I admit, I’ve been skeptical about Dyson’s $950 since the weird-looking hybrid gadget was announced in December 2022. What could a vacuum cleaner company know about the headphones? Hasn’t interest in personal air purifiers waned in the future now that Covid-19 infections have waned? Are we closer to a dystopian future than I thought?
But when I finally got to try the Dyson Zone on for myself—Bane-like mask attachment and all—I felt ridiculously cold. Sure, it might help that my demo was done on the same rooftop downtown where Tobey McGuire’s Spider-Man dropped Mary Jane off. (Opens in a new tab) After the Green Green Times Square attack. That doesn’t change the fact that my experience with the device made me wish I could park in the streets with my own pair.
The headphones follow a similar design language to other Dyson products, including vacuum cleaners, air-purifying fans, and the infamous Dyson Airwrap. In fact, bits of the company’s other categories seem to have been pulled to evoke a statement-making headphone from the sleek royal blue detailing to the futuristic, perforated ear cups.
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Dyson Zone is a 2-in-1 experience
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In some ways, the Dyson Zone is similar to any of the other best headphones like the AirPods Max or the Sony WH-1000XM5. They pair via Bluetooth with a smartphone, but most of the controls take place on the cups. A double tap on the outside of either cup toggles between Transparency mode and active noise cancellation, while music is played using a small toggle button on the bottom edge of the right earcup.
Let me be clear: You wouldn’t buy a Dyson Zone for audio performance. Active noise cancellation is undoubtedly nice, but listening to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” didn’t deliver a blowing operatic listening experience for my XM5s. However, you’re not doing the Dyson Zone justice unless you’re using the mask while listening.
The mask is, basically, a magnetic face mask that fills your mouth and the noise with cool, clean air. As an ardent hater of “airplane air,” I imagine breathing through a Dyson Zone’s electrostatic filters would make me feel first class (even though I usually sit in the back of the bus).
When I stood up, the airflow in the area was moderate. Then, as I started to skip, the headset’s accelerometers increased airflow to the point where I could hear the fans whirring around my ears. This automatic trigger is intended to assist the wearer while they are moving and may need more air, such as running to catch a train or climbing stairs.
I haven’t had a chance to explore the MyDyson app, but it appears to be used to check the air quality in my surroundings. Air pollution is a major concern, especially in cities. I haven’t always worried about what’s in the New York City air I breathe in, but I know I’d rather breathe through high-tech Dyson Zone purifiers than through my regular nostrils.
Let them stare
Of course, people might stare but that’s not something that bothers me, if I’m being honest. And if one of those onlookers were tempted to ask me what was on my head, I could simply lower an eyebrow to stop the airflow and pause the music to speak. It’s surprisingly intuitive.
Besides thinking I look great in the Dyson area, I’m convinced of the practical uses. It’s definitely a luxury, but I would consider it if I frequented areas that might not have the best air quality. Even if you’re an avid traveler, there’s an allure to breathing in fresh air surrounded by strangers for several hours. Filters may not protect against airborne viruses, however Poetry Much healthier the moment I secured the mask to my face—as if I was kind of breathing better air than everyone else around me.