The good: close and comfortable shaves, suitable for sensitive skin, wet & dry operation, quiet, ergonomic, excellent popup trimmer, very good build quality, pleasing aesthetics, reasonable price, durable and inexpensive replacement parts
The bad: lacks the high-end features you get with the Series 5 and Series 7, doesn’t come with a travel case, can't be used while charging
Table of Contents
The Braun Series 3 340s-4 promises close and smooth shaves without having to spend a premium price on the shaver itself and replacement parts.
Without the bells and whistles of more expensive razors, the 340s-4 is an excellent choice for a quality, reliable and inexpensive shaver. Read our full review to get all the details.
The Series 3 is Braun’s budget line of electric shavers that supposedly strike a great balance of price and performance. Depending on the way they are intended to be used and the features they include, we can group the Series 3 into 3 categories:
- Shavers that can be used for wet & dry shaving
- Shavers that can only be used dry
- Shavers that come with a cleaning station
The Braun Series 3 340s-4 belongs to the first group and is almost identical to the 380s-4 that we previously reviewed and turned out to be an excellent razor. There are a couple of differences between them that we’ll get to later on in the review.
Here are the main features of the shaver:
- SensoFoil screens
- Triple Action FreeFloat Shaving System
- Wet & Dry Operation
- Long hair trimmer
- 100% waterproof and fully washable
- 3-stage LED display for low charge & battery status
- Light notification for replacement parts
- Cordless use
- Quick charge option
Let’s take a closer look at the first two as the rest are pretty self explanatory.
SensoFoil is the name that Braun uses for its screen foils. While the typical foil features simple, round perforations, Braun opted for different ones.
The irregular shape supposedly catches the hairs that grow in different directions more efficiently and is also more gentle to the skin. While we can’t really say if it makes a difference when compared to a regular one, the design seems to make sense; you can see it in action here.
Triple Action FreeFloat Shaving System
The shaver features 3 cutting elements that move independently. The outer ones are the perforated SensoFoil screens responsible for the grunt of the shaving, while the middle one is a specially designed trimmer that can handle longer hairs.
You can also see the cutting system in action in this video.
Build quality and ergonomics
I’ve been really impressed by the build quality of the shavers that Braun produced over the last few years.
The best part is that even with the budget friendly Series 3 you’ll still get a robust and excellent built razor. Of course, it won’t have the high-end finish and looks of a Series 7, but it is still superior to many other shavers from this price range.
The 340s-4 has a typical Braun design, with glossy plastic on the front and rubbery materials on the sides for a secure grip.
It is very light and comfortable to hold and operate and has a reassuring sturdy, robust feel to it.
Battery life and charging
With a fully charged battery you will get 45 minutes or approximately two weeks of cordless shaving. These are pretty much the standard numbers for a quality electric razor with a Li-Ion battery.
The LED on the front of the shaver will flash red when the battery is running low on power. Charging takes about an hour and you can plug the cord directly into the shaver or use the included plastic stand.
Since this is a wet/dry shaver, you can’t use it while it is plugged in as a safety precaution. You do have a quick charge option though that will provide enough power for one complete shave.
The 340s-4 also features automatic worldwide voltage adjustment and it adapts to any voltage between 100-240v.
Cleaning and maintenance
Since it is fully waterproof, the shaver can be easily rinsed under running tap water. For a more thorough cleaning it is recommended to use some liquid hand soap. After that, you just turn it off, remove the cutter block and let it dry.
Braun also included a cleaning brush in the box, so that can also be used, but only for the inner area of the shaver head. It is not recommended to be used on the foil as it can be easily damaged.
The folks at Braun were thoughtful enough to also include a bottle of fine machine oil. As part of a long term maintenance plan, you should use it every once in a while to lubricate the foil; this will minimize the friction and ware of the replacement parts and will make them last longer.
I will say right of the bat that the Braun Series 3 340s-4 is a very capable product when it comes to shaving performance and would be an excellent choice for most men. It is powerful enough for even heavier beards and it is especially good when used for daily shaving.
It gives a close and smooth shave, without causing irritations, razor burn or any discomfort. Using it with a shaving gel or cream will further improve the comfort and performance.
The specially designed foil and central trimmer cope very well with cutting stray hairs, especially on the neck.
The excellent popup trimmer is worth mentioning also, as it’s one of the best you’ll find on any electric shaver. The size and positioning are spot on and it’s great for occasional grooming and detail work.
The shaver is also on the quiet side, especially when compared to other foil shavers that tend to have a high pitch, loud buzzing sound.
Now we’ll get to the not so good parts.
As previously said, this shaver is especially good when used for daily shaving or even every other day. If that sounds like you, the 340s-4 will be more than enough.
If however you have a very coarse beard and shave every two to three days I would suggest to take a look at a more advanced shaver. While the 340s-4 is very capable, your shaving experience won’t be that good as you may experience some pulling and of course the closeness of the shave will suffer.
Apart from the shaver itself, you’ll get the following items:
- Charging cord
- Charging stand
- Protective cap
- Cleaning brush
- Small bottle of fine machine oil
In order to keep the price low, Braun didn’t include a travel case.
Replacement parts availability
Braun Series 3 340s-4 is a very smart choice when it comes to maintenance costs. In order to get the same quality shaves, the shaving block must be replaced periodically.
While most manufacturers recommend changing them every year, the replacement parts from Braun last at least 18 months and are inexpensive. Another bonus is that you only have to change the shaving block, so you’re not spending extra money on both foil and cutters like you would do for a Panasonic shaver.
The replacement heads for this razor come in two colors:
When the shaving head needs to be replaced, an LED light will notify you; it can be reset by pressing the ON/OFF switch for five seconds.
Wrapup—Who should buy it?
The 340s-4 is a very smart choice for multiple reasons: it provides close and irritation free shaves, it’s inexpensive to buy and to “run”, it’s very well built and is an overall excellent product.
Apart from the situation mentioned in the performance section of the review, almost anyone will be satisfied with it, especially men who shave daily or up to two days.
Regardless if you’re a long time user of electric shavers or just starting out, you really can’t go wrong with this shaver. If however you’re looking for the closest and fastest shave you can get, you will definitely have to look at a more expensive shaver.
At the time of writing this review, the Braun Series 3 340s-4 was available on Amazon.com for less than $80.
An obvious alternative is the Braun Series 3 380s-4.
Like I said in the beginning of the review, the 340s-4 is almost identical to the excellent 380s-4 that was reviewed previously (read it here). When compared side by side, there is only one difference between them: the 340s-4 doesn’t have a lock switch for the floating cutters.
From my experience, I will say that this locking feature will be beneficial for very few people if at all. You could use it when shaving tricky areas like the upper lip or around a goatee, but it won’t make a big difference.
Another thing worth mentioning is that unlike the 380s-4, the 340s-4 doesn’t come with a travel case. Again, this won’t be a deal breaker for most of us.
Apart from the points mentioned above, there is absolutely no difference between them, they use the same shaving block and the performance will be the same.
If you want the travel case and the ability to lock the cutters in place, go for the 380s-4. If you don’t think they’re necessary (I personally don’t), then save some money and buy the 340s-4.
Another excellent alternative is also a shaver from the Series 3 line. If you only plan on using the razor for dry shaving, you should definitely check out the Braun Series 3 320s-4. Apart from a different color scheme and lacking the ability to be used for wet shaving, it’s an identical product that will give you the same shaving performance. Besides, it costs less and can also be used while charging.