Two years ago, Dyson registered patents for a pair of headphones with a built-in air purifier. At the time, we wondered if Dyson was serious about the idea. Well, it turns out they were because the Dyson Zone air-purifying wireless headphones are now official.
"The Dyson Zone is a set of noise-canceling, high fidelity over-ear headphones which simultaneously deliver immersive sound to the ears, and purified airflow to the nose and mouth," reads a statement from the Wiltshire-based vacuum cleaner giant.
If you think the concept sounds wild, you're not alone – but this is no April Fool's joke (or if it is, it's two days early). After six years of painstaking development and 500 prototypes, Dyson reckons it's got the tech spot on.
Here's how it works: compressors in the earcups suck air in through dual-layer filters and blow two jets of purified air at the wearer’s nose and mouth, which is channelled through a "non-contact visor". The visor, which flips down so you can talk to people, prevents crosswinds from interfering with the airflow and creates a 'bubble' of clean air to sip on.
On the audio side, Dyson says you can expect a "pure, high-fidelity" sound and "advanced noise cancellation" with three modes (Isolation, Conversation and Transparency). A new "neodymium electroacoustic system" in each earcup claims to deliver a wide frequency response and "significantly" less distortion than can be detected by the human ear.
The headphones connect via Bluetooth but Dyson is yet to reveal any battery life info. With two motors to power the mini air filtration system, plus active noise-cancelling built-in, we'd expect the Dyson Zone to need a bit more juice than the average wireless headphones.
As for comfort, Dyson says it's gone with ear cushions that are flatter than most conventional examples. This seemingly insignificant tweak apparently lessens the pressure between the foam and your skin to increase comfort during long listening sessions.
Airborne viruses aside, Dyson hopes its pollution-busting headphones will improve the quality of the air we breathe in urban areas. Tempted? The Dyson Zone release date, price and specs will be announced in "the coming months". It'll be interesting to see how the cans fare against current class leaders such as the all-conquering Sony WH-1000XM4.
Last but not least, Dyson says today's announcement is the "first step into the exciting and ever-innovating world of audio." Does that mean an air-purifying wireless speaker could be in the works? Stay tuned and we'll bring you all the latest.
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