REVIEW: The Legato Arc – neckband earbuds from Spigen
At my “day job” I can be on my cell phone for long periods, making and receiving calls. I wanted to find a headset that was both comfortable and durable. Around the time I started my search for a new set of earbuds, I caught wind of a new neckband headset from Spigen. We would really like to thank Spigen for sending over the Legato Arc for this review.
I have to admit that Spigen is not the first company I would consider for audio devices. Spigen is who I think of for phone cases, not audio. But, they’re trying to change our perceptions with the Legato Arc.
Life is Good
The Legato Arc was very easy to set up out of the box. Mine came with a charge already on the headset, so I was able to start using them right away. A full charge only takes about two hours with the included microUSB cable. Considering that the Legato is a new product line from Spigen, I feel they should have been bold and dropped the micro-USB and embraced USB-C, but sadly they didn’t. The Legato is supposed to last for about 10 hours of audio playback. When you turn the Arc on, the neckband vibrates, you hear ascending musical notes and a voice announcement advising you of the current battery level, “Battery: High”. When powering off, you’ll hear descending musical notes. Much more enjoyable than just a simple “Power ON”, “Power OFF”, or a series of beeps.
If the medium earbuds that are already installed on the Arc don’t work for your ears, there are a set of small and large earbuds in the box. The only thing that was not included was a case.
Legato (adverb): tied together. I’m no musical expert, but legato is the smooth transition of one note to the next. There should be no silence heard between notes. Well, the Legato Arc is very smooth. Listening to music is very pleasant with this Bluetooth headset. The flexible neckband is very comfortable and so are the earbuds. The earbuds are very tolerable for long-term usage. When not in my ears, I have the band around my neck with the earbuds retracted and I’ve had more than one case in which someone has pointed to them and asked me about them. I would not call them noise canceling, but noise isolating.
Notice I said, “with the earbuds retracted”. What made the Arc very attractive to me was the method of storing the earbuds when not in use. Unlike some other earbuds that just let the buds dangle when not being used, the earbuds on the Legato Arc retract back into the neckband. Just give a little tug on the earbuds and they wind back up. Other products require that you press a button to retract the earbuds. I find the retracting of the earbuds a big plus. It makes it easier to manage. You don’t have to worry about adjusting the cable to the necessary length. All you need to do is just pull the earbuds out to listen and then let them retract when done. The wire connecting the buds to the neckband is thin, but seem durable. I was not going to purposely test their breaking point.
The Legatos are controlled via a Multi-Function Button (MFB) which turns the power on/off. The MFB also handles dealing with phone calls and switching equalizer settings. There are three settings for the equalizer. The settings are “Default/Bass/Treble”. There’s no indication of what mode you’re in other than listening. Depending on your musical tastes, it’s obvious when you’re in “bass” mode. The Legatos also use Qualcomm’s aptx technology. This headset supports Bluetooth 4.1 and can pair with more than one device simultaneously. I use them on both my phone and my Chromebox. The MFB can also summon your digital assistant. The other button on the Legato Arc is used to control volume and going to the previous or next track.
Some other specs:
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Spigen says you can have up to 8 devices connected to the Arc
- 135 mAh Lithium-ion Battery
- Up to 600 hours standby
- Up to 10 hours of talk/listening time
- 14phi receivers
Handling phone calls
Taking a phone call is very easy to do on the Legato Arc. When a call comes in, the neckband vibrates and announces “incoming call.” There are apps that announce incoming callers for you if that’s a feature you need, as these headphones don’t come with that function from the factory. To answer a call, you just give a tap to the MFB or if you want to reject the call you hold the MFB for a second and the caller gets sent to voicemail. To place a call, just press the MFB for about two seconds and then release and your virtual assistant will be summoned to assist you. Call quality is decent. I placed a few test calls and no one said anything to me about the call until I mentioned at the end of the call that I was on a Bluetooth device.
Legato is a new product line from Spigen, with the Arc being the first headset in the line. I am very impressed with this headset. For $99, Spigen should be a consideration on your list when shopping this year.Get the Legato Arc from Amazon