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Dyson’s New Headphones Work Double Duty as an Air Filter (And Make You Look Like Bane)

Dyson 2022 03 30 at 2 30 48 pm 1648665058Dyson has come out with a new pair of headphones that can work double duty as an air filtration device for use in high-pollution areas.
No word on the price yet, but the headphones are expected to hit stores this fall.
It took 500 prototypes and six years to nail the design.
 
Dyson, the brand that brought you the vacuum that “doesn’t lose suction,” is adding a brand-new product to its lineup: a pair of headphones with a built-in air filtration system.
 
The company unveiled the new headphones on Wednesday, called the Zone, which tack the filtration system on with a magnetic face visor. The system, Dyson says, is designed to provide users in high-pollution regions with a fresh supply of clean air.
 
This wasn’t an entirely surprising development—in fact, Popular Mechanics reported on the forthcoming device in 2020 when Dyson first submitted its patent to the United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office. But it’s still so jarring to see the headphones in the wild. According to Dyson’s website, the company developed 500 prototypes of the headphones over the course of six years.
Let’s break down exactly how it works.
 
Dyson has already developed sophisticated air-filtration technology (you can check out our review here). So the aim with the Zone was just to shrink that technology to fit around the head.
The air-filtration visor, which doesn’t actually touch the face, attaches to the headphones using a series of magnets. According to the company’s website, a series of air compressors within the headphones power the device, allowing it to filter “up to 90 percent of particle pollution” in the air. An electrostatic charge attracts particles and pushes them through filters in the ear pieces. (Unfortunately, these filters must be replaced after approximately one year, depending on use and pollution levels.)
 
The filtration system has multiple settings based on the level of pollution in the air and on personal exertion levels. And the visor can be removed, adjusted to fit right over the mouth and nose, or positioned below the face if the user would like to talk to someone.
Now, let’s talk audio. This is Dyson’s first foray into the world of audio technology.
 
Its high-fidelity system features active noise cancellation (ANC) technology that uses microphones on the exterior of the headphones to listen in and identify nearby noises. An algorithm then works to cancel them out before they even reach the ear.
 
The headphones feature three levels of noise cancellation that can be adjusted based on which setting the filtration system is in. If the visor is fixed in front of the mouth, the headphones switch into “isolation mode,” which triggers the ANC technology. Lowering the visor switches the audio system into “conversation mode” so that users can more easily converse with people. A third “transparency mode” allows certain sounds, such as emergency sirens, to pass through.
 
The official release date for the system, which is charged using a USB-C cable, is slated for the fall. So far, Dyson hasn’t yet released a price for the new product.
 
 

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