In what might be one of the more unique combinations since chocolate and peanut butter, the popular vacuum cleaner company Dyson has announced Dyson Zone combination headphones and wearable air purification system. For integrators already leading the way as the experts that provide audio fidelity systems and indoor air quality (IAQ) solutions for clients, the unique product could make for an interesting add-on sale.
The launch is Dyson’s first foray into wearables. The Dyson Zone is a set of noise cancelling, high-fidelity over-ear headphones which simultaneously deliver immersive sound to the ears, and purified airflow to the nose and mouth.
Dyson Zone Took 6 years, 500 Prototypes
The Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones are borne of Dyson’s 30 years of expertise in airflow, filtration and motor technologies, and its understanding of indoor and outdoor air quality. The compressors in each earcup draw air through the dual-layer filters and project two streams of purified air to the wearer’s nose and mouth, channeled through a non-contact visor. Sculpted returns on the visor keep the purified airflow near to the nose and mouth and diluted as little as possible by external crosswinds.
From an audio standpoint, the Dyson Zone offers active noise cancelling (ANC), low distortion and a neutral frequency response. The original design for the unit was a snorkel-like clean air mouthpiece paired with a backpack to hold the motor and inner workings. The Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones were six years in development with more than 500 prototypes.
Developing a non-contact solution was a must for Dyson engineers, to avoid the discomfort and irritation often associated with full-contact alternatives, says the company. Therefore, the visor design was critical.
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The design of the air-purifying element of the headphones, Dyson engineers used a breathing manikin fitted with medical-grade mechanical lungs and sensing equipment, which “inhales” pollution replicating human breathing patterns in a controlled chamber. The engineers then measure the pollution level within the nose and throat to determine the filtration efficacy of those particles which would otherwise end up in the artificial lung.
Compressors within the earcups draw air through the dual-layer filters. The negatively charged electrostatic filter media captures ultrafine particles such as allergens, and particles from sources such as brake dust, industry combustion and construction whilst a potassium-enriched carbon layer captures city gas pollutants like NO2 and SO2. The compressor channels the purified air to the wearer’s nose and mouth via the contact-free visor, formed with flexible returns that channel the flow of purified air to the wearer’s nose and mouth.
Audio Engineering the Headphones
For the audio, Dyson engineers developed a neodymium electroacoustic system within each earcup that results in a wide frequency response, precise left-right balance and distortion significantly below what can be detected by the human ear, according to the company.
The ear cushions and headband clamp foam have been engineered for comfort. The company undertook research into head and face geometries for the clamp force, materials and adjustability. The Dyson Zone is engineered to distribute weight over the sides of the head versus the top, emulating how a horse’s saddle curve over the spine.
The Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones were engineered by teams across the UK, Singapore, Malaysia and China, with a particular focus on software on our Southeast Asia campuses. The companion app allows for the tracking of the air and noise pollution.
As with Dyson’s vacuum cleaners, the headphones have been tested in temperature-controlled chambers, drop-testing, material and fabric wear testing, button robustness and more.
The Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones will be available online and in-store at Dyson Demo Stores and Dyson.com starting Autumn 2022.
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