LG might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think about wireless earbuds, but the South Korean technology giant’s out-of-the-box approach has resulted in earbuds that are better than the tech rivals. Moreover, the ToneFree FP9 sounds great.
A circular charging cradle housing the wireless earbuds is the standard for most earbuds, and the ToneFree FP9 is no different. The circular case slides into the jeans pocket easily. The soft finish has got a good hand feel and does not slip from the hand while removing the buds from the case. Even the design of the buds looks interesting - chic and compact. And is super comfortable to wear for long hours. And both the noise cancellation and ambient mode live up to the expectation. So does the sound which is clear and loud during both calls and audio. But LG has gone a step ahead to bring some additional utility goodies to these buds.
The first is the ability to pair the buds with a non-Bluetooth-enabled device. Just like the wireless headphones that can be paired with an aux to any device, even the ToneFree FP9 can be connected to devices that don’t support Bluetooth. The earbuds are accompanied by USB-C to Aux cable for the same. Just turning on the slider on the side of the case, and plugging the USB-C into the device such as an in-flight entertainment system or a treadmill and the aux into the charging case does the magic. The buds can be used wirelessly without any hassle. And on top, the active noise cancellation enhances this experience further. However, not all devices might support this feature.
Another fancy (not new) feature is the iconic UVNano within the charging cradle that kills up to 99.9% of bacteria on the speaker mesh of the earbuds in 5 minutes while charging. But this comes into action only when the charging case is connected to the power cable.
The buds were quick to pair even without the app but I would recommend downloading and pairing buds with the app to access additional features that enhance the overall experience. For instance, find the buds feature. If you are the one who often forgets where you placed the buds after the last call, this feature will come in handy – they make subtle sounds to be found. Using the app, I was also able to reassign the controls on the buds. Plus, switch between noise cancellation and ambient mode. Last but not the least, it gives access to preset Meridien audio profiles and equaliser as well for customizing sound output as per liking. Not many buds in the market offer equalizer feature.
Over extensive use of a couple of months for daily calling and streaming music, I found them lasting about five hours of playback time with ANC. When used with ANC off, it lasted me about seven hours. And with the charging case, the combined usage time turned out to be around 16 hours or I would say was good to last me close to three days.
Verdict: For Rs 18,990, the LG ToneFree FP9 is a stellar wireless earbud with great sound and plenty of utility features.
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