Sound controls

Good sound, feature rich, but expensive

These days, true wireless headphones go beyond mere sound, as the LG Tone Free FP9 headphones are designed for those who make hygiene one of their main requirements.

The LG Tone Free FP9 is the successor to the FN7 launched last year. Like the FN7, this pair of headphones also offers Nano UV disinfection, a unique and much-needed feature, especially at a time when hygiene is paramount for many amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

But how are the headphones regularly used, do they sound good and what about the battery life? Let’s find out in this review.


LG Tone Free FP9: Design

Not much has changed in terms of design, the LG Tone Free FP9 resembles the LG Tone Free FP9; the charging case is quite compact making it easy to carry around in your pocket and the matte finish gives it a minimal look. That said, the case doesn’t feel too sturdy but can take accidental drops (dropped it twice but the case handled it).

LG tone free FP9

What’s different though is that the charging case has a slider button, this is given for connecting the headphones with devices that don’t offer Bluetooth connectivity, including your gym treadmill. This can be useful in some scenarios.

On top of that, the charging case has LED indicators for battery level and a USB-C port for wired charging. However, there is also a wireless charging option, which makes it much easier to charge the headphones.

The earbuds are really tiny with a short stem and light (5.2g each), you don’t even feel like you’re wearing them. People with small ear sizes would like the earbuds because they are the ones who usually struggle to get the right earbuds that will fit their ears properly.

LG Tone Free FP9 review
LG tone free FP9

That said, the ergonomic design provides good comfort and you can easily wear the headphones for hours. I’ve done this often because the job requires too many calls, so I wear headphones for long hours.

What’s notable is that these ‘premium’ headphones have an IPX4 rating, which means there’s not much protection against sweat and water, so you’ll have to be careful here.

Each earbud has touch controls with good response and you also get medical grade ear tips made from non-toxic and hypoallergenic silicone.


LG Tone Free FP9: Battery

The battery is good as the earbuds easily last up to 6 hours with active noise cancellation (ANC) and can go up to 8 hours without it. The total battery is around 22 hours (without ANC) with the case. Overall, battery runtime is decent enough, but I didn’t find the headphones to charge quickly; they take their sweet time.

LG Tone Free FP9: Sound quality and performance

LG has teamed up with British company Meridian to tune the Tone Free FP9 headphones. However, I didn’t find the sound exceptional in any respect. The main thing one notices is that the bass isn’t as punchy as expected in a high-end earphone. However, the overall tuning and sound quality are quite good. Thus, these headphones are not for bass lovers but those looking for a good mix can enjoy them.

LG Tone Free FP9 review
LG tone free FP9

You can play with the equalizer and change the settings (Immersive, Natural, Bass Boost, Treble Boost and 3D Sound Stage) as needed using the LG app called Tone Free which is available for iOS and Android users.

I have tried a few profiles to adjust the setting to my preference and you may need to give it a try as the default profile may not appeal to everyone, especially those who have tried the Apple Airpods or the Sony XM4 before. .

Active noise cancellation is decent but not too good. The headphones manage to block out outside noise, but when used outdoors they’re pretty average.

At home or inside a subway rail, you get good sound insulation.

LG Tone Free FP9 supports Bluetooth 5.2 and AAC code, connection is good up to
10 meters.

LG Tone Free FP9 review
LG tone free FP9

Other features include multi-connectivity, so you can pair the headphones with two devices simultaneously and that’s a key feature these days as most of us use multiple devices a day.

Touch controls for playback and volume are good, and you can customize them using the Tone Free app.

That said, I was really impressed with the call quality with the headphones, thanks to the device’s three microphones. Most headphones struggle here, but TONE Free FP9 does a good job here.


Verdict:

Priced at Rs 21,990, you can get LG TONE Free FP9 for around Rs 19,000 from major e-commerce platforms, but they are still an expensive pair of headphones.

That said, they come with several great features, and the hygiene part is also covered and that’s also the key USP of the device. Comfort and good call quality are other points to note.

What’s not really good is that the bass could have been better for an overall great sound experience. Also, a better IP rating would have been better.

That said, the LG TONE Free FP9 could have been a decent package overall, but for someone who likes a good mix of bass in the overall sound quality, the experience wasn’t that rich.