The LG Tone Free T90Q are not the first headphones from LG, but it does feel like the company has packed everything they know into these to give the booming and valuable headphone category a red-hot go.

Just the list of features alone makes these a compelling proposition, Dolby Atmos head-tracking, UV Light Cleaning, 3.5mm input, Active Noise Cancelling – there’s a lot to take in.

From the get-go, I don’t think anyone who spends the premium $399 price on the LG Tone Free T90Q’s will be disappointed in the audio quality. I opted for the Natural sound, but boost the bass, flick with the sound settings and you’ll find a profile to suit you.

Music felt rich, clear and without distortion, which I know sounds obvious, but at this price point it’s important to check. Quality comes from the graphene material used in the 11mm driver – which ensures less distortion than a traditional speaker driver.

In the ear the fit is great too, they are a very small bud and stalk design – not unlike Apple of course, but in Charcoal it’s a great alternative to that white in-ear look so many people are rocking.

Charging case is a little circle, making it unique, and it sits neatly and easily on a wireless charger.

On the outside of the case is a little flick switch which enables what I call “Travel” mode. Using the included USB-C to 3.5mm cable, you can plug this into the airplane seat sound and the case will act as a receiver and transmit the sound to your headphones. Same could work on a stereo system, heck, grab your old Walkman and give it a crack:). It’s a fun, nifty and rather unique feature that might be the clincher for many who travel a lot.

Personally, I’m self-contained when it comes to travel, and I think people spending $399 on headphones probably have a laptop or tablet they are watching on a plane.

Speaking of which, the Active Noise Cancelling is probably the area that lets the LG Tone Free T90Q down. At $399, I’m sorry, we have to expect the best, and this falls short. Not by a lot, but if blocking out that airplane noise is what you’re after, the AirPods do it better, over-ears better again, and frankly JBL’s Live Pro 2 at half the price do just as good a job.

I don’t think it’s one feature alone that will sell these though, so that’s what LG has going for them.

The case is also a cleaner for your earbuds, offering Ultra-Violet light cleaning of the speaker grill. Cool, but until they find a way to clear the ear-wax off them, I’ll not consider them clean, even though a bunch of nasty’s might have been cleaned by that bright purple light.

Throwing a Dolby Logo on anything sound related isn’t a bad thing and in the case of the LG Tone Free T90Q – Dolby Atmos provides for what we call “head tracking” and that works really well with Apple’s Spacial Audio.

This means if you’re listening to Ed Sheeran, then turn your head to the left, Ed will be in your right ear. Turn to the right he’s in your left ear. It’s like putting the concert in front of you and having it fixed no matter where you turn.

It’s remarkable, and very well done for a brand other than Apple. LG has nailed it, as it’s responsive and accurate. I’m yet to really understand the why of this technology though. If I’m wearing in-ear headphones I’m listening on the go, even sitting at my computer I don’t want the music to be fixed. But perhaps that’s just me.

Battery life is close to the claimed 9 hours, with another 20 in the case if you’re travelling.

LG’s Tone Free app provides all the controls I like, including detailed options for the touch-controls on each bud, which for me is an absolute must.

Bottom line is, these are exceptional. Great sound, great features, great technology.

At $399 they’re premium priced headphones, and LG will need to woo buyers away from Apple. For iPhone users the only advantage to AirPods is probably the faster pairing, but you only do that once! Be different, don’t be a sheep.

Web: JB HiFi. LG