Dyson has patented headphones that purify the air around you as you listen

Dyson Headphones
Dyson Headphones (Image credit: Dyson/IPO)

What you need to know

  • Dyson has patented headphones that purify the air around you as you listen.
  • They are designed to purify the air you breathe without covering your nose and mouth, and whilst playing music.
  • With motors that spin at 12,000 RPM, let's hope they have good noise cancellation.

Dyson has patented a wearable air purifier that can be used as headphones in a bid to tackle the harmful effects of air pollution on human health.

As reported by Bloomberg, the filing to the Intellectual Property Office dates back to July 2018 but was only made public last week. The description of the patent states:

"It is an object of the present invention to provide a wearable air purifier that provides improved air purification and air delivery performance when compared with prior wearable air purifiers.

The purifier itself is worn over the ears of the user and is designed to tackle the problem of air pollution. The patent notes the background of rising air pollution and all the risks this poses to human health. It further notes that most wearable air purifiers usually cover a user's nose and mouth, which is awkward and not really socially acceptable. Most alternatives that don't cover your nose and mouth, struggle to provide effective protection against airborne pollutants. Dyson has tried to solve this by creating a wearable air purifier that does both.

And yes, they also double as headphones. The motors for the air purification system spin at 12,000 rpm and are housed inside the ear cups. Drawing in 1.4 liters of air a second could make for some noisy airflow. However, Dyson says that a range of rotational speeds from 10-12,000 RPM can "be effectively canceled by a typical active noise cancellation (ANC) system".

As you can see from the image above, the headset also has a band that goes across the wearer's mouth to further improve air quality. However, some images show this in a retracted state, which seems to suggest that it's an optional configuration.

Now, whilst a patent is definitely not confirmation that this product will ever see the light of day, Dyson has made incredible inroads in consumer technology in recent years. Perhaps a wearable air-purifier with built-in headphones is its next big thing.

Stephen Warwick