Looking for a pair of headphones that will have people wondering what the hell it is you’re wearing? Dyson appears to have just the thing, having introduced today an outrageously unconventional headphone that doubles as both a high-quality listening device and wearable purifier.
Dubbed the Dyson Zone, Dyson’s new contraption is described as a set of high-fidelity, over-ear headphones that is not only capable of drowning out the outside world by delivering immersive sound to the ears with noise cancelling, but also sending purified airflow to the user courtesy of a Bane-like mask that utilizes high-performance filters and two miniaturized air pumps.
Why not just wear an N95 mask and regular headphones like a normal person? Who knows, but those of you who want to draw the stink eye from passersby will be able to get one starting Autumn 2022 at Dyson’s demo stores and its official website. The price of the Dyson Zone is unknown, but this is the company that sells $700 vacuum cleaners.
“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,” said Jake Dyson, Chief Engineer.
“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 miniaturized air pumps. After six years in development, we’re excited to deliver pure air and pure audio, anywhere.”
Dyson Confirms 2022 Launch of Purifying Headphones Delivering Pure Air and Pure Audio (Dyson)
The Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones are borne of Dyson’s 30 years of expertise in airflow, filtration and motor technologies and deep understanding of indoor and outdoor air quality. The compressors in each earcup draw air through the dual-layer filters and project two streams of purified air to the wearer’s nose and mouth, channelled through the non-contact visor. Sculpted returns on the visor ensure the purified airflow is kept near to the nose and mouth and diluted as little as possible by external crosswinds. The Dyson Zone™ delivers rich, immersive audio and relief from unwanted city noise thanks to advanced active noise cancelling (ANC), low distortion and a neutral frequency response, to faithfully replicate music or audio as the creator intended.
Originally a snorkel-like clean air mouthpiece paired with a backpack to hold the motor and inner workings, the Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones evolved dramatically over its six years in development. More than 500 prototypes saw one motor initially placed at the nape become two compressors, one in each ear-cup and the evolution of the snorkel mouthpiece into an effective, contact-free visor that delivers clean air without full-face contact – a brand-new clean air delivery mechanism.
Developing a non-contact solution was a must for Dyson engineers, to avoid the discomfort and irritation often associated with full-contact alternatives. The visor, therefore, was a critical element. The airflow pathways and visor design are central to delivering pure air. The geometries of the visor and the visor returns, alongside the central mesh that diffuses the two jets of airflow, ensure that the purified air exiting the filters is effectively delivered to the nose and mouth in crosswinds, and for the wearer’s specific facial shape. Going beyond existing testing methods, Dyson engineers use a breathing manikin fitted with medical-grade mechanical lungs and sensing equipment, which ‘inhales’ pollution replicating human breathing patterns in a controlled chamber. They then measure the pollution level within the nose and throat to determine the filtration efficacy of those particles which would otherwise end up in Frank’s artificial lung.
Precision-engineered compressors within the earcups draw air through the dual-layer filters, intelligently designed to fit within the considerable space constraints of a headphone. The negatively charged electrostatic filter media captures ultrafine particles such as allergens, and particles from sources such as brake dust, industry combustion and construction whilst a potassium-enriched carbon layer captures city gas pollutants like NO2 and SO2. The compressor channels the purified air to the wearer’s nose and mouth via the contact-free visor, formed with flexible returns that channel the flow of purified air to the wearer’s nose and mouth.