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Dyson’s air-purifying headphones are a wallet killer

Coming in early 2023 for $949.

a user wearing the dyson zone headphones with the filtration visor attached against a light background
Image: Dyson

Dyson has set a release date and price for its air-purifying Dyson Zone headphones.

Pricing starts at $949 and should release in March 2023. That’s nearly a thousand dollars for the futuristic, active noise-canceling headphones that just happen to filter air and spray it at your nose and mouth.

The electrostatic filters in each ear cup pull out particulates like pollen and dust; and environmental pollution like nitrogen dioxide and ozone. After that, clean air is pushed into the facemask.

The headphones also have active noise cancellation, which will have to be impressive considering the two tiny motors and compressors on each ear. A 2,600 mAh battery provides 50 hours of listening with ANC on.

Air filtration drops the battery life to four hours on the lowest setting. The medium setting gives 2.5 hours, and the high setting gives just 90 minutes. They’re heavy too, coming in at 595 grams without the visor.

We have doubts about the safety of the Dyson Zone

It’s worth mentioning that when we first covered the Zone, questions were raised over its safety during the pandemic. Dyson hasn’t answered those questions convincingly.

As Dyson puts it, the gentle airflow might mean that the Zone is no longer a “snot rocket.” The genuine concern is that it doesn’t have to have high airflow to put airborne diseases into a wide area.

Dyson has said that “the visor blocks a lot of [those] droplets.” That’s outdated thinking, as the WHO has stated the novel coronavirus is airborne.

dyson zone headphones on a mannekin
Image: Dyson

The company also claims that the purified airflow mixes with your breath, “scientifically reduc[ing] the concentration of the germs or the particles in your exhaled air.” That just doesn’t make sense, especially in a closed space.

This all means any air gaps will increase transmission. We can’t dispute Dyson’s claims of pollution filtering, but the potential risks for public safety are still there.

Maybe that’s not going to matter, as the $949 price tag is going to reduce the number of devices that hit the streets.

Dyson is bringing the Zone to the U.S. in March of 2023 on an “appointment-based” pre-order arrangement to start with. The company says that Zone will be available on Dyson.com and at Dyson Demo stores shortly after.

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