Dyson enters headphones in the Dyson way whenever possible. Zone is a pair of noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones with built-in air purification technology, thanks to a strange looking magnetic face visor. This is the strangest and most ambitious product the company has ever manufactured.
Today’s announcement is the first announcement of Zone Headphones ahead of the fall release date, and Dyson has not announced specific details such as price or specifications (headphone weight, battery life, etc.) at this time. Hmm.
The goal of the zone is to make life in urban spaces more comfortable by trying to reduce both air pollution and noise pollution.
Half of the zone’s air purification has not reinvented the Dyson wheels. Instead, it miniaturizes the company’s existing air filtration technology to a unique form factor. The zone uses a pair of small compressors to draw air from each earpiece. The air is then filtered and piped to a “visor” (which looks a bit strange) so that the user can breathe. Contains most particles and contaminants.
Despite its appearance, the visor does not touch the face like a mask. Instead, it sits in front of your face and creates a gap where clean air bubbles can collect and inhale (another company can clip in if proper full contact is needed). The face mask that showed off the attachment of.)
The visor snaps on through a series of magnets, so you can remove the visor when using the headphones as headphones. It also has a hinge so you can talk to people as usual without having to remove the entire device. The zone filtration system also offers multiple settings for different levels of exercise. For example, running up stairs or trying to get on a bus will make you breathe harder (and require more air) than if you take a leisurely walk. There is also an automatic setting that uses an accelerometer to automatically adjust the airflow.
According to Dyson, the zone can filter out up to 99% of particle contamination, but the filter is not reusable and must be replaced after about a year. (According to the company, the exact time depends on the amount of air pollution encountered and how aggressively the headphones are used.)
The headphone part is a bit more traditional, despite being Dyson’s new product category. According to the company, Zone’s goal was to create a “faithful” reproduction of the musician’s original track. Noise canceling is provided by combining passive canceling from the overall design with active noise canceling with a series of microphones.
There are three different modes for zone noise cancellation. Raising the face visor will generate an active ANC in isolation mode. Lowering the visor will automatically switch to conversation mode, disabling ANC and allowing you to hear the person you are talking to. There is also a transparent mode that removes important sounds such as car horns and sirens. Charging is done via USB-C and the headphones connect to the Dyson Link app. This app can provide more detailed information about the quality of the surrounding air.
I was able to try the Zone prototype a few weeks ago, and it certainly seems to be what the company claims. I could feel a jet of air pumped up in front of my face — I was indoors, but it was difficult to know exactly how clean it was.
ANC also worked well (although quiet hotel rooms aren’t the best test scenario), and the music quality was good without the particularly dramatic bass (which was definitely the company’s goal).
On the contrary, Zone headphones very Large and extremely heavy. Dyson did a great job of packing all this technology into a pair of headphones, but it’s still relatively larger and bulkier than a pair of Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones, for example. Moreover, when the motor was running faster, the compressor spinning was still faint and I wasn’t listening to music to drown it out, even though the noise was cancelled.
Zone is certainly one of Dyson’s (or perhaps other companies’) most unique products to see this year. There are still many important details we don’t know about, such as price and battery life. Mask wearing has been fairly normal over the last two years, but we need to make sure that our customers are willing to accept this very strange looking product.