The wireless earbuds market is so crowded right now that it seems almost impossible for any brand to offer any real points of differentiation. The 2022 LG Tone Free Wireless Earbuds might actually achieve something rare at the moment.
There are two new additions to the lineup for 2022; the flagship LG T90 and LG’s first fitness oriented model; the LG TF8 Tone Free Wireless Earbuds.
The T90 is a completely new design and has evolved from a new LG partnership with Meridian Audio to create a true flagship wireless IEM. The T90 uses a larger driver than the previous flagship and the incorporation of Graphene in the diaphragm for improved rigidity which should translate to better transients and cleaner sound. There is also a built-in equalizer to allow users to tweak the sound, but sound improvements are only the beginning according to LG.
The T90 is the first wireless earbud to support Dolby Head Tracking. in addition to Dolby Atmos which should make the T90 a great choice for gaming and VR; because now as your head moves, the sound changes to match.
It would be easy to dismiss this as a gimmick for music listeners as efforts to introduce spatial content to music streaming services have stumbled since their introduction, but LG isn’t waiting for content providers to catch up.
Instead, they have included a Dolby designed audio virtualizer that allows users to create spatial effects in standard music files; enabling them to enjoy a three dimensional soundstage without the need for streaming service support.
This is another first for the T90; no other earbud can claim to include Dolby audio virtualization among its features.
In addition to the unique features of the LG Tone Free Wireless Earbuds themselves, the charging case also adds another unique feature called UVnano. Not only does the case charge the batteries in the buds, it also bathes them in UV-C light to kill 99.9% of bacteria and most viruses. A bit of added safety for those who share their earbuds.
The T90 also sports all of the key features to compete with the Apple AirPods Pro; including ANC, wireless charging, improved call quality, and a 9 hour battery life (buds alone – 18 hours with case).
TF8 Fitness Bud
With most of us trying to get back into shape after largely sitting through the pandemic, the market for fitness buds is also taking off; LG’s new TF8 will be their first dedicated fitness earbuds. The design of the TF8 puts emphasis on both comfort and staying in place during exercise.
LG has developed SwivelGrip technology to help the earbuds stay in place during high intensity exercise and still have enough air-flow to remain comfortable while doing so.
The TF8 is IP67 rated so a bit of water won’t phase it, and the ANC helps you block out distractions as well. With a 10 hour battery life (buds alone), it should outlast your workout and with the case providing an additional 20 hours of charge time, that week long canoe trip is within range.
The TF8’s case includes the UVnano cleaning technology so the earbuds are sanitized with each return to the charging case.
Both of the new models also support LGs Plug2Wireless which allows the case to be connected to a source via USB Type-C to 3.5mm cable and act as the source for the buds.
This allows sources that don’t support wireless to be used with the LG Tone Free Wireless Earbuds and is useful for in-flight movies, older sources, and gaming consoles.
The LG T90 and TF8 Tone Free Wireless Earbuds will be available in late-September 2022.