In the age of the pandemic that’s surprisingly still ongoing, being able to disinfect everyday things is crucial. That is especially the case when these things are gadgets that touch your skin or even enter crevices like your ear canal. For this reason, LG’s take on wireless earbuds is unique in the market, and the reason is that the storing case of the buds comes with bacteria-killing UV light.
Carrying the marketing-detrimental name “HBS-FN6”, LG’s earbud case also dubs as a wireless charger, so every time you need to refuel the earphones the case will also disinfect them. According to LG, that should be in every 18 hours of audio playback, more or less. The “Tone Free” buds are otherwise great-sounding noise-canceling earphones, they feature IPX4 rating to keep rain and sweat out, and they support fast charging. There are three Tone Free earbud models, so with the case, the cost will be $99,99, $129.99, and $149.99.
LG claims the UV nano LED light that is incorporated in the case can kill 99.9% of bacteria on the surface of the earbuds in just ten minutes, but what happens with viruses like the coronavirus? Ultraviolet light can be categorized into UVA, UVB, and UVC, denoting different wavelengths.
UVC is the subtype that should be able to kill viruses like the COVID-19, H1N1, MERS, SARS, etc., but unfortunately, LG isn’t clarifying this little detail on the product’s website. That said, if you’re buying an LG pair just to be certain that COVID-19 won’t get inside you through the ear, you could be having false hopes.
To be clear, the case only activates the LEDs when it’s closed and the earbuds are inside since UV light is actually harmful to the user’s eyes. The blue hue light that’s pictured in the product images is just for demonstration, and you won’t see it when the lid is open.