LG's newest AirPods-killing true wireless earbuds also kill germs and bacteria

LG's newest AirPods-killing true wireless earbuds also kill germs and bacteria
While most Apple challengers in the fast-growing "hearables" market seem focused on undercutting the industry-leading AirPods lineup and/or offering superior battery life in similarly compact bodies, one company is trying to stand out with a truly unique and decidedly unconventional feature.

We're talking about LG, which made a bit of a splash earlier this year by bringing the Tone Free true wireless earbuds to the US at a $199.99 price with a UVnano charging case included. The tech giant's newest AirPods alternatives are also part of the Tone Free family, and the higher-end HBS-FN6 model comes with an "industry-first" UVnano case as well.

In addition to charging the tiny headphones when you're not using them, said case promises "enhanced hygiene" by eliminating 99.9 percent of E. coli and S. aureus from the hypoallergenic silicone ear gel and inner mesh of the HBS-FN6 buds. According to LG, "several studies have shown that earbuds can harbor more bacteria than a kitchen cutting board", which not only sounds absolutely disgusting, also leading to "potential ear infections."

That's a risk the new LG Tone Free variant is claiming to reduce by a whopping 99.9 percent, although given the current public health context and political climate, we'd be remiss not to point out viruses and bacteria are two very different things.


Still, it's hard to deny the appeal of these self-cleaning true wireless earbuds that aim to combine conventional style and functionality with a unique health-protecting technology. By the way, in case you're wondering, the biggest difference between the HBS-FL7 model released back in January and this all-new "high-end" HBS-FN6 variant is the latter's "canal-type" design, promising to deliver a more comfortable fit than their "semi-open" forerunners.

Meanwhile, the lower-end new LG HBS-FN4 version appears to come without an innovative UVnano charging case while sharing everything else with the HBS-FN6 true wireless earbuds, including "lifelike audio" quality powered by Meridian, noise isolation functionality (which is not the same as active noise cancellation, mind you), IPX4 water resistance, easy Google Assistant and Siri access, as well as six hours of battery life as standard and up to 18 hours of additional endurance from the case.

For some reason, LG is staying mum on the retail prices of both these new AirPods rivals, which is rarely a good sign, but on the bright side, the Tone Free family is scheduled to expand to "key European and American markets starting next month", so we should find out everything relatively soon.

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