The LG Tone Free DFP8 follow in the footsteps of the LG Tone Free FN7, which we praised for their good price-performance ratio. A lavish further increased functionality, including noise cancelling, high wearing comfort and convincing sound, also result in a recommendation for 2021, especially since the price has been reduced to 179 euros.
The LG TONE Free DFP8 are pleasantly lightweight true-wireless headphones that are available in matt black, haze gold or white. The design is similar to the AirPods Pro from Apple . As with the AirPods Pro, the microphone for the talkback function is concealed by a downward stem.
The DFP8s are “parked” in a compact, round charging case with a USB-C port. The headphone batteries run for approximately six hours with noise-cancelling (ANC) activated – the capacity has been slightly increased compared to the FN7. The case, which has a status LED, still offers a capacity of 390 mAh and will therefore provide two to three full charges. This gives an appealing 24 hours of runtime without ANC, depending on the level. In practice, the quick-charge function adds another hour of play after about five minutes of charging time. Inductive charging of the case is possible. Finally, the illumination inside the charging case with UV light (Uvnano) is remarkable; according to the manufacturer, this kills any bacteria after a short time and thus ensures “disinfection”.
The dynamic drivers used are larger than in the FN7, with a diameter of 8 mm. The somewhat meagre equipment with codecs SBC and AAC remains the same. On the other hand, the DFP8 now use Bluetooth 5.2 and support multi- and Swift pairing.
The wearing comfort is high due to the good fit. The earpieces fit comfortably and securely in the ear for long periods, so I would definitely describe the LG TONE Free DFP8 as suitable for sports. They are also resistant to water and sweat, thanks to IPX4 certification. The hypoallergenic silicone fitting pieces provide the desired insulation but turn out to be very thin and tend to fold over when removed. The passive insulation is satisfactory. Pairing is extremely swift, providing that the connection has already been established. The range over several indoor rooms was also satisfactory.
The exteriors of the LG TONE Free DFP8 are touch-sensitive and work reliably. Single, double and triple clicks and a long press are intended to control music playback, phone calls, volume, noise cancelling, ambient mode and voice assistant. In addition, there is a sensor system that detects when the earpieces are put on or taken off, and this switches the playback on and off accordingly. It makes sense that these earpieces can also be used individually. The touch functions can also be completely deactivated when not in use.
Tone Free App
The free Tone Free App (iOS, Android) is remarkably comprehensive. Here, not only the touch function of the left and right earphones (single, double and triple clicks) or firmware updates can be carried out (test level: 1.13.1). Other functions can also be configured, including the Meridian equaliser with eight bands, five pre-set modes including two memory locations, a read-aloud function for text messages, game mode with reduced latency, whisper mode and the integrated manual. A search function for misplaced earphones is also provided.
Noise cancelling and ambient mode
Each earphone has an external and internal microphone which provide the technology for noise cancelling and the ambient function in the LG TONE Free DFP8, which is said to have been improved compared to the FN7. As before, noise cancellation can be switched through two intensity levels via the app and can, of course, also be deactivated. You can switch between active noise cancelling and transparency mode via the touch controls by pressing and holding them.
According to LG, the DFP8s work with improved noise reduction technology. Nevertheless, the degree of isolation remains only medium, even at the more powerful setting. As usual, the focus is on low frequencies and static noise. Train noise, voice announcements and other noises are not completely suppressed. For daily use, this setting creates a quiet space, which is definitely to be welcomed. However, I would have liked to see more intensive isolation when using the “High” setting.
The Ambient mode lets the outside world into the drivers via the microphones. With a short touch command, perception of the environment becomes more possible, as does communication. The downside is increased wind sensitivity.
Sound-wise, LG’s sound convinces me once again, even though the FN7 model was not available for direct comparison. The basic character of the LG TONE Free DFP8 is well-balanced and convincing for this price range.
In the bass range, the DFP8s are punchy, deep and slightly accentuated. Thanks to the tight tuning, I didn’t notice any annoying overemphasis in everyday use. Indeed, the bass foundation supports listening pleasure during mobile use.
In the mids, these headphones handle all genres – from acoustic recordings to pop with vocals of all kinds to dense rock and metal mixes.
In the highs, these headphones are open and without unwanted harshness. This is accompanied by good detail resolution and a wide stereo panorama, including the reproduction of spatial effects.
Dynamics are also well comprehensible in the appropriate tracks. For everyday use and in this device category, this is a convincing performance, even in view of the True Wireless competition. However, audiophile neutrality is less important here. And to be clear: Compared to a wired system, the Bluetooth version is audibly at a disadvantage. This applies to both the output level and the sound quality.
It is worth noting that the DFP8s certainly improve in quality when noise cancelling is switched off. Here, they sound more neutral and considerably slimmer in the bass. In this respect, it is definitely advisable to deactivate the function when enjoying music at home. Unlike with many other headphones, you should not leave the noise-cancelling switched on all the time.
For the sound tuning, LG has once again cooperated with Meridian. The result is an eight-band equaliser in the app with four pre-configured, but not detailed, pre-sets. These include the “Immersive” pre-set, which uses Meridian’s so-called HSP technology (Headphone Spatial Processing), and this gave the reproduction additional spatiality. The “3D Sound Stage”, however, was disappointing and resulted in a darkened sound image. Your own adjustments can be stored in two memory locations. Here, for example, you could tone down the bass emphasis in noise-cancelling or give the DFP8 an additional boost.
Making calls with the LG TONE Free DFP8
The person I spoke to on the phone gave the voice quality of phone calls a high score for intelligibility, even outdoors. The whisper mode was also really impressive; here you can use the right headphone as a portable microphone. In fact, you can speak very softly and still be heard well. Indeed, this actually makes phone calls in public spaces more personal and less annoying for the person sitting next to you.
The LG TONE Free DFP8 are true giants of functionality and comfort. Compared to the FN7, the price has been reduced by 20 euros, and at the same time, improvements have been made on a technical as well as functional level. These headphones are not intended to be audiophile headphones. Instead, they are an attractive, well-rounded and good-sounding, stylish accessory for everyday use, which also feature practical noise cancelling. Overall, an impressive product with a high level of wearing comfort. My only complaints would be about the limitations of the codecs and the loss of sound when noise cancelling is switched on.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Weight without cable5.6 g each, Case: 39 g
What's in the box
- 3 pairs of ear tips (S, M, L)
- USB-C charging cable
- Charging case
- available in Matte Black, Haze Gold and White
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC
- BT version: 5.2