LG Tone Free FP9 review

Excuse me, is the UV bit necessary?

₹ 21,990

Entering the TWS market in India is like boarding a Mumbai local at peak hour. You’ll most likely have to squeeze your way through and elbow the right competition. Unfortunately for LG, that train has long left the station and convincing anyone that they might be able to avoid an ear infection with the Tone Free FP9’s UV protection is a bit of an oversell.

Still, it’s not like the LG Tone Free FP9 sound bad. In fact, they sound really good. Almost Apple AirPods Pro sort of good and now LG has got the price down to 21,990 as well.

Design and case

The round case opens like a make-up box. It’s a bit thicker and bulbous than the AirPods Pro case but they are never big enough to be a problem. It can fit in the coin pocket of your jeans. The FP9 case doesn’t open with one hand like the AirPods Pro case. This isn’t a deal-breaker but in hindsight, the AirPods case is much easier to live with on a daily basis. The Tone Free case also doesn’t charge wireless, so there are some missing features on the FP9 compared to the trending TWS. However, you can fast charge the FP9 so that puts things on track.

The Tone Free case lacks some sensibilities, but there are some bizarre yet charming features which you may or may not use. Firstly there’s a slider on the case that turns the thing into a wireless transmitter and lets you connect it via a headphone jack to any non-Bluetooth device like an in-flight entertainment system or a treadmill. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack to a USB Type-C dongle in the box. We tried it and it works. The only problem is that we didn’t find much use for this feature. Unless you’re taking flights regularly, even then, relying on the flight entertainment screen is a bit optimistic. There’s also a wee bit of delay in the audio when you’re watching movies and TV shows.

Then there’s the UVnano feature of the Tone Free FP9 that LG wants you to understand. Firstly, why is there UV light inside the TWS? Well, according to LG the UV light inside the case can kill 99.9% of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumonia bacteria on the speaker mesh of the earbuds in five minutes while charging. If you haven’t taken biology classes for a while, know that these are all bacteria that can possibly cause an ear infection. There’s no way to tell its efficacy on a day-to-day basis so you have to take LG’s word for it. LG did send us a report from an independent test which showed a healthy outcome. We feel it’s maybe good if you have an ongoing ear problem but for mass appeal, we rather have wireless charging for the case.


Here’s the interesting bit. The LG Tone Free FP9 sound good and the gimmicks of its UV shtick are easily forgotten after you plonk them in your ear. The in-ears sit in your ear comfortably, and the hypoallergenic silicone tips are medical-grade which feel more comfortable than AirPods Pro’s silicone tips.

She’s a Lover by Red Hot Chili Peppers sounds clean (not the UV clean) and precise. We set the TWS to Natural from the LG Tone Free app and these completely wipe the floor on any TWS that costs under ₹15K. Dare I say, they sound fuller and richer than the AirPods Pro too. There’s a distinctive depth in the audio while listening to Treasure by Bruno Mars. These do sound a bit bright but not harsh in higher frequencies. It’s just right. The toe-tapping energy from Bruno Mars’ vocals is played with bloom and clarity. 

The AirPods Pro definitely have meatier bass but you can always adjust that for the LG from the handy EQ settings on the app. Although, toggling to Noise Cancellation will also reap interesting results. The bass kick from Something in the Water by Deep Deep Water sounds lush. The FP9 do justice to the expansive soundstage in Nothing To Find by The War on Drugs. We switched to 3D Sound Stage mode on the app and the whole track sounds immersive and expansive. It’s almost like Apple Spatial Audio. Even Apple Music’s Made for Spatial Audio playlist works just as good on the LG Tone Free FP9 as it does on the Apple AirPods Pro. The FP9 is tuned by the folks at Meridian so it's not surprising that toggling through the presets has such a distinguishable shift in your music listening experience. We did find the lack of punchy bass on the LG a bit disappointing but it's not too alarming.

The FP9 can be hella loud at full volume, and they sound perfectly good at half volume as well so you never really need to push beyond 50% volume to get the drivers moving.


Everything else about the LG FP9 is polished and thoroughly tailored for ease of use. The touch-sensitive panel on the top side of the earbud stalk can be customised for track and volume control, and to toggle ANC. You can also summon your smartphone’s AI. There’s also an abrasion in the stalk where the touch-sensitive panel sits so you find the correct place to tap every time.

The ambient sound mode also has two modes under it called chat mode and ambient sound that does exactly as advertised. The microphone, however, can pick up wind noise easily when you’re running or walking on the pavement with ambient sound mode enabled. There’s also Whispering Mode where you remove the right earbud and talk into it at low decibels and stay vigilant from prying ears.


Much of the LG Tone Free FP9’s features are padded fluff but we can assume a scenario where someone might want to use it. Whisper Mode and the wired connection are features you may never touch unless faced with the predicament where you might need them. The UVnano stuff is also just added bonus. It may or may not clean the earbud but it will definitely not remove the ear wax, so don’t even try sharing your buds.

The battery life is not the best in the segment. You get only 10hrs with ANC and 24hrs without it. It’s not a lot but for the sound quality, we’ll take it. Although, wireless charging could’ve sealed the deal. 

Here’s the kicker, the LG Tone Free FP9 cost ₹21,990 now and for that price, you have options like the AirPods Pro or the much better Sony WH-1000XM4. However, they’re going for ₹18,420 on Amazon India at the time of writing and that makes the FP9 really tempting. They have great audio quality and decent ANC as well. Unless you want to avoid Apple’s AirPods (3rd Gen) and Pro, and even the fiddly fit of the Sony WF-1000XM4, the FP9 are lightweight, splash-proof and sound natural.

Stuff Says

The FP9 sound good but has a confusing price tag and unnecessary features
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Clean and natural sound

  1. Responsive touch controls

  1. Surround sound is impressive

  1. Very lightweight

  1. Silicone tips are nice on the skin

  1. Too many unnecessary features

  1. Sub-par battery life

  1. No wireless charging

Bluetooth Version: 5.2
BLE: Yes
Google Fast Pair: Yes
ANC: Yes
Charging Case Battery Capacity: 390 mAh
Battery Life: 6 hours(with ANC), 10 hours(without ANC)
Fast Charging: Yes
Windows Swift Pair: Yes
Water Splash: IPX4
UVnano: Yes (during wired charging)