CHI is an American company that produces quality hair care tools. The CHI Rocket dryer is one of their ceramic hair dryers has been getting a lot of attention. We decided to take an in-depth look at this hair dryer to find out what makes it work so well. In this Chi Rocket hair dryer review, we’ll go over the best and worst parts of this dryer and tell you why we gave it 3.3 stars out of five.
- It’s built very well and “feels” expensive.
- Cool shot button doesn’t have to be held down.
- It dries hair very fast, significantly faster than less expensive hair dryers.
- Won the Reader’s Choice Award in 2015 and 2017 for TotalBeauty.com.
- It’s really quiet.
We Didn’t Like:
- Has an easily removable filter and lint screen for cleaning.
- The handle is short.
- The buttons are placed where the fingers would be when holding it making it easy to accidentally press buttons.
- It’s heavy for a hair dryers.
- No swivel cord and the cord tangles easily.
- Many complaints that it lasts less than 1 year.
- Not enough of options and settings.
The CHI Rocket hair dryer has only a few key features. These key features are basically hit or miss when it comes to likability. You’ll likely land squarely on one side of the fence with each one. Here is a list of the key features:
- 11 foot power cord
- Heat up indicator
- Far infrared heating
- Hook to hang it up
- Comes with concentrator attachment
Ease of Use – 4
It’s heavy but the long cord saved it.
Durability – 3
Complaints of it breaking in less than 1 year. At least it has a one year warranty.
Heat Output – 4
Decent with the exception of the delayed IR heat.
Price – 2
It doesn’t feel like it should cost over $100.
Options – 2
Definitely does not have enough options.
Power – 5
The saving grace. It has a very nice power output.
Our CHI Rocket Review
Technology vs. Power
It’s interesting that the CHI Rocket mixes ceramic and ionic-like technologies. It’s even more interesting that they give this hair dryer 1800 watts. Generally a higher wattage allows a hair dryer to dry thick/curly hair fast and thin hair at the speed of light.
However, combining 1800 watts with a ceramic hair dryer that doesn’t use true ionic technology is like putting a race car motor in a compact car. It’s a bit of a mismatch because ceramic provides a gentle heat that doesn’t require a lot of power.
Like most of CHI’s hair dryers, the Rocket has an 11 foot power cord. This allows you the freedom to move around without being glued to an outlet. You don’t have to worry about using extension cords and stylists can easily use it to walk around their clients with ease. We wish it had a swivel cord to help maneuver all that length.
Heat Up Indicator
This indicator on the side of the Rocket hair dryer is strange, but we get where CHI was trying to go with this. First, it makes the hair dryer look like some futuristic outer space laser ray with the multi-colored LED light on the side. This doesn’t make any difference in its performance, but if you’re into futuristic themes, this may be attractive to you.
The purpose is to indicate when the hair dryer is actually blowing out negative ions and infrared (IR) heat. We took this to mean that there is an apparent delay from when you turn the hair dryer on and when you can actually use it. Which also means you’ll waste energy every time you use the hair dryer. It’s might be like this with most hair dryers, it’s just strange for CHI to actually point this out.
Heat, Speed, and Other Settings
The CHI Rocket hair dryer has heat and speed settings combined into one function. This is disappointing at best and indicative of lower-end hair dryers. On top of that, there are only two choices–high or low. On top of that, there is no way to choose between ceramic only and ceramic infrared–another sign that is indicative of a lower end hair dryer.
The CHI Rocket dryer is a bit confusing with the ceramic IR technology and 1800 watts. While technically the IR technology and high watt rating is great for thick and/or curly hair, you would need true ionic technology or tourmaline technology to make it work effectively. On the other hand, 1800 watts is a bit much for thin, fine, and/or damaged hair, so that leaves us wondering where this hair dryer really belongs. We also believe that the hair dryer is very overpriced for what it offers. There are ceramic hair dryers for one-fifth of the cost of this one that has similar performance and features. Take this into consideration before you invest in this hair dryer.
Here we will do a comparison with three other similar hair dryers. This can help you to understand the price versus the features that you get. You’ll also be able to fairly see other similar products on the market.
CHI Pro vs. CHI Rocket
Here are two hair dryers from the same company that are very similar. However, the CHI Pro tends to make more sense than the CHI Rocket. Let us explain.
The CHI Pro is similar in technology to the CHI Rocket, but has a lower watts rating. This makes sense being that ceramic hair dryers are more suited for fine or thin hair. The IR heat is able to penetrate the fine hair and dry it quickly while the moderate amount of watts won’t overdo the drying process or blow your hair like a hurricane. Other than this, and the omission of the heat indicator from the side of the CHI Pro, these are basically the same hair dryers. For this reason, we won’t do a quick comparison chart for these two.
Unlike the CHI Pro, the BabylissPRO is a true ionic hair dryer combined with titanium technology. These two hair dryers are like night and day. The only similarities that they have are a cool shot button, a concentrator attachment, and the fact that the buttons are in an inconvenient place.
One of the key differences is the weight. While the BabylissPro is still considered on the heavy side, it’s still significantly lighter than the CHI Rocket. It also has an ergonomic handle and the weight is more centered. This makes it much easier to handle. Another big difference is the warranty–the Rocket has only a one year warranty while the BabylissPRO has an impressive three year warranty. Not that you’ll need it because the BabylissPRO is built like a tank.
The T3 Featherweight hair dryer is a champion in its class. Like the BabylissPRO, it is extremely different from the CHI Rocket. One of the most noticeable differences is in the technology. The T3 Featherweight hair dryer is a tourmaline hair dryer with SoftAire technology. This also naturally makes it an ionic dryer. The SoftAire technology delivers quiet, powerful air that dries hair from the inside out without being noisy. The CHI Rocket is still your average, loud hair dryer.
Both hair dryers are 1800 watts, but this makes sense for a tourmaline hair dryer. Another similarity is that they both have one speed setting and two heat settings. They both also have a cool shot button and a concentrator attachment. All of these similarities are like basic components of a hair dryer so they don’t hold any special value in one hair dryer over the other. The quick view chart below highlights some of the differences.
In this CHI Rocket hair dryer review, you can see that it simply does not live up to its price range. With the lacking features and confusing technology, it may even be hard to place it in the low-end hair dryers. The CHI Pro would be a better choice, but still not great. We’d recommend going with a different brand altogether until CHI ups their game a bit. The BabylissPro would be an excellent substitute, especially since it’s in a similar price range and has a lot more features. If you’re going to spend three figures on a hair dryer, it may as well be the best.