LG’s latest true wireless earbuds, whose case has a UV light to kill bacteria on the headphones, are now available in the US for $149.99. The Tone Free HBS-FN6 earbuds’ case has a UV light that kills 99.9 percent of the bacteria on the earbuds’ speaker mesh, LG says. The company debuted the technology with last year’s Tone Plus Free earbuds, which were released in South Korea.
Outside of their self-cleaning case, you can expect a more typical range of features out of LG’s Tone Free true wireless earbuds. Battery life is rated at up to six hours from the earbuds themselves, and you’ll get an additional 12 hours of charge from the case for a total of 18 hours. There’s no active noise cancellation, but the earbuds’ dual microphones should reduce background noise when you’re making calls. An ambient passthrough mode is available for when you need to hear what’s going on around you, and their case supports wireless charging.
The idea of using UV light to sterilize gadgets has become increasingly popular, with multiple companies including Samsung releasing wireless chargers that are also advertised as being able to clean your electronics. They’re particularly appealing at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic means we’re having to be especially hygiene-conscious, but it’s important to remember that sterilizing your electronics is no substitute for measures like washing your hands, social distancing, and wearing a mask.
Alongside the HBS-FN6, LG has also announced two additional cheaper models. There’s the $129.99 HBS-FN5W which have a similar design and the same battery life but lack the UV sterilizing case, and the $99.99 HBS-FN4 which has a case that doesn’t support wireless charging and also lacks the UV light feature.