Editor's note: The below article was originally published in April 2022 when Dyson first announced the Dyson Zone. At the time of publishing, Dyson hadn't revealed certain details about the Zone, including how much it will cost, when it would be available and what its battery life would be like. As of December 2022, Dyson has officially released that info. We've updated the article to reflect that.
Well, you can now wear a Dyson.
The Dyson Zone has been in development for six years, since before everyone was hopping on the air purifier train because of fears of COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization, about 99 percent of the population is breathing air that exceeds WHO guideline pollutant limits. And it's not just air pollution that's detrimental to our wellbeing — there's noise pollution, too. WHO finds that noise pollution is the second largest environmental cause of health problems, second only to air pollution. With the Zone, Dyson hopes to alleviate those issues for the everyday person.
At first glance, Dyson's Zone is a standard pair of active noise-canceling headphones. With three ANC modes — conversation, isolation and transparency — the headphones provide rich and immersive sound technology that is comparable to brands that have been in this realm for years.
But the Zone is more than your typical pair of ANC headphones, especially when the visor is put in place. The Zone's visor is a piece that connects to the headphone's ear cups, suspended in front of the user's mouth and nose. The ear cups suck up ambient air and run it through dual layers of filters, with clean air sent through the visor and into the wearer's mouth and nose. The air purifier is effective at capturing particles as small as 0.1 microns, such as dirt, allergens and bacteria; it's comparable to one of Dyson's full-sized air purifiers. The additional carbon filter captures common harmful gases one would find in a city, like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
For comfort purposes, Dyson wanted to make the Zone contact-free, so the visor doesn't actually touch the wearer's face. Instead, two jets of airflow create a crosswind, so that you only breathe in the purified air. For situations where people are required to wear face coverings, the Zone includes a face-covering attachment that creates a sealed environment around the visor.
When the visor is down, the Zone headphones definitely look unique. Even intimidating. It gives off similar vibes as Bane from Nolan's last The Dark Knight film, or even Paul Rudd's version of Ant-Man. The brand imagines people wearing the Zone on an everyday basis to combat all-too-common air pollutants.
You can opt to use the Zone purely as headphones, but you might as well go full send with the air-purifying capabilities. It will have an impact on battery life — a drastic one. Dyson claims that the Zone will give you 50 hours of listening time on a single charge, but if you use the air purifier on low, medium or high speeds, that listening time drops to just four hours, two hours or 90 minutes, respectively.
This means that decision of whether to use the air purifier or not really depends on how far you're going and if you'll have access to charger when you get there. Dyson claims that the Zone, which charges via USB-C, takes roughly three hours to fully charge from 0-to-100-percent.
As of December 2022, Dyson has announced that the Zone will cost $949. You'll be able to buy a pair in March 2023.