The LG Tone Free UFP9 true wireless earbuds, which have been in my possession for the past four days as my dedicated earbuds. With a $200 price tag higher than some of its rivals, like the Samsung Galaxy Buds and Huawei FreeBuds, is FP9 truly worth the investment? At this time it is available with 50% of on amazon for just $99.99. In this LG Tone Free UFP9 review, we’ll dive into the features, performance, and overall value of these earbuds.
This is definitely one of the teeniest true wireless earbuds that I’ve ever tested. They’re seriously light and incredibly compact. Best of all, I found that these UFP9 actually fit a lot better than some of the previous generation LG Tone 3 buds that I tested. The likes of the FP7s used to squirm around inside my ears, which was less than pleasant.
But these UFP9 just sit there nice and firm, even if I’m talking, walking, or doing whatever at the same time. Because you have a range of different-sized ear gels to fit your own particular ears, the default ones worked absolutely fine and were nice and comfortable to wear. I could have these LG earbuds in my ears literally all afternoon long with no complaints. They are also IPX-rated for water and sweat resistance, so you don’t have to worry about getting moist during your workout. And there’s a hypoallergenic silicone tip to reduce the risk of a skin reaction.
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As for connectivity, well, that’s super simple. Just flip open the UV nano case, and the earbuds will instantly enter pairing mode and connect within seconds. The connectivity is really strong as well, even when I was in busy areas swarming with other people (which still feels a bit weird). There were no little jitters or stumbles in the connection.
One of the significant upgrades with the LG Tone Free UFP9 is the ability to connect the case to any device with a 3.5mm jack using a USB to AUX cable, allows you to stream audio wirelessly from that device to your earbuds. For example, on the Xbox, you connect the case to the controller, and then you can stream the audio directly from Xbox to FP9 earbuds. Just remember to flick the little switch on the side of the case to put it into pairing mode. During my testing, this method worked every time without any issues.
Of course, it can be slightly awkward when gaming with your Xbox or PlayStation because you have the case dangling down. There is a slight audio lag, although it’s not significant. It’s just a fraction of a second, but serious online gamers might find it bothersome. it’s nice to have that option, and you can basically plug it into any device with a 3.5mm jack.
When you want to stream audio from your smartphone, the LG Tone Free UFP9 offer full-on touch controls that work like a charm. With just a single tap, you can pause or play your audio, and another tap does the opposite. For volume control, you can double-tap the left bud to decrease the volume and double-tap the right bud to increase it. If you want to skip a track, a quick triple-tap does the job. It’s a pretty comprehensive selection of controls right there.
However, if you want to switch things up or customize your experience, you can do that within the LG Tone Free app. The app provides a full manual and offers various customization controls. I’ll touch on some of them shortly.
Active Noise Canceling (ANC)
The LG UFP9 true wireless earbuds once again feature active noise cancellation (ANC). By default, ANC is turned on, and it does a pretty good job of reducing lower traffic rumbles and other background noises around you. This feature is particularly helpful when you’re out and about, as it allows you to listen to podcasts or audiobooks at a lower volume without having to crank it up to high levels. You can toggle ANC on or off from within the LG Tone Free app that I showed you earlier.
Additionally, you can activate ANC or switch to an awareness mode by long-pressing on either earbud. The awareness mode does the opposite of ANC by using the external microphones to bring in audio from your surroundings, making you fully aware of what’s happening around you. This feature is definitely handy when you’re outside and need to be suddenly aware of traffic or other important sounds, so you don’t put yourself at risk.
LG UFP9 Earbuds Audio Quality
Now, let’s discuss the actual sound quality delivered by the LG Tone Free UFP9 true wireless earbuds. Obviously, if the sound quality was not good, it would be difficult to recommend them. However, thankfully, LG hasn’t made significant changes in this aspect. Once again, they have partnered with the British audio company Meridian to fine-tune the audio output. I didn’t notice any substantial difference between the UFP9s and previous generations like the UFP7s.
Within the LG Tone Free app, you have a selection of different audio presets. By default, it is set to bass boost, but personally, I wasn’t a massive fan of that. I found the immersive mode to be more preferable as it helps the audio sound rich and full-bodied, which is great for music. Additionally, there are other preset options available, and you can even customize your own sound profile. I was impressed by the audio performance of these earbuds. Regardless of the genre of music you prefer, even my metal tracks sounded quite powerful and robust, surpassing some of the lower-quality competitors.
Moreover, I have no complaints regarding call quality either. The LG Tone Free FP9 is equipped with a triple-microphone setup. Even in a noisy high street environment, I found that they generally did a pretty good job of picking up my voice and distinguishing it from the surrounding noise.
Inside the LG Tone Free app, you’ll find the Tone Free Lab section. In this section, there’s a feature called Whispering Mode. This mode serves as a privacy feature where all the microphones, except for one on the right earbud, are deactivated. The idea behind this mode is that you hold the earbud close to your lips and speak softly. The microphone sensitivity is significantly boosted, allowing the person on the other end of the line to clearly hear what you’re saying without revealing your deepest secrets or personal traumas to everyone else around you, such as those on a bus.
However, it’s important to note that this feature works best in quiet environments. If you’re in a noisy setting, all the other person on the call will hear is a bunch of background noise.
LG Tone Free UFP9 Battery life
LG Tone Free earbuds have typically had average battery life at best. However, with the UFP9s, I found that even with active noise cancellation (ANC) turned on, I could get a full seven hours of use on a single charge. And if you turn off ANC, you can get closer to 10 hours of usage, which is exactly what LG advertises. This is a significant improvement and very impressive.
When you’re done using the earbuds or when they run out of battery, you simply place them back inside the compact and lightweight case called the UV Nano Case. In just a few minutes inside the case, 99% of any lingering bacteria on the external mesh of the earbuds will be eliminated, thanks to the UV nano technology. So, if you’re concerned about bacteria, this is a bonus.
Unfortunately, due to the small size of the case, it doesn’t provide many additional charges for the earbuds. You can expect around one and a half recharges before the case itself needs to be recharged via USB Type-C. The case has a single small LED at the front, which indicates the charge level of the earbuds when you open the lid. It also shows the remaining charge in the case when you close it. The LED system is basic: red means low battery, green means fully charged or with a lot of battery left.
And that's my full review of the LG Tone Free UFP9 true wireless earbuds. They are a solid pair of buds, and it's great to see the improvement in battery life. The active noise cancellation is respectable, and they provide a secure fit compared to previous Tone Free buds, which is definitely a bonus, especially for gym workouts and fitness activities. And, the ability to stream audio from the PS5 or Xbox using a 3.5mm jack is a nice feature.