There’s no shortage of options when it comes to true wireless earphones in India, and even the premium segment is seeing increasing competition from big brands such as Apple, Sony, Sennheiser, and Samsung. While some of these products are positioned to work best with smartphones and tablets from the same brand, others are promoted on the basis of technical superiority or value for money. The latest pair of true wireless earphones from LG pulls some rather unique tricks out of the hat in this regard to set itself apart.
The LG Tone Free HBS-FN7 true wireless earphones boast of impressive specifications and features, including active noise cancellation, tuning by British audiophile brand Meridian Audio, and something truly unique in the true wireless segment – a UV self-cleaning mechanism for the earpieces. While all of this makes the LG Tone Free HBS-FN7 seem rather impressive on paper, how good is this headset in practice? Find out in my review.
The LG Tone Free HBS-FN7 cleans its own earpieces using UV light
Although not among the most expensive top-spec options available in the true wireless segment today, the LG Tone Free HBS-FN7 does sit firmly in the premium segment, along with the Sony WF-1000XM3 and newly launched Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. The earpieces have a glossy finish, with stems that are neither too big nor too small. The headset is available in two colours – black and white, and looks decent overall.
Playback and volume controls can be customised through the LG Tone Free app, which is available on both iOS and Android. You can control playback and volume through single, double, or triple taps. The app also lets you customise the equaliser settings, choose how notifications are handled, and update the firmware, among other things.
The charging case is small and quite nice to hold. It features both USB Type-C fast charging and Qi wireless charging, a pairing button on the side, and indicator lights at the front for the battery status and UVnano cleaning status. Although quite minimalist on the exterior, the inside of the case is a bit more vibrant, thanks to Meridian Audio branding and the UVnano LEDs. The earpieces snap into place in the case magnetically, with the charging contact points on the inner side of the stems.
The bottom of the charging case has two ultra-violet LED lights – one for each earpiece. They activate for a few seconds when the lid of the charging case is opened, and work continuously when the case is being charged using wired charging and its lid is shut. This is said to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria on the speaker meshes of the earpieces when used for ten minutes. It’s worth pointing out here that LG has only rated the technology for effectiveness against bacteria, so don’t expect any protection against viruses or other kinds of impurities.
You get a proper in-canal fit with the FN7, although I often found it a bit tricky to get the right fit for effective noise isolation and ANC. While I didn’t have any issues with comfort, it did take some effort to get the earphones firmly in place with a proper seal every time I put them on, regardless of which ear tips I used.
Good, but not great sound on the LG Tone Free HBS-FN7
Consumer brands often collaborate with established high-end audio names these days, and to LG’s credit, it’s been working with British loudspeaker maker Meridian Audio for some time now. However, this naturally made me want to compare the LG Tone Free HBS-FN7 to the recently launched Oppo Enco X, which has been developed in collaboration with Dynaudio, a competitor of Meridian Audio in the loudspeaker space.