LG’s new TONE Free lineup includes a bunch of wireless earphones, one of which is the LG TONE Free FP9 wireless earbuds featuring sound by Meridian and UVnano tech that kills 99.9% of bacteria on the earbuds. UVnano is a unique feature by LG and you will see it on their TONE Free earbuds lineup. Other features include active noise cancellation, an AUX wireless transmitter, a 5-minute quick charge, and a battery life of 24 hours. Here’s what we have to say about the LG TONE Free FP9 wireless earbuds in the review.
LG TONE Free FP9 Specifications
- Drivers: 8mm driver
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2, USB Type-C
- Protection: IPX4 water resistance (earbuds)
- Features: Active Noise Cancellation, UVnano tech, AUX wireless transmitter, Whispering mode, Ambient Sound, Custom Equalizer, Game mode, touch controls, in-ear detection, Google Fast Pair, LG TONE Free app
- Battery Runtime: Up to 24 hours playback (ANC Off), up to 15 hours (ANC On), up to 6 hours playback (earbuds, ANC Off), up to 10 hours playback (earbuds, ANC On)
- Charging: 1 hours playback in a 5-minute quick charging
- Colors: Black, White
- Price: ₹16,990 onwards
- Availability: LG.com, Flipkart.com, Amazon.in
Design, Build & Ergonomics
Speaking of the highlights of the earbuds, the LG TONE Free FP9 offers active noise cancellation, UVnano sanitization, IPX4 water-resistant design, equips Meridian sound, a 5-minute quick charging, and 24 hours of battery endurance. The box includes the TONE Free FP9 earbuds with the case, ear cups, user manuals, a USB Type-C fast charging cable, and a USB Type-C to 3.5 mm for its wireless connect feature.
One of the impressive things about the TONE Free FP9 is its design, it comes in a compact round case that fits in the hands perfectly, it’s light in weight and easy to carry, slips in the pocket or handbag easily. The case is probably sleek and gives you a soft touch, the finishing is matte on the surface. The TONE Free FP9 earbuds comes in two colors – Black, and White and they both look elegant.
By opening the case, you see the TONE Free FP9 earbuds and a blue light all-around that is supposed to help clear out the bacteria using the UVnano tech. It’s also the first time in India that LG has brought such technology to their TONE Free lineup of earbuds, due to its unique UVnano feature, the earbuds stand out from the crowd. It takes only 5 minutes to kill most bacteria on the speaker mesh of the earbuds while the case is in charging mode.
The earbuds look quite incredible, they have a polished design that gives a great look and feel. The earbuds come with comfortable, medical-grade ear gels made from non-toxic, hypoallergenic silicone as per LG. The TONE Free FP9 has a concha-shaped design that fits in your ear easily and gives you a comfortable feeling. The earbuds are IPX4 water-resistant means they can resist water splashes and are sweat-resistant.
A feature that you will find remarkable is the USB Type-C to AUX wireless connection that enables you to plug into the AUX out or 3.5 mm headphones output and allows you to listen to the music wirelessly. Such features can be useful where the devices have no Bluetooth support like treadmills, and even onto airplane seats.
The case is exactly round in shape with a seashell opening, the front side has an LED indicator that shows you the battery indications of the case as well as earbuds while the backside has a USB Type-C port for charging with support for 5-minute quick charging.
Audio Performance, Features & Connectivity
The LG TONE Free FP9 equips 8 mm drivers and a total of 3 microphones, the drivers have been improved as compared to its predecessor (FN7), however, many wireless buds usually come in 10 mm or 12 mm+ drivers. The sound is tuned by Meridian Audio delivering an impressive and more refined sound quality.
Our experience with the FP9 has been so far great, we liked the extra features and customizations and it took us a long way to understand its features, unlike the rest of the earbuds. The TONE Free FP9 has by far the most compressive set of features that you will ever find on wireless earbuds.
The TONE Free FP9’s unique feature UVnano kills 99.9% of bacteria according to LG. A UV light inside the case helps clear out the bacteria using its UVnano tech. Once you put the buds in the case, all it takes is only 5 minutes to kill most bacteria on the speaker mesh of the earbuds.
Some quick features of the earbuds are Active Noise Cancellation which blocks the ambient and outside noise, Ambient sound which enables you to hear your surroundings, similar to transparency mode, UVnano technology for 99.9% bacteria sanitization on the buds, Whispering mode, low-latency Game mode, a bunch of equalizer settings, and AUX wireless transmitter function, with a few more traits in the TONE Free app.
Pairing is easy, the LG TONE Free app allows you to enter the world of features inside the FP9 earbuds. Once you pair it with the LG TONE Free app, you will see a bunch of features including the ones we listed above. The TONE Free app is available on Google Play Store and App Store for you to download. It also connects via Google’s Fast Pair, but if you are pairing using direct Bluetooth, you are missing those features.
The app shows you the connection to your smartphone, battery information of the buds, a bunch of audio presets including the Bass Boost, and the 3D sound stage alongside the custom equalizer so that you get everything you need to tune the audio. We tried the Bass Boost, it does offer a good sound quality, but the bass isn’t as heavy as we heard on other bass-driven wireless earbuds. On the flip side, the 3D sound stage is amazing and takes you into the 3D surround sound experience.
The LG x Meridian equalizer offers Immersive, Natural, Bass Boost, Treble Boost, 3D Sound Stage, and two custom equalizer settings. Features of the earbuds include the active noise cancellation that blocks the ambient and outside noise and passthrough mode which enables you to hear your surroundings, more like transparency mode.
The active noise cancellation is good and works fairly well, although it’s not as strong as we saw in others. The whispering mode is great and comes in handy while the low-latency game mode is just right for online multiplayer games where you want minimal delays in the audio transmission.
If you are at a place like a library where you can talk much louder, activate the whispering mode in the TONE Free app and hold the right earbud close to the mouth. It gives you the freedom to talk very silently, try to whisper on a call, and still be heard loud and clear on the other end of the line.
You also get those little handy features on the app, features like voice alerts that read SMS/messages, customization of touchpad settings, auto play/pause, touchpad lock, find my earbuds, and software updates.
Battery Runtime & Charging
For its battery, the TONE Free FP9 has the ability to last up to 24 hours on battery with the case and 10 hours (each earbud) without the case. Even though there are others out there with longer battery life in total such as the OnePlus Buds Pro with a whopping 38 hours of battery life, the battery life on the TONE Free FP9 is still good considering the set of features you get on the earbuds.
Digging more into the battery and their runtimes, each earbud offers a 68 mAh sized battery and 390 mAh for its case, and that gives you more than enough battery power. The earbuds can last up to 6 hours of music playback with the ANC feature turned on while they last up to 10 hours without them. The charging case, on the other hand, can last up to 24 hours without the ANC feature, and 15 hours with the ANC. The battery runtimes depend on your usage and vary according to the volume levels and features you use on them.
The TONE Free app shows you the battery information from where you can get to know when to charge and when to not. The case shows you the battery indications from its LED indicator, the Green light means the battery levels are above 80%, the Yellow light means the battery levels are between 20% and 80%, and the Red light means the battery levels are below 20%. When the case is open, you can check the earbuds’ battery while the case is closed, you can check the case battery.
There’s a fast-charging option that you get on the earbuds, a 5-minute quick charging gives you up to 1 hour of battery life which is great if you are in a hurry and you only have 5 minutes to spare. You don’t get the wireless charging feature which might be a letdown for some users, it would have been good if the earbuds came with a wireless charging case compatible with Qi-certified wireless charging pads.
Verdict – LG TONE Free FP9 Wireless Earbuds Review
The LG TONE Free FP9 buds are an amazing pair of wireless earbuds with incredible features such as the UVnano tech that kills the bacteria and keeps the earbuds clean, active noise cancellation, whispering mode, and AUX wireless transmitter feature to enjoy the music without a Bluetooth connection. There’s a lot more to its features than you think these wireless earbuds can have.
The sound is tuned by Meridian Audio and offers an impressive sound quality. It has a bunch of presets including the Bass Boost, and 3D sound stage alongside the custom equalizer so that you get everything you need to tune the audio. The active noise cancellation is good, the whispering mode comes in handy, and it also comes with the low-latency game mode for gamers out there.
Overall, the LG TONE Free FP9 is a solid package for its set of features and this is by far the most compressive wireless earbuds in its segment. If you aren’t looking for earbuds just to listen to the music, but for its extraordinary features, the LG TONE Free FP9 is the one to go with.