LG Adds Noise Cancellation To Its Tone Free Self-Cleaning Wireless Earbuds

LG Tone Free Earbuds
Earlier this year, LG took Apple's AirPods to the cleaners with a set of 'Tone Free' earbuds (HBS-FN6) that shipped with a slim and sanitizing "UVnano" case, which uses UV light to zap away germs and bacteria. But unlike the latest AirPods Pro, noise cancellation was not part of the deal. Until now—LG's newest Tone Free earbuds (HBS-FN7) offer the same features as it predecessors, with the addition of active noise cancelling (ANC) technology.

For a long time, I never cared much about active noise cancellation, perhaps because until recently, I only experienced it through headphones (not earbuds), and it would always make my head feel funny. That was even true of the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i that I splurged on. But the AirPods Pro have been a game changer for my daily walks, and I'm now a fan.

The Tone Free FN7 brings parity in that regard, and as such, are positioned as a legitimate contender for active types and anyone else who wants to muffle outside noise. LG says its newest earbuds attack external sounds by employing a trio of microphones in each earbud, to monitor sound from all directions.

"With ANC activated, environmental noises are now almost completely neutralized, making every note and voice sound clearer, more natural, without losing the details from turning up the volume to maximum. Whether you’re in an airplane, at an outdoor café or on a noisy street, everything sounds as though you’re in the quiet comfort of your personal space," LG says.

This is further aided by adjustable ear gels with patented twist-fit Vortex Ribs, which LG claims deliver a tighter seal in the ear canal. I cannot say how well the noise cancellation works, but color me intrigued.

Here is a rundown of the key specifications...
  • Earbud Size: 16.2 x 32.7 x 26.8 mm
  • Charging Case Size: 54.5 x 54.5 x 27.6 mm
  • Earbud Size: 16.2 x 32.7 x 26.9 mm
  • Battery Capacity:
    – Earbuds: 55mAh x 2
    – Case: 390mAh
  • Fast Charging Time: 5 minutes for 1 hour of play
  • Battery Life:
    – Play: 7 hours (ANC off), 5 hours (ANC on)
    – Earbuds + Case: 21 hours (ANC off), 15 hours (ANC on)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1 (Single Device Connection)
  • Speaker: 2 Layered Dynamic
  • Microphones: 2 Outer, 1 Inner
  • Compatibility: Android / iOS Bluetooth
  • Audio Codec: SBC / AAC
  • Colors: Stylish Black / Modern White
The earbuds employ a digital signal processor (DSP) from Meridian Audio that LG claims can recreate a realistic soundstage akin to listening to loudspeakers without sacrificing vocals or overall clarity. There is also a bass boost option to put more thump in your noggin, if that is your thing.

LG is launching the Tone Free FN7 in South Korea today, followed by availability in North America, Europe, and Asia in the fourth quarter. In South Korea, the earbuds are priced at KRW 219,000, which is about $194 on US currency. As another point of reference, the Tone Free FN6 goes for $145 on Amazon.