Mention Dyson and the first thing that comes to mind is likely their cordless vacuums and their peerless haircare range but they’re now staking a claim to a new category with their new Dyson Zone air purifying headphones that combine elements of a portable air purifier and premium headphones into one unique form factor.
“Air pollution is a global problem – it affects us everywhere we go. In our homes, at school, at work and as we travel, whether on foot, on a bike or by public or private transport. The Dyson Zone purifies the air you breathe on the move. And unlike face masks, it delivers a plume of fresh air without touching your face, using high-performance filters and two miniaturised air pumps. After six years in development, we’re excited to deliver pure air and pure audio, anywhere.” said Jake Dyson, Chief Engineer.
What are the Dyson Zone air purifying headphones
The Dyson Zone is a new category of wearable that is effectively a combination of a pair of high-end audio headphones paired with a personal air purifier. In terms of design, the Dyson Zone resembles a pair of over-ear headphones with padded cans that each contain noise-cancelling, high-fidelity drivers paired with a mouthguard or visor that channels purified air to the mouth and nose. And yes, it does somewhat look like something Bane would wear.
The air purifying portion of the Dyson Zone isn’t there purely for show as it leverages their extensive expertise in producing high-grade filters for their cordless vacuums, allowing it to filter out 99% of particle pollution as small as 0.1 microns that include dust, pollen and more.
To be fair, wearable air purifiers aren’t exactly something new per se as LG has created their own PuriCare wearable air purifier mask and Razer created their Zephyr mask that is the fruit of Project Hazel. The Dyson Zone however ups the ante for air purification performance with a set of filters rated against the H1N1 virus as well as the added bonus of delivering sweet sound straight to your ears.
According to Dyson’s boffins, the Dyson Zone is not tested for the novel coronavirus as the constant mutating nature of the virus makes testing for it a challenge and certifying the Dyson Zone as a set of medical grade hardware is an entirely different kettle of fish though it is rated to protect against the H1N1 virus.
Much like the Puricare mask and Zephyr, the Dyson Zone can potentially be more comfortable to use and breathe through as it channels air straight to a user’s mouth and nose rather than having to breathe through a filter much like a traditional surgical mask. Even with many countries implementing mask-optional mandates, the Dyson Zone looks like a prudent back-up policy and a more viable solution for traversing urban areas with heavier pollution like car exhaust fumes.
How does the Dyson Zone work
The Dyson Zone works as both a set of air purifiers and as a pair of premium audio headphones with active noise cancellation. To draw in air, the Zone employs a set of air compressors powered by two ultra compact motors within each earcup to draw air in through dual-layer filters.
The first filter layer features an electrostatically charged medium to capture ultrafine particles like allergens and particles from the air before passing over to the next layer which uses a potassium-enriched carbon layer that captures gas pollutants that you typically encounter in the city such as NO2 and SO2. From here, the purified air is channelled via the compressor to the wearer’s nose and mouse via a contact-free visor so the wearer can breathe pollutant free air.
On the audio front, each of the padded cans on the Dyson Zone feature active noise cancellation and high-performing neodymium drivers that aim for faithful audio reproduction. There is also a measure of passive sound insulation as well as Dyson has also precisely measured the clamp force of the headphones and the design of the foam ear cushions on each can to ensure maximum comfort and noise reduction.
According to Dyson, the ANC will feature 3 modes – Isolation, Conversation and Transparency. In Isolation mode, it dials the noise cancellation to maximum while in Conversation mode, you’re able to enhance the sound of conversation while temporarily turning off air purification. In Transparency mode, you’re able to hear important sounds like traffic lights, incoming traffic and whatnot which comes in handy if you’re out and about.
While details remain to be seen as to the acoustics of the Dyson Zone in terms of their frequency range, what kind of drivers they will use and what manner of audio tuning is involved , what is certain and was stressed in briefings is that rather than relying on the single ‘golden ear’ of a professional tuner, Dyson has gone in an entirely different direction to create the sound profile and performance envelope of the Dyson Zone.
Instead, Dyson has involved a combined sound profile from hundreds of test candidates across different age ranges to create a unified acoustic profile for a truly egalitarian sound that would fit the vox populi. I’ve yet to get my hands on a test sample but seeing Dyson’s obsession with unsurpassed quality in all their offerings, it will likely be something that can go toe to toe with the headphone heavyweights like Sony and Klipsch.
Dyson Zone price and availability
During its official announcement, Dyson did not mention how much their air purifying headphones would cost except that it would be a premium price that would be somewhere near the range of a flagship-grade pair of headphones. Thus far, they’ve only confirmed that it would be available from Autumn 2022 though launch dates may vary based on region. For Malaysia, Dyson hasn’t given exact dates or prices yet but we’ll keep you posted! For a more indepth look at how it works, check out our Dyson Zone air purifying concept and creation feature here.