Braun's 9 Series shavers focus on a smooth shave to win over buyers. And to ensure that the blades glide over the skin, the manufacturer promises ultra-fast cutting actions (40,000 per second) and the most flexible head.
The Braun Serie 9 9390CC shaver, which can easily be found for €250, uses a system of oscillating foils at a speed of 10,000 strokes per minute to accomplish its mission of removing all traces of facial hair. Four shaving zones are located on the ultra-flexible head stamped 10D. In total, the Braun Serie 9 9390CC performs 40,000 shaving strokes per second, although it adapts its performance to the density of the beard thanks to a sensor that takes 13 measurements per second. This waterproof model can run dry or underwater and its Li-ion battery ensures stable power, even after the promised 60 minutes of operation.
The Braun Series 9 9390CC is without a doubt the manufacturer's premium shaver. Unlike a model like the Series 3 3030s, which is dressed in a layer of red honeycombed "soft-foam" material that emphasizes its sporty side, the Series 9 sports a metallic color dress... but plastic; too bad. You'd think the smooth, shiny front would make the shaver slippery with wet hands. But Braun avoids this by covering the back with rubber. If we add to this a shape that, without being "ergonomic", is perfectly adapted to the palm of the hand, the Series 9 fits well in the hand, even when splashed; a good point since it is waterproof and therefore likely to be used in the shower.
Electric shavers aren't complicated to operate and the Series 9 9390CC is no exception. Its control panel has only two buttons. The first, with a circle with a stripe, is for turning the unit on or off. The second, just above, is used to lock (or unlock) the shaving head. We've seen more complicated. However, there is a subtlety: it is possible to block the shaver so that it does not turn on unexpectedly - by pressing the stop button for 5 seconds. To get it out of this state, a second 5-second press is required.
The whole thing is completed by a display that uses simple bars (5 in total) to give an estimate of the remaining autonomy; on a device of this price range, we would have appreciated something a little more precise, like the percentages of the Philips Oneblade Pro QP6620/20. The light indicator also gives information about shaving head changeover. When you turn off the Series 9, an icon representing the latter lights up to the left of the famous bricks; when they have all disappeared (after 18 months if we trust the instructions), it is time to replace it.
The Braun Series 9 9390CC isn't for hipsters who take pride in their beards and enjoy maintaining and trimming them with care. However, it has a small trimmer that you can deploy by pressing a button on the back of the shaver. Be careful, this one is only suitable for touch-ups and it is unthinkable to use it for any other function. Once the stubborn hairs have been eradicated, the trimmer is folded away with an august movement of the thumb.
The main shaving head is 27 mm wide and 43 mm long. This means it covers a much larger area than the three rotating foils of a model like the Philips Series 7000 S7786/50. On the other hand, even though Braun has promised that the Series 9's D10 head is very flexible, it seems to us to be much less mobile than the Philips'. For example, the tips do not swing up and down; it is the grids that "sink" into the head that allow this movement, with a necessarily reduced amplitude. It is therefore necessary to turn the head often, and to find certain very precise positions of the face and the wrist to shave certain areas, close to the masseters, among others.
The Braun Series 9 9390CC comes with a hard case for transport, but more importantly, it comes with a "Clean & Charge" cleaning base, into which a cassette of cleaning and lubricating agent must be inserted. Catching fingerprints in less time than it takes to say "disgusting", this base can also be used to recharge the shaver. Simply place the device upside down on the base to charge it. If a drip icon appears on the Series 9 indicator, the head needs to be cleaned. Pressing the button on the "Clean & Charge" station starts the process; the Series 9 head will have been blocked beforehand.
You can also run the Series 9 under clean water to remove excess foam or gel and cut hair, but this will not lubricate the blades. A mini-brush is provided by the manufacturer to reach hard-to-reach areas, although it should not be used to clean the shaving head according to the instructions.
The Braun Series 9 is a shaver and not a trimmer, so it has all the difficulties in the world to cut the hairs a little long, but it is not what we ask. The little trimmer is only there for occasional touch-ups, if only because of its location behind the shaving head, which doesn't necessarily make it easy to use.
On the other hand, the 9390CC works wonders for removing short hairs. The combination of the 4 shaving zones and the very fast vibrations (10,000 strokes per minute) not only provide a perfect glide, but also a clean cut, even if you sometimes have to go back to catch some really short hairs.
The Braun Series 9 is best used on large surfaces, where it is very effective. Because of the shape and size of the head, it is very difficult to shave small areas like the philtrum, although you can do it by twisting your wrist.
The noise level of the Braun Series 9 9390CC is comparable to other electric foil shavers. At a few millimeters (to simulate shaving close to the ears), the sound level meter shows 68 dB(A). At a distance of 5 cm (the average distance between the ear and the cheeks), the noise level rises to 68 dB(A), and at a distance of 20 cm (about 20 cm), the noise level does not exceed 58 dB(A), which corresponds to a shave on the neck.
Of course, the Braun Series 9 is noisier than a OneBlade shaver, due to a bigger and more powerful motor.
Like the vast majority of other electric shavers in our comparison, the Braun SerieS 9 can be cleaned by simply running the head under water. We also recommend removing the head to access the small drive shafts and to clear the space of any hair that may be trapped there.
Of course, the best solution is to entrust the maintenance of the 9390CC to the cleaning base. However, you will have to change the refill quite regularly. The manual recommends a replacement every 4 weeks. The base also includes indicator lights to warn the user that it is time to think about renewing the cleaning fluid.
It takes 75 minutes to fully charge the Braun Series 9, either in the cradle or plugged directly into the mains. Once fully charged, it can run for almost two hours (110 minutes exactly), making it one of the longest lasting shavers in our comparison.
Totally unsuitable for beard trimming, the Braun Series 9 9390CC does its job (removing short hairs) with efficiency. Its massive head allows you to process large areas quickly, in a few strokes, which is always nice when you're in a hurry in the morning. On the downside, it lacks a little precision. Good point, the "Clean & Charge" station (despite its very messy side) greatly facilitates the maintenance and use of the Series 9, even if you have to replace the cartridges at a high price.