Let us explain. Dyson today unveiled the Dyson Zone, which is indeed a pair of headphones that attaches to an impressively small air purifier that goes across the nose and mouth area when worn. It’s Dyson’s first foray into the world of audio tech, and its first wearable air purifier.
It’s headphones! No, it’s an air purifier! No, it’s both headphones AND an air purifier!
The Dyson Zone aims to combat both noise and air pollution, and is now debuting after 500 prototypes worth of development. On the audio side, the headphones feature three active noise cancellation modes: isolation, the highest level of noise cancellation; conversation, which activates when you dip the visor to turn off the purification function and amplify conversation; and transparency, which lets in the most noise and helps you remain aware of your surroundings.
On the purification side, the visor — which houses a potassium-enriched carbon filter that uses electrostatic filtration to clean the air — has four air purification modes: low, medium, high, and auto. The different modes are made for different breathing patterns (i.e. breathing harder while working out or climbing stairs), and the auto mode should help the wearer toggle between them as needed. The visor also should not touch the wearer’s face at any point, attaching only to the headphones themselves and allowing for two contactless streams of cleaned air flowing directly to the nose and mouth.
“The Dyson Zone purifies the air you breathe on the move,” said Jake Dyson, Chief Engineer, in a press release. “And unlike face masks, it delivers a plume of fresh air without touching your face, using high-performance filters and two miniaturized air pumps. After six years in development, we’re excited to deliver pure air and pure audio, anywhere.”
To to be clear, while the visor and its filter does clean the wearer’s breathing air, the Dyson Zone is not on its own a Covid-specific device — meaning it will not be a tech-based alternative for surgical masks, KN95s, or other facial masks.
The Dyson Zone can also be worn in any of four formats, depending on the user’s specific needs. It can be worn in what seems like to-the-max mode, with ANC enacted and visor attached for a combination noise and air pollution solution. It can also be worn as just headphones, with the level of ANC preferred in use. And amidst the ongoing pandemic, Dyson has also built in an option to add on a more classic face mask with a sealed edge, which is an attachment that comes with the Dyson Zone. For those in even higher risk environments, Dyson also has a FFP2 face covering attachment that will meet higher filtration standards.
While the Dyson Zone is the company’s first wearable device, this is not Dyson’s first rodeo in air purification. Dyson initially set down its air cleaning path with the launch of its Pure Cool fan back in 2015, and has been working on various purifiers since. The Dyson Zone takes all of the company’s previous developments and hopes to put it into an on-the-go package — with a side of headphones, for your music and podcast-listening pleasure.
Dyson has not yet announced an official launch date or price, but expects the Dyson Zone to become available online and in-store at Dyson Demo Stores starting in the fall of 2022.