Review: LG HBS-250 Stereo Bluetooth Headphones | webOS Nation
 
 

Review: LG HBS-250 Stereo Bluetooth Headphones 15

by Derek Kessler Mon, 03 May 2010 1:37 pm EDT

LG HBS-250 Bluetooth Headphones

When it comes to headsets, it all comes down to audio quality and controls, and those sadly are the two areas where the LG HBS-250 bluetooth headphones fall short. While fairly beautiful in design execution, the HBS-250 headphones suffer from annoying static and frustrating controls that made it less than a joy to use. They do have at least one redeeming characteristic: the headphones are somewhat comfortable to wear.

Audio Quality

So let’s cut straight to the chase: both music and phone calls with the HBS-250 were afflicted with near constant static. It wasn’t so noticeable with phone calls, as you never expect crystal sound quality there, but the headphones mad listening to music a disappointing experience. And to pile on top of the static, the audio range was mediocre and any subtleties in a music track were muted and muddied. Put simply, the audio quality was not good.

LG HBS-250 Bluetooth Headphones

Controls

I don’t mean to pile on more bad remarks, but I’ve got a format that I follow for reviews, so here goes: the control scheme for the headphones is also an incredible disappointment. All of the controls are located on the right earpiece and are grouped into three separate spots. On the main face, triggered by the big mirrored panel, is the power/call button as well as a blue LED indicator. Holding the button will turn the headset on and off, tapping will answer a call or redial the last number. Frustratingly, this panel covers most of the outer face of the earpiece and is far too easy to trigger when trying to reach one of the other controls located along the edge. At least three times in a few days of use I redialed the last call placed - once when trying to turn of the headset.

Located along the back edge of the right earpiece is a rocker/button for music playback controls. Pressing the rocker down pauses or plays the music, flipping back or forth advances to the next track or flips back as you might expect. Rocking and holding, however, does not fast forward or rewind. On the top edge of the same control-packed earpiece is a three-button setup with volume down, EQ/lock, and volume up. The pre-programmed EQ settings offer little in the way of enhancement to your tunes (and don’t apply to calls). Sadly, the buttons offer little in the way of tactile feedback or identification, so it’s easy to lock the headphone controls while trying to increase the volume or simple lower the volume when all you want to do is cycle through the useless EQ settings.

Comfort

If there’s one redeeming quality for the LG HBS-250 bluetooth headphones, it’s that they are quite comfortable to wear, even for extended periods. The large earpads are plenty soft and the hard plastic ear hooks are tipped with supple white rubber ends that flex for ease of installation. My only complaint with the physical design is one that I’ve had with almost every cable-style headset, and it’s that the excess wire always gets caught on any hooded or collared top I might be wearing. Frankly, it’s frustrating, but it’s a simple fact of life with this style of headphones.

LG HBS-250 Bluetooth Headphones

Style

There’s another highlight to the HBS-250’s, and that’s the fact that they look pretty darned cool, at least off the head. The mirrored panels, are fingerprint magnets (especially the right side, since that’s where all the controls are located), but give the headset a modern but understated aesthetic. And there’s even a touch of funkiness, with a rim of red peaking out from under the silver panels. The earhooks are a clear plastic tipped with the aforementioned soft white rubber.

There are two things that ruin the aesthetic of the headphones. The first is the thin wire that connects the two earpieces. With this style of headphones it’s a given fact that a longer cable will twist and kink. That’s small potatoes compared to the other stylistic concern: the full weight of the headsets hang off the top of the ears, making it look like they’re pulling your ears out further from your head than they are already. For as shiny as they look in the box, they start to look silly when worn.

LG HBS-250 Bluetooth Headphones

In the Box

The LG HBS-250 bluetooth headphones come with a packet of instructions and safety warnings and a AC-to-Micro USB power adapter. The adapter in my box was labeled as a “Travel Adapter,” but it came only with non-detachable US-standard prongs. On a side note, I continue to be amused by the relative size and weight of power adapters needed to charge small and lightweight devices like bluetooth headsets.

Conclusion

Though they are comfortable and stylish, the LB HBS-250 bluetooth headphones are crippled by poor sound quality and frustrating controls. Audio from both music and phone calls was disappointingly flat and wrapped in a cloak of annoying static. The controls are a lesson in the pitfalls of valuing aesthetics over ease-of-use. But at least they look cool, right?

The LG HBS-250 Bluetooth Headphones are available from the PreCentral Store for $69.96.

Pros

Stylish design

Cons

Pitiful sound quality