LG Tone Free earbuds review: The new AirPod’s rival

You’re probably more acutely aware of the germs around you now than ever before — and there’s good reason for that. It’s a kind of hygienic vigilance that LG’s new Tone Free wireless earbuds are tailor-made for, thanks to one timely, new feature.

You see, these AirPods alternatives have a UV light in the charging case that LG claims will kill bacteria and germs while the buds charge. (When I said timely, I meant timely.) That’s a neat hook, to be sure, but LG’s new earbuds also have to actually work as earbuds to make the $149.99 investment worthwhile.

So are LG Tone Free earbuds the future of wireless earbuds, a gimmicky mess, or something in between? Let’s find out together.

First, that germ-killing UV feature…

The most eye-catching thing about the new LG Tone Free earbuds is the claim that its charging case can kill up to 99.9 percent of bacteria on the speaker mesh using UV lights.

First, you need to know that this feature only activates when you put the earbuds inside the case while the case is plugged in and charging. This feature doesn’t work on the go, presumably, to maintain the advertised 12 extra hours of battery inside the charging case.