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Get in the Dyson Zone with the portable air purifier headphones

Dyson knows a thing or two about purifying air, both with its dedicated fan purifiers and with its vacuum cleaners, trapping sucked up dirt and preventing it from escaping. Until now, the company has been focused on cleaning the air inside your home. Now with the Dyson Zone wearable, the company wants to purify the air you breathe when you’re outside, as well as making life quieter.

The Dyson Zone is a pair of noise-cancelling over-ear headphones that suck in dirty air through each earcup and then blows out pure air through the removable non-contact visor in front of your nose and mouth. Think of a more comfortable version of Bane’s mask from Batman and you get the idea.

For the system to work, Dyson had to develop a tiny impellor to draw in air, finely balanced so that there’s no vibration to cause unwanted noise. This air then passes through filters to remove harmful particles.

Air filtering

Dyson has used an electrostatic media for the filters, which attracts particles to it. According to Dyson, the filters can remove 99% of particles as small as 0.1-microns, while a potassium enriched carbon layer captures gasses, including NO2, sulphur dioxide and ozone.

Clean air is pushed through to the Clean Air Delivery Visor at a rate of 2.5-litres per minute of air. As Dyson explained to us in a briefing, it was important to create a gentle waft of clean air, rather than blowing it into your face.

We’ve had the chance to try the Dyson Zone and it is as described: you can feel the air coming through, but it’s gentle and not like sitting in front of a fan that would push air at you at high speed.

There are different modes that push air at different rates because different activities require different levels of airflow: you need more when exerting yourself, less when sitting down or walking slowly. To allow for this, the Dyson Zone has low, medium and high settings, plus an auto mode that can adjust airflow automatically based on what you’re doing.

We live in an era where wearing face masks is common. While the Dyson Zone purifies the air that you breathe in, it doesn’t stop what you breathe out. Where you have to wear a facemask, the Dyson Zone ships with an FFP2-compliant mask that clips onto the front of the visor, covering your nose and mouth.

ANC headphones

Not only is the product an air purifier, but it’s also a full set of Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) headphones, designed both to make life around you quieter and for entertainment. The headphones connect to your phone via Bluetooth and can be controlled through the Dyson Link app, the same one used for Dyson’s smart devices, such as the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde

As ANC only covers the lower end of the audio spectrum, there’s passive attenuation to further filter out sounds. Dyson tested seven different foams until it settled on the one for the Zone.

The headphones have three ANC modes: Isolation for the maximum noise cancellation to kill background noises; Conversation mode, which activates when you dip the visor, turning off air purification and amplifying conversations; and Transparency mode, which uses the microphones to amplify key noises, such as station announcements or sirens.

Jake Dyson unveils the new Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones
Photo credit: Matt Alexander/PA wire

There are 11 microphones for ANC and two for telephony. Internally, the speakers use 40mm drivers and a large cavity to deliver high-fidelity audio. 

We had a chance to try out the headphones for a short period. The ANC is certainly impressive, and we couldn’t hear any of the conversations going on in the same room until we flipped down the visor for conversation mode. 

With ANC turned on, the headphones will last for 40 hours on a charge. Turn on purifying and battery life drops: Low flow lasts 4.5-hours, Medium lasts 2.5-hours and High flow 1.5-hours.

Price and availability

The Dyson Zone will be available to buy from Dyson Autumn 2022, but the price has not yet been released. We’ll bring you updates as we have them and a review when samples are available.

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