With April Fools only two days away, you'd be forgiven for thinking Dyson's latest product launch was an elaborate joke. But no, its new headphones also double as a personal air purifying mask. And the whole thing looks just about as ridiculous as it sounds.
After 6 years and, apparently, 500 prototypes, Dyson has finally launched Zone, a head-mounted, fan-powered air purifying mask. And set of headphones. Apple's AirPods caught plenty of heat for their unusual design when launched back in 2016, but they're child's play compared with this monstrosity. (Check out the best AirPods deals if you're in the market for new headphones, by the way.)
In theory, Zone kind of makes sense – especially after the advent of the coronavirus pandemic. The "2-stage purification system" is capable of "filtering city fumes and pollutants, so wherever you are, you can breathe purified air." Meanwhile, the headphones offer "delivering immersive, high-fidelity sound, with advanced active noise cancelling to block out unwanted disturbance." So it's basically a cross between headphones and a face mask, two essentials of the modern era.
And yet, put the two together and you end up with something that leaves the wearer looking like a 21st Century Darth Vader (The Imperial March probably sounds pretty good through those high-fidelity cans). There's just no way around it – the Dyson Zone looks utterly ridiculous.
And while its conception may be well-meaning, many have pointed out that the Dyson Zone feels like a distraction from actually trying to tackle air pollution. One Twitter user calls it (opens in new tab) "A phenomenally useful example of a tech-inspired distraction from the hard graft of addressing root cause and systemic failure," while another adds (opens in new tab), "Tired of trying to address the root causes of air pollution? Fed up with the activist protests? Why not buy your own private clean air supply and block out those irritating noises instead!"
While the aforementioned AirPods eventually went from ridicule to really cool, becoming ubiquitous on the streets, I'm not convinced the same fate awaits the Dyson Zone. But hey, maybe I'm wrong – perhaps city streets are destined to become filled with vacuum brand Sith lords.
Dyson hasn't revealed the release date for Zone yet, or, more importantly, the price. While we wait to find out, why not check out the best wireless headphones deals available now?