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LG Tone Free (HBS-FN6) Review - headphones with bacteria protection

Narrow-breasted. With the Tone-Free headphones, LG offers an exciting headset that features good runtimes, IPX4 certification and a charging case that is a real bacteria killer. Read the review to find out why it is not a TWS headset for everyone.
Daniel Schmidt, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Daniel R Deakin (translated by DeepL / Ninh Duy),

With the LG Tone Free (HBS-FN6) the Korean electronics company has a very compact True-Wireless Headset in the assortment, for which a UVP at a value of 149 Euros (~$175) was proclaimed. However, this has fallen very sharply and so the headphones are already available for 99 Euros (~$116).

Specifications

Wearing method In-Ear
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0
Speakers 6 mm driver, dynamic
Audio Codecs SBC, AAC
Battery capacity (earphones) 55 mAh
Battery capacity (charging case) 390 mAh
Charging port USB-C
wireless loading is not supported
Weight (per earphone) 5.4 g
Weight (loading case) 39 g
Sensors Transfer Sensor
Microphones 2 microphones per earpiece
Scope of delivery headphones, charging case, silicone ear pads (S, M, L), documentation
Price (UVP) 149 - EUR

Case and ergonomics - Tone Free with UVnano technology and IPX4

The LG Tone Free headphones are available in black and white. Our black review device has a matte surface that is resistant to fingerprints. The in-ear headphones are inserted into the ear canal and come with three different attachments. LG specifies the sizes S, M and L here, but in our opinion, they are quite small.

The lid of the charging case, which is completely made of plastic, is securely closed by a magnet. Inside, small bluish shining LEDs are integrated, which should free the headphones from 99.9% of all bacteria. LG calls this technology UVnano. In addition, the attachments are made of medical silicone, so that a maximum of hygiene is guaranteed.

A positive aspect is the compact design, which makes do with very short microphone rods. Furthermore, the headphones are protected against moisture according to IPX4, so that rain and sweat are no problem.

Equipment and operation - LG-TWS with Fast Pair and good control

LG Tone Free with UVnano

Before connecting the LG Tone Free headphones for the first time, the free app (Android and iOS) should be installed, despite the support of Google Fast Pair. Otherwise, the TWS headset may be recognized but the smartphone stubbornly refuses to connect.

The app gives the user information about the charge status of the two earphones and includes a small user manual, which among other things summarizes the gesture control again. Furthermore, the audibility of ambient noise and the audio equalizer can be controlled. Update management is also possible via the app.

The gesture control works very well and reliably in the test. It can also be adapted in the app to your own needs.

A special feature is the UVnano technology of the charging case. When switched on, the bacteria on the tissue surface of the headphones are reduced by 99.9% within 10 minutes, so that inflammations and other illnesses that can result from intensive germ exposure can be prevented. This happens automatically when the case is closed; the visible blue light is just decoration.

Voice Quality and Noise Cancelling - With small dropouts

The LG Tone Free microphones record the wearer's voice and those of their immediate surroundings well and reproduce them quite naturally. However, small dropouts can be heard from time to time.

The suppression of ambient noises such as street noise works well in everyday life, and only very loud background noise causes the voice recording to be fragmented and the user is hardly to be understood.

Sound - LG Tone Free with meridian sound

In the measurements, the LG Tone Free headphones show a comparatively low background noise. However, in the pink noise measurement the upper mids are very dominant, which is also reflected in a lifeless sound image, which secondarily sounds a bit hollow

In general, LG headphones lack power and depth. Basses are completely missing, which the optional bass equalizer does not change.

Pink noise measurement
Pink noise measurement
Harmonic distortion and noise (SNR: 63.70 dBFS)
Harmonic distortion and noise (SNR: 63.70 dBFS)
Level for left and right channels
Level for left and right channels

Battery life - high endurance, despite germ killer

Despite its compact design, a large battery with 55 mAh is inserted into the LG Tone Free. The Korean company claims six hours of runtime with only one charge, which is almost reached in our test, with an adjusted volume of 65 dB.

The charging case holds enough energy for two further complete charges, in addition the Tone Free headphones master fast charging, whereby only five minutes in the case are sufficient in order to make up to one hour play duration possible.

Battery life (@ 65 dB) 5 h 37 min

Verdict - Good ideas, but weak core competence

In review: LG Tone Free (HBS-FN6). Test device provided by LG Germany.
In review: LG Tone Free (HBS-FN6). Test device provided by LG Germany.

With the Tone-Free headphones (HBS-FN6), LG is focusing on the current zeitgeist and offers a product that independently frees itself from most bacteria. The TWS headset is in a slim housing and the earphones have an attractive and compact design.

While the telephony features are quite decent, the LG Tone Free show weaknesses in the core competence of a headset, of all things, because the sound is by no means intoxicating but presents itself in the test as rather thin and narrow-breasted.

The LG Tone Free are not headphones for everyone, but they do offer certain advantages.

So the target group can by no means be made up of audiophiles. Rather, we see the True Wireless headphones as an exciting product for those who like to have a headset with them to listen to something for a while or to have their hands free when making a phone call. Because LG does everything right here, especially when it comes to operation, and in this respect it offers not only reliability but also a high degree of flexibility.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > LG Tone Free (HBS-FN6) Review - headphones with bacteria protection
Daniel Schmidt, 2020-10-17 (Update: 2020-10-17)
Daniel Schmidt
Editor of the original article: Daniel Schmidt - Managing Editor Mobile - @Tellheim
Already as a little dwarf I was fascinated by my Commodore 16 and ignited my enthusiasm for computers. With my first modem I surfed the Btx and later also the World Wide Web. The latest technology trends have always fascinated me and this is especially true for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. For Notebookcheck, I have been on the ball since 2013 and I am looking forward to the innovations that are still to come and that we will put to the acid test for you.