Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

LG joins AirPods with UV-cleaning Tone Free

There’s already a fair amount of choice in truly wireless earphones, but there’s about to be a little more, and it might even protect your health.

Our phones are our media players, and the very thing you likely rely on for music these days, but while there’s a fairly consistent and uniform approach to what we use, the same isn’t true with out headphones. Wired or wireless, large or small, we all have choices for how we consume our music and podcasts and such, and they seem to be growing all the time.

Headphone announcements are a bit of a regularity lately, and you don’t need to look far to find them. Practically every phone maker produces a variety of headphones, so you clearly have more than one choice, though some have waited a little longer to get into specific areas than others.

The world of truly wireless is one of those categories some have been dabbling in longer than others, but we’re seeing more movement into recently. You can pick up truly wireless earphones truly cheaply, and while AirPod clones don’t tend to be amazing, the sheer fact that there are so many choices means you’re not limited to specific brands at all.

LG looks set to the join the growing number of earphones lately, launching a pair of cordless and truly wireless earphones that took a little like the AirPods Pro, complete with a stalk design and earphone tips, and not dissimilar from some of the other in-earphone varieties we’ve seen in the past.

LG’s take on the technology is coming in the “Tone Free”, a pair of wireless earphones worked on with Meridian Audio, thanks to the LG partnership with the UK audio brand.

The new earphones will offer wireless sound over Bluetooth 5, various boosting options for treble and bass, echo cancellation, and up to six hours of playback before needing a recharge from the earphones. Like all other truly wireless earphones, there’s a rechargeable case, with this one getting in an extra two charges (12 hours), plus a bit of a surprise extra: cleaning technology.

It’s a bit of a first for wireless earphones, but LG has integrated an ultraviolet cleaning light to cleanse the Tone Free earphones while they’re charging. While it won’t get rid of all the nasties in the world, and it certainly won’t clear all the gunk from your ear, LG’s “UVnano” charging case says it will kill 99.9% of bacteria during a ten minute charge, thanks to the UV LED and a medical-grade silicone ear gel found on the Tone Free’s ear tips.

That’s just one side of the technological approach LG is taking with the Tone Free, with Meridian also supporting high-res audio via the Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) technology, something it developed that is used on select high-res services, including Tidal’s HiFi component.

Meridian was also used for the driver development on the earphones, essentially making these earphones a little more than just LG earphones, but also Meridian earphones. Whether that helps the LG Tone Free or not remains to be seen, but they are something Australians will be able to try for themselves, with the Tone Free heading to Australia.

“The LG Tone earbuds are an exciting new addition to the range,” said Tony Brown, Marketing Manager for Home Entertainment at LG in Australia. “Our ongoing partnership with Meridian truly helps users reimagine how sound should be heard – whether that be high-res music, podcasts or movies,” he said.

Locally in Australia, the LG Tone Free earbuds will be found for $279, with a release expected some time in September.

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