When the LG Tone Free FN7 TWS earbuds were dropped at the office, I let out an exasperated sigh, “another one of these”. LG was trying to enter an already overcrowded wireless earbuds market and I felt it would suffer the same fate as its smartphones. Also Read - This Qualcomm chip bug affects around 30 percent of phones globally: Report
But, over the past couple of weeks, I had been using the LG Tone Free and had a change of heart. LG has got something new to the market with the Tone Free and something that other earbuds do not offer. Also Read - Flipkart Smartphones Carnival sale: Deals on Apple, Samsung, Poco, Realme, more smartphones
The LG Tone Free FN7 was launched at an introductory price of Rs 29,990 and that’s where I felt the company had dug its own grave with that exorbitant price tag. However, realizing that it had jumped the gun, LG dropped the retail price for the FN7 to Rs 18,990. This still gives it a chance. Also Read - LG reveals list of phones to get up to Android 13 update even after business closure
But as always, the Tone Free comes with its own set of brickbats and bouquets, so here’s look at what I liked about the LG Tone Free and things that were dealbreakers.
-Good sound quality
-Quick charge technology
-Could have been priced better
-Look like any other earbuds out there
The LG Tone Free FN7 has been surprisingly impressive in the sound quality department. Volume levels are loud, the treble is crystal clear and the earbuds manage to deliver that right amount of bass which makes the overall listening experience even better.
You will not get the level of bass you get from over-the-ear headphones like on the QC35 from Bose or the WH-1000XM3 from Sony, but it’s more than enough to get you that extra thump you need for your music.
Even classics from Tchaikovsky and Mozart sound great on the Tone Free. The trick is in the in-app equalizer. You get options like ‘Immersive’, ‘Bass Boost’, ‘Natural’ and ‘Treble Boost’ to toggle between but also get to customize your music experience in the app.
Not only that, but the app also lets you customize the touchpad controls and lets you set the feedback you would receive with a single tap, double-tap and a triple tap.
The Tone Free comes bundled with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) which is fantastic. It manages to block some of the loudest ambient sounds swimmingly. In order to optimize the ANC, LG has given silicone tips on the earbuds that sit comfortably in the ear and seal the chamber nicely.
On top of that, the earbuds also come with Meridian’s spatial audio technology that accentuates the overall music experience.
It comes with a set of microphones, one of which assists with noise reduction while the other cancels unwanted noise which ANC is activated. Not to mention, the call quality via the earbuds is good. Even while I was outside in a windy environment, I was able to have an uninterrupted conversation without any voice loss from either end.
LG has designed this gizmo with detail and a lot of intricacies. The charging pod isn’t much bigger than a compact mirror and can easily fit into your pockets; even the smaller ones your find lined inside your regular jean’s pockets.
It comes with a dedicated pairing button on the left of the puck-shaped dock which also activated the LED light on the front that cues the pairing mode.
One of the best features about the Tone Free is the ‘Find my earbuds’ feature within the app. In case you misplace your earbuds at home and it is within Bluetooth range, you can make it earbud ring using this option. Easier to find when you have a chirping earbud calling out for its master to rescue them.
In case finding the other earbud has entered the realms of ‘Mission Impossible’, you can even use one bud as a standalone audio device.
Not only audiophiles but fitness enthusiasts will find the Tone Free to be the perfect companion for the quarter mine weekend runs. While running, the buds didn’t slip from my ears even while I was sweating like a…, an athlete. Though the earbuds do come with IPX4 water-resistance certification, the charging dock isn’t so bear that in mind when you are near the pool with that case.
Battery life was good on the Tone Free FN7. I got up to 7 hours of playtime when ANC was disabled and almost 5 hours with ANC enabled. It manages to stay at par compared to the competition like the Jabra Elite 85T and the Apple AirPods.
When you add the extra 14 hours that the changing case offers, you get a total of 21 hours of battery life with the LG Tone Free. Need more? I doubt.
But hang on! We haven’t even talked about the Ace that the Tone Free has up its sleeve. The fast charge and Qi wireless charge support. I got up to 60 minutes of playtime with just 5-6 minutes of charging! Perfect for on-the-go people.
And now to pull the rabbit out of the hat! The LG Tone Free FN7 comes with built-in UV Nano technology. What that does is disinfect your earbuds using ultraviolet light when you place it inside the charging case. Call it gimmicky or not, I liked how LG is playing the whole bacteria-killing card, especially during these times. Since nobody else is doing it and LG has its home-grown bacteria-killing tech, why not put that in headphones as well!
Just FYI, UV light has not been proven to have any effect on the deadly coronavirus, however, it is used to disinfect objects.
The glossy design is attractive but strikingly similar to a slew of already–launched earbuds in the market which robs the Tone Free of its distinct identity. I might be spitballing here, but LG could have worked some more on the design to make it stand out. Remember, LG is the same company that made the smartphone ‘Swivel’ and folded a TV.
Perhaps the one thing that works against the LG Tone Free FN7 is the price tag. At Rs 18,990, the LG Tone Free is more expensive than the Apple AirPods (without wireless charging) and even the Sony WF-1000XM3 that have been stellar performers in this category.
Should you buy it?
Anywhere between Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 would have been safe haven for the Tone Free but when you enter a space where you’re competing with the AirPods, you need some serious specs and hardware to justify your case.
The Tone Free FN7 offer excellent sound quality, a seamless in-app experience and a compact design to check all the boxes. The UV bacteria-killing tech might be overkill but it works for the germophobes out these. If you are adventurous enough to try something beyond the AirPods or even the Sony, then you can try the LG Tone Free FN7.