LG Tone Studio hands-on: Quad speakers provide personal surround experience

LG is known for its around-the-neck headphones, and this latest version brings four speakers that are perfect for gaming, music, movies, and virtual reality experiences.

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Several months ago I tested out the LG Tone Active+ around-the-neck headset and enjoyed using it with a VR headset. LG recently launched a new model, the LG Tone Studio, that significantly improves upon the embedded speakers to offer users a personal surround sound system.

At first I connected the LG Tone Studio headset to a LG G6 for music and podcasts while commuting on the train a couple hours a day. I also used the headset with the G6 for calls while walking to and from the office through the streets of Seattle.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been using it with a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 to enjoy video content while in my office. Once again, I also tried it out with the Google Daydream and new Samsung Gear VR headsets I have to enjoy virtual reality experiences. While the headset works well for everything, the VR experience is one of my favorites.

The LG Tone Studio is the largest around-the-neck headset I've seen with a weight of 4.4 ounces and mid-width of the two sides approximately double that of other LG headsets. The part around the neck is minimal with the two wide parts resting on either side of your neck curved to fit perfectly around my neck. It is extremely comfortable and I don't even notice the size or weight of the headset.

The LG Tone Studio has two speakers on the top and two on the bottom. The two on the top provide sound directed towards your ears while the two on the bottom provide audio and vibration. DTS-tuned audio powers the speakers and they sounded stunning with movies and TV shows as the audio seemed to go from one side to the other with loud volume and clear, distinct audio. I heard people approach from behind me and walk around me with the headset in quad speaker mode.

There are a number of buttons, switches, and ports on the LG Tone Studio. On the right side exterior, we have a cover for an AUX port so you can connect your computer or other device via a 3.5mm headset jack instead of using Bluetooth. If you use the AUX port, then you can experience the 32-bit audio DAC that is included in the headset. Further down from the AUX port are the previous/next buttons to control your audio content.

On the inside of the right side, we have a physical switch to toggle between the four speakers and the two earbuds. Below this is the play/pause button and then at the end we have the retractable right earbud. Speakers are found up near where the headset arms start to curve around the neck.

On the inside of the left arm, you will find the on/off switch, answer/end button, and left retractable ear bud.

The microUSB port is found on the outside left side with a jog dial for volume control towards the end of the headset.

The LG Tone Studio has Bluetooth 4.2 with a range of 33 feet. The 445 mAh battery provides music play time in earphone mode of 35 hours and in speaker mode of six hours. The Tone Studio has a talk time of 40 hours in earphone mode and 16 hours in speaker mode. If you have a couple of these LG Tone Studio headsets, then you can connect them both to a single audio source and enjoy the content with a partner.

The LG Tone Studio makes a great gift for students who spend a lot of time gaming, or who enjoy music while they study. It also makes a nice gift for Father's Day, and I know I would appreciate such a headset with high quality playback and long battery life.

The LG Tone Studio wearable personal speaker is available in gray for $229.99 from the LG website and other retailers. You can also now find it on Amazon for just $156.93, which is a great deal for an incredible sounding headset that is comfortable and enjoyable for various audio experiences.

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