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Audio

When creepy meets utility: meet the Dyson Zone headphones

By Roland Udvarlaki March 30, 2022, 2:30 pm
Dyson Zone Headphones Source: Dyson

Dyson today announced the Dyson Zone headphones. The company is well-known for its hoovers and hair care products. It appears that the company wants to venture into wearable technology with a unique audio product that features noise-canceling and air-purifier technology.

The main reason why Dyson Zone is making headlines today is due to its bizarre design, and unique features that not many thought would ever see combined into a single product. Dyson says that the new Zone headphones are aimed to make urban areas more comfortable and healthy by reducing air and noise pollution.

Dyson didn’t share any specifications about the new Zone product, but it proudly shared that it has 30 years of filtration expertise, and that it spent six years of research on more than 500 prototypes to come up with the displayed design and form factor for the headphones. It’s currently unclear how much the final product will weigh or cost, although we expect it to be on the premium side.

POCKETNOW VIDEO OF THE DAY
Dyson Zone Headphones Prototypes
Dyson Zone Headphones Prototypes
Source: Pocketnow

The company says that the Zone headphones use the existing air filtration technology in a unique small form factor. The Zone pulls air from the earpiece using two compressors. The compressors in each earcup contain a dual-layer filter that then projects two-stream of purified air to the wearer’s nose and mouth, channeled through a visor that doesn’t touch the person’s face.

Dyson wanted to provide clear and filtered air, and it tried to change the way music is listened. The company praises its audio technology as “immersive,” and it says that it provides “relief from unwanted city noise thanks to advanced active noise canceling (ANC), low distortion and a neutral frequency response, to faithfully replicate music or audio as the creator intended.”

The headphones use large and angled ear cushions to mold around the listener’s ear. Dyson says that the foam density and headband clamp force are engineered specifically for comfort and optimal noise reduction. The company went through hundreds of prototypes to develop a design that fits the company’s needs, requirements, and standards for the product. It managed to shrink a lot of advanced technology into a reasonably small product. The headphones part of the Dyson Zone looks a lot like traditional headphones, and it uses both active and passive noise cancellation to filter out loud environments.

Dyson Zone Headphones in public Source: Dyson

The headphones also have three noise cancellation modes that allow users to automatically activate ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) when the face visor is raised, or switch on conversation mode when the visor is lowered. Transparency mode is also available, and it can filter our loud noises such as dogs barking, or car horns and sirens.

The headphones look like they’re straight out of a futuristic Sci-Fi movie, and I wouldn’t want to wear anything like that on a daily basis, but I also likely don’t fall into the target audience, although I find it hard to believe that people would queue up for it to breath some fresh air and listen to music at the office. The Dyson Zone is aimed at professionals, and those who commute a lot, in which case, I would likely consider it, since clean and purified air is something that large cities lack. The device also has different settings to filter and push air towards your nose, which is helpful when doing activities such as walking, or walking up the stairs that require more air. Additionally, it has an automatic setting that uses accelerometers to adjust the airflow, which is likely what most users would use.

The idea of using headphones that contain an all-in-one solution to breathe some fresh air isn’t entirely unique, but it’s one of the first products that appear to be fairly compact that could be used every day by anyone. The great thing about the Zone is that the visor can easily snap off the device, and it’s completely optional, thanks to the built-in magnets in the device. It also has another attachment that can provide a full-contact face mask experience, which may be ideal in some situations. And if you were wondering about how you would communicate while wearing the Zone, the hinges are specifically designed so that you can flip it down and have a normal conversation while wearing the headphones.

The headphones can be charged over USB-C connection, and users can use the Dyson Link app to connect the device and change the settings. It’s an exciting new product, to say the least, and it will undoubtedly have a market for those wanting, or needing fresh and purified air in urban areas, but I doubt it will take off as an essential product anytime soon.

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