Dyson Zone Review: Air-Purifying Headphones Are Overpriced and Embarrassing
The ANC works extraordinarily properly, and, whereas the headphones aren’t the loudest I’ve ever used, there’s an excellent steadiness between noise canceling, sound isolation, and music to drown out the din on one of many noisiest sections of all the Underground system. With the visor in place, nevertheless, the cool breeze flowing throughout my mouth actually is relatively nice.
If I pause my music, I’m vaguely conscious of the followers whirring in my ears, however it’s nowhere close to as noticeable, and unacceptable, as it’s within the workplace. This is a reduction, however there’s no query that from an audio perspective, the fan’s motor does cloud the audio high quality. Is it a compromise you is likely to be prepared to make for a blast of recent air?
The fan noise is significantly louder in the event you occur to be sitting subsequent to somebody sporting the Dyson Zone. No, it’s not as irritating as somebody taking part in music by a cellphone speaker, or, for that matter, normal headphone sound leakage—however it’s there. There’s one thing uncomfortably egocentric about an costly private air air purifier that truly produces noise air pollution.
App and Air Quality
As talked about, having cool air blown throughout my nostril and mouth (particularly on public transport) is a relatively good sensation. Of the 4 ranges, essentially the most highly effective was my go-to, regardless of the added battery drain, as a result of at decrease speeds I might barely really feel the breeze. Auto mode adjusts in keeping with air high quality round me, however it by no means clicked out of the bottom pace, regardless of being in some fairly grotty circumstances.
Which brings us to the query: How are you aware in the event that they’re working? The app has loads of knowledge so that you can dive into, with regional air-quality stories and real-time NO2 monitoring, with a traffic-light system exhibiting how unhealthy the air high quality is. But the real-time readout solely kicks into gear if you’re sporting the headphones, and, bafflingly, there are not any poor air high quality alerts, which seems like a missed alternative.
This is particularly noteworthy as Dyson has admitted that it (probably after the industry-wide bemusement following the unique product reveal?) sees the Zone as a “headphone first” product, with the air air purifier bit as a nice-to-have additional. Regardless, being informed when to put on the visor ought to undoubtedly be on the options listing.
The filters final an entire 12 months, and you’re reminded to purchase extra by way of the app, however in terms of simply how properly the negatively charged electrostatic filters and potassium-enriched carbon layer work, we’ve to take Dyson’s phrase for it.
It’s additionally value noting that when standing at Oxford Circus in central London—one of many UK’s most polluted streets that has damaged authorized limits of air high quality—the app by no means registered greater than the “green” base fee of 0.5. I dread to assume how unhealthy the air high quality would have to be to get into the pink fee.
If by some means you couldn’t inform from this assessment to date, let me be clear: I didn’t get pleasure from my time in public testing the Dyson Zone. They’re outsized, overpriced, and over-the-top. Maybe someday we’ll all be sporting private air purifiers? Covid did train us how shortly what “normal” appears like can change. But, for now, I can’t look previous them as an elitist image of late-stage capitalism. Quite frankly, I’m amazed they exist.
But that doesn’t imply they’re not an engineering marvel, and they might properly discover themselves an viewers, and you’ll be able to’t however applaud Dyson’s capacity to squeeze all that know-how right into a pair of headphones.
Indeed, if Dyson feels inclined, it might design an outstanding pair of headphones, with best-in-class noise canceling, spectacular talk-through transparency, stable audio high quality, and head-turning appears. Get rid of the filters, followers, and visor—which might considerably scale back the general dimension, weight, and value—and it might have successful on its fingers. Asking the general public to drop as much as $1,000 for them, with an ostentatious air-purifying visor as a bonus function, is farcical.
At practically twice the price of AirPods Max, nevertheless a lot Dyson needs to spin this product as being “headphones first,” the Zone’s raison d’être is to supply transportable clear air whereas we stroll about our polluted planet. But it is purer air for the well-off, for many who seemingly reside in higher, cleaner environments already, who need safety after they enterprise into nasty city locations. And that’s an uncomfortable thought. A thought that’s nearly as troubling as sporting the Zones themselves.