Image Credit: Dyson

Can Dyson’s New $1,000 Headphones Fix All My Problems? Let’s Find Out

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Earlier this year, I received a press release that caught my attention: Dyson, the company behind your favorite expensive vacuum and your favorite expensive hair tool, was venturing into the world of wearable technology for the first time, with a pair of headphones known as the Dyson Zone that would theoretically change the game, combining a “pure, immersive listening experience” with “on-the-go air purification.” In addition to canceling out the sounds of the city, these babies would purportedly also cancel out the… smells of the city? As a recovering Gadget Kid™, I knew I had to get my hands on these. A couple of weeks ago, I did just that, and I’m here to report my findings—the good, the bad, and the “What the fuck is that thing on your face?”

Before I get into the experience of using these ultra-luxury headphones, let’s address their ultra-luxury price tag. The base model clocks in at a staggering $949.99, while an Absolute+ edition that comes with a fancier (and clunkier) carrying case goes for $999.99. Depending on how you look at it, this is either a wildly irresponsible way to spend a rent check, or a perfect splurge for after that tax refund/end-of-year bonus/lottery win hits your bank account. In the spirit of full transparency, I didn’t pay for my Dyson Zone experience, but luckily, complaining about free things is one of my greatest skills.

In my everyday, non-tech review girlie life, I have almost exclusively used AirPods for the last several years. I upgraded to the AirPods Pro a couple of years back, and I love them. That being said, I’ve often considered getting a pair of over-ear headphones, but have always been overwhelmed by the range of options (and price points) and decided against it. Because I’m new to the big headphones game, when I first took the Dyson headphones for a spin, I thought I might hate them, but I was very wrong. These things are NICE. The ear cushions are very soft, the adjustable headband is padded for extra comfort, and the noise canceling is unbelievably good. Like, you will forget about the outside world and start acting like you’re in a music video. While the noise canceling is kind of magical—the AirPods Pro pale in comparison—if you prefer being aware of your surroundings (or hearing your coworkers when they speak to you), a quick double-tap on the ear switches to transparency mode.

In addition to the audio experience, I was also pretty blown away by the Dyson Zone’s battery life. When you’re not using the air purification mode (more on that in a minute, trust me), Dyson boasts that you can get up to 50 hours of listening time on a single charge. As someone who’s constantly trying to keep half a dozen devices charged, Bluetooth headphones that only need to be charged a couple of times a week are a major breakthrough, and it’s been a welcome relief to not worry about my AirPods case being dead all the time.

Dyson Zone headphones with air purification

But you’re not really here to read about battery life, so let’s get to what really sets the Dyson Zone apart in look, functionality, and *gulp* price: that damn face visor thing. In the box, you get a detachable visor that attaches magnetically to the headphones, turning on an air filtration system that shoots a stream of purified air toward your nose and mouth. I’m pretty much always warm, so the breeze on my face actually felt nice until I remembered that I looked like a character from ‘Tron’ and could barely hear myself talk. Anticipating the obvious question, Dyson is clear that they began developing this product long before the COVID pandemic, and that the air filtration system is meant to reduce “city fumes and gases,” not virus particles. By connecting your device to the MyDyson app, you can monitor pollution levels around you and know when to pop on that cutie lil visor. Or at least, that’s what they want you to do. In reality, I mostly left the visor at home, because one of my primary goals when I’m in public is for my appearance to raise as few questions as possible. I’m sure someone out there looooves the visor, but for me, it’s kind of a no-go, and that’s what ultimately makes the $900+ price tag hard to swallow.

If Dyson offered an audio-only version for half the price, it would be a slam dunk for me, and not just because of the fugly visor. My other main issue with the Dyson Zone is the weight. Not to fat shame a piece of technology (every body is a bikini body!), but these are not for the weak, quite literally. Without the visor, they weigh roughly 1.3 lbs. In comparison, AirPods Max, which are widely considered to be a pretty heavy pair of headphones, are 0.85 lbs. That’s a difference you really start to feel after a few hours wrapped around your head, and when I switched back to my dainty Airpods Pro, I felt like I had been wearing a dumbbell around my neck. If we nixed the air filtration technology, not only would the Dyson Zone be less expensive, but considerably less heavy—a win-win. 

At the end of the day, everyone spends their money differently, so I can’t tell you whether this $1,000 Bane mask is worth it, but I’m pretty confident you can get amazing headphones for a fraction of the price. So unless the visor is something you desperately want, the Dyson Zone probably isn’t for you, but that won’t stop me from turning on the noise canceling and pretending I’m in the new Selena Gomez video!

Dylan Hafer
Dylan Hafer
Dylan Hafer has watched over 1000 episodes of Real Housewives because he has his priorities in order. Follow him on Instagram @dylanhafer and Twitter @thedylanhafer for all the memes you could ever want.