All products featured are independently chosen by us. However, SoundGuys may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links. See our ethics statement.
LG TONE Free fit TF7
Case: 66 × 52 × 33 mm
5.9g (each earbud)
In collaboration with audio industry veterans Meridian, LG has been producing active noise canceling (ANC) wireless earbuds for the past few years. The most recent entry into the line-up, the LG TONE Free fit TF7, seeks to utilize some of the critical ingredients of previous LG x Meridian earbuds in a sporty format. Let’s check out how they perform.
Editor’s note: this is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.
Folks with hard-to-fit ears may find success with the stabilizing wings here. Physically active music fans can take advantage of the IP67 rating while sweating it out.
What’s it like to use LG TONE Free fit TF7?
The LG TONE Free fit TF7 is purpose-built for the gym or your daily run, evidenced by the IP67 rating against dust and water. Covering most of the earbud housing is a grippy texture, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, which is pleasant to the touch. In the box, you get three sets of stabilizing ear wings and three sets of ear tips (approximately 12mm, 14mm, and 16mm in diameter).
I can wear them for several hours before discomfort sets in. Although they aren’t the comfiest buds to begin with, the trade-off for a locked-in fit is probably worth it for many people. The option of three different wings goes the extra step to ensure they fit. Simply insert the earbud and rotate it to lock it in. If you have difficulty finding earbuds that fit, the LG TONE Free fit TF7 are worth a try for these features.
The capacitive touch controls react well in daily use, although I sometimes wish they were a bit more sensitive. Additionally, if you listen for a long continuous session, the touch controls occasionally stop working until you pop them back in the case and remove them again. Besides that, you also get in-ear detection, which works even when the touch controls quit working.
The LG TONE Free fit TF7 case is small and round, with a crosshatched pattern, and the outside is covered in the same grippy material as the earbud housings. It feels sturdy and pocketable, with a strong magnet keeping the clamshell case’s lid shut. Sometimes, the earbuds need a bit of adjustment to get them to sit correctly in the case because the wings can shift, but in all, the case is good.
How do you control the LG TONE Free fit TF7?
The LG TONE Free fit TF7 use touch controls, and they rarely misfire. You can also remap or add to most of them in the TONE Free app. The buds emit a subtle clack sound when registering a command.
|Single press||Double press||Triple press||Press and hold|
Left and Right earbuds
Play / Pause
Skip to next track
|Press and hold|
Noise canceling / Ambient mode
Should you use the LG TONE Free app for the LG TONE Free fit TF7?
If you pick up the LG buds, you might as well download the TONE Free app (Android/iOS). You’ll get the usual firmware updates in addition to listening modes, control remapping, and equalization. Reassigning controls to different taps can make a difference by letting the tech adapt rather than forcing you to adapt to it.
Besides that, the app offers a gaming mode for low latency when playing games. The layout is conventional and basically unchanged from the LG TONE Free FP8, but this version runs smoothly.
How do the LG TONE Free fit TF7 connect?
The LG TONE Free fit TF7 receive audio using AAC and SBC codecs. Generally speaking, the earbuds connect quickly without issue and come equipped with Google Fast Pair. A couple of times over the testing period, the connection dropped for a split second before automatically reconnecting.
Pairing the LG TONE Free fit TF7 is pretty simple.
- Enable Bluetooth on your device.
- Open the charging case and leave the buds in there.
- Press and hold your finger on the touchpad of the left earbud for 3 to 5 seconds.
- Select the LG buds in your phone’s list of available devices, and you’re done.
How long does the LG TONE Free fit TF7 battery last?
According to our standardized battery test with continuous audio peaking at 75dB(SPL), the LG TONE Free fit TF7 last 5 hours and 56 minutes. For this test, ANC is enabled, but you can stretch the battery longer when ANC is switched off.
On the case, a green light means 80% charged or more, yellow means 20% to 80% charged, and red means under 20% charged. The blue light indicates that UVnano is sanitizing the ear tip grills. There’s no wireless charging, just a standard USB-C connection, and a USB-A to USB-C cable is included.
Yes, fast charge the LG TONE Free fit TF7 for 5 minutes to gain an hour of playback (according to LG).
How well do the LG TONE Free fit TF7 cancel noise?
Loading chart ...
Noise canceling performance is average but not exceptional on the TONE Free fit TF7. They remove a lot of midrange noises well, and the sounds of traffic and the hum of buses are evenly attenuated. While not the best ANC, it sounds pretty natural without too much of an artificial effect. The buds don’t really affect the very lowest noises, so you’ll still hear some deep rumbles, but primarily, the ANC concentrates on the most bothersome pitches.
I notice more high-pitched noise than expected, with only average isolation on these LG buds. The effect was similar to the Beats Studio Buds Plus, which have decent ANC but not very impressive isolation.
How do the LG TONE Free fit TF7 sound?
Loading chart ...
LG offers some EQ presets in addition to the default one shown above. If you want to get closest to our headphone preference curve without getting into the weeds of equalizing by yourself, the Natural EQ present gets you close, save for some sub-bass roll-off. However, by default, the tuning of the TONE Free fit TF7 is too bassy for most people. Luckily, that’s an easy fix.
Oddly, once you pair the buds with a device and use the TONE Free app, there’s no obvious way to turn off the equalizer.
Lows, mids, highs
Loading chart ...
The Natural EQ sounds pretty decent. Listening to the Noughties indie band Ambulance LTD’s track, New English, the LG buds play the swing beat bass and shuffling percussion with adequate volume. The acoustic guitar is reproduced well; the same goes for the lead vocals, which sound rather good. One downside is the organ pads are almost imperceptible, and while they are mixed quietly, they end up just a bit sidelined here.
What sticks out is that you don’t hear strong definition between the left and right earbuds. This muddling of the channels is only super obvious on tracks with hard panning where some of the right channel is audible in the left ear, even though you can tell something is panned to one side or the other.
If all you watch are action movies with little to no dialogue, the 3D Sound Stage EQ can be pretty neat. Not to be confused with actual spatial audio, this allows the left and right channels to intermingle, producing a spatialized effect in concert with increased bass response. It sounds excellent for loud rumbling sounds. In alternating between the Natural EQ and 3D Sound Stage while viewing multiple current movie trailers, the surround effect works for fast-paced scenes with sound effects, but the dialogue gets trampled. People’s voices sound distant and harder than usual to understand.
Flipping between the two EQ settings makes it clear that while the bass response of the 3D Sound Stage EQ is more affecting than what the Natural EQ outputs, it’s downright distracting how strange speech sounds with the 3D preset. It’s a cool idea but needs refinement. This was similarly observed on the LG TONE Free FP8, and unfortunately, it persists without an apparent update.
Can you use the LG TONE Free fit TF7 for phone calls?
Loading chart ...
If you’re in an office, outside on the street, or in the comforts of home, the LG TONE Free fit TF7 microphone works well. Voices are conveyed with reasonable accuracy. Trouble ensues when you go outside on a windy day. While the buds can handle street noise and office clatter pretty well, most of your speech gets obscured by the introduction of wind. Have a listen below.
LG TONE Free fit TF7 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
LG TONE Free fit TF7 microphone demo (Office conditions):
LG TONE Free fit TF7 microphone demo (Windy conditions):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Should you buy the LG TONE Free fit TF7?
There are a few things to like about the LG TONE Free fit TF7, such as the well-fitting design that works for plenty of ears and the IP67 rating. The buds are easy to use and comfortable with a small, sturdy case. Downloading the app and using the equalizer also introduces new dimensional utility to the earbuds. Even if the 3D mode can’t compete with spatial audio, it works with all media. The Natural EQ mode sounds good, and the presets are different enough to find something you’ll like. Plus, command remapping in the app is a boon for picky folks.
Still, the buds aren’t without their imperfections, such as the controls occasionally not working, as if timed out during long sessions, and sometimes (albeit very briefly) the connection drops out. Anybody planning to take calls outside on a windy day may have problems, which is a shame because the microphone performs relatively well indoors. The ANC is decent but not exceptional.
This one feels close to really good, which is a bit frustrating. If you do a lot of dynamic exercises or have trouble getting the right fit, the LG TONE Free fit TF7 is worth checking out.
What should you get instead of the LG TONE Free fit TF7?
If you have an Android device, consider the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro ($179 at Amazon). While not the underdog, you get much better noise cancelation, although a worse battery life. Unlike LG, Samsung limits users based on their operating system allegiances and how much you can customize the experience. That’s okay if you prefer not to tinker with settings and want something that works with little effort. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are IPX7 certified, so avoid dust.
Lastly, the Jabra Elite 7 Active ($179 at Amazon) are perhaps the most apparent competition for the LG buds. Unlike the TONE Free fit TF7, the Elite 7 Active buds rely on their grippy texture and tight in-ear fit to secure them. If you fit most earbuds, these shouldn’t be a problem. The IP57 rating doesn’t hurt either. You might also want to consider the recent Jabra Elite 8 Active, although we haven’t reviewed them yet.
Beats Fit Pro works equally well with iPhones and Android devices alike. The stabilizers help ensure the earbuds stay in place during your workout routine, but they can cause fatigue afterward. Still, the ANC is pretty impressive overall for $159 at Amazon.
If you look at this differently and consider workout earbuds a must, maybe you’d rather stay aware of your surroundings. The IP54-rated Shokz OpenRun (for $179 at Amazon) wrap over your ears but don’t occlude them so you can hear the environment perfectly well. This means they’re pretty comfortable and surprisingly have decent microphones on board. Of course, you’re limited by the niche case uses without ANC, but maybe get a separate noise canceling set of buds.
Frequently asked questions
LG continues to market its UVnano technology, which utilizes a special light in the charging case to kill bacteria on the driver grills. While nice to have, it only focuses on the 6mm driver grills of the LG buds. Perhaps if you share your earbuds constantly, this feature is worth it, but the ear tips aren’t getting disinfected by the UVnano tech.
It would be best if you cleaned your earbuds regularly, regardless. Isopropyl alcohol and a swab have the added benefit of clearing away debris.