LG is no stranger to stereo Bluetooth headsets. From the compact HBS-200 to the more gym-friendly HBS-250, LG has usually stuck to the same behind-the-neck philosophy with its headset design. That continues with its more recent offering, the LG HBS-700. However, the HBS-700 features a number of innovative improvements that set it apart from its predecessors--it's much more comfortable, for example--and because of that, it has earned its spot as one of the better-designed headsets we've ever tried. The LG HBS-700 retails for $69.99.
The HBS-700 certainly looks unusual. It consists of two cylindrical pods connected via an 8.5-inch flexible neckband, with a wired earbud coming out of each pod. Each wired earbud is threaded through two plastic loops that you can slide along the neckband to the spot you find most comfortable. The overall effect is kind of messy-looking, with wires flapping about when you first pick the headset up. However, LG cleverly incorporated magnetic pockets at the end of each cylindrical pod. These pockets are made to house the earbuds so that they don't fly around wildly when not in use.
To wear the HBS-700, simply place the neckband around your neck with the two pods hanging around your shoulders like two ends of a scarf. The neckband is made out of an ultralight shape memory alloy so that it conforms to the shape of your neck. Indeed, it felt very comfortable and lightweight when we tried it on. When you want to use the earbuds, just pop them out of the aforementioned pockets and place them in your ear. The earbuds, clad in soft rubber covers, sit snugly inside the ear. LG has included a couple more earbud covers in case you want different size options.
Because of this configuration, we had no difficulty wearing glasses while using the headset. This is unlike most behind-the-neck headsets, and we were grateful.
As you might expect, the two pods are where the controls are housed. The right pod is home to the play/pause button plus the track shuttle keys, while the left pod houses the call button, the volume rocker, the on/off switch, and the Micro-USB charging jack. On the whole, we found the controls easy to use. The buttons are raised above the surface and easy to find by feel.
The LG HBS-700 provides the usual capability to answer, reject, and end calls. It also has last number redial, call waiting support, and auto reconnect. There's also a Bluetooth ringtone answering function that will play your phone's ringtone for incoming calls through the headset. If you're listening to music when a call comes in, the headset will vibrate on one side. The headset also has multipoint support, meaning you can connect to two devices at once. However, when you're in multipoint mode, you won't be able to use the music streaming function.