Dyson’s new Zone air purifying headphones look like something you would expect to see in a dystopian sci-fi movie, maybe even on the head of avillain. But it’s actually a real device you’ll be able to buy sometime this fall, Dyson says.
For Dyson – a company best known for its advanced vacuum cleaners – it’s the first foray into portable technology. The Zone is a set of noise-canceling, over-ear headphones that “simultaneously deliver immersive sound to the ears and purified airflow to the nose and mouth,” addressing “urban problems with air quality and noise pollution.” There are no words about prices yet, but it seems safe to assume that these will cost more than your typical premium noise-canceling headphones fromand and perhaps even more than headphones.
There have been rumors that Dyson worked on such a device for years. Back in 2018, Bloomberg reported that Dyson was working on oneand in 2020, Dyson applied for a patent for a new pair of headphones with a built-in air filter.
“Air pollution is a global problem – it affects us everywhere we go. In our homes, at school, at work and when we travel, whether on foot, by bike or by public or private transport,” says Jake Dyson , chief. engineer (and son of the company’s eponymous founder). “Dyson Zone cleans the air you breathe while on the go. And unlike face masks, it delivers a cushion of fresh air without touching your face, using high-performance filters and two miniaturized air pumps. After six years in development we are excited to deliver clean air and clean sound anywhere. “
According to Dyson, the air filtration component is a “non-contact” system, meaning it does not touch your face like a mask, but rather sits right in front of it. “The compressors in each earcup draw air through the double-layer filters and project two streams of purified air to the user’s nose and mouth, channeled through the non-contact visor,” explains Dyson. “Sculpted returns on the visor ensure that purified airflow is kept close to the nose and mouth and diluted as little as possible by external crosswinds.”
Dyson says developing a non-contact solution was essential to avoid the “discomfort and irritation associated with full-contact alternatives.” Lately, no one seems to complain too much about having felt-stoppers in their noses to draw moisture from the exhaled air back into their stills for later drinking. But in the real world, people may have strong feelings about wearing something on their faces, especially masks.
Dyson says that to test the zone, its engineers used a breathing mannequin named Frank, which was equipped with medical-grade mechanical lungs and sensory equipment that replicated human breathing patterns in a controlled chamber. The sensor equipment measured contamination levels in the nose and determined “the filtration efficiency of the particles that would otherwise end up in Frank’s artificial lung.” The mannequin was named Frank because it reminded engineers of Frankenstein, a Dyson representative told CNET.
Earlier this year, Razer released its cyberpunk styleair purifying mask. Initially, the company said it used N95 air filters, but later ran into bad publicity as it had to withdraw this designation. Dyson does not refer to any medical mask qualities in terms of air filtration, but says that electrostatic filtration captures 99% of the particulate pollution as small as 0.1 micron, such as dust, pollen and bacteria, and that a potassium-enriched carbon filter captures city gases such as NO2, SO2 and O3. How much that filter will cost to replace is still up in the air, but filters for its air purifiers in full size .
On the audio side, Dyson says you can expect a first-class listening experience with an accurate, neutral audiophile sound profile and proprietary advanced noise reduction. The headphones are also designed with comfort in mind, though Dyson has not announced how much the headphones weigh or what their battery life is with air filtration and noise reduction enabled. Each earcup has two motors, and Dyson says they are the smallest in any of their machines to date. The headphones are connected via Bluetooth – no word on which version number – and can also be used to make voice calls.
As soon as we get our fingers in a review later this year, we’ll provide more details on how the headphones work and how they feel to wear in the streets and subway system of New York City. We imagine we get some interesting reactions from our fellow travelers.
The key features of Dyson Zone air purifying headphones, according to Dyson
- Radically new format to deliver purified air and high-fidelity sound on the go
- Electrostatic filtration captures 99% of particulate matter as small as 0.1 micron, such as dust, pollen and bacteria
- Potassium-enriched carbon filter captures city gases such as NO2, SO2 and O3
- Contactless air supply visor channels two streams of purified air to the nose and mouth, developed specifically for use outdoors and in crosswinds
- The smallest in any Dyson machine to date, two motors sit in each earcup and are the “beating heart” of Dyson Zone air purifying headphones
- Advanced ANC and a high-performance electro-acoustic neodymium system deliver rich, immersive sound that faithfully repeats the sound that the artist or creator intended
- 15 undergraduate students from the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology worked on the Dyson Zone project and supported such diverse disciplines as acoustic development, electronics and airflow systems.
- 3 ANC modes: isolation, conversation and transparency
- Insulation condition: Highest level of active noise reduction
- Call mode: Activated when you dip the visor – automatically turns off the cleaning to save battery and amplify the call
- Shipping in the fall