LG Tone Pro HBS-780 Review Facts
LG’s Tone lineup of headphones includes the LG Tone Pro HBS780. Don’t let the complicated name fool you. These are basic everyday listening headphones. The HBS780 model is the budget option from the Tone line offering Bluetooth connectivity, impressive battery life, and all the regular features you’d expect from a pair of wireless headphones. The unique shape of the Tone device sits around the neck with arms that conceal small earbuds. Pop em’ out and start listening at your leisure.
This device isn’t meant to be used for high-intensity activities. You could use them for walking, but otherwise, the neck-style of the Tone Pro isn’t the best option for rigorous types of workouts
. The neckband will move around too much. The headphones also lack water
or sweat resistance, so your best move is to keep these for non-workout listening periods. For listening around the house or on the train, the Tone offers basic and advanced features for easy music listening.
The clever design includes earbuds that fit into the neckband’s arms. The earbuds are wired to the device via a cable that connects them to the band. The cable comes with a handy clip to secure the cord and keep it from getting in the way. The neckband also doubles as a nifty storage solution
. The earbuds snap back into the arm sockets via a magnet. The length of the cord is also adjustable so users can choose to have more or less slack for the earbuds.
On the left portion of the neckband sits a button to control calls. With it, you can accept, decline, answer, and hang up phone calls. Also present on the left side is a volume control button. The left arm also features a power button and the device’s microphone. The right side of the band includes the track controls. There are two buttons. One allows users to start
and stop their music and the other enables them to switch tracks. A micro USB port is located on the left side of the device and is covered by a protective piece of rubber to prevent dirt and dust from infiltrating and damaging the electronics. An extra two included ear tips come with the Tone Pro and allow users to get the perfect inner ear fit.
The wireless design of the Tone device includes Bluetooth 4.1 functionality and a 33-foot range. The included earbud speakers are Quad Layered offering clear and balanced sound. The microphone that we mentioned earlier, on the left side, is a Dual MEMS microphone capable of picking up sound from all around. A neat feature of the HBS780 is that it vibrates when receiving an incoming call. This feature can be turned on or off, depending on your preference. Note that keeping it turned on can affect battery life. The Tone Pro also comes with three LG specific features. A voice memo feature is precisely what you’d expect, a way to dictate reminders. The Tone & Talk feature is probably the coolest functionality. It allows you to have your messages read out loud, so you don’t even need to pick up your phone to check your texts. The Find-Me feature is perfect for forgetful individuals who tend to leave their accessories lying around. It works much like Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ feature so you can easily reunite with your listening device.
Overall sound performance is pretty good, though some reviewers felt the bass sound was less than stellar. Call quality is not the best, but the microphone isn’t horrible. The biggest issue? There were numerous user reports of the Tone Pro ceasing to work after a few months. After a short
period of time, the earbuds simply stop working and no longer produce sound. When this happens with headphones, it’s often due to a poor cable connection, but reviewers seemed puzzled as to the source of the malfunction.
You can pair your headphones via Bluetooth and access exclusive features like voice memo, Find-Me, and Tone & Talk. Find-Me allows users to locate their headphones. It’s similar to Apple’s ‘Find My Phone’ feature. The voice memo feature is self-explanatory. The Tone & Talk functionality read your messages out loud for you, so you don’t have to pull out your phone and check
The HBS780 features a flexible curved neckband design that sits comfortably around the back of the neck. Although it looks heavier, the Tone weighs only 1.6 oz. Despite its lightweight, we wouldn’t recommend it for active individuals. The design isn’t conducive to working out. The neckband style isn’t secure, and you’d end up experiencing way too much bounce for it to be comfortable for running or HIIT
. Reviewers didn’t mind the neckband and liked the way the earbuds fit. The Tone also comes with extra ear tips to customize the fit.
Whether you like the neckband style is a personal preference. The Tone definitely looks sleek, and around the neck
, it’s almost unnoticeable. The device comes in a total of six colors including black, matte white, matte blue, metallic red, and metallic blue. The controls are well-blended into the design, so the Tone looks like a high tech piece of jewelry more than a music listening device. Remember, though, that you’ll still have earbuds in your ears.
The Tone Pro is sturdily made but not water or sweatproof. We doubt the design would be comfortable for working out, though, so that’s not a dealbreaker. A bit of water resistance would be nice, though. Without some kind of waterproofing, the device is limited in its use. The design itself does that, too. It’s not the best choice for rigorous activities. Even if the earbuds fit super tightly in the ear canal, there’s no way to secure the band in such a way that it won’t move at all. There’s bound to be some movement no matter what.
Here’s the real dealbreaker. There are quite a few complaints concerning the reliability of the LG Tone device. Reviewers complained that after a few months of use, the headphones simply stopped working with no apparent root cause. Typically, when headphones no longer produce sound, it’s due to some kink or breaks in the wire connection to the audio jack. There’s no such connection with wireless headphones and reviewers were frustrated to find themselves without a way to listen to music all of a sudden.
Ease of Use
Using the Tone Pro isn’t rocket science, and the device has unique features that make it intuitive and easy to use. The neckband doubles as a convenient storage space for the earbuds. They hide inside the armband cavities and snap in magnetically. A few reviewers mentioned that the device’s buttons were relatively small and tough to find at first. They really blend in, which is a nice touch style-wise, but a drawback functionality-wise. They’re not the most responsive buttons, either, but they’re intuitive and straightforward to understand.
The device charges via Micro USB like most wireless headphones. One drawback with the Tone is that it doesn’t come with any sort of storage case. Battery life is advertised by LG as topping out at about 16 hours on standby and 10.5 hours for continuous playback. Battery life depends significantly on the volume chosen for playback, however. The device charges quickly, in under two hours, which is handy for those who might be in a hurry.
The price tag of the HBS780 is justified. The affordable headphones feature decent sound, but for the price, we’d probably characterize the sound as great. Reviewers were happy to pay full price for the LG Tone headphones. Don’t forget about the performance issues cited by reviewers. After a few months, quite a few users said the headphones stopped working completely. That’s something to expect with ultra-budget dollar store headphones, but not a quality pair of wireless ones.
- Bluetooth 4.1 enabled
- Magnetic ear buds snap into the neckband arms for storage
- 10.5-hour playback battery life
- 33-foot range
- 1.54 oz
- In-line volume and track change controls
- Comes with an extra set of ear tips
- Micro USB charging
Here’s the bottom line, the LG Tone Pro HBS780 is not the highest quality headset you can buy, but it’ll do the trick for those on a budget who don’t want to spend more than $100 on a regular pair of headphones. The headphones offer an excellent battery life and an attractive design with smart earbud storage. Hold up, though. There’s still a lot to keep in mind before heading out to purchase the Tone. The LG Tone device is not designed for workouts. The neck-band style is unique but definitely not appropriate for running. Unless you can stand a whole lot of bounce. The headphones are comfortable. The neckband fits nicely around the back of the head, and the earbuds themselves don’t cause irritation or discomfort. But, you’ll need to take good care of these, since they don’t come with a storage case, something LG really should have included. Nearly every other pair of wireless headphones come with some type of storage system. Be wary, too, of the myriad of reports regarding performance issues. Many reviewers initially said great things about the Tone headphones only to amend their reviews months down the line because of malfunctions that caused the headphones to stop working completely.