The LG Tone Bluetooth Headset is a truly wireless headphone designed for people looking for increased protection against bacteria. Fortunately, in addition to the good connectivity thanks to Bluetooth 5, this is one of the few noteworthy features that the LG Tone Free offers.
We can’t say with certainty whether it will work without access to a lab, but the idea of not having to disinfect our headphones regularly is certainly an appealing prospect – and, as every music lover knows, ear infections make wearing headphones or earphones uncomfortable, not a lot of fun.
The design of these wireless headphones is quite modest and is inspired by the aesthetics of the AirPods Pro, although they don’t offer the noise-canceling intelligence of Apple headphones. They are light and comfortable to wear, and a selection of silicone earbuds and IPX4 water resistance makes them suitable for use during exercise.
In truth, however, the audio quality from the LG Tone Bluetooth headset isn’t very good – the highs sound harsh and distorted, while the lows are both overwhelming and muddy.
Your only bright spot here is that they handle mid-range frequencies quite well (think pianos, vocals, and guitars), especially in simpler musical arrangements. However, if you give them something much more complicated than lead guitar and vocals to handle the sound stage, it becomes a confusing mess.
For the price you pay, although they can kill the bugs hoping to infect your ears, we’d expect more
The Product Review of the LG Tone Bluetooth Headset
- Light design
- IPX4 water resistance
- UV light charging case
Available in black and white, the LG Tone Bluetooth headset are similar to the Apple AirPods Pro, with protruding studs and silicone tips – though they don’t offer the noise-canceling you get with the earbuds.
The earbuds themselves are sleek and lightweight, with a glossy finish on the cases and a matte finish on the tactile ear studs. There are three different sizes of earplugs to choose from in the box.
The headphones also come with an IPX4 water resistance rating, so you can use them while exercising without worrying about getting damaged by a little sweat or rain – you definitely can’t take them with you.
The touch controls are located at the top of the ear hooks; you can use them to play/pause your music, adjust the volume, answer calls and activate the Ambient Sound mode, which lets certain ambient sounds through the headphones.
The charging case has a round, lightweight design and a flip-up cover and is definitely one of the smaller charging cases we tested so you can easily slip it in your pocket when not in use thanks to its wireless capabilities, which allows you to charge it on a wireless charging pad.
There is a small LED on the front of the charging case that shows you the remaining battery life, while there is a USB-C charging port on the back.
As mentioned earlier, LG claims the charging case can kill 99.9% of the bacteria on the headphones’ speaker mesh. When you put the earbuds in the case, it projects them with UV light and disinfects them for next use – the charging case needs to be plugged into the USB-C power cable for it to work.
- Strong highs
- Hissing in high frequencies
We first tried the LG Tone Free HBS-FN6 headphones while listening to Not in Love by Crystal Castles, and the sparkling synth ostinatos came through the mix with clarity as Robert Smith’s signature vocals dominated the track. The rest of the instrumentation, however, suffered from a muddy sound that made it difficult to choose the various instruments.
Experimenting with the equalizer works best when using the Natural preset, but the low frequencies tend to dominate the rest of the soundstage, while the highs sometimes sound a bit sizzling, with an annoying hiss when the volume is turned up.
LG Free Tones do better on less complex tracks; in Bright Eyes’ Drunk Kid Catholic, the piano sounded bright and clear, while weeping guitar lines rippled like a fugue around Connor Oberst’s eerie voice. In the high-frequency percussion, however, there was still that irritating hiss that affected the otherwise balanced mids.
It seems that these headphones sound better when playing clean pop music. In Kimbra’s Cameo Lover, the bass sounded tight and controlled at first, although it blended into the other frequencies as the chorus increased. The sparse verses with harmonized backing vocals sounded pretty good – but as more instruments were introduced the soundstage became jumbled, with a lack of clarity at all levels.
Battery Life and Connectivity
- 18 hours of battery life
- Bluetooth 5
- Easy to pair
The LG Tone Free headphones offer six hours of battery life, an additional 12 hours are included in the wireless charging case; a five-minute quick charge gives you an hour of juice when you’re in a hurry.
That battery life is pretty disappointing. While the buds themselves outlast Apple’s AirPods, the total time of 18 hours is significantly less than many of the best true wireless buds available today.
Pros and Cons of LG Tone Bluetooth Headphones
- A clear and haunting sound
- UV cleaning case
- Long battery life
- Lack of bass
- Quirky touch controls
Self-cleaning headset with brilliant sound, the LG Tone Free (HBS-FN6) is a distinctive creation with a few flaws.
With the LG Tone headset, LG tries to use real wireless while introducing a unique product in this category. Best of all, they offer self-cleaning, using UV Nano-cleaning technology to sanitize each head as it is placed in the charging case.
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