There is a growing trend in the mobile accessories industry and it isn’t related to any new wireless connection or audio technology. It is, instead, riding on the wave of health and sanitation-related accessories to address growing concerns about COVID-19 and other harmful micro-organisms. It isn’t surprising, then, that LG’s newest TONE Free truly wireless stereo earbuds are coming with its own bacteria-killing UVnano case but, fortunately, that’s not the only new thing it has to flaunt.
The UVnano case isn’t actually that new. The LG TONE Free FN6, launched just a few months ago, was the first to employ ultraviolet light, specifically the UV-C spectrum, to kill germs while the buds charge inside. LG claims that this treatment is able to eliminate 99.9% of E. coli and S. aureus bacteria that may have stuck to the buds’ inner mesh. Of course, it won’t be enough to kill viruses like the nCoV-SARS, a.k.a. COVID-19.
The LG TONE Free FN7 gets a similar UVnano case but with a minor but important addition. That case now sports LED lights that show not just charging but also the UVnano status. It typically takes under a minute to disinfect the buds but now you don’t have to mentally keep track of how long it has been bathing in UV light.
That said, the true headlining feature of the TONE Free FN7 is something you can’t see. It now has active noise cancellation, thanks to three mics in each of the buds. Together with the twist-fit Vortex Ribs design of the ear gels, LG promises you’ll be able to shut out the world when you need and want to.
Aside from those two new features, the LG TONE Free HBS-FN7 boasts of the same good stuff as its FN6 predecessor, like Meridian Audio technology, a 7-hour battery life without ANC (5 hours with ANC), and a 5-minute charging time for 1 hour of play. LG says that the earbuds will go on sale in North America, Europe, and Asia this quarter but makes no mention of pricing details.