Review of LG Tone+ (HBS-730) Stereo BT headphones w/pics!!!Tips

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  1. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    This is a review of LG Tone+ (HBS-730) Stereo Bluetooth headphones with enhanced multimedia and call controls: LG TONE+

    With Note 2 being multimedia powerhouse, at some point you realize that having a wired headset becomes simply inconvenient. Either if you are watching a movie or listening to a music you don't want to be restricted by wires tangling around your phone, and would like to have controls in your hand without reaching out for the phone. Also, if you are enjoying listening to music or working out with your phone as a music source - you want to have a crystal clear stereo sound with all hands on controls while Note 2 is securely hidden out of sight. Oh yeah, and you also might want to use your Note 2 to make phones calls sometime :) Well, HBS-730 does it all and in Great Style!

    Let's first start with a design. It's a cleverly designed necklace, something you might have seen in one of those sci-fi movies. My review sample came in white color, although it's also available in black, and I found it to be very discrete with cloth I usually wear to work and outside. This neck strap is made out of memory flex soft rubberized material, it's very light weight (I weighted it on my digital scale to be exact 34g), and sits very comfortable around your neck. You literally forget it's on. Also, the design makes it very convenient to stay on either if you walking or exercising, etc. The ends of this neck strap house all the controls, with one side has call/phone control button and volume up/down, as well as on/off switch and covered micro-usb charging port, while the other side has multimedia Play/Pause control button and FF/REW buttons. Every control button is within a comfortable reach and easy to operate without a need to look at it. The headphones are earbuds with a magnetic tip to attach securely to a shaped opening at the end of the neck strap. There are two small plastic rings that can be moved around the flex necklace area to adjust the length of headphone cable when earbuds are in use, and also to help manage cable from dangling when earbuds are not in use. Everything is designed with a high level of ergonomics, from the material to fitment and access to all the controls. Earbuds itself come with 3 sets of silicone tips to ensure a comfortable fitment. You can wear these for an extended period of time without fatigue. Also, AC adapter with micro-usb is included to recharge HBS-730, but any cable could be used since its a universal micro-usb connector. I even tried charging these from my laptop and it worked perfectly since it only requires 400mA of current.

    Now, about the actual functionality and performance of these headphones. This was probably the easiest and fastest pair up I ever had, literally took seconds from turning on/off switch and selecting headphones auto-discovered on Note 2. No need for any codes, etc. Regarding endurance, these offer one of the longest lasting rechargeable batteries with 15hr of talk time, 10hr of music play, and a decent 15 days standby time, all that with charging time under 2 hours. I have been using mine for a few days now, and while talking and playing music - there is still plenty of juice left. As for Bluetooth performance, I was able to leave my phone in the kitchen while walking around different rooms on the first floor of the house without any problem. Even went down to the basement, although further away from a stairwell resulted in signal chopping off. I know some people might have high expectations to cover ridiculous wireless distances. I haven't tested straight line max distance yet, although why would I even want to leave my phone 15-20ft away while walking with headphones? :) As to a sound quality, don't expect too much bass. The headphones do offer 3 modes of EQ with Normal, Bass boost, and Treble boost modes. Bass boost mode does make the sound a lot fuller and adds more definition to the bottom end, but don't expect to get your ears rattled while listening to dubstep lol!!! The mids and highs sound super clear and crispy. In no way these have thin sound, it's rich and full, even without exaggerated enhancement of bottom end. Multimedia controls perfectly integrate with Note 2 where you are able to play/stop/pause, skip to next/previous, and even fast forward and rewind. Every control has an audible feedback. Volume has multiple adjustment granularity on top of phone's volume control while playing music. While making calls, I noticed the volume adjustment is actually reflected with a bluetooth volume bar on a screen.

    With phones becomes multimedia all-in-one devices, we forget that you can make calls with it too :) That functions flawlessly with a great noise reduction and echo cancellation. I was outside making a call with wind noise around me and the person on the other end heard me crystal clear without any problem. When you receive the call, you get a voice notification about incoming call and a gentle vibration of the neck strap. There is even a feature to have two separate sources paired up with one set of HBS-730 headphones and being able to switch between two devices in call-waiting fashion.

    Between how comfortable these to carry without a need for wires or clips or trying to keep earbuds somewhere in the pocket - those are attached magnetically to the neck strap, great sound quality and integrated controls, incredible battery life which is amazing for such integration of functionality, and flawless integration with a phone and switching between calls and multimedia - HBS-730 deserve a definite recommend from me. Oh, also forgot to mention - they also offer text-to-speech option to read your SMS messages (via app from Google play).

    Just to get a visual of how these look, here are some pictures I took:













    donec, DonB, GrandMasterB and 2 others like this.
  2. thomasanderson

    thomasanderson Well-Known Member

    Nice review OP. I just have to ask, how is the range on your HBS 730's? I owned a pair and was forced to return them, because the range was absolutely horrible. I mean if I set my phone down and turned my back the Tone+ would cut out. Now I dont have this problem with the HBS 700's, and the reviews on Amazon months ago let me know that I wasnt alone in this experience. Were yours really that great?
    ScandaLeX likes this.
  3. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby Guides Guide

    I liked your review but those headphones are pretty strange looking plus I don't like that whole in your ear experience. Not for me but I could see one of my girls loving them.
  4. ScandaLeX

    ScandaLeX Wasn't Me

    I have then and I HATE THEM!!!!!!!

    I read every single review on Amazon before making this purchase. Previously owned the HBS-700 in black and white and considering those were outstanding I thought the 730's (Tone+) would be even better.

    Out of all the reviews I came across several spoke about distance, sound cutting out and a deafening screech that comes thru the headset. Since there weren't a lot of reviews regarding this I bought them anyway thinking the occurrence was small. Boy was I wrong wrong wrong.

    My phone can be sitting right beside me and all of a sudden sound on this headset cuts completely out and doesn't come back. Yes, I'm still connected via BT but cannot hear anyone although the other party can still hear me.
    If you're the one talking at the time you won't know right away that there's no sound so you sit there like a dope waiting for a reply......then you start saying till there.

    Now onto the screeching- it's unannounced, unexpected and uninvited. There's nothing that causes it; it just happens and with the plugs in your ears, without any advance warning you can't pull them out your ears fast enough.

    YMMV when this odd behavior will exhibit itself.
    So far I've been thru 3 of them (all purchased from different locations) and they all did the same thing.

    Many of the reviews I've seen of late were if you have the previous model, don't upgrade- you'll just make yourself mad.
    donec, DonB and Wiley_11 like this.
  5. Wiley_11

    Wiley_11 Well-Known Member

    Your *reality checks* are very refreshing. :D
    ScandaLeX and DonB like this.
  6. donec

    donec Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the review Twister. Have you ever owned the HBS 700's? If so how do they compare for you? p, li { white-space: pre-wrap; }
  7. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    Sorry guys, this is my first pair of Tone+ headphones. I don't know if it makes any difference but those were sent to me directly from LG for review and perhaps have the latest hardware/firmware. Honestly, I had them on a kitchen island while walking around first floor, listening to music - not a problem. And I did went down to the basement where a level below I was still able to hear music standing at the bottom next to stairwell. Walking further away did cut off the sound. Used them outside as well, phone down in the pocket, talking for awhile while it was windy outside and no problem at all.

    So far my only "complain" is when I'm outside paired up with a phone and get into the car I have to turn power off in order to pair up with my stereo.

    I hope it was some kind of a firmware issue and it has been resolved recently. With so much feedback across Amazon and other forums, and people returning back their headphones - vendors usually pay a good attention!
  8. ScandaLeX

    ScandaLeX Wasn't Me

    Not trying to be a Debbie Downer but I highly doubt LG will even acknowledge there's an issue that needs to be addressed. They are notorious for having NEVER heard of any problems even though the problems are all over the web and their own product review page.

    Also I forgot to mention if you're one who loves their bass banging, the "ENHANCED AUDIO" is not that much different than the previous model; some say it's greatly improved- I couldn't tell. "AND BASS RESPONSE" isn't there but there's an app for that. I used Volume+.

    Also those tiny clips which hold the wires in place do slide up and down and if you're not careful can pop off without you realizing it.

    What LG is pushing with these headsets is apt-X Technology.

    This one is also going back.
  9. reeko43

    reeko43 Member

    I have this headset in black and I am in love. Had to send the first pair back because of a constant buzzing sound.

    So lightweight, I forget that they are around my neck. Love to use while running. Music and calls sound crisp and clear.

    I have great range. However, a friend of mine has terrible range but she has a hard time getting a good signal for her phone in her apartment. Don't know if that has something to do with it.
  10. BriceMC

    BriceMC New Member

    I've had this for a few days and it's worked pretty well so far, my only complaint is that whenever I receive a phone call while I'm using the headphones, the audio of whatever I was listening to automatically reverts to my phone's speaker while the call is coming in. I don't know if there's some kind of setting I can change to avoid this in the future, or what, but I work in an office setting, so I learned this the hard way, while using them at work, ha.
  11. ScandaLeX

    ScandaLeX Wasn't Me

    My ringer would vibrate thru the headset and come thru the phone.
  12. BriceMC

    BriceMC New Member

    Yeah my problem isn't w/ the ringtone, it's w/ the audio I'm listening to when the call comes in. if I'm listening to music through the headphones, and I receive a phone call, the headphones vibrate, but the music starts playing through my phone's speaker, which is really annoying. ideally, it would automatically just pause the music.
  13. ScandaLeX

    ScandaLeX Wasn't Me

    Now that problem I didn't have. The music would stop when the phone rang and resume thru the headset when the call ended.
  14. BriceMC

    BriceMC New Member

    Yeah I was hoping it was just kind of a glitch that may resolve itself, but it happened to me again today...I was listening to a sports talk radio show I listen to every day, on iHeartRadio, as I walked into the grocery store, when I received a phone call. The headset vibrated & played the ringtone through the headphones, and the radio show audio started playing through my phone's speaker. I'm starting to think maybe it's specific to my phone, and not necessarily to the headphones, but it doesn't appear to be a setting I can change. Oh well.
  15. ScandaLeX

    ScandaLeX Wasn't Me

    @BriceMC I think with this particular headset, the issues it has not all of us will experience them; but we will experience something.
    You (and plenty others) have the audio coming out of the phone when it rings.
    I (and plenty others) had the screeching and other oddities.
    Then there's the group who report it cut off and never turned back what I mean is there are a lot of problems; we just don't know what all of them are and I feel LG (for whatever reason) rushed these out the door without any real testing.
    Those who are enjoying a trouble free performance of this headset are the lucky ones.

    I'd have no problem recommending the previous model (HBS-700) but not the 730's.
  16. RedFive2012

    RedFive2012 Member

    I just got my HBS-730 about 2 weeks ago, and they've been great. I have them paired with both my T-Mobile GS4 and my Hackintosh, and I have used the stereo and phone audio functions on both. I have not had the squealing issue others have reported, and the range seems adequate; I can get down the hall or upstairs before it starts buzzing and complaining about disconnects. I also love how I can play music or videos, make calls, etc. for 10+ hours, then turn them off and charge them in about an hour and a half, and go for another 10-15 hours. The included silicone tips reduce noise well enough, to the point where I've actually piped in a little background noise from my webcam mic just so I can hear when my wife or kids come into the room. Perhaps since I got mine about a year after most other posters reported on theirs, maybe LG fixed some issues. A couple minor quibbles, though: 1. Maybe it's just my ears, but I don't notice any difference when I change the internal EQ settings. 2. I'd actually like to turn off some of the voice prompts, but I can't. 3. The quality switch in a call, from 44.1KHz stereo when playing music or video to 8KHz mono, is mildly annoying, but I guess it can't be helped.
  17. slawrence

    slawrence New Member

    My son got me these for my birthday and I love them! Sound is great. Synced with my Note 3 right away and just worked! I get excellent range when listening to music, I can leave my phone on the kitchen table and walk out my back yard, I would say easily 60 feet. I can go anywhere in my house (2 levels). However when on a phone call the range is not as good. If I go upstairs while the phone is in the kitchen the other person can't hear me. It doesn't drop the connection and I can still hear them.

    My most favorite thing is the music player functions and that is where my trouble started. Everything worked perfectly until the day after my first workout. The FF and REW button stopped working. I will have to try to get the issue resolved thru LG, which I have not done yet. I know I will have to send them in and I can't be without them now! So awesome for phone calls in the car and shopping and even more awesome for listening to music!

    Here's something weird though... After about a week the ff/rw button suddenly worked and the play button stopped. It would still pause but I had to open my phone and start the music first. Then next time I used them everything worked again and now I'm back to just the ff/rw not working. I suspect a short but I was concerned it was from sweating on them since they had worked perfectly up until after that first workout but shouldn't they be able to handle that? I mean the picture on the box is of a guy riding a bike... You know he's sweating! I want them fixed so bad but I love them so, I just cannot be without them!

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