Sunday, May 06, 2012

LG Tone Bluetooth Review

I’m a big fan of Bluetooth. In fact, ever since I got my first cell phone (which was a Tracfone, for the record) I’ve been a big fan of hands free cell phone usage in general, mainly because at the time I got my first cell phone, the car I was driving was a 4-speed so I couldn’t very well hold a phone, the steering wheel and shift gears at the same time. Recently, my Samsung HM3500 broke. Not enough to make it completely unusable, but enough that it was obviously just a matter of time before it was completely done (note, I probably shouldn’t have kept it in my pocket when not in use else the earpiece may not have broken and been hanging by the, very, thin wires inside). This, naturally put me in the market for a good, though not terribly expensive, Bluetooth headset again.

I’ve owned at least a half dozen or more Bluetooths (or would that be Blueteeth?) in the last several years. Some cheap, some not so cheap. One thing I have always noted is that the cheap ones aren’t worth it. They tend to sound like crap and they conk out too soon. The most I’ve ever paid for a Bluetooth was round $100. The Samsung HM3500, at the time I bought it, retailed for around $70, but I found it on sale for $40. What I liked about the Samsung was that it was both a traditional, monaural Bluetooth headset for phone calls, but it also came with a set of stereo earbuds that attached via micro-USB, for listening to music. So, when that headset broke, my first notion was to either get that same model again, or possibly one of Samsung’s other models with the same features.

But then I ran across an article on Lifehacker titled “Five Best Bluetooth Headsets”. On that list, was the LG HBS700/Tone. It’s been my experience that any Bluetooth priced less than around $70 generally isn’t worth it. A friend of mine also already had this same Bluetooth headset, which, frankly, I honestly figured he had paid quite a bit more for than only $70. Naturally, I asked him his what his experience with the LG Tone had been. His indications were that it was an exceptional headset, especially for the price.

Research completed, I headed to the local BestBuy to pick one up for myself. I have now had it for just shy of a month, and I must say, I’m very impressed. First of all, it’s comfortable. I was a bit unsure of whether or not I’d like having it wrapped around my neck, but I actually barely notice it’s there. Sound quality is absolutely phenomenal! I actually have to turn the volume down on my Android phone itself because the headset does such a tremendous job of amplification. For phone calls, it’s equally impressive and so far no one has complained that they couldn't hear me or that I sounded far away or metallic. Battery life has been impressive as well, as I typically only have to charge it every three or four days based on my own usage.

I’ve only had one annoyance using the headset to listen to music. Occasionally, the audio cuts out. However, I’m not convinced that it has anything to do with either the headset or the phone because it only happens on the smoking patio at my office. It doesn’t happen at home, nor inside the breakroom at work or anywhere else. Only on that patio. Which makes me wonder what the hell is out there that fraks with the Bluetooth signal.

All in all, if you’re looking a good, affordable, bluetooth headset for both phone calls and listening to music in stereo, in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the LG Tone. Apparently, it’s only officially available at BestBuy, but I’ve also seen it listed on Ebay.

~ JC
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