- Sound quality
- Comfortable fit
- Battery life
- IPx5 Water and sweat resistance
The LG Force is one of LG’s latest Bluetooth headphones to be released. They are available exclusively at AT&T stores for $99.00. Included with the headphones are three different ear gels to fit in your ear canal and a carrying pouch. As well as an instruction manual and a clip to control the length of the cable behind your head. The pouch itself works fine for carrying the buds. However unlike some of their competitors this is a soft pouch instead of a clamshell. While this makes it more comfortable to carry in your pocket, it won’t offer them much protection.
The design is quite different from other pairs of Bluetooth headphones I’ve used. Instead of using an interchangeable ear wing design, LG opts for cradles that go over and around your ear. While I’m a big fan of the ear wing design because my ear canals are pretty small. Causing buds to fall out with even the smallest of ear gels. The wings have always kept them in place, even while exercising.
It did take a little practice and time to get use to this design, but the same could be said for when I first started using headphones with ear wings. LG’s design works well for keeping the buds in place, even though it also makes the LG Force more bulky to carry around. The cradles themselves are soft, flexible, and adjustable. They can be slid back and forth at the top to adjust for your ear shape and size.
I found this design put less pressure on the inside of my ears, and meant I had more time before ear fatigue set in. Usually somewhere around the two hour or more mark. Instead of the typical 45 to 60 minutes I’m use to with the ear wing design. The LG Force also feature an IPx5 water and sweat resistance rating.
Also unlike others I’ve used LG puts the controls on the left side instead of the right. I’m a bit torn on this decision. As it makes sense to me to put the controls on the right side, seeing how most people are right handed. On the flip side since most people are right handed. You’ll usually be using your right hand, leaving your left hand free to use the music controls.
One annoyance I came across is the audible beep each time you changed volume. I’ve heard this on other pairs and I’ve always found it annoying. When you’re trying to crank up the volume for that song you’ve been hoping to hear. You don’t want it to be interrupted by *beep* *beep* *beep*.
As far as buttons LG also took a detour from other brands I’ve used, by including a separate power button. Usually the power button is included with the multi-function button. This took me a few times to get use to. As I’m accustomed to holding down the multi-function button to power on the buds. In practice it works well though and offered some extra shortcuts for the multi-function button. Such as using it for more than playing or pausing music. You can also use it to change the equalizer by holding in for two seconds. The charging port is also found next to the power button on the left ear bud.
Obviously one of the most important features for Bluetooth headphones is sound quality. The LG Force really impressed me here. It features aptX technology from Qualcomm for clearer audio using Bluetooth. The sound was very clear and crisp, but still provided plenty of bass. Some headphones can really lack in the high end and overwhelm you with bass. I found these to be quite balanced. They are clearer than my Jaybird Bluebuds X1s allowing instruments in the background to stand out like never before. Plus you can also change the sound profile using one of the button shortcuts to suit your tastes. It features Bass Boost (default), Normal, and Treble Boost.
Distance was on par with other Bluetooth devices I’ve used. Indoors I was able to get around 30ft. away. While outside I was able to get 60ft. without any walls or anything to interfere with the signal. Another great feature is with Bluetooth 4.1 you can pair them with two devices at once. Meaning no more having to unpair and repair your buds if you swap devices often.
One more feature LG offers is reading of your notifications. However you’ll have to download their Tone & Talk app in order to use this. It allows you to keep the phone in your pocket and still keep up to date with all of your texts and emails. This worked really well for me, and really comes in handy when exercising. LG Tone & Talk allows you to choose what apps you want to hear notifications from. That way you won’t have to hear every notification, only the ones you really care about.
Of course you can’t talk about Bluetooth headphones without mentioning battery life. LG claims these will last 6 hours during playback, and 16.5 hours in standby. During my usage they definitely lived up to the playback claims. I was certainly able to get 6 hours or more. During my week of usage I didn’t have to recharge them once. There is also a friendly voice which notifies you of the battery level each time you power them on. Indicating whether the battery level is low, medium, or high
The LG Force Bluetooth headphones are some of my favorite that I’ve used to date. They have fantastic sound, good battery life, good range, and will even read you your notifications. The one downside would be that they are a little bulky, but at least they are comfortable. Thanks to AT&T for providing this review unit.