In an age the place private hygiene is paramount, the LG Tone Free FP8 could show simply distinctive and well timed sufficient to realize traction within the true wi-fi earbuds market.
On the centre of the Tone Free FP8’s providing is a charging case that employs UVnano expertise to kill micro organism on the speaker meshes whereas the buds are charging. We’ve seen LG earbuds with this functionality earlier than – the Tone Free FN6 function the identical tech – however poor battery life and underwhelming audio made it troublesome to advocate them for something aside from hygiene causes.
With the Tone Free FP8, nonetheless, LG has returned with a superior product boasting improved audio, energetic noise cancellation and some different methods up its sleeve. And whereas the FP8’s sound high quality and breadth of options nonetheless can’t match the ever present Apple AirPods Professional or class-leading Sony WF-1000XM4, they’re considerably cheaper than these perennially well-liked choices.
That aggressive value, spectacular ANC and the promise of higher aural well being makes the FP8 wi-fi earbuds value contemplating, particularly if you happen to’re notably health-conscious.
LG Tone Free FP8 assessment: What do you get for the cash?
The LG Tone Free FP8 can be found in white, black and gold and can set you again £150. They function over Bluetooth 5.2, assist the SBC and AAC audio codecs and include an IPX4 score for water resistance.
Design-wise, the buds are comparable in model to Apple’s AirPods Professional, with slim stems that protrude down over your earlobe, and a alternative of silicone eartips to assist obtain a cosy match. On the tip of every stem is a touch-sensitive floor that lets you execute varied controls. These embrace taking part in and pausing audio, skipping tracks, adjusting quantity and biking by the three audio modes: energetic noise cancellation, ambient mode, and pure.
Rounding out the foremost options could be very responsive in-ear detection, which routinely pauses audio when an earbud is eliminated out of your ear, and begins taking part in it once more whenever you put it again in.
Whereas not notably unique, the tried and examined design does the trick: the buds sit securely in your ears and are snug to put on for prolonged intervals, making them a nice alternative for train. When you handle to mislay them, the LG Tone Free app has a “discover my earbuds” function that can be utilized to immediate a chirping sound when in Bluetooth vary. The noise isn’t the loudest however is sufficient that will help you find the buds in a comparatively quiet surroundings.
The round charging case will be charged wirelessly and could be very discreet, measuring simply 55mm in diameter. When you don’t intend on utilizing ANC, it is going to present 14 hours of cost on high of the ten hours granted by the buds themselves. With ANC turned on, these figures drop to 6 hours for the buds and 9 hours of cost from the case.
However charging the buds shouldn’t be the one perform of the FP8’s case. It additionally homes UV lights that LG states have been independently examined and kill 99.9% of micro organism on the speaker mesh in simply 5 minutes. This course of is meant to scale back the danger of ear an infection, which in right this moment’s local weather is a lovely proposition.
It’s value noting, nonetheless, that the world sanitised by the UV mild is comparatively small, so that you’ll nonetheless wish to hold the opposite sections of the buds clear manually. In the end, the function feels slightly gimmicky, so is finest considered as a welcome further moderately than one thing integral to the general expertise.
LG Tone Free FP8 assessment: What do they sound like?
One in every of our greatest criticisms of LG’s Tone Free FN6 was the lacklustre sound high quality, so it’s heartening to see improved sonic efficiency this time round. For the very best audio that these buds are able to, nonetheless, you have to to do some work. The usual profile, whereas sufficient, tends to garble greater frequencies.
Luckily, LG has a devoted cell app that offers you all kinds of customisation choices. Included listed below are a number of EQ presets, all of which enhance upon the usual profile in their very own means. Immersive expands the soundstage, Bass Increase does precisely what it suggests with out overwhelming different components of the sound profile, whereas 3D Sound Stage seeks to simulate a encompass sound expertise.
I attempted the latter out with The More durable They Fall on Netflix, and located it suitably immersive as hoofbeats panned from proper to left behind my head and spurs jingled underfoot. The sync was slightly off to start with however I returned to the app and switched on the latency decreasing Sport Mode, which shortly remedied issues.
To my ears, the very best of the sound profiles is the Treble Increase mode, which improves the readability of upper frequencies and feels higher balanced than the default profile. You can even create two customized profiles must you want and, with a little bit of trial and error, it’s best to be capable of discover an EQ that fits your musical tastes.
Energetic noise cancellation requires moderately much less person enter and will be activated by way of the contact controls. A protracted press on both earbud will cycle by the ANC modes: noise cancelling, ambient sound, or off. I used to be in a position to clearly hear site visitors and folks round me when utilizing ambient sound, whereas the ANC lower out the roar of a boiling kettle nearly fully.
There’s no indicator of which setting you’re on – only a beep to point that you just’ve switched modes, which might get slightly complicated, however general, the ANC is extremely efficient and one of many FP8’s finest qualities.
LG Tone Free FP8 assessment: What might they do higher?
The Tone Free app offers you customisation choices for the contact controls, permitting you to assign a spread of features to single, double and triple faucets for every bud. For probably the most half, you’ve acquired loads of freedom as to which instructions you assign to which actions however “faucet and maintain” is locked to biking by the ANC settings.
Whereas a minor gripe within the grand scheme of issues, loads of cheaper earbuds, such because the Inventive Outlier Air V3, provide full flexibility in relation to customising contact controls.
As beforehand talked about, the usual audio profile is slightly lacklustre and doesn’t function a very spectacular showcase of what these earbuds can do. Switching over to the Treble Increase mode produced a extra participating audio expertise and turning on Sport Mode helped scale back latency down whereas watching video content material however having to make these tweaks feels slightly jarring. There’s a strong listening expertise within the Tone Free FP8, however it shouldn’t be a lot work to dig out.
LG Tone Free FP8 assessment: Must you purchase them?
The Tone Free FP8 will garner consideration for his or her incorporation of UV sanitation however it’s not as full a disinfectant because the advertising and marketing would really like you to imagine.
It’s, nonetheless, extra of an effort that the majority earbuds make and if aural well being is one thing you’re notably involved about, otherwise you often share earbuds with different individuals, then the LG Tone Free FP8 are a tempting bundle.
They’re an enormous step up from the FN6 when it comes to battery life and audio choices and, moreover the problems mentioned above, they don’t do an excessive amount of unsuitable.
However you solely want check out our listing of the finest wi-fi earbuds to see how stiff the competitors is and, regardless of being an honest pair of buds, the FP8 solely actually stand out from the gang on account of their UVnano charging case.