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.
LG TONE Platinum Review
Pros: Great battery life
Cons: Expensive, not very portable, not suited for athletic endeavors
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LG TONE Platinum
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|Pros||Great battery life||Great sound quality, secure fit, great for working out||Good sound quality, good for working out, low profile design, relatively inexpensive||Secure fit, great sound quality||Incredibly crisp audio, comfortable|
|Cons||Expensive, not very portable, not suited for athletic endeavors||Expensive, relatively short battery life||May not fit large ears well||Expensive, can get in the way of sunglasses||Bass 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 situation||The best sounding and most comfortable buds we've found for working out||A sleek package that offers high end performance at a mid range price||Great sounding earbuds that can stand up to the most rigorous workouts||Top notch clarity makes for a great listening experience, as long as you’re not working out|
|Rating Categories||LG TONE Platinum||Jabra Elite 65t||JBL Reflect Mini 2||Beats by Dr. Dre...||Beats by Dr. Dre...|
|Sound Quality (30%)|
|Athletic Performance (20%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Specs||LG TONE Platinum||Jabra Elite 65t||JBL Reflect Mini 2||Beats by Dr. Dre...||Beats by Dr. Dre...|
|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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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