Dyson unveils bizarre headphones with air-purifying mask to protect owners from pollution

30 March 2022, 14:04 | Updated: 30 March 2022, 14:18

The Dyson Zone has been six years in the making.
The Dyson Zone has been six years in the making. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Dyson has unveiled a bizarre set of headphones fitted with an air-purifying mask in a bid to tackle polluted air in cities.

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The wearable device - called the Dyson Zone - combines noise-cancelling over-ear headphones with a visor that sits in front of the nose and mouth to deliver filtered air.

Despite the Covid pandemic making masks the norm in public, the device has been six years in development with more than 500 prototypes having been created, Dyson said.

Compressors in each ear draw air through the built-in filters and project two streams of purified air to the wearer's nose and mouth through the visor.

It captures city pollution such as gas and allergens and as well as cancelling unwanted noise.

The visor, which does not touch the face, can be lowered when the wearer is speaking or detached completely when not in use.

It comes in response to growing concerns about air and sound pollution in major cities, the tech company explained.

Referencing World Health Organisation (WHO) figures, they estimated that nine in 10 people globally breathe air that exceeds its guidelines on pollutant limits, while around 100 million people in Europe are said to be exposed to long-term noise exposure above its recommended level.

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Jake Dyson unveiled the new Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones
Jake Dyson unveiled the new Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones. Picture: Alamy

Jake Dyson, the company's chief engineer, said: "Air pollution is a global problem - it affects us everywhere we go.

"In our homes, at school, at work and as we travel, whether on foot, on a bike or by public or private transport.

"The Dyson Zone purifies the air you breathe on the move. And unlike face masks, it delivers a plume of fresh air without touching your face, using high-performance filters and two miniaturised air pumps.

"After six years in development, we're excited to deliver pure air and pure audio, anywhere."

The headphones will be available from autumn but a price is still yet to be confirmed.