“The $949 price for Dyson’s air-purifying headphones is more absurd than the device itself” by Jess Weatherbed

A person against a blank gray background. They are wearing the Dyson Zone with the air-purifying visor concealing their mouth.
The Dyson Zone will initially release in China in January 2023 before being made available for US preorders in March. | Image: Dyson

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

So, what are you getting for your money? The Dyson Zone supports Bluetooth 5.0 and features a 3.5mm audio jack and USB-C port for charging. Dyson claims the headphones can achieve up to 50 hours of battery life for audio-only operation, which is reduced to a maximum of four hours for combined air purification and audio. Dyson does not specify if these runtimes are with ANC enabled. The headphones are wireless and feature a 2,600mAh lithium-ion battery, with Dyson claiming that 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.
Image: Dyson
Even without the detachable air-purifying “visor” the Dyson Zone headphones look comically large.

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

Regarding air filtration, Dyson claims that a combination of electrostatic filters within the Dyson Zone can capture up to 99 percent of the particle pollution (as small as 0.1 microns), and carbon filters target gasses associated with city pollution, such as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. These filters last for 12 months and are not reusable. Dyson doesn’t make any claims that the Dyson Zone can be used to prevent covid.

An illustration showing the design blueprints for the Dyson Zone. Measurements says the headphones are 200mm in height, 240mm wide, and have a depth of 210mm with the attached visor.
Image: Dyson
Dyson lists the weight of the Dyson Zone as 595 grams (around 21 ounces) without the visor attached or 670 grams (around 23 ounces) fully assembled. By contrast, the Sony WH-1000XM5 weighs 249 grams / 8.8 ounces.

The air filtration system acts like a visor in that it doesn’t form a tight seal around the face and can be detached from the headphones, snapping into place using a series of magnets. An onboard sensor monitors air quality and environmental noise levels in real time, providing results via the MyDyson app. An onboard accelerometer monitors and automatically adjusts airflow when the device is in auto mode with the visor attached, and the device will enter standby mode when not worn. Dipping the detachable visor activates conversation mode, stopping purification and pausing music.

A woman looking over her shoulder. She is wearing the Dyson Zone with the air filtering visor attached, concealing her mouth.
Image: Dyson
The “visor” air filtration system doesn’t form a seal around the wearer’s face, and Dyson doesn’t make any claims regarding its viability as a covid-19 face mask.

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

Three versions of the Dyson Zone headphones in various blue / metallic shades.
Image: Dyson
The Dyson Zone is available in three different color combinations, all of which are a mix of blue and metallics. You’ll have to buy direct from Dyson if you want the fancy copper version.

Regarding 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 simply buy one of these rival offerings and then invest in a suitable respirator or perhaps even a smart mask. The high cost shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise, though, given Dyson has a habit of slapping exorbitant price tags on its products — the company’s Dyson Airwrap hair styler retails for $500, and its bladeless Purifier Cool fan starts at $569.99, for example.

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 will initially be available for preorder by appointment only in the US before being made available at Dyson.com and at physical Dyson Demo stores.

source https://www.theverge.com/2022/12/8/23499843/dyson-zone-air-purifier-headphones-price-release-date


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