LG may have exited the smartphone race, but it hasn’t left the mobile world completely. It still designs a few accessories that you can use with smartphones, especially audio accessories. In fact, it is continuing to grow its TONE brand of earphones and earbuds to cater to the growing needs and sophistication of consumers. The latest pair to come out of that line are the TONE Free FP9 and the TONE Free FP8, both boasting some features you might not easily find in other truly wireless stereo earbuds.
Some of the features LG brags about are pretty common these days. Meridian Audio’s Headphone Spatial Processing, for example, is already a staple in some of LG’s headphones and is now debuting in the TONE Free line, promising a surround sound experience you wouldn’t normally expect from earbuds. There’s also active noise cancellation, of course, courtesy of three mics in each bud.
And then there is Whispering Mode, a special function for those who need to talk privately in public. This mode turns the right earbud into a dedicated mic so that you can talk as softly as you need, without degrading voice call quality.
Exclusive to the TONE Free FP9 is a Plug & Wireless feature that lets almost any device pair with the wireless earbuds, even if the said device doesn’t have Bluetooth capability. The secret is a USB-C to AUX cable that connects a phone, a console, or a PC with the FP9’s charging case, turning the latter into a wireless dongle for use with the earbuds. It will be interesting to see if this can help fix one of the Nintendo Switch’s biggest flaws, its lack of support for Bluetooth audio.
The FP9 and FP8 sport LG’s fancy new UVnano tech cleans the buds inside while charging. Curiously, the TONE Free FP9 doesn’t support wireless charging and only activates UV-C cleaning when charging with a cable. The LG TONE Free FP9 and TONE Free FP8 will be launching later this month in select markets.