on December 28, 2011
I have had several Braun shavers over the years, and so far this has been one of the best. My first Braun served me well and lasted six years. The battery eventually wouldn't take a charge, and I had to buy a new one. The last Braun was a disaster. It was a series 3, but I bought it at a retail store. It did not give a close shave, and the trimmer was a nightmare. It only lasted about three years and literally fell apart. I was reluctant to get another Braun 3 series, but figured I'd give it a try. I'm glad I did. The 380S-4 is very quiet, it shaves very close, (much better than any other foil shaver I've owned), the trimmer is great, and the ability to move two of the heads so you can trim between your nose and moustache is nice. I've only had this two weeks, so I will update the review if I find I am having any problems.
It feels solid, and unlike the last Braun, I don't have to go over my face a million times to get a smooth shave.
The zippered case is nice, but you can't put the cord in it. They also don't give you a plastic guard for the shaver head to protect it. I keep it in the case instead.
Overall, I'd recommend this shaver. You can also use it wet if you like and you don't have to use their Clean and Renew system for this shaver.
I've had this shaver for over 6 months, and still think it is a great shaver. I've timed the battery life on two occasions and total shaving time comes to 45 minutes on a full charge. There are two green lights that stay on when the shaver is charged. As the battery drains the lights go out one at a time. The first green light goes out at approximately 13 minutes. The second one goes out and the red blinking light comes on after 31 minutes. I was able to continue shaving for an average of 13-14 minutes after the red light started blinking. The only comment I would make, would be it would be nice if you could shave while the shaver was charging. If it stops, you have to plug it in and wait 5 minutes or so before you can finish your shave. For me, the 45 minutes allows me to recharge the shaver about every two weeks.
I've had the shaver for over 1 year now and still happy with it. Battery life is still pretty good. I didn't let the battery run down all the way, but I've used it for two weeks without charging and a total of 42 1/2 minutes of use. After the red light comes on you still have about 12-13 minutes of use. I bought an extra shaving cassette to have on hand, but shaving is still close, quiet and comfortable.
Still like the Braun Shaver after two years. Battery life a little shorter but still good for almost two weeks. Here is a table of run time:
Braun Shaver - Purchased 12/14/2011
Date............1st Light.......Red Light.......Total Time.......Time after red light
In spite of what tph1983 thinks, I'm not psychotic nor am I am employee of Braun. I hope my review is helpful. Battery life is important, especially when this particular shaver will only run on battery and not with the cord plugged in. After two and a half years, the battery still runs for approximately two weeks (average 3 minutes/day) and a total of 42 minutes before it totally runs out of power. The first light comes on at approximately 13 minutes, and the red light at 31 minutes. The shaver charges fully in 1 hour. It still gives a good shave, and I've only recently changed the shaving cassette. I still would recommend this shaver.
Braun 3Series 380S-4 Wet & Dry Shaver
on December 15, 2011
Braun 3Series 380S-4 Wet & Dry Shaver
Received my new Braun 380S-4 Wet & Dry Shaver from my UPS man today. I have been using Norelco Wet Dry Shavers for years now and have been very happy with them with the exception of my last one (Philips Norelco 8020X) which isn't bad but I wouldn't call it great either.
Several disadvantages to the Philips Norelco 8020X is that you have to use it wet as the moisturizing fluid keeps the shaving stubble from getting all over your bathroom sink. The other issue is the difficultly it has always been in getting replacement containers of moisturizer for it, the shaver uses a propitiatory version of HS803 Nivea which not every store caries in stock.
One last negative I have is when shaving my neck area, despite the fact that all three heads "Float" I never get a close shave with the shaver even after "scrubbing" my face over and over again with the shaver. It drives me up the wall.
Enter the Braun 3Series 380S-4 Wet & Dry Shaver:
I used it today after the recommended 4 hour charge time and while the shaver is new I am not new to electric shaving. This being the case I feel my skin is already adjusted to it. I used the shaver before getting into the shower and so I shaved with it dry.
Several things that I already like about it are:
1. One can use standard, over the shelf shaving cream with it, which I consider shaving wet.
Charges very fast: 5 min of charge will get you through one shave or 1 hour charge for 45 min of shaving which I think equates to 1 month of standard everyday shaving.
2. I used and do like the built it side burn cutters. The cutters are angled in such a convenient way as you dont have to hold the shaver in some strange angle and unlike my previous Norelco you dont have to snap the trimmer on/off every time you use them.
3. Using the shaver on my neck area was a cinch, up/down Done!
4. The shave was very close and despite the fact that I didnt use any gel or shaving cream the shaving head captured all of the stubble. A lot less mess now that I have to clean up.
5. One more thing I like: The shaver feels very solid in your hand. Its styled very nice, great color combinations and looks fantastic.
As for what the shaver comes with:
Charging stand- Which you can use or not, the power cord plugs into both the shaver or stand (great for going on vacation, if you forget your stand your not outta luck)
Nice semi hard case for both shaver and Power Cord
Cleaning Brush & a small tube of oil for maintenance purposes.
Looking forward to many years of service with this shaver
on November 28, 2011
I've used this shaver for a few weeks now and am very impressed. In fact, I'm so impressed I just purchased a second one last night for my travel bag I keep with me in my car. I only use it wet with Edge Ultra Sensitive Shave Gel after wetting my face with water as from past experience with other electric shavers that always provides for a far superior shave, hence why I wanted this wet/dry shaver. If you've never tried a wet electric shave, have tough to cut hair, and you shave near a sink, I highly recommend trying it. I haven't tried this shaver dry, so I can not comment on its dry performance.
I primarily use this shaver for my upper lip and the area around my chin, my upper neck (which it still does an amazing job with), and lips since my hair grows even tougher in these areas, they're hard to shave on, and I often end up gashing myself if I use a regular blade. I do find I have to push pretty hard to get a close shave, and I'm wondering what that's going to do to the life of the foil/cutters, but at least this shaver has yet to nick me! As with other electric shavers (and to a lesser extend blades even), it may take up to 5-10 passes over my skin to cut my hair thoroughly, and I also make sure I pull/stretch my skin against the direction my hair grows in so that my hair pops out more off my skin.
I still use a blade in combination with this (Gillette Fusion Proglide Power) on the rest of my face, and for touching up. I've tried many electric shavers in the past - Braun, Norelco, Remington, Panasonic, and Sanyo shavers and they've all let me down, draining me of thousands of dollars. I had been previously using a Sanyo SV-RX10 shaver for several years that I purchased several of since it was the best of the wet/dry shavers that I tried that would even semi-work with my thick tough hair. Unfortunately though I had two of them that just died, the foil/cutter assembly didn't last long, and the shaver itself was cheaper than getting the replacement foil/cutter assembly from only one of two sources that sold it!
I was hesitant to try a Braun again due to a bad experience with one of their higher end shavers in the $200 range that I ended up returning. It was so loud it would wake up the entire house and I would have had a better shave running the edge of a pair of scissors down my face. This Braun 380S-4 not only does an even superior job to the Sanyo I liked, but it's also far quieter than the Sanyo as well as the previous Braun I tried, while still having lots of power in the motor. Not only is the motor and blade motion quieter, but when I first used it I didn't even think it was cutting my hair at all since with other electric shavers I've been able to hear them cut my hair. It also comes with a nice travel case, though there isn't space in it to hold the charger unfortunately.
My only concern so far with the Braun 380S-4 is the replacement foil/cutter (apparently part number 32s/b) that is available as of writing this is not of the same design (at least the foil) as included with the 380S-4 new. So, I'm hoping the older design will be discontinued soon in favor of the foil design on this shaver with regular circular holes instead of the random sized/shaped holes on the older design that doesn't let my hair through.
I can't comment on extended use and the life of the foil/cutter assembly (which is always a gross exaggeration by manufacturers) since I haven't had it long enough to even charge a second time, but I might update this review at a later date when I can provide some more feedback. One last note: you can find additional reviews on Amazon's UK site (amazon.co.uk). This is where I read the inital reviews for this shaver since there was only a couple here at the time I purchased this.
on December 12, 2012
I bought this electric shaver on a whim to replace my Philips Norelco 8040X Moisturizing Shaving System, which gave me the closest shave I ever had from an electric. The shaving lotion appears to have been discontinued so I was looking into the Braun 7 series. But before I could pull the trigger on the Braun Series 7 Series 7-720S Pulsonic Shaver, Black, I found the Braun 380S-4 at a good price. I decided to try it out knowing that I could use the 60 day return policy. I like this shaver but there are a few things that could be better. First, the pros.
Pros: For the 3-Series (low end model), the shaver does not feel cheap. I've been using the shaver for over a month now and it seems well constructed, although the power button encasing (silver circle around the button) has started making a clicking noise if you touch the top part of the circle. The sensofoil (name of the foil on the 3-Series) does not cause any visible irritation on my skin. This is a huge improvement over the old Braun Series 5 (8985) Men's Shaver (AKA 360 Complete) I used to own which left red marks all over my neck. I even went running immediately after using the 380S and when I returned there was no irritation on my skin, which used to happen all the time with the 360 Complete. I like how I can clean this shaver under the tap like I used to do with my 8040X, something I couldn't do with the 360 Complete. One of the best things about this particular Braun is that it comes with a charging stand, not to be confused with a clean and renew stand. I find this accessory invaluable for those that don't want to have to purchase the cleaning solution to use with the clean and renew stands because the stand allows the shaver to be stored vertically on the bathroom counter, which I think helps with drying. Plus I don't like leaving the shaver laying on the counter. The stand can be used to charge the shaver by plugging the power cord into the base, but the cord can be plugged directly into the shaver for charging, which is nice if you don't want to bring the stand with you when you go on a trip.
Cons: Being that this shaver is the 3-Series, one feature it lacks the "Contour Adaptive Shaving Head," which ensures that the shaver foil is always contacting your face at a 90 degree angle, ensuring the most contact between your face and the foils. This feature would be best served when shaving over the jawline, removing the most hair. It also lacks the active lift feature, but on the 360 Complete, that feature was useless. It is supposed to help cut longer hairs that are laying down, moreso than the middle trimmer on the 3-Series shavers. The feature may have improved over the years, but I can't comment on it with the current 7-Series shavers (note: 360 Complete has been retroactively categorized as part of the 5-Series). There are other other features that are not included when compared to the 7-Series that I cannot comment on (pulsonic, sensitivity modes). As far as the shave itself, it does not appear as close as the 8040X, although it is pretty close. The shave will leave patches of stubble, so you will have to go over some areas repeatedly, which costs time but does not really add much irritation.
To be honest, if the 720-S came with a charging stand, I would trade in my 380S in a heartbeat. But I confirmed with Braun customer service that the 720-S does not include such a stand. I think that I will stick with the 380S for now, but I am still tempted to try the 7-Series or a high end Panasonic model.
on October 6, 2012
I wrote this a year ago and I was SO wrong:
This shaver is an excellent choice if you're looking for a foil shaver that does wet-dry. I prefer foil shavers to Norelco rotary and I like the wet shaving experience. If those two things are important to you, look no further.
I bought mine because my Panasonic ES quit working after less than a year. There are not many wet-dry foil alternatives to the aggravating Panasonic shavers. But this one is better in just about every way.
The Braun shaves about as close as an electric can. That's not because of a pivoting head or multiple motors: It's because the blades are sized for maneuverability and the the shaver fits well in your hand. These are some of the other things that I consider major plusses:
1. The indicator lights tell you how much battery charge is left. But there are no fancy icons telling you when to clean the shaver. And no numbers telling you how many minutes a shave lasted. I think simpler is better-- fewer digital features means fewer things to malfunction.
2. The "on" switch is located in a position that makes it very difficult to accidentally turn on when traveling. At first, I wished for a "travel lock" feature like you'll find on many Norelcos and Panasonics. But the positioning of the switch makes that unnecessary.
3. Unlike other Brauns, you're not forced to use a cleaning system that requires expensive refills. This shaver is very easy to clean with your own alcohol.
If you love technology and care about advanced electronics or cleaning systems, this Braun probably isn't for you. But if your priority is getting a great shave, the 380S-4 won't disappoint.
UPDATE: I prefer wet shaving and have used various creams, soaps, and foams. These were nearly impossible to clean out of the cheap plastic parts inside the shaver. Every plastic part is crammed tightly into a space that cannot be reached. While attempting to clean these nooks with alcohol and a toothbrush, I managed to break two of the parts that were corroded and caked with soap residue.
The bottom line: Braun built its reputation on dry electric shavers and is relatively new to wet-dry technology. I believe that this is their only wet-dry model at the time I am writing. It's a decent foil shaver if you only use it dry. But if you use it wet, you'll find it very difficult to clean and maintain. The plastic is cheap Chinese mass production at its worst. If you want quality wet-dry electric shaving, look at other brands.
on October 12, 2013
This is the first electric shaver I have ever owned. I love it to death.
This Model is fantastic, and I am so glad I picked this one. There is another low-end version of this shaver, but with this one has a great zip-closure carrying case and a more detailed battery light indicator: the low-end version has a plastic cover (to protect the razors) and a 2-light battery indicator (the high-end one I am talking about has 3).
Why is the razer so good? Because its simple... and effective.
This razer doesn't have many breakable parts. It feels incredible sturdy, and the rubber really lets you have a good grip to shave. I can't describe how sturdy this razor feels. It doesn't feel flimsy or delicate in the least.
This razer has incredibly long battery life. No lie. It came to me half charged, but it said to charge it fully for 4 hours before I used it. Which is what i did, everytime thereafter it has charged fully in one hour. The battery life on this product is said to last a week with regular shaving, well, it didn't last that long for me. It lasted 3 weeks. I shaved everyday, the little stubble that I had grown over night, and it seriously lasted me FOREVER. I was starting to think if I even needed a charger. This is great, because now when I go on a vacation or spend the night in a hotel, I don't have to carry any cords around! Just this shaver.
On the back of this product is a sideburn trimmer. You just press a little button, and slide it up. It extended beyond the regular shavers, in case you were wondering. I would advise to turn the razer off before sliding up the trimmer, though. Just a little tip I think would help in keeping it last longer. This is a great feature, because now you don't need to do anything else to trim up! Just pop it up, trim. Done.
Now for the best feature... ITS A WET AND DRY RAZOR. Seriously, how slick!
If you need to do a quick shave to clear that stumble. Go for it. It only takes a few minutes, and you don't need to use any cream. HOWEVER, if you want to have the closest shave ever... use some cream. I use super sensitive cream with oatmeal, and I couldn't believe how close it was. No hairs, its like a baby's bottom!
If this hasn't already gotten you, I don't know what will. There is an amazing case that comes with this, and the razor was well worth the money. You will not be disappointed with this product, in fact, you'll love it to death.
Thanks! Hope you can experience this for yourself!
on May 24, 2012
The 380S-4 is my fourth Braun shaver. I purchased this one to replace a model 7505 I've used for some years now, going through several replacement cutter/foil sets along the way. I decided it was time to replace the 7505 because its battery would no longer hold enough charge for more than a few shaves (and the battery is not replaceable in any reasonable sense). I chose the 380S-4 for two reasons: 1) user reviews indicate it shaves well and 2) uniquely among Braun shavers it is set up for travel (I have a couple of trips each year that take me away from home for about a month). For most purposes the actual shaver is no different than Braun's 340S-4 (there is an extra charge indicator light and a "precision setting switch" that lifts one of the heads to better shave under your nose - in my estimation neither of these is a significant enhancement). Unless you just want Braun's travel case, I suggest you go with the 340 and save yourself $20 (the 340 has a plastic clip on hood to protect the shaver head, and so should also be travel worthy in an after market case).
As a shaver the performance is impressive, a bit of an improvement over the 7505 and in operation the unit is considerably quieter. I'm finding it to do a better job of getting pesky neck hairs and am able to achieve a better outcome overall without any significant skin irritation (and I have fairly sensitive skin). My beard is moderate and I shave daily, so take that into consideration. Also I only "dry" shave, although the unit is designed for wet or dry shaving. The 7505 required periodic cleaning of its blade assembly with a brush. For this model, the blade assembly and foil are integrated and so can only be truly cleaned by rinsing under running water. Since I live in a hard water region, I'll be curious to see how it holds up to the mineral assault. The unit has a light that won't come on until it is time for a new cutter head assembly but it is simple minded (a internal counter triggers the light, presumably around 18 months - it is easily reset by pressing in the on/off switch for 5 seconds; i.e., the unit can't actually tell whether or not the head needs replacing).
One downside is that the unit only operates off of battery, but supposedly can charge sufficiently in 5 minutes for a single shave (I suspect that since the shaver is designed to be used wet/dry, Braun decided that if configured to operate corded, some idiot might choose to use it that way while in the shower). My only real beef is that the travel case supplied with this model has no means for accommodating the power cord, although it is very well designed to protect the shaver.
7/1/2012 update: I've actually become more impressed with this shaver. Not only is it holding up under my hard water assault, but it has an interesting feature not otherwise mentioned. Namely, the power circuit uses a voltage regulator so the unit runs at the same speed regardless of the amount of charge on the battery. For this reason, it quits rather abruptly as it is draining the last bit of juice out of the battery (this kind of technology is used in good quality LED flashlights and will fully drain the typical AA alkaline battery without any loss of light output until the battery is kaput). This is precisely the reason a 5 minute charge is sall that is needed to put enough juice back in the battery for a shave. That's a really nice feature. One other thing. I noted that over time a haze of very fine grit accumulates which rinsing doesn't remove, but it is easily cleared by using a can of compressed air, something I'm surprised Braun doesn't suggest when you want to completely return the shaver to like new appearance.
8/29/2012 update: One more thing, when it becomes time to get a replacement head be aware that Braun has several types of Series 3 shavers and the heads are not cross-compatible. The replacement for this one is either Series 3 32S (silver trim) or Series 3 32B (black trim), whatever your color preference (I would just pick whichever is cheaper).
Summary: Although this is far less expensive than the Braun 5 or 7 Series razors, it holds its own and stands out as Braun's only wet-capable shaver. I found it provided a better wet shave than my Panasonic ArcIV, Norelco AT830, and Norelco Sensotouch 3D.
Main review: I'm a big Braun fan, and have been a 5 and 7 series user for a number of years (before they were called the 5 and 7 series). I've always been impressed by their performance and build quality. However, I've recently started to prefer a wet shave and thought it would be interesting to give a Braun wet shaver a spin.
Very pleased that I did. This is absolutely the best wet shave I've ever had bar none, and a very good dry shave as well.
My other wet shavers are the Panasonic ArcIV, the Norelco AT830, and the Norelco Sensotouch 3D. The Braun 380s beats them all.
Of the three, the Panny comes the closest to the Braun's overall comfort performance, but the Braun wins out by not leaving any rough patches on the jaw line and neck areas. The Norelcos perform well on my neck and jaw line, but you need multiple passes which often leave me with some irritation and redness. The Braun, in contrast, is very gentle but still manages to provide a close shave.
I got the best shave using a thin gel such as this:Remington King of Shaves Alphagel Cooling Menthol Shave Gel 5 oz. (Pack of 2) ). You can see where you are cutting, and there's very little mess.
I'm particularly impressed with the build quality of the 380s. Both my 5 and 7 Series are made in Germany, so this is my first made in China Braun. Regardless of where it was made, it's put together very well - feels solid and has the good heft Braun's are known for. Right before I got the 380s I was evaluating a Remington FR-750, which (at the time I'm writing this in July 2012) is priced exactly the same as the 380s on Amazon. What a huge build quality gap! As I noted in my FR-750 review, the Remington felt rather cheap. Compared with the 380s, it feels like a Cracker Jack toy. And it's the same price!
The 380s has many design cues from the 5 Series. It's about the same length but a bit wider. It feels comfortable to hold due to a rubber, non-slip grip. It also has one of my favorite 5 Series features: a push up trimmer. This is the best way to edge a mustache since you can see exactly where you are cutting, and is much easier to maneuver than a flip out trimmer.
This does not have a cleaning base like most of the 5 and 7 Series models. Although the cleaning bases work very well, it's not a big loss since for the 380s since it's easy to clean under running water.
It does have a stand, which connects to the cord so it charges when it's put back in the stand. Although the stand is small, it has a non-slip base so it's generally sturdy. I would have liked to see a bigger base, however, for a more secure hold onto the razor.
If you are a Braun user and want to shave wet, but don't want to give up the feel of a Braun shave, this is a no-brainer purchase. Either get the 380s (this model) or the 340s. The only things you give up with the 340 is the display (slight more fancy in the 380), a carry case, and the locking head (you can slide a switch and the front foil and middle bar get pushed down so you can more easily shave tight spots such as under your nose. Not terribly useful, but it has some benefits). If the prices are about the same spring for the 380 if only for the carry case. If you can get a deal on the 340 go for that. The shave is the same for both.
But even if you only want to shave dry, don't skip the 3 Series in favor of the more popular 5 and 7 Series. Yes, the 7 Series is still my all-time favorite foil. But while it does provide a closer shave than a 3 Series, the difference is not huge. Unless you're really fussy about the quality of shave you get, or are a shaver nut like I am, save the bucks and get a 3 Series.
The 3 Series is the clear choice over the 5 Series. Both are identical in terms of the shave quality, both have a wonderful push-up trimmer; both are comfortable and well-built. The 5 series is put together better, with more metal and less plastic. It also has a narrower head, which comes in handy in the tight spots. But given the cost difference, the 3 Series is the better choice. Plus, the 380/340 has a more flexible foil design which I find offers better cutting in less time than the 5 series.
Lastly, if you're a confirmed dry shave fan, give wet shaving a try. If you use the right gel, it can be nearly as mess-free and quick as a dry shave, but will give you a closer, more gentle shave.
PS: The proper replacement head for the 340/380 is either the 32s or the 32b. Both are the same, with the only difference being color (silver or black).
on September 24, 2011
Its a great tool. It has a large hair pop out tool (that's not advertised very well), it is waterproof, it has good battery capacity, and it has a feature where you can lower half of the blades to only shave with the top piece (necessary for upper lip under nose). It also comes with a nice carrying case, a charging dock, and a little oil for in the blades. I haven't used it long enough, however, to comment on extended use.
on December 7, 2011
My husband is 91 years old and when I purchased this shaver for him, he was not sure he could shave himself close enough. He was thoroughly surprised and loves his new shaver.