Announced earlier in the year, Dyson's hybrid of noise canceling headphones and a wearable air filtration system -- called Dyson Zone -- will finally be going on sale in January 2023 in China, with US and UK availability coming in March. The price? A cool $949. That's quite a wad of cash, but these aren't your everyday headphones. I've tried them, and they're not at all bad.
Dyson says it's trying to tackle two issues with the Zone headphones: air pollution and noise pollution. The headphones themselves are over-ear style cans, featuring active noise cancellation that aims to tackle the second issue, and during my hands-on time with the Zone I was impressed. Loud room noise and (simulated) traffic noise was kept to a minimum, and I'm looking forward to taking them to the city streets soon for a real-world test.
But then these headphones demand noise canceling technology, because placed just behind the drivers are Dyson's new micro compressors that power the air filtration system. To use the filtration system, you'll need to attach the face mask, which magnetically snaps onto the headphones and sits just in front of your mouth and nose, providing a constant flow of clean, filtered air. The noise canceling algorithms have been specifically tuned to help reduce the amount of noise generated from having essentially two electric fans spinning at high speed next to your ears.
The Zone is aimed at urban dwellers, who'll frequently be exposed to poor air quality in bustling city centers and on mass transit systems. Dyson says its filters can capture 99% of particle pollution, in particular the gases and particles most associated with city center pollution.
In my short time with the Zone, I found the headphones comfortable. And though at first I felt a bit weird wearing the visor system, the sense of strangeness quickly wore off. I can certainly imagine many people choosing to wear a system like this in the world's most densely populated cities. Audio quality is excellent, too, but I'll leave my full verdict on the Zone for the complete review, when I get my hands on the gadget properly in the coming weeks.