Forget AirPods Pro 2: These earbuds clean themselves and measure your heart rate

Philips A7306
(Image credit: Philips)

Philips has revealed a new range of sports headphones, with a diverse set of features to make your workouts safer, smarter and more hygienic.

The Philips A7306 leads the pack of four new headphones; this pair of true wireless earbuds features over-the-ear clips for a more secure fit, IP57 waterproofing and a charging case with a built-in UV light.

Like last year’s LG Tone Free, this light can clean bacteria and germs off the earbuds as they charge. That'll appeal to anyone who wants some of the best sports headphones but would prefer not to clean their new buds with a sweaty shirt.

The A7306 also features its own heart-rate monitor, like the crowdfunded Soul Blade earbuds. So if you don’t need more advanced activity monitoring this could let you go without a wrist- or chest-mounted fitness tracker as well.

Philips A6606

Another advanced pair of headphones in the new lineup is the Philips A6606. This uses bone conduction tech instead of traditional headphone drivers, meaning they transmit sound by sending vibrations through your cheekbones.

It sounds grim but such headphones are well-suited for running as they leave your ears open, so you can hear the sounds of approaching cars, bikes or pedestrians more easily.

Philips A6606

(Image credit: Philips)

Another safety feature on the A6606 is a pair of rear-facing LED lights, which can alert people to your presence if you’re running at night. It’s also certified for IP67 waterproofing, so rain or even a shallow swim won’t hurt.

Philips A4216 and A3206

Rounding out the range are the on-ear Philips A4216 and the in-ear Philips A3206. The A4216 lacks the fancier features but still offers IP55 sweat-proofing and the longest battery life of the bunch, at 25 hours. The A3206 is a relatively straightforward pair of wireless earbuds, albeit with IP57 waterproofing and similarly interchangeable wing-tips as the A7306.

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet and a release date is only given as Q2 2021, which means April onwards. We’d like to say the range will be aggressively priced, to compete with both upcoming workout headphones like the Bose Sport Open Earbuds and more mainstream headphones like the AirPods Pro. But with so many features crammed into the A7306 in particular you can expect these to be more of an investment for serious fitness fans.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.