Dyson unveils noise-cancelling headphones that blow filtered air into your face

The Dyson Zone is a pair of noise-cancelling headphones with a detachable visor, designed so it does not touch the face. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM DYSONSG/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE (HARDWAREZONE) - Six years and 500 prototypes later, Dyson revealed its first ever wearable product - the Dyson Zone.

The British tech company said on Wednesday (March 30) that the Dyson Zone is an active noise-cancelling headphones with a visor that delivers filtered air to your face. The detachable visor is designed so that it does not touch the face.

Dyson said that its engineers wanted to develop a solution that does not come into contact with the skin to avoid the discomfort and irritation often associated with full-contact alternatives. The visor was therefore a critical element, nevermind that it also looks uncannily like the mouthplate of Optimus Prime, a robot from the Transformers shows.

Compressors in each earcup of the headphones draw air through built-in filters and project two streams of purified air to the wearer's nose and mouth through the visor. The visor can be lowered when the wearer is speaking, or detached completely when not in use, so that it becomes a standalone set of headphones.

The Dyson Zone is the company's first foray into the world of audio, and the firm said its engineers took a scientific approach, choosing not to rely on a "golden listener" approach that many other brands have done.

So, its team of audio engineers and acousticians sought to engineer audio that is led by metrics and backed up by extensive listening trials, instead of depending on audio experts that can discern fine details in sound.

Dyson claimed that the expected result is "pure, rich audio and advanced noise cancellation", but this remains to be tested.

The Dyson Zone has been engineered by teams across the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia and China, with its South-east Asian campuses focusing particularly on software. The air-purifying headphones will go on sale this autumn. A price has yet to be confirmed.

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