With the LG Tone Free FP9, LG enhances its reputation as a jack-of-all-trades company. When it comes to TWS earbuds, the Tone Free series has a pretty heavy fan base due to their compact nature and good sound quality. In addition to that, they have also taken a step towards cleanliness by harnessing the power of UV-C light. In this article, we will do a full hands-on review of their latest earbud, titled LG Tone Free FP9.
At first glance, the LG Tone Free FP9 has a surprisingly compact build, which makes it light, small, and incredibly tiny. Being this small usually scales evenly with the comfort level, and it’s no exception in these earbuds, as we’ve tried them on for hours on end and have no complaints at all. Compared to other earbuds, which tend to be a bit bulkier and had a way of letting us know that something was clinging to our skulls. The FP9 was so light and comfortable it was barely noticeable. The compact build of FP9 impacted the overall visuals of the earbuds, as they sit perfectly in your ears without looking too dramatically overdressed. The buds also feature hypoallergenic silicone tips that help to reduce the risk of skin reaction.
Now, let’s come to one of its main features, which have been advertised through and through, which is the ability to connect to anything without using Bluetooth. At first, it sounds magical. I mean, can you imagine being able to connect to anything without Bluetooth Connectivity? However, they DON’T say in the ads how it’s not anything but anything that has a 3.5mm jack. The thing is, it can connect to any 3.5mm port via USB-C and stream audio directly to these earbuds. For example, you can plug it into your DualShock controller to have the audio from your PlayStation directly in your earbuds without using Bluetooth. We admit, this is a nice little touch, but it is pretty situational, in our opinion. We also noticed some audio latency, so people, especially gamers who need incredibly accurate environmental awareness, might need a second thought.
In terms of controls, it works the same way as any traditional earbuds. A single tap can play or pause your music. Double tapping on the left earbud lowers the volume, whereas double tapping on the right increases it. When you want to skip tracks, triple tapping on either will do the trick. However, if you’re uncomfortable with the controls, the LG Tone Free app is here to save the day, as it lets you remap and customize your controls to your liking. Now, ANC and Awareness Mode, in our opinion, is one of their strongest suits, as they do the job very well. The ANC sucks in the ambient noise, greatly highlighting the already superb audio profile fine-tuned by British audio company Meridian.
The bass is punchy but does not drown out the finer details in the music, and the ANC does an excellent job of isolating you from the ambient noises. At the opposite end of this spectrum, the Awareness mode slightly lowers the music volume and uses the three microphones to their full potential. You would be able to maintain a normal conversation while blowing music at full volume, with no problem whatsoever. It also has a semi Mic-Monitoring ability, which lets you hear your own voice. It has very minimal differences in terms of audio quality when compared to its predecessors. The dedicated app has a set of presets which you can use to customize your audio whichever way you prefer. All of these things make listening to music on these earbuds a treat to the ears.
Now, you might think, how well does it do in terms of phone calls? Well, we have good news for you. The triple mic setup does a pretty nice job of picking up your voice from even the noisiest of environments. To further enhance that, you can enable “Whisper” mode from Toner Free LAB, which deactivates all other microphones except the one at the bottom and simultaneously increases its sensitivity, where even if you whisper, the other end will listen. This feature, however, backfires in some situations since the microphone is super-sensitive. Using this feature outside a quiet environment usually may not be a very pleasant option.
All that said, how long can it actually perform? The earbuds have above-average battery life when compared to their predecessor. Even with the ANC on and running, you’ll get around 7 hours after a single charge, and you can stretch that even further to an astonishing 10 hours with ANC turned off. Talking about the case, one of their selling points is the UV Nano case, which will kill 99% of the bacteria in your external mesh every time you put your earbuds in the case. It’s hard for us to point out drawbacks since it’s a pretty amazing pair of earbuds.
However, with the small case and compactness, unfortunately, it holds less charge. You can charge your earbuds from zero to one hundred only one and a half times. The case charges itself via USB-C and holds a single LED in front of the case, which indicates battery life like any other traditional earbuds.
So, that was our full hands-on review of the LG Tone Free FP9. Overall, with a plethora of useful features like compactness, good ANC, battery life, and the ability to connect to anything with a 3.5mm jack, the LG Tone Free FP9 struck is a pretty good pair of earbuds, which anyone would be happy to have.