I went looking for cordless earbuds because I wanted to hear my yoga videos without having to negotiate jumpbacks with a cord dangling about my person. I also wanted to cycle (on a trainer with TrainerRoad) to my beloved Sufferfest videos without a cord going from my ear to my laptop, probably resulting in me pulling the laptop off the shelf by my bike and crashing it to the ground, whereupon I would have to commit hari kari because, as a writer, I cannot live without my laptop.
Anyway, I found several cordless earbud setups out there, but most were $100 (too much for me) and didn’t give the option of dangling one earbud out without destabilizing the whole deal. The LG Tone Wireless Bluetooth headset is around $50 (hmm, seems to have gone up to $60 since I got mine) and has this odd neck portion that acts as a homebase for the earbuds, a system that works surprisingly well. I may have purchased these earbuds for my athletic pursuits, but I like them so much I find I wear them all the time for audiobooks, podcasts, and music…I even find myself wearing them when I’m not listening to anything at all, but might want to later. Which is…kind of weird. I guess I like to be prepared.
Isn’t this a cute picture of MoMo? Sophie took it. I’m listening to a Japanese podcast through the LG Tone thingies (it’s kind of stupid name, I dunno, I feel stupid saying “LG Tone.” Whatever). Okay, see around my neck, that black, shiny thing? A short, black cord goes from that around-the-neck-thing up to each earbud. On the neck-thing there are volume controls and skip-forward/skip-backward buttons, which is nice. It connects through bluetooth to the ipod in my pocket.
Cool feature: the yellow tips of the neck-thing are magnetic, so when you don’t want one or both earbuds actually in your ears, you can pull ’em and they suck into the neck-thing where they are magnetically held in place. This is great for me because I often want to be able to hear the kids with one ear while I’m listening to my ipod with the other ear. This is such an improvement over the old strategy of tucking one or both earbuds into my bra strap where they would inevitably end up in my armpit. Magnetic earbud holders for the win!
Although the neck thing is a little dorky looking. All winter it was completely concealed because I tend to wear a scarf around my neck from November to March. No one knew I was wearing the neck-thing on under there. But now that it’s warming up, the neck-thing is much more visible. Not sure if this will matter to me, although I’ve noticed people looking at it curiously in the grocery line.
Very important: it’s super comfortable. As in, I completely forget I’m wearing it. It is a bendy, soft, wire, not a hard loop. It just drapes around your neck, no bother. I often find I’m taking it off when I’m getting into the bath, after having worn it all day. Ready to ipod at a moment’s notice….
It plugs in to get a charge—I’ve never had it run out of charge so I’m not sure how long it lasts, but it seems to be several days of on/off use through the day. The sound is good—I’m no audiophile, but it works, no crackles or hissing, music is enjoyably clear.
Most important: For cycling, the LG Tone is perfect. For yoga, it’s pretty damn good. It’s stellar for vinyasa. It flops around a bit for standing forward bends (when your head goes upside down), although hasn’t come off yet and it works fine, I just notice it flopping at that moment. It disappears for standing poses and the seated poses and the jumpbacks between them. But it has to be tucked into my tank-top strap for a minute, or taken off completely during backbends to keep from falling off, and it tends to fall off for inversions, so I usually take it off for Finishing. Nothing’s perfect.
Still, it definitely solved the problem I bought it for—a comfortable, cordless alternative to regular earbuds that I stays on for (most) of my active stuff. I’m pleased.
Sidenote for phone users: you can answer calls with it, and talk. That seems pretty cool, as you wouldn’t have phone rays zapping your brain. I don’t have a phone so I can’t comment on quality.
Tech note: I have paired it with all our ipods, ipads, and my Macbook, no problems, although sometimes I have to turn things off and on again to get them to repair if I’m switching to a new device, or press and hold the phone button while turning on the headset to get it to pair to additional devices. The ring around the phone button will flash blue, which is kind of stupid since your finger will cover the lighted ring when you’re pressing down. But even so, it’s easy. And I f it’s the same device as I was using last time, I just make sure the headset is switched on and go to setting to tell the device to connect. No bother.
Recommended! I haven’t used my regular earbuds since I got these. Except when my daughter is using them and won’t give return them. “They’re just so much better,” she says. Yeah, gimme those back, kid.