave.
An interesting side note: In the 1970s, Schick made some claims about their Flexamatic shaver. They had to walk back claims about their Flexamatic shaver after the National Advertising Review Board said they weren’t accurate. Since then, shaver manufacturers have been careful making claims they can’t substantiate.
Both Series 7 and 9 are excellent foil shavers. If you want a close shave and have sensitive skin, both are excellent choices. It comes down to how much money you want to spend. Can you settle for a Porsche, or do you need a Ferrari?