LG undercuts AirPods Pro with its first true wireless earbuds, but not by much

LG undercuts AirPods Pro with its first true wireless earbuds, but not by much
As if the thriving "hearables" market wasn't already brimming with solid alternatives to Apple's industry-leading AirPods, LG is finally prepared to throw its hat in the US true wireless earbuds ring.

In fact, the company's latest (and smallest) member of the popular Tone family of audio accessories for iPhones and Android handsets is already up for grabs stateside following a commercial debut in LG's homeland of Korea several months ago.

Dubbed simply LG Tone Free in the US rather than Tone+ Free for an Asian audience and carrying model number HBS-FL7, these bad boys are available in a single black color at a recommended price of $199.99. That makes them 50 bucks cheaper than Apple's hot new AirPods Pro, although with Samsung's Galaxy Buds and Amazon's Echo Buds priced at $130 each, we wouldn't exactly call LG's first-ever true wireless earbuds affordable.

Of course, they're not forgettable either, with an ergonomic, semi-open design promising to ensure a comfortable and secure fit no matter how long you might wear these babies without taking them off, as well as advanced noise reduction and echo cancellation features (no active noise cancellation, though).


By no means bulky, the Tone Free headphones are slightly heavier than Apple's latest (and greatest) true wireless earbuds, at around 7 grams each, which however also means their battery life is better, at six hours of uninterrupted music playtime between charges. Speaking of charging, you should also know the LG Tone Free can deliver a full hour of playtime after spending just five minutes in a case that boosts the overall endurance to a solid but not AirPods Pro-trumping 21-hour rating.

Said case is actually in charge of another task as well, reducing bacteria on the earbuds while charging them. That's certainly an... unconventional feature, but it remains to be seen if it's going to be enough to help LG's rookie AirPods-rivaling effort stand out from the massive crowd of challengers and copycats.

Protected against water splashes with the same IPX4 certification as the AirPods Pro, the LG Tone Free unsurprisingly also promises an "exceptional listening experience." While LG enlisted the help of Meridian Audio, a veteran English manufacturer of high-performance, high-fidelity audio components, to make that happen, we'll obviously have to wait and see hear for ourselves what the Tone Free can do out in the real world. 

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5 Comments

1. Sparkxster

Posts: 1260; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

These look good and the UV cleaning feature is a nice addition. LG should make a plus version that adds wireless charging and ANC.

2. Valinor

Posts: 185; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

I dont like the look at all. Looks like cheap chinese 20 dollar headphones and that "tone" text especially makes it look cheap. Why not just put LG there.

4. hjl2345

Posts: 105; Member since: Aug 11, 2018

The way it looks reminds me of the Sony WF-1000XM3, so design-wise it is fine for me. What I don't understand is why they didn't really future-proof this model and added ANC.

3. bucknassty

Posts: 1395; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

do they have that qualcomm 5120 chip? need to test that, because all TWS have had connection issues when i use them.

5. Cyberchum

Posts: 1140; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Feels like an airpod article considering the absurd number of times it was mentioned. Is it really necessary, or is that just to prove your knowledge of the industry? Lol.

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