There's no need to settle for regular old earphones anymore, as you can now get an air purifier attached to them. That's right: the CES 2022 expo has seen yet another surprising hybrid device that could serve both your audio needs and help keep your airways full of clean air.
The Airvida E1 is billed as "the world’s first air purifier with built-in earphones," allowing users to "purify the surrounding air while enjoying music with the noise-cancelling earphones."
The device sits around your neck, much like other neckband earphones, though instead of added power or battery life, the extra hardware packs in a portable air purifier built on ible's Breathing Pathway Eco Ion Technology.
This air purification tech is designed to tackle a mixture of in-air bacteria, pollen, allergen and even pathogen particles – meaning that coronaviruses like Covid-19 are included in that too.
Hold on, really?
We're told the Airvida E1 produces "negative ions around the user's facial area which can disrupt and breakdown coronavirus’ carbon-hydrogen bond and inactivate them immediately. In addition, the negative ions can also attach onto airborne particles and turn them into bigger and heavier chunks causing them to fall onto the ground."
While that's a big assertions for any consumer technhology, ible was awarded the Symbol of National Quality (SNQ) Epidemic Prevention Category for 2019 & 2020 in Taiwan, so there's some credit to the claims. You can find ible Airvida wearable purifiers in all sorts of retailers such as Currys or Amazon, and it can be placed on a desktop stand to purify air in a home or office environment.
However, we strongly advise anyone to follow governmental coronavirus guidance rather than relying solely on a consumer gadget like this, especially given the ever-changing transmissibility of new Covid-19 variants.
There's no listed price tag, but the Airvida M1 wearable purifiers (sans earphones) is available for £185 in the UK (around $250 / AU$350), and comes with a 28-hour battery life. You'll get a similar 30 hours for the new E1 model, though that will drop to just eight hours if you're listening to music.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.