Headphones are a technology we’ve used for years, and they are constantly improving. One thing we can all agree on though, is that we hate the wires. If you’ve ever pulled your headphones out of your pocket and it looks like they’ve been mixed in a blender, you’ve probably thought that there has to be a better way. Well luckily there is, and if you haven’t guessed it by now, it’s wireless. Bluetooth headphones are a great way to get rid of the clutter that comes from regular headphones will not sacrificing the ease of use. Over the past couple days I’ve been using LG’s latest set of bluetooth headphones, the LG Tone Ultra Bluetooth headset, and now it’s time for me to bring you my thoughts.
On these Bluetooth headphones we are looking at an earbud form factor that is powered and controlled with a “collar” that rests around the neck. The earbuds connect magnetically to the “collar” to ensure easy removal. I found that while the magnet did hold the earbuds in most of the time, there were times when they would fall out. Aside from that the lip around the edge of the “collar” made it much more difficult to connect the earbud back to it’s magnet. However the earbuds themselves fit perfectly into their slots and removal was no problem at all. The wires were also no problem as they leave plenty of room to reach your ears while not being too long to get tangled or in the way. The buttons were also hugely improved bringing a much better feel and placement. The two main buttons include the phone call and play/pause buttons. They are easy to identify since they are their own icons. This design choice not only looks great but makes sense since you can now feel the buttons to determine what they are for.
I’m personally a fan of the “collar” design of wireless earbuds since it provides a very comfortable experience. After the first few minutes wearing the headset I didn’t feel it at all since in this iteration LG has made the “collar” curve slightly to your collarbone which is probably one of the biggest improvements made over the LG Tone+. The earbuds themselves fit nice and are comfortable even for long periods of time. One major problem for me however was that the earbuds kept falling out of my ear while listening if I was moving around at all.
Unlike traditional headphones, the LG Tone Ultra needs to be charged. The headset charges via microUSB with an included charger in the box. The device charges within a couple of hours and lasts a very long time. Using them an entire work day (about 9 hours) I was only able to drain them down about halfway. This included using them for both music and phone calls. While a nightly charge wouldn’t hurt, it probably won’t be necessary unless you use the headphones from the moment you wake up til the moment you go to sleep.
I’m not an audiophile by any means, but I can say that the LG Tone Ultra has the best sound of any headset I’ve used in this form factor. Every song I listened to sounded absolutely wonderful with no real downsides. Noise isolation was great as I was able to drain out most noises even with the headset on a low volume. During phone call I can’t say the same though. While callers said that I sounded great, their voices were somewhat quiet in my experience.
It all comes down to price with these headphones. They do a great job in almost every area with few problems but their price doesn’t make up for those few problems. Priced at retail for $119.99 these take the most expensive price in it’s form factor. This is compared to other options such as the Motorola Buds which retail at only $69.99 or even the LG Tone+ from last year which retail at $79.99. The competition undercuts the price, especially in the case of the Motorola Buds. Luckily the device is usually on sale at Amazon for under $100 in both white and black.
Is It Worth The Price?
I feel that the price is the only thing that really holds this headset back is it’s price. At $119 I don’t think it quite hits the right point for either users upgrading from a previous version of the product or even someone new to the form factor. The Motorola Buds pack a much better bang for buck even though they don’t provide quite the same sound quality or noise isolation. If you’re thinking about getting this headset, you need to look at why you are getting them. If you are someone who works in an office environment or even just for work around the house, these are probably a good fit as they fit well and provide great noise isolation. However if you are looking for a headset for listening to music while exercising or for talking on the phone, I would check out another option. For those using them while exercising I would stay away since the earbuds tend to fall out due to movement and the collar piece itself actually moves around as well. For those looking to talk on the phone, I still feel that the LG Tone+ is the best option since it has great microphone quality and is easy to use while talking.
Overall I’d give the LG Tone Ultra headset a solid 7/10 since it is a great headset only hindered by it’s price point.