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By: Paolo Lacuna
The LG Tone Free FN6 buds have one neat and unique gimmick: self-cleaning earbuds with UVNano technology. This will get the brand noticed amongst a plethora of wireless earbuds. But is it enough for you to drop S$188 (on promo)? We’re trying out the Black LG Tone Free earbuds and here’s what we think.
The look and the fit
The pebble-like case of the LG Tone Free buds is nice and compact, with a silky feel to the matte plastic finish. The magnets lock your buds safely in the case, with more magnets on the lid that close with a satisfying click. The case is small and light enough that it is easily pocketable. And having the choice to charge either through the USB-C connector or wirelessly is a great plus for the case.
The buds have a glossy finish that contrasts its case. They do feel nice on-hand and on-ear, but it’s hard not to see the similarities in design with the Apple AirPods Pro. The only visual difference is that the LG Tone Free buds have a matte touch-control strip along the stem. They look great on-ear if you don’t mind the droop-styled design. And surprisingly comfortable too. Included in the box are three sizes of the hypoallergenic silicone ear gels to find the best fit, and these are one of the most comfortable buds I’ve put in my ear. They also stay in place so well, that you don’t have to worry about these buds popping out of your ear during a workout. You can pretty much take the LG Tone Free buds to most places because of its splash-proof and sweat-proof, IPX4 rating.
The most interesting visual of this kit is the blue glow of the UVNano that accentuates the buds while in the case. Another unexpected benefit of this is that the blue glow makes the buds easily visible in dark situations.
Audio Control and Customisation
Like most modern earbuds, the LG Tone Free has touch-controls built-in to stop and play music, manage volume, move through tracks and activate functions like ambient sound through a series of taps or a long press. The controls with these buds are kinda finicky though and would sometimes not recognise a tap. It was easier to just take one bud out of my ear to pause the music, which works better.
The fit of these buds is really good at noise reduction, and the sound quality is clean and crisp. The Meridian technology packed into these buds supports four preset modes - Natural, Bass Boost, Treble Boost and Immersive. You can customise two equaliser setting if you’d like, but the presets are pretty good for specific uses already. The bass boost is punchy enough for an enjoyable music jam break, like when I’m bopping to the funk of BTS’ Dynamite. And the Immersive preset gives you that extra sense of depth and space, great for Netflix-ing your favourite shows.
What is understated though is the ambient sound function, where it provides that extra audio awareness of your surroundings when it counts. In its highest settings, I can easily hear my keyboard clacking away while writing this article. I can imagine this being essential outdoors when you need that audio awareness when crossing the street or hearing critical PSAs.
The sound quality and other audio features of the LG Tone Free is nothing to scoff at and will satisfy the needs of most casual users.
The LG Tone Free buds are rated to last for 6 hours of battery life, with another 12 hours in the case. Testing it with ambient sound and high volume did put the buds to work, and the battery still lasted beyond five hours. Results may vary depending on your use, but it still has a bit more juice than the average Apple Airpods Pro.
One new trick - Self-cleaning buds
The LG Tone Free Earbuds’ unique feature is the UVNano Technology built into the case. It claims to kill 99.9% of bacteria on speaker mesh and the silicone ear gels. To get it working, you only need to place the buds in the case, and connect it to a power source and leave it be for 10 minutes. It’s a neat feature, especially with the current pandemic situation where being clean is a priority. This just gives you one less thing to think about, even if you weren’t thinking about clean, germ-free ears.
Final Thoughts and Where to buy
The LG Tone Free FN6 Earbuds deliver a clean and clear sound with enough features to satisfy any consumer. There are a few cons: the look of the earbuds are not unique, and the touch controls inconsistent. There are a lot of pros too: The UVNano Technology is a welcome feature that’s in-tune with the current need to keep clean and germ-free, the comfy fit, and the ambient sound is excellent.
LG launched the Tone Free FN6 in Singapore last at authorised retailers Best Denki, Popular, Courts, Harvey Norman, Lazada and Shopee at S$268. Customers can enjoy a promotional price of S$188 (30% off), for Stylish Black on Lazada and Modern White on Shopee, limited to the first 50 sets on each platform.