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LG TONE Platinum Review

Designed for sedentary listening, but don't offer the best experience even in that situation
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Price:   $200 List | $102 at Amazon
Pros:  Great battery life
Cons:  Expensive, not very portable, not suited for athletic endeavors
Manufacturer:   LG
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Aug 22, 2017
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56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 17
  • Sound Quality - 30% 6
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Athletic Performance - 20% 2
  • Battery Life - 15% 10
  • Portability - 15% 3

Our Verdict

The LG TONE Platinum purports to be the perfect pair of earbuds for working in the office or commuting on the subway. While they somewhat deliver on that front, their high price makes them an incredibly poor value as other, more versatile earbuds perform better and cost less. If you're looking for dedicated desk earbuds, the Mpow Jaws V4.1 is nearly as good and costs a fraction of the price. Earbuds like the JBL Reflect Mini sound better, are cheaper, and can be used for athletic pursuits as well. The LG TONE Platinum fails to adequately carve out its niche, and thus we don't recommend it for most users.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
LG TONE Platinum
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $200 List
$102.00 at Amazon
$170 List
$169.99 at Amazon
$100 List
$69.95 at Amazon
$200 List
$109.99 at Amazon
$100 List
$99.95 at Amazon
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Pros Great battery lifeGreat sound quality, secure fit, great for working outGood sound quality, good for working out, low profile design, relatively inexpensiveSecure fit, great sound qualityIncredibly crisp audio, comfortable
Cons Expensive, not very portable, not suited for athletic endeavorsExpensive, relatively short battery lifeMay not fit large ears wellExpensive, can get in the way of sunglassesBass relatively weak compared to other high end models, not great for athletics
Bottom Line Designed for sedentary listening, but don’t offer the best experience even in that situationThe best sounding and most comfortable buds we've found for working outA sleek package that offers high end performance at a mid range priceGreat sounding earbuds that can stand up to the most rigorous workoutsTop notch clarity makes for a great listening experience, as long as you’re not working out
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Rating Categories LG TONE Platinum Jabra Elite 65t JBL Reflect Mini 2 Beats by Dr. Dre... Beats by Dr. Dre...
Sound Quality (30%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
Comfort (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Athletic Performance (20%)
10
0
2
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
4
Battery Life (15%)
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
Portability (15%)
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
Specs LG TONE Platinum Jabra Elite 65t JBL Reflect Mini 2 Beats by Dr. Dre... Beats by Dr. Dre...
Weight (oz) 2.1 0.4 0.54 0.9 0.75
Microphone Yes/No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Claimed Battery Life (hours) 10 5 10 12 8
Measured Battery Life (hours) 13.5 5.25 11.5 10 8
Carrying Case Yes/No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
EMF Measurement 4.1 V/m 3.7 V/m 5.8 V/m

Our Analysis and Test Results

The LG TONE Platinum sounds decent and has a great battery life, but the high cost largely negates these positives. It also cannot be used in any sort of athletic capacity, which limits its usefulness.


Performance Comparison


The LG TONE Platinum did not live up to its all-caps title in our testing, pulling down one of the lowest overall scores. In the following sections we detail the individual testing results that led to this low overall score.

Sound Quality


A score of 6 out of 10 in our sound quality testing put the LG TONE Platinum right around average. The Platinum actually produces fairly impressive clarity, making it great for listening to podcasts and talk radio in general. However, the bass is noticeably weak, resulting in a sound that is quite thin. This is especially apparent when listening to bass heavy tracks. This made it one of our least favorite pair of earbuds for listening to music.

The Platinum was quite poor when it came to making phone calls. Incoming calls sounded thin and often muddled enough that we couldn't make out what the caller was saying. The microphone created a good amount of static in outgoing calls, which was incredibly distracting and annoying for the people that we called.

The Platinum produces good slightly above average sound quality.
The Platinum produces good slightly above average sound quality.

Comfort


The Platinum was towards the top of our comfort scoring, earning a 7 out of 10. It comes with three sizes of fairly squishy earpieces, which allowed everyone in the office to find a good, cozy fit. That snug fit also allowed them to block out a bit more noise than some of the other models. It missed out on a top score because of the rigid neckpiece. Wearing that around the neck can feel a bit awkward compared to the small cables that most other models use. We did get used to it eventually, but every time we moved we remembered it was there and had to get used to the feeling again.

Athletic Performance


The Platinum is not meant for athletic endeavors, garnering it a score of just 2 out of 10 in this metric. Remember that rigid neckpiece we mentioned? It bounces around like crazy anytime you move at all. So unless you want to feel like there are some angry birds jumping around on your shoulders as you run on the treadmill, these earbuds shouldn't be used in the gym.

The Earbuds conveniently retract into the rigid neck piece  but the neck piece isn't the most comfortable thing.
The Earbuds conveniently retract into the rigid neck piece, but the neck piece isn't the most comfortable thing.

Battery Life


The Platinum was a standout in our battery life testing, lasting 13.5 hours. This was the highest mark in our testing by a full 2 hours.


Portability


The Platinum was the worst scorer in our portability testing, earning a 3 out of 10. We liked that the earbuds could retract into the body for storage, but that large, rigid neck piece makes it the least packable of any of the earbuds we tested. You can't just easily put the Platinum into a pocket, you really need a backpack or purse, and even then you need to plan your packing so no as to break the neck piece. These earbuds are much more suited to just sitting at a desk and not for traveling with.

Value


The Platinum lists for a whopping $200. Seeing as these earbuds are quite specialized in that they only really work for sedentary listening, and that they only offer average sound quality, this feels like an incredibly high price. There are many earbuds that sound better, can do more, and cost less, like the JBL Reflect Mini and the Bose SoundSport.

Conclusion


The LG TONE Platinum provides specialized performance, but not to a great enough degree to justify buying them over other more versatile earbuds. Even if you just want earbuds for sitting at your desk, something like the JBL Reflect Mini would serve you much better.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata