There are bluetooth headsets a plenty, and there isn’t much to them when it comes to features or looks. LG is trying to buck the trend with their Tone Infinum (HBS-900) Bluetooth headset, which doesn’t just include a new design and tangle free cables, it also packs in style and audio quality.
Quick look at specs and features
- Retractable cables for earphones mean you get a tangle free design
- Stylish headset sits around your neck
- Produced in collaboration with Harmon/Kardon
- Easy controls via jog switches
- Will read recent SMS, or let you call numbers (couldn’t get these to work on my Android phone)
- Tells you the time (couldn’t get this to work on Android phone)
- Some features only work on the G3: Tells you phone battery, reads out caller’s name or number
- APTX lossless audio compatible
- HD Voice compatible
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Battery life: 17 hours playback/talk time, 550 hours standby
Look and feel
The design is what sets this one apart to begin with.
Featuring a ‘necklace’ of sorts that goes around your neck, and with earphones on really thin wires that retract, it definitely makes for an interesting design and feel.
The device generally sits on your neck, and doesn’t really bother one much. This also means that after a little practice you know which buttons to press and where.
The front side of the device features the play/pause button on the right side, and the call accept/reject button on the left.
The outsides contain jog buttons, rewind/forward on the right, and volume up/down on the left.
The insides also contain buttons, though these are the buttons that are used to retract the earphone cables back up. These work rather well.
The on/off button sides on the inside as well, on one side, while the micro USB charging port and a status LED sit on the left.
The top (or middle) of these have a rubbery feel to allow for bending this headset as you put it on or take it off, while rest of it has a lovely metallic feel, in silver.
The earphone cables
The whole idea of having retractable earphones is that they go tangle free. To that extent, it works rather well. However, the cables are extremely thin. I have not damaged them, and I don’t hope to damage them, but there is a slight concern that if they get stuck and pulled, I may end up damaging them.
Overall though, the pull system works well, you pull them out, and plug them in, and they sit well in your ears.
I have been using these headphones while running, and I have run a fair few miles in these, on many trips. They have only popped out twice during the last month, and I was able to pop it right back in.
Running, you say?
Yeah. Interestingly, the headset feels okay on the neck, if a bit different. It seems to bounce up and down a very slight bit, but not enough to put you off your run. The earphones generally stay in.
Heck, I even used it on cycle rides and it was perfectly fine.
This brings me to the question of noise isolation. They actually provide brilliant noise isolation, and you can’t really hear much going around you. Not perfect if you are running in a busy area or cycling on a busy road. However, if you keep the volume down, it should be good. Just general advice there, though obviously a higher noise isolation is better!
LG have gone out of their way and made a partnership with Harmon/Kardon to give you a good audio experience, and it shows. I have used these for everything from classical to metal, and the sound has been well balanced on all accounts. The bass is good, the treble is good, the audio is clear. I can’t really complain. It is smooth.
Just a word of advice, do not try and take calls while running. It is hard to find the accept button, and people think you’re up to something dodgy.
Anyway, the call quality on these is once again brilliant. You get alerted by a little ring tone when you get a call, and pressing the call button accepts the call. I could hear the caller perfectly, and they told me they could hear me well too. All good!
The other features
Sadly I couldn’t get the extra features to work on this, but I can’t complain. They are not something most devices feature anyway, so it isn’t a big worry, and while it makes the feature list look bad, I imagine there are compatibility issues with my phone/Android.
More information on the LG Tone Infinum can be found on the LG website:
It is available from online retailers, and the likes of Amazon:
It generally retails for £99, though right now it is available for £65!
It is always a risk to go away from the usual form. LG have taken that risk, and delivered a beautiful and highly functional product that delivers both on comfort and audio. A great buy at the current price too!