The price of Dyson’s air purifying headphones is as absurd as the design

Posted on

Dyson has released additional details for its Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones, the company’s first audio product that we had the privilege of testing earlier this year. On a new webpage dedicated to the as-yet-unreleased headphones, Dyson has officially provided full specs, alongside a March release date for the US market and an eye-watering $949 price.

So, what do you get for your money? The Dyson Zone supports Bluetooth 5.0 and has a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB-C port for charging. Dyson claims the headphones can achieve up to 50 hours of battery life for audio alone, which is reduced to a maximum of four hours for air purification and audio combined. Dyson does not specify whether these runtimes are with ANC enabled. The headphones are wireless and pack a 2,600mAh lithium-ion battery, with Dyson claiming the device can be fully charged in three hours.

A woman outside against a city backdrop wearing the Dyson Zone headphones without the detachable visor.

Even without the detachable air-purifying “visor”, the Dyson Zone headphones look comically large.
Image: Dyson

The Dyson Zone is equipped with 11 microphones, eight of which are used by the device’s advanced noise-cancellation (ANC) system. Dyson claims these microphones can monitor ambient sounds 384,000 times per second, reducing background noise by up to 38 dB. Two of the remaining microphones are beamformed to suppress noise from the air filtration system, while a single microphone is actually used to detect voice audio for calls.

With regard to air filtration, Dyson claims that a combination of electrostatic filters in the Dyson zone can capture up to 99 percent of particulate pollution (as small as 0.1 microns), and that carbon filters target gases associated with urban pollution, such as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. These filters last 12 months and are not reusable. Dyson does not claim that the Dyson Zone can be used to prevent covid.

An illustration showing the design blueprints for the Dyson Zone.  Measurements say the headphones are 200mm high, 240mm wide and 210mm deep with the visor attached.

Dyson lists the weight of the Dyson Zone as 595 grams (about 21 ounces) without the visor attached or 670 grams (about 23 ounces) fully assembled. In contrast, the Sony WH-1000XM5 weighs 249 grams / 8.8 ounces.
Image: Dyson

The air filter system works like a visor in that it doesn’t form a tight seal around the face and can be detached from the headphones and snapped into place using a series of magnets. A built-in sensor monitors ambient air quality and noise levels in real time and provides results via the MyDyson app. A built-in accelerometer automatically monitors and adjusts airflow when the device is in auto mode with the visor attached, and the device enters standby mode when not being worn. Submerging the detachable visor activates talk mode, stopping the purge and pausing the music.

A woman looks over her shoulder.  She wears the Dyson Zone with the air filter visor attached, hiding her mouth.

The “visor” air filtration system does not form a seal around the face of the wearer and Dyson is not making any claims about its viability as a covid-19 face mask.
Image: Dyson

We’ve previously mentioned in an early hands-on that the Dyson Zone is both large and noticeably heavy. A specification sheet provided to The edge by Dyson lists the weight of the device as 595 grams (about 21 ounces) without the visor attached, which increases to 670 grams (about 23 ounces) when fully assembled. That is a lot heavier than any product on our list of the best noise canceling headphones, even without the visor, so keep that in mind if you’re sensitive to headphone weight.

Three versions of the Dyson Zone headphones in different blue/metallic tones.

The Dyson Zone comes in three different color combinations, all of which are a mix of blues and metallics. You’ll need to buy direct from Dyson if you want the fancy brass version.
Image: Dyson

In terms of price, $949 is also significantly more expensive than products like the Sony WH-1000XM5 ($400) or the Apple AirPods Max ($550). It would be cheaper to just buy one of these competitive offerings and then invest in a suitable mask or maybe even a smart mask. The high cost shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise, though, as Dyson has a habit of putting exorbitant price tags on its products — the company’s Dyson Airwrap hair styler retails for $500, and the bladeless Purifier Cool fan starts at $569.99, e.g. .

The Dyson Zone will first go on sale in January 2023 for the Chinese market, followed by a March release for the US, UK, Hong Kong SAR and Singapore. The device is initially available for pre-order in the US by appointment only before being made available on Dyson.com and in physical Dyson Demo stores.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *