I’ll never ever forget the day the announcement for the Dyson Zone headphones hit my inbox. I was sure it was an April Fools joke. I reached out to Dyson, they confirmed it was real. In Las Vegas this week – I triple confirmed it by using the Dyson Zone for real, and I can tell you all about them.
Let’s be real. You look ridiculous. That’s unquestionable.
But if you live in an area where air pollution is a problem, or perhaps you travel the subway or underground in New York or London – this could be a game changer. That use-case makes me question the likelihood this product will ever be available in Australia, because where do we need it?
Starting at $949 in the USA, we don’t have availability or pricing for Australia, but it’s gotta come close to $2,000 on that basis.
So what are you getting? Epic headphones, with a very unique feature.
Dyson has been working on these for something like six years. From an Audio perspective they haven’t skipped a beat or cut corners in the development. The frequency range means you’re hearing everything possible. Out of the box it’s a neutral sound, with three EQ options in the Dyson app.
Listening to Blinding Lights by The Weeknd it was stunning – a crisp sound that at first listen they will rival some big names. At this price, they need to rival Focal and blow Apple, Sony and Bose right out of the water.
On the right-hand ear-cup there isn’t a capacitive touch sensor to swipe and change tracks or volume. And no buttons. Instead there’s a tiny joystick and I’ve gotta say, I love it. Works a treat!
Double tap either ear and you switch to pass-through mode, like transparency, so you can hear what’s happening around you. It’s an amazing pass-through, really very well done. But the size and weight of the headphones makes it very clear you’re still wearing them.
Inside the companion app there’s even a live chart of the dB levels outside and inside the headphones. That shows you clearly the impact of the Active Noise Cancelling, which was near to 20dB when I tested it.
As headphones, these are epic. Pricey, but epic.
But now to the elephant in the room.
Each ear-cup has a motor on it. A literal little motor. When you put the face mask on – which is lightweight and plastic, bendable and easy to fit with simple magnets – the air purification kicks in. Those motors spin up, and the people next to you will wonder what the hell is going on.
You’ll get the option via a button on the left ear to put the motors in Auto, Low, Medium or High mode.
Without music playing, you can hear the motors. When music plays, you’d have no idea.
My favourite discovery when wearing these was firstly that the mask component is light. At the same time, it also pops down. So you’re wearing this mask in front of your face, but you want to have a drink. Just tap it and it falls down but stays connected to the ears.
Instantly the transparency mode kicks in and the Air Purification turns off.
With Air Purification on, you can feel the air blowing in your face, and it certainly seems fresh. I can’t really speak to the purification – we’ll test that in the future.
The Dyson Zone headphones are amazing. They will be excellent for audio. But will they match the price similar models.
Air Purification is amazing, but who needs it?
I struggle with this innovation – but we’ll see what happens in Australia if they launch here.
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