The headphone market is crowded, especially among the recently fashionable true wireless versions. Many manufacturers offer several GRP models. It’s time to test for a new offer from LG, which manufacturer has many successful models of headphones from the time when the headphone jack on smartphones was not uncommon. At that time, headphones with an additional “necklace” were popular. The latest model LG TONE Free UVnano, introduces a novelty on the market – disinfection using UV radiation. The price of the headphones is quite high – that is the limit above which there are top models of the most recognized brands. Let’s see if LG TONE Free UVnano is worth the manufacturer’s price.
Main advantages and disadvantages of LG TONE Free UVnano
Advantages of LG TONE Free UVnano :
- Germicidal UV light built into the case
- IPX4 seal against rain and sweat
- Super comfortable – they do not fall out of the ears
- Confirmation of touching the touch panel with a silent click
- High quality voice calls
- Well-functioning and unique whisper mode
- The modes created by Meridian are more than boosting the band in the equalizer
- Transparent and convenient application
- Pairing memory for up to 5 devices
- Long battery life
- wireless charging
Cons of LG TONE Free UVnano :
- Notifications didn’t work for me
- Weaker noise reduction than the competition
- Worse than the competition audibility of the environment
- Brak Multipoint paring
- High price
The headphones are placed in a case, which plays an important role as with other true wireless headphones. It charges the headphones with a USB C cable or wirelessly and recharges the built-in battery when the headphones are carried in a pocket. The case has two LEDs that indicate charging and Bluetooth pairing. By the diode’s color, you can judge whether the headphones have more than 80% battery, between 20 and 80%, and below 20% charge. A USB C socket is on the back, but we can also put the case on a Qi charger or a smartphone equipped with wireless reverse charging.
A novelty I have not had the opportunity to meet before is the UV light with germicidal properties built into the case, which is activated every time we connect the headphones to charge wired or wirelessly. LG ensures it kills 99.9% of bacteria within 5 minutes of operation. This is a promise that, unfortunately, cannot be easily verified. However, the idea itself is interesting. UV light has known germicidal properties, and in-ear headphones inserted deep into the ear canal are particularly susceptible to the transmission of bacteria. For this reason, such headphones should not be shared with other people but rather be treated as a toothbrush, i.e. something completely personal. The effect of the backlight inside the case when removing them is also interesting.
The headphones are sealed and IPX4 certified, meaning rain and sweat shouldn’t harm them. Each earphone has 3 built-in microphones – one at the bottom, one at the top, and one at the inside of the earpiece. They also have a proximity sensor that detects if they are in the ear. You can use a single handset for voice calls. The music stops when we take the earphone out of our ear and resumes automatically when we put it back in.
The headphones also have a touch panel, but some functions, such as changing the volume, distinguish whether we touch the left or right handset. All commands consist of a series of taps or holds. A big plus for me is the confirmation of the touch with a silent click. I have no doubt that I hit the finger in the right place.
I always emphasize that each ear canal is different, and something that suits one person may cause problems for another. With this in mind, the LG TONE Free UVnano headphones are the most comfortable and most securely sitting in the ears of all the headphones I’ve recently tested. They are easy to put in the ear and do not come out slowly, even after a long time or during sudden head movements. They are super comfortable, which is always a key issue in headphones.
One handset weighs 5 grams, the case weighs 39 grams, and the set of headphones is 49 grams.
Smart features, app, pairing
When I opened the headphone case for the first time, an automatic message appeared on the smartphone screen, suggesting pairing and installing the TONE Free application. It is responsible for personalizing the settings and updating the built-in software.
The application allows you to check the percentage of charge of the headphones and switch between noise canceling mode, ambient sound, and standard operation. We will also find 5 equalizer settings developed by LG in cooperation with the Meridian brand and the ability to create two custom profiles based on the 8-band equalizer. In the application, you can lock the touch panels in the headphones and disable autoplay/pause when inserting and removing the headphones from the ear.
You can activate the lower-latency gaming mode and the interesting whisper mode in the TONE Free LAB tab. It consists of the fact that after removing the right earpiece from the ear, the sensitivity of its microphone will be raised. Then you can communicate with your interlocutor in a very quiet voice by holding the earpiece to your mouth. When I checked this function during a phone call, my interlocutor had no problem understanding my softest whisper. I have not come across this option in any other headphones.
In the settings, you can configure single, double, and triple taps separately for each of the headphones. By default, a single tap will resume and stop playback, a double tap on the right earbud will increase the volume, and the left earbud will decrease it. Triple tap switches to the next track. Additional unassigned options are back and voice command. A gesture that is not configurable is held and switches the noise canceling mode to ambient sound mode.
I like that the app is clear, and all features are available in a scrollable list. LG avoided nested lists deeper than one level. In addition, functions can be automatically sorted by frequency of use.
One of the features that didn’t work for me was reading notifications aloud. I only got the notification sound with no further message. It is possible that this is the result of connecting to a specific smartphone ( Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra ), or it will be resolved with an update.
LG TONE Free UVnano headphones remember up to five paired devices but do not support Multipoint Paring, i.e. automatic switching between two devices, depending on which one we listen to the sound or answer the call. This is a significant minus at a high price compared to the competition.
Basic features and sound
I consider the sound of the LG TONE Free UVnano to be very good and, simultaneously, similar to what the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 headphones offer. The sound is rich and dynamic, with the right amount of bass, but also not losing too many details. None of these headphones are as spacious and detailed as large, over-ear, open-back Hi-Fi headphones, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Wireless in-ear headphones perform well, and there is no sense of flat sound, rumbling, and not keeping up with faster rhythms. LG TONE Free UVnano can be used both when moving around the city and doing sports and at home and will satisfy most listeners.
LG has an advantage over the aforementioned Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and Redmi Buds 3 Pro headphones in the form of sound equalizer settings developed in cooperation with Meridian. The presets are named Immersive, Natural, BassBoost, TrebleBoost, and 3D SoundStage. Although I am a fan of a rather neutral sound, I couldn’t help but notice that the mentioned profiles not only conquer certain bands but also try to reconcile the characters of different sounds successfully. Switching between profiles gives you more nuance and (simulated) space than adjusting the EQ. While this doesn’t normally happen to me, I started using these settings depending on the type of music I was listening to.
On the other hand, I think noise reduction and ambient sound give much more subtle and less noticeable effects than Samsung headphones. Even though the noise cancellation has a low and a high degree, and the ambient sound offers a listening and a talking mode, I did not feel comfortable talking in the headphones. I prefer to take them off. Samsung headphones, I entered the store and talked without taking them out. Although noise reduction brings noticeable effects, it is not as effective as in Samsung, and even more so in Sony and Bose headphones. You can with LG TONE Free UVnano headphones use in a fairly loud environment without major problems, but if we are looking for headphones that are outstanding in this respect, effectively cutting off from the environment for long plane trips, or we want the headphones to act as almost a hearing aid, amplifying the sound of the environment. Other models will work here clearly better than LG headphones.
The quality of the calls was impeccable, and the callers did not report any problems. A nice addition is the whisper mode, which is useful in some situations.
LG informs that the headphones themselves – without inserting them into the case – play music for 10 hours in a mode without noise reduction or ambient sound. After activating these functions, the operating time is reduced to 6 hours. The case offers an additional 14 hours of operation in noise-canceling mode, less than one and a half times the battery’s capacity built into the headphones. Together with the case, the headphones can play for a maximum of 24 hours.
The headphones charge from zero to full in one hour; a 5-minute charge is enough for one hour of listening. The case fully charges in 2 hours.
The operating time is above average – the headphones last an hour longer with noise cancellation and 2.5 hours longer without noise cancellation compared to Samsung headphones. Runtime will vary depending on the volume used and the ambient temperature, but in my experience, the times stated by the manufacturer are adequate.
The LG TONE Free UVnano headphones are certainly not bland. Much depends on what we expect from them. These are the most comfortable headphones I have tested, and this fact alone arouses my great interest. The advantages include sealing, convenient operation, transparent application, Meridian sound profiles that bring interesting sound, and germicidal UV rays in the case. In addition, they have a long battery life – longer than the competition – and offer a unique whisper mode.
On the other hand, both noise reduction and ambient sound give less spectacular effects than in competitors’ products. Reading notifications did not work for me, and no Multipoint Paring allows you to switch between two devices on the fly.
So if Multipoint, spectacular active noise reduction, and read notifications are crucial for us headphones, LG TONE Free UVnano will not be the best choice. However, if we are looking for very comfortable, good-sounding headphones with interesting sound profiles and good battery life, the LG TONE Free UVnano will be great. In my everyday use, the headphones work very well. However, perhaps with some compromises, the price of PLN 799 is a bit too high compared to the competition – they are PLN 150 more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, and Samsung’s noise reduction and ambient audibility work better, not talking about integration with the Samsung ecosystem.
We love it: super comfortable to wear
What we don’t like: Weaker noise reduction performance
Who is LG TONE Free UVnano for :
- For people who value comfort
- For those who like to change the sound profile
- For those looking for long battery life
- For those who will feel the additional comfort resulting from the bactericidal effect of UV
Who is LG TONE Free UVnano not for :
- Not for people looking for the best noise reduction
- Not for those who need Multipoint paring