The TWS market is certainly a saturated one, with most major tech companies releasing models of their own. Of course, some options still stand out among the crowd, including Apple’s AirPods and the Sony WF-1000XM3. But if you’re in the market for a pair of TWS headphones that can do something that no other model can do right now—LG’s newly-announced Tone Free TWS earbuds come with a self-cleaning charging case.
Two new models have been announced as part of the Tone Free series: the LG HBS-FN6 and the HBS-FN4. As mentioned, the HBS-FN6 comes with LG’s UVnano case, which “eliminates bacteria and germs” on the earbuds while charging them. This, according to LG, is an industry first, and it’s certainly the first time that I’ve come across a feature like this on a pair of TWS headphones.
According to LG:
“The higher end HBS-FN6 includes LG’s innovative UVnano charging case for protected storage, hassle-free charging and enhanced hygiene. Several studies have shown that earbuds can harbour more bacteria than a kitchen cutting board, leading to potential ear infections. Utilising built-in ultraviolet light, LG’s slim charging case keeps listeners’ ears cleaner by eliminating 99.9 percent of E. coli and S. aureus from the non-toxic, hypoallergenic silicone ear gel and inner mesh.”
Of course, the charging case will still… well, charge the earbuds. The earbuds have an estimated battery life of six hours, and if you include the three charges from the charging case, you get a total of 18 hours of usage from a single charge.
Both models are use technology from Meridian, with Headphone Spatial Processing (HSP) offering “extra dimension” for listeners. Of course, this is something that we can only judge once we have an actual unit with us, but LG says that Meridian’s Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology will also help to reproduce the experience of real loudspeakers.
It doesn’t look like there will be Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) on LG’s two models, although LG says that the earbuds’ tight seal will help to isolate environmental noise. Like many TWS models out there today, you’ll be able to hear the sounds around you by turning on Ambient Sound Mode with a quick press of a (touch) button on the earbuds.
Other specs aren’t as exciting as the self-cleaning feature on the charging case, but they’re still fairly significant. IPX4 water resistance means that you’ll be able to use both models for working out, and it should be able to withstand splashing water, rain, and sweat. There’s also support for Google Assistant and Siri, while each earbud has touch commands to allow you to navigate through tracks.
At the moment, no pricing information is available yet. However, both LG Tone Free models will be released in European and American markets from July 2020 in Stylish Black and Modern White, and the good news is that LG plans to extend this availability in more regions soon.