In this article, we will be conducting a review of the LG Tone Free FN7 True Wireless Earbuds, which come equipped with active noise cancellation (ANC). We’ll explore their design, Bluetooth connectivity, audio quality, and battery life to help you determine whether they still hold value in 2023, especially considering their price tag of $79.
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Design and Build Quality
You can now get the LG Tone Free FN7 in either white or black. These earbuds are impressively compact and lightweight. They feature a stem-style design reminiscent of AirPods, but the stems are not overly large or obtrusive. In fact, they have a sleek and understated appearance.
During my testing, I found the FN7 to be quite comfortable even during extended use. They come with three different sizes of silicone ear tips, allowing you to choose the one that fits your ears best. However, I did notice that, like previous versions of the Tone Free, they tend to shift around a bit in the ears, even when I found the right size.
The good news is that these earbuds are fully IPX4 rated, making them resistant to water and sweat. This means they are perfectly suitable for use in rainy weather or for intense workouts at the gym, where you might break a sweat.
Bluetooth and Connectivity
Regarding connectivity, I found that pairing the Tone Free FN7 with any of my Android devices was a breeze. For the initial setup, simply open the case, press the small button on the side of the case, and they instantly enter pairing mode. On my Android devices, I’d even receive a convenient pop-up message asking if I wanted to connect to the Tone Free FN7. It’s as simple as tapping that message to establish the connection. Alternatively, you can ignore the message and go to your Bluetooth settings for the usual pairing process, which was consistently reliable throughout my testing.
Additionally, the FN7 offers a useful auto-pause feature. If you remove one or both of the earbuds from your ears while streaming music or podcasts, it will automatically pause your audio playback. This feature comes in handy when you need to quickly listen to someone or engage in a conversation. Sometimes, it even auto-resumes your audio when you put the bud back in, although this functionality may not always be completely dependable.
LG Tone Free FN7 Touch Controls
When it comes to touch controls, the Tone Free FN7 offers a comprehensive and delightful experience. Even the multi-touch gestures are intuitive and responsive. A single tap on either the left or right earbud will pause or play your audio, which is incredibly convenient. If you double-tap the right bud, the volume increases, and a double-tap on the left bud decreases it. For skipping tracks, a triple tap allows you to move forward or backward, covering all the standard media controls.
The touch controls also let you answer calls effortlessly. What’s even better is that if you download the LG Tone Free app from the Google Play Store, you can fully customize these touch controls to suit your preferences, giving you even more control over your listening experience.
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
The primary reason for choosing the FN7 over previous iterations of the Tone-Free earbuds is the inclusion of active noise cancellation (ANC). This enhancement positions them as direct competitors to products like the Huawei FreeBuds Pro. However, it’s worth noting that the FN7’s higher price tag can be attributed to this ANC feature. The upside is that the ANC functionality proves to be highly effective once you’ve selected the right-sized silicone tips that create a snug seal within your ears.
In my experience, the FN7 did an impressive job of reducing external noises such as traffic, allowing you to enjoy audio content like audiobooks and podcasts even while walking on a bustling high street without having to crank up the volume to excessive levels.
In my personal opinion, I’d say that the ANC on the LG Tone Free FN7 is on par with the Huawei FreeBuds Pro and even superior to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. This superiority is mainly due to the snug seal provided by the earbuds. What’s really convenient is that you can easily switch between ANC mode and what LG calls ambient mode by simply long-pressing either of the earbuds.
The ambient mode, in essence, acts as an awareness mode. It uses external microphones to bring in the sounds from your surroundings, essentially doing the opposite of ANC. This feature comes in handy when you don’t want to keep removing the earbuds to have a conversation or when you just want to stay alert to announcements or ensure there’s no oncoming traffic while jogging.
However, it’s worth noting that I did encounter some hissing noise while using the ambient mode, which wasn’t the most pleasant experience.
LG Tone Free FN7 Speakers Audio Quality
When it comes to audio quality, FN7 has always delivered solid performance. LG’s collaboration with the British company Meridian pays off, as I found the audio quality to be quite impressive during my testing. The sound has a bit more edge in the mid-range compared to previous models, although it’s not particularly heavy on the bass. If you’re a bass enthusiast, I’d recommend looking elsewhere and steering clear of the “bass boost” option in the LG Tone Free app, as it tends to drown out the rest of the audio range.
For me, the default immersive setting was the standout, providing a well-balanced and full sound range that I quite enjoyed.
The FN7 has a distinct and amazing sound profile that’s well-suited for various types of content, whether it’s music, audiobooks, podcasts, or anything else you enjoy. Additionally, if you prefer to crank up the volume, these earbuds can certainly deliver, providing a robust audio experience even at high volumes.
During my tests, I was also thoroughly impressed with the call quality. It remained excellent, even when I was on the move. The other person’s voice came through clearly, and they mentioned they had no trouble understanding me, despite the presence of background noise.
Battery life is a crucial consideration when evaluating true wireless earbuds like the FN7. In my experience, with a mix of music and podcast playback, I managed to get approximately four hours of use with ANC activated. While this falls slightly short of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro, it’s still respectable. However, when you turn off ANC, the battery life improves to around five and a half to six hours, which is much more commendable.
Charging the FN7 is a breeze, simply place them back into their compact case. What’s intriguing is that this case incorporates UV cleaning technology, indicated by the cool blue light effect. Beyond aesthetics, this feature serves the purpose of effectively eliminating 99 percent of the bacteria present on the earbuds in just 10 minutes.
The case design for the FN7 remains unchanged from previous versions – it’s compact, lightweight, and highly portable, making it easy to slip into any pocket or bag. However, it’s worth noting that this case provides around two full charges for the earbuds, which is not as impressive as some competing models. Nevertheless, there’s a helpful battery indicator.
When you open the case, it displays the charge level of the earbuds – green indicating a good charge. When you close the lid, the LED shows the remaining charge in the case. You’ll see yellow when it’s starting to run lower, and red when it’s depleted. Recharging the case itself is a simple task using a standard Type-C USB cable, the same as most phone chargers these days.
After using the LG Tone Free FN7 earbuds for a couple of weeks, would I recommend them? Well, they’re undeniably solid true wireless earbuds, with a notable improvement in sound quality being the standout feature compared to previous versions. So, if you’re a fan of LG Tone Free and you’re seeking that added benefit of active noise cancellation (ANC), then these earbuds are worth considering.
However, if you’re specifically looking for true wireless earbuds with ANC, there are more budget-friendly alternatives available, such as the Huawei FreeBuds Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. It’s important to note that the ANC effectiveness may not be on par with the FN7 due to the lack of a proper seal in those alternatives.
Bluetooth and Connectivity8
Overall Price Point8