LG throws its hat in the true wireless earbuds ring with a solid AirPods contender

LG throws its hat in the true wireless earbuds ring with a solid AirPods contender
No stranger to the Bluetooth headset market, LG is today following in the footsteps of Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Amazon, and countless other big and small companies trying to capitalize on the true wireless earbuds trend. The Tone+ Free are in many ways similar to the recently unveiled Echo Buds rather than the industry-leading AirPods, although in terms of their external appearance, LG's first-ever wireless earphones look different from both aforementioned products.

You'll obviously have to decide for yourselves if you like the "semi-open" ear design of the LG Tone+ Free more than the open-fit AirPods and Huawei FreeBuds 3 or Amazon's rookie wireless in-ear effort. LG argues that its design choice is basically the best of both worlds, ensuring a secure fit as well as long-term comfort, but of course, these bombastic claims are not always supported when it comes to real-life utility.

Unfortunately, we may never find out exactly how ergonomic, comfortable, and powerful these bad boys can be, as they're currently only scheduled for a Korea release in late October. A Western expansion could well be in the cards, based on the US availability of other audio accessories in the LG Tone family, but for the time being, we don't know anything about that.


What we do know is the LG Tone+ Free will cost the rough equivalent of $215 in the company's homeland, which isn't exactly affordable. But these true wireless earbuds aren't exactly pushovers either, offering a couple of things Apple's AirPods are still lacking. Namely, noise cancelling technology and IPX4 water resistance. The latter doesn't mean you can use the Tone Plus Free while swimming but sweat and rain shouldn't cause much damage.

Another key selling point seems to be "rich signal processing technology" and "advanced tuning technology" supplied by Meridian Audio, a UK-based manufacturer of high-performance, high-fidelity sound systems. At least in theory, that means the Tone+ Free should sound better than the average wireless earbuds while being able to keep the party going for up to six hours on a single charge. 

The headphones come with a small, sleek, and circular charging case, but curiously enough, mum's the word on the numbers said case is capable of. Lastly, it's worth pointing out that the LG Tone+ Free also have side-mounted touchpads you can use to quickly summon your Google Assistant, as well as make calls and control music playback.

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15 Comments

1. Cyberchum

Posts: 1095; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

I hope it pairs well to their iPhone contender?

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I don't know why Phonearena wants to compare everything to the AirPods. Especially since AirPods are not earbuds, and they don't offer any ear form fitting, or different sized ear tips like the others offer. Plus AirPods offer no noise cancellation what so ever, because they are not form fitting. Therefore the AirPods shouldn't be compared to any of the earbuds category, period.

11. andrewc31394

Posts: 298; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

because they're easily the most recognizable.

12. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I don't care if they are recognizable or not. AirPods are not earbuds, they are not form fitting, and can't offer any noise cancellation.

2. gadgetpower

Posts: 283; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

something really nice about apple is its pairing process, so easy, their chips is really innovative.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

That's because Apple made it specific for them, and they locked it down to only Apples platforms, and hardware. There is nothing innovative about it. The design of the AirPods where they fit in the users ear, means it can never have any noise cancellation. Well unless Apple changes the AirPods.

3. Stellist

Posts: 10; Member since: Sep 02, 2013

There is no active noise cancellation.

4. Sparkxster

Posts: 1240; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

These look rather unique. Hope they come in colors other than black and white.

5. Elvis358

Posts: 242; Member since: Mar 25, 2018

Little bit over priced! Should stay under 200€.

6. dumpster666

Posts: 92; Member since: Mar 07, 2019

looks more like gear buds contender...not airpods.

7. Cyberchum

Posts: 1095; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Hush! Don't say that out loud. Haven't you understood by now that if it's a wireless earbud, it's an "airpod contender," because it's a title/championship.

10. Stellist

Posts: 10; Member since: Sep 02, 2013

This is proper airpods contender - It is semi-open type, not like galaxy buds.

13. Whitedot

Posts: 831; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

That's why they so keen to get rid of 3.5mm jack. "What we do know is the LG Tone+ Free will cost the rough equivalent of $215 "

14. bucknassty

Posts: 1353; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

these... are the ones! damn bring them to the US!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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