So you are hunting for a new set of top of the line, wireless earbuds that are not going to break the bank? A set that can offer sound quality and security of an over the ear set of headphones? A headset that has a battery that will last you all day and then some?
The LG Tone Flex XL7 are the newest set of neckband based earbuds from the South Koren based electronics giant LG. They are a truly premium set earbud headphones that come at an extremely reasonable price.
The inclusion of retractable earbuds, and one of the longest life batteries seen in this category. As well as the stunning sound performance thanks to built-in Meridian Audio technology, set this pair of headphones firmly at the top of their class!
So, let’s find out all about them in our in-depth our LG Tone Flex XL7 review…
Design & Construction
As hinted at in the name, the neckband on the LG Tone Flex HBS-XL7 Bluetooth wireless headphones is fully flexible. This is thanks to a fantastically designed rubberized midsection, making them amazingly portable.
Unlike many other offerings in this category, the Tone Flex XL7 can be warped and twisted in all directions, making them easier to store and transport than most. The rubberized section is covered in a dot embossed pattern. This adds an extra level of security when in contact with the back of the neck.
LG have bucked the trend here, deciding to stick with the more classic push buttons, and we are so happy that they have. More often than not, we find touch controls on headphones to be more hassle than they are worth. However, thankfully the set up here works just as it should.
The left hand side of the neckband house the usual buttons plus the opening for the USB-C charging cable. The other side of the headband has just one single button, which controls Google assistant.
A quick push will have the assistant read out your notifications. And with a longer push giving you voice access to all the perks of such a system. And you can get google information, ask questions, activate apps, start and stop music, hear upcoming appointments, etc.
As with other LG headsets, the design of the retractable earbuds worked flawlessly for us every time. A soft tug will have them either extending or retracting instantly, with this mechanism feeling secure and sturdy enough to last a heap of abuse.
Aesthetically, we see a gorgeous soft matte grey exterior that has a lovely velvet-like feel in the hand. The curvaceous yet angular design gives an almost futuristic feel to this set. The top of the left hand side of the neckband has both the LG and Meridian Audio branding on it, in our opinion done very tastefully.
The whole unit is made from high-grade industrial plastic, leaving us with no doubts about longevity.
The internals of the earbuds have been precision engineered. They feature a multi-layered metal and plastic composite diaphragm, and a 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC inside each earbud. The marriage of these diaphragms and DAC units resonate with beautiful clarity and warmth. The 32-Bit hi-fi DAC is also able to upscale audio files to a higher resolution.
Included in the box are three different sized ear tips, ensuring a snug fit for almost all ear sizes. The silicone ear tips are just soft enough without losing form, which we found gave very high in-ear comfort.
Performance & Sound
The sound production team over at LG have buddied up with Meridian Audio, with the audio quality being significantly higher quality than previous models from LG.
Meridian Audio have been around since 1977. Although the name may be new to the ears of casual listeners, they are a big name in the world of top-end sound. They are known for crafting some of the most innovative, elegant, high-performance audio equipment in the last three decades.
The 32-bit DAC also plays a significant role in the sound quality.
We are not lying when we say that the Tone Flex HBS-XL7 Bluetooth earbuds produce one of the best soundstages we have found in any in-ear system. As mentioned earlier, the sound is clear, warm, and also subtle.
The lows have found the perfect balance of never being overpowering but also never feel weak, the mids are slightly boosted and crystal clear, and the highs shine through without distracting the listener from the full sound. This is a crowd-pleaser through and through, and while maybe not being the best pair for music production, they do not claim to be.
While listening to the multi-layered funk tune “Ric Flair” by big band Tom McGuire & the Brassholes, we had no trouble discerning the separate horn lines. Also, the overall fat sound that comes hand in hand with a band like this highlighted perfectly the clear tones that this set is able to produce.
We switched it up for something a bit softer, opting for “Home, Land and Sea” by Trinity Roots. The song is introduced by the timeless tones of the Hammond organ, accompanied by the understated humming of lead singer Warren Maxwell.
The Hammond has never sounded better through earbuds, and when the powerful first vocal line drops, the sound opens up to reveal the extent of these bad boys.
Battery & Connectivity
During our testing period, we were able to well and truly test out the eight-hour battery life of the HBS-XL7 wireless neckband earbuds.
Well, it gets better, with our tests averaging a playback time of 10 hours 12 minutes. Although this is well below what you can expect from a pair of over-ear headphones, it put the Tone Flow HBS-XL7 firmly at the top of their weight class.
With this much battery life, they outperform almost all other sets of Bluetooth earbuds we have tested. And with a fast charge time of just 15 minutes giving three hours playback, we never felt like we in danger of running out of juice.
LG have added their patented Fast Pairing technology, which makes handling multiple connections a total breeze. The Multipoint Bluetooth functionality, with class 1 Bluetooth 5.0, means you can connect two devices at the same time.
Also, switching between the two is as simple as pausing playback on one, and pressing play on the other. We also found that it makes handling calls super easy.
The Class 1 Bluetooth 5.0 connection gives a 33 feet (10 meter) range, which in testing we were able to push a little further, with mixed success. We had no connection drops within 30 feet, but it did turn a bit spotty as we pushed it further. Still, overall a great system which should satisfy everyone.
LG Tone Flex XL7 Pros & Cons
- Best in class battery life.
- 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC.
- Great sound quality.
- Intuitive design
- No splash/water resistance.
More Superb Options
Looking for a few more options before making a decision? No problem as all, simply check out our reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Airpods Alternatives, the Best Headphones and Earbuds for Sleeping, the Best Wireless Earbuds for Small Ears, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, the Most Durable Earbuds, and the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds currently available.
With all the important bases covered, plus a few bell and whistles thrown in, all at a bargain price for wireless stereo neckband earbuds, we honestly can’t recommend these more highly!
They may not be the cheapest in their category, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. And here you are paying for one of the best sets of earbuds we have tested in a long time! So check out a pair, we promise you will not be disappointed!