While LG has several pairs of headphones to choose from, you’ll have a hard time finding a pair of truly-wireless AirPod competitors. That changes today with the release of LG TONE Free. With its new headphones, LG adopts some of the headlining features found in AirPods, including “automatic ear detection” and a “semi-open design” which mimics Apple’s first design of its popular pair of headphones. Some areas are completely different though, with USB-C charging and self-cleaning technology inside the included charging case. Continue reading to learn more.

LG TONE Free employ UV rays that kill bacteria

As the headphone landscape continues to become overcrowded, companies must feel an extreme need to innovate in order to capture marketshare from Apple. We’ve seen JBL publicly announce solar-powered headphones with intensions to ship in 2020, and now LG has taken the wraps off of its self-cleaning earbuds.

TONE Free continue to embrace LG’s partnership with Meridian, delivering what it touts as “luxury, high-performance audio that’s remarkably close to the original recording with rich bass and clear treble.” With a USB-C charging case in tow, this pair of earbuds aim to deliver up to 21 hours of playtime with each earbud locking in six when fully-powered. Each headphone sports a touchpad that can be pressed to control playback or access a smartphone’s voice assistant.

LG TONE Free

Pricing and availability

LG TONE Free are already available to order direct at a price of $199.99. According to LG, authorized resellers will start selling them as soon as tomorrow. Given the fact that LG has an expansive Amazon storefront, we expect them to show up there soon.

9to5Toys’ Take

While my AirPods are quite tidy, it’s largely because I clean them on a regular basis, a task I’d love to forego entirely. If the self-cleaning tech inside of LG TONE Free proves to actually be useful, it’s a feature I’d love to see expand throughout the market. That being said, there’s only so much UV rays can do, so I’m not holding your breath that any build-up will actually disappear. It would still be nice to know that anything there has been cleansed of bacteria.

USB-C charging and a semi-open design are both great features in my opinion, but a lack of Qi charging at a $200 price point is quite disappointing. When it comes to price, it seems that JAM Live Loud and AUKEY Key Series wireless earbuds will continue to reign supreme for the time being.

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