A novel combination of earbuds and speakers, but kind of a useless one

A novel combination of earbuds and speakers, but kind of a useless one

As far as headphones go, LG’s TONE Bluetooth headsets look pretty strange. They don’t really follow the standard in-ear or over-ear design, instead opting for a battery base that sits around your neck. However, they’re still surprisingly popular; I see people wearing these a lot more often than I’d expect. LG’s done something right here.

The new LG TONE Studio (HBS-W120) puts a spin on the TONE line by introducing a second method to listen: speakers. That’s right – within this base are four speakers that aim to create a “personal sound experience” (LG’s words, not mine). In theory, this sounds like an interesting idea – listen with the earbuds in quiet areas, and rock out with the speakers at home or while you’re outside. In practice, though, it’s not as ideal as LG would want you to think.

Design and controls

You might not like the TONE Studio’s appearance, but it’s hard to deny how comfortable it is – so much so, in fact, that you may legitimately forget that you’re wearing it sometimes. This is thanks to its durable plastic build, which keeps things lightweight despite all the components within. The piece in the middle that makes contact with your neck is soft and flexible, which allows it to sit snugly for all neck shapes. The earbuds themselves are lightweight as well, which makes them comfortable in your ears so long as you’re using the right tips.

The various buttons and switches are a bit confusing at first, but they’re pretty easy to learn. Switching between earbuds and speakers is as easy as flicking a switch. Other noteworthy functions include a volume scroll wheel (pictured above), a call…

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