We lauded LG’s Tone Free FP9 truly wireless earbuds last year for great sound, good active noise cancellation, fantastic mic quality and the ability to keep things clean with a tiny UV light. This year, LG has gone a step further and utilised all of that tech in a package tailored for an active lifestyle. It makes perfect sense, at least on paper – buds can get sweaty and yucky real quick; the UVnano tech can in theory prevent bacterial accumulation. But what about the sound? Find out in our review.
LG Tone Free Fit TF7QRs 12,898
ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION8.5/10
VALUE FOR MONEy7.5/10
What Is Good?
- Secure fit
- Highest official IP-rating on a pair of earbuds
- UVnano tech at least claims to keep bacteria away
- Decent sound
- Great mic performance
What Is Bad?
- Soundstage could’ve been wider
- Limited codec support
LG Tone Free Fit TF7Q Review: Design and build
The TF7Q buds come within a dark-gray case that resembles a mint-box. It has a dimpled texture, almost like a golf ball, that helps in gripping it confidently. The quality of the plastic is top-notch, and it hasn’t caught a single scratch in the last one-and-a-half month or so of abuse – yep, we have carried it in a pocket full of keys almost every single time we stepped out. The rather understated shell encloses the party on the inside – the case has a neon green plastic interior with two shining UV lights to sanitise the buds when not in use.
That said, the fit is insanely good. The fins help in keeping these in place, especially in the gym. My ears tend to get really sweaty while working out, and the TF7Qs have been my trusty partner for the last one month. The gel ear tips are also comfortable, but the overall bulk of the buds do tend to cause fatigue after an hour’s worth of use.
LG Tone Free Fit TF7Q Review: Sound quality, mic and ANC
Purists will scoff at TF7Q’s rather small 6mm dynamic drivers, but make no mistake. The Tone Free Fit TF7Qs punch way beyond their weight, but there’s a caveat here – you need to tweak the equaliser within the Tone Free app to actually unleash the buds’ true potential. Despite being targeted for an ‘active’ lifestyle, the TF7Qs offer rather muted bass out of the box.
Nevertheless, once they are set up, you get to hear that thumpy low-end mixed with shiny treble. The soundstage isn’t the widest out there, but then when you’re working out you’re more focused on the pump and the thump instead of the little nuances in a 12 piece orchestra.
LG’s partnership with Meridian, a British audio manufacturer, for audio tuning is still here, but to keep things interesting they have also brought in spatial audio chops here. It’s a little toggle within the Tone Free app that turns a run-of-the-mill song into three-dimensional sound, except it’s not that jaw dropping. We found Samsung’s iteration of this to be a tad more interesting.
The ANC too is tailor-made for the gym and running courses, it does a great job of isolating you from banging barbells and mild ambient noises, but isn’t all that potent on a flight trip.
As was the case with other LG buds we have reviewed, the mic quality here is top-notch, something that other bud-makers should take note of. The TF7Qs could easily cancel blaring horns on crowded streets and still manage to somehow make our voice stand out on a voice call. That’s not to say that they sound as good as a phone’s mic, the recipient could figure out that a pair of buds were being used.
One bummer here is the lack of whisper mode, a calling feature found in the Tone Free FP9s, which requires you to hold one of your buds close to your mouth and whisper into it. Some may find it weird, but it’s surprisingly useful if you’re in a crowded space and need some privacy.
LG Tone Free Fit TF7Q Review: Battery life and other features
In our typical usage, the TF7Qs could carry about seven to eight hours worth of listening time at a stretch without ANC enabled, which is above the average times we have observed in other buds of the same segment. The large-ish case can carry about two full charges, so if you use these buds for about six to seven hours a day, you can charge the buds on Monday, and forget about charging them till the weekend. They aren’t a chore to charge either, a full charge requires about an hour and 15 minutes.
LG Tone Free Fit TF7Q Review: Verdict
Simply put, the LG Tone Free Fit TF7Q are some of the finest sports TWS buds in the market at the moment. They offer a secure, comfortable fit, have decent mic quality, long-ish battery life but most importantly, you get good audio output that puts a smile on your face while you’re pumping iron. At the moment, the pricing seems a bit too high, straight up in the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro territory without AptX support. But if you can manage to get your hands on them during a sale with a couple of grands off, these can be a fantastic purchase.