LG brings spatial audio to new Tone Free wireless earphones
LG has added a new series to its Tone Free true-wireless earphone line. Models in the Tone Free FP series boast active noise cancellation, Meridian spatial audio, a cool privacy mode, and a charging case that keeps earbuds clean.
There are three models in the FP lineup – the FP9, FP8, and FP5 – and they share similar specs, with a few key differences between them. Spatial audio is all the rage at the moment, and for the FP series, LG has tapped into the expertise of Meridian Audio for its Headphone Spatial Processing tech, which is already used in LG's wireless headphones and "envelops the listener with sound that seems to originate from all directions."
A feature called 3D Sound Stage has also been included, which uses spatial up-mixing to deliver more immersion, and active noise cancellation is present in all models. The drivers here are reported larger than previous Tone Free models too, for the promise of thumping bass while maintaining clarity and detail.
A new Whispering Mode affords wearers more privacy during calls by allowing one of the earbuds to be popped out and used as a dedicated microphone, held close to the mouth so users can keep their voices low enough that others won't be able to eavesdrop. Useful.
As with previous Tone Free true-wireless earphones, the FP9 and FP8 models (but not the FP5) come with a UVNano charging case that uses ultraviolet light to kill any bugs that may be lurking on the inner mesh of the earbuds. Battery life for the FP9 and FP8 is 10 hours (with ANC not engaged), or a total of 24 hours when used with the case, while the FP5 earphones offer eight hours, and a total of 22 hours with the case. A five-minute quick charge will offer up an hour of playback.
The FP8 charging case supports wireless charging, while the one that comes with the FP9 earphones can serve as a wireless transmitter, meaning that folks can plug the case into a non-Bluetooth audio source over USB and listen to the sounds wirelessly via the earphones, in a similar way to B&W's PI7 earphones from earlier in the year.
After analyzing a bunch of user ears, LG concluded that shortened earbud stems would "create the perfect balance and fit for an active lifestyle" so reduced their length by 4.4 mm (0.17 in), compared to previous models. And an IPX4 rating means they'll survive sessions at the gym, or quick dashes to the office in a downpour.
The Tone Free FP series will be available shortly in "key markets," though no pricing has been revealed at this time.