I have to admit, my first impression of the LG – TONE Studio HBS-W120 Wireless In-Ear Headphones was not very positive. They looked odd and didn’t feel especially comfortable. The sound seemed way too thin and tinny, and the haptic feedback seemed weak.
But, after wearing them for a little while, you get used to how they feel, regardless of whether they look odd. You realize the sound field actually does create a nice 3D effect. Even though the quality and depth of sound isn’t great, it’s still superior to clip-on speakers and such. And the haptic feedback, although weak, is more than you get with other small speakers.
So, as a small speaker, it’s not bad. In fact, it’s downright decent. But temper your expectations. Regardless of marketing hype, small speakers equal small sound. The 3D field is clearly the most impressive thing in terms of sound.
The included earbuds are fine. They have substantially more bass kick, but I didn’t think they were all that clear in upper octaves. I also don’t like the style of earbud as much as I like buds that do a better job fitting to your ear rather than squishing into your ear canal; but that’s a personal taste issue. If you want to use earbuds, there are far better options. But it’s nice to be able to easily go back and forth between the earbuds and the speaker, if needed.
My question is when would you really want to use HBS-W120? My answer is while I’m walking my dogs. But that’s really about it. I wouldn’t wear them jogging or biking, which I presume are some of the more targeted uses. But casual walking? Sure.
If that’s your thing, then I think these are a good buy. You don’t have to block your ears or wear headphones to have some relaxing music while you stroll down the wooded trail. Just be mindful of others.
At the end of the day, I just don’t think these are versatile enough for regular use and don’t justify the expense. They’re not intrinsically bad, but I can’t really recommend them at the list price. But I’m guessing they won’t sell that quickly, so I expect they’ll be heavily discounted in the near future.
Note, the HBS-W120 was provided to me free of charge for review by Best Buy and LG.