Why Whispering Mode on Earbuds Is a Great Idea

No more shouting on the bus

Key Takeaways

  • LG’s new earbuds offer a Whispering Mode designed for instances when you don’t want people to overhear your conversations.
  • The Whispering Mode could help curb people who love to shout into their phones. 
  • The Whispering Mode is available in three new models with various new features, including the ability to kill germs.
Someone wearing the new LG TONE Free FP true wireless earbuds.


I love technology, but there are times when I wish we lived in the stone age. 

My lowest moments come when I’m using public transportation, and someone is screaming into their smartphone using wireless earbuds. But LG has come up with a genius idea that could help curb loud talkers. 

The new Tone Free FP true wireless earbuds feature a “Whispering Mode” where you can hold the right earbud next to your mouth during calls to use it as a dedicated microphone. It’s great for those times when you don’t want to shout for the sound to be picked up by the earbuds in your ears.

I don’t mind ambient noise or music but the sound of people talking on the phone makes me see red.

Seen but Not Heard

If the Whispering Mode tech works, it could offer relief to a world that’s been suffering from overhearing overload. 

Ever since Bluetooth headphones became a thing, we’ve been plagued by people who seem to have no problem sharing their innermost thoughts and most intimate conversations with the public, usually at high volume. In New York City, half the population seems to be having loud, one-sided conversations as they walk down the street.

I don’t mind ambient noise or music, but the sound of people talking on the phone makes me see red. It’s terrible in the gym. I often go for a workout and am just getting into a rhythm when fellow exercisers think it’s a great time to hop on a work call.

There’s a particularly grating tone people tend to adopt when they are trying to make themselves heard in a meeting and don’t want them to know they are lifting weights at the same time. 

Another pet peeve of mine is people who talk on the phone in coffee shops. It doesn’t bother me if someone wants to make a quick call, but these days people often colonize Starbucks and turn it into a home office. They will nurse a chai latte for hours while shouting into their Bluetooth earbuds to make sales pitches. 

Interestingly, Amazon’s Alexa also has a whisper mode. You can set up your Alexa device so that it will hear you if you speak quietly and also respond at a low volume. 

Choose Your Model

LG is launching three new earbuds with the Whispering Mode. The FP5, FP8, and FP9 include noise-canceling, three microphones per earbud, and an IPX4 water resistance rating. Their earbud stems are slightly shorter than LG’s previous models, and LG claims they have a new driver and diaphragm design, which allows for more bass without affecting the sound clarity. 

The earbuds also have Headphone Spatial Processing and 3D Sound Stage intended to give an audio experience that surrounds the users. 

A closer view of the LG TONE Free FP true wireless earbuds, with charging case.


Each one of the new models has slightly different and intriguing features. The FP9 earbuds,  for example, have a case that can also be used as a wireless transmitter so that the earbuds can be used with non-Bluetooth devices. You could use a USB-C to aux cable to plug the headphones into a plane’s in-flight entertainment system, for example, eliminating one of my pet peeves with Bluetooth headsets. 

For germaphobes, the FP8 and FP9 earbuds include bacteria-killing UV tech. LG claims this feature can kill 99.9% of the bacteria on the earbuds’ speaker mesh in five minutes to reduce the chance of inner ear infections. 

These two models boast improved battery life compared to the FP5 and can run for 10 hours on a charge, or up to 24 hours when used with their charging case, while the FP5 is rated for eight hours without the case and 22 hours with it on. However, only the FP8 model supports wireless charging.

LG hasn’t yet announced the price of the new earbuds. But whatever the cost, I highly recommend that anyone who wants to chat on their phone in public consider one of these models.

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