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LG HBM-905 Review

Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Bluetooth Headsets here.

Our Verdict

The LG HBM-905 features a triple-microphone noise cancellation system that is adequate but unimpressive. The size is unappealing. However, it does features many of the functions of higher-end Bluetooth headsets, like audio streaming, voice commands and a text reader.

For

  • Text-to-speech allows incoming text messages to be read to you through the headset. You can stream audio.

Against

  • The boom microphone covers half of your face. The over-ear hook unclips from the headset too easily.
Image 1 of 5

LG HBM-905 image: The boom microphone uses three microphones to reduce background noises while capturing your voice.

LG HBM-905 image: The boom microphone uses three microphones to reduce background noises while capturing your voice.
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LG HBM-905 image: The over-ear hook tends to come unclipped from the earpiece.

LG HBM-905 image: The over-ear hook tends to come unclipped from the earpiece.
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LG HBM-905 image: The headset comes with only two earbuds.

LG HBM-905 image: The headset comes with only two earbuds.
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LG HBM-905 image: Voice commands allow you to answer, reject, end or dial phone calls, freeing your hands for other activities.

LG HBM-905 image: Voice commands allow you to answer, reject, end or dial phone calls, freeing your hands for other activities.
Image 5 of 5

LG HBM-905 image: A2DP allows you to stream music, audio books, podcasts and GPS directions.

LG HBM-905 image: A2DP allows you to stream music, audio books, podcasts and GPS directions.

Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Bluetooth Headsets here.

When it comes to electronic devices, LG is famous for high-quality televisions, phones, washing machines, home appliances, laptops and more. Bluetooth devices are a very small part of the LG brand. As a result, it's easy to expect the LG HBM-905 to be an afterthought – and for the most part, you'd be right. The LG HBM-905 fails to rise above the other Bluetooth headsets because the design is very large and the audio quality is only average.

The most noticeable feature that the LG HBM-905 has is the triple-microphone noise cancellation system. Most Bluetooth headsets use a dual-microphone system with an internal equalizer that filters out background noise – one microphone to focus on your voice, one microphone to focus on background noises. With this LG headset, the noise cancellation process uses three microphones instead of two. Ideally, this should make for a better noise reduction. However, the result isn't noticeably better than most dual-mic noise cancellations.

The LG HBM-905's noise cancellation is adequate when used in most noisy areas, like walking along a suburban street with considerable traffic or an active fast-paced office environment. However, dramatic increases in noise will interfere with the noise filtering process, causing the audio to sound like it's breaking up on the other end of the call. In addition, the volume automatically increases as the background noise increases. This can be inconsistent. Fortunately, you can manually turn the volume up or down to match your preference.

The audio driver uses dynamic wideband, which combined with the noise cancellation means your phone calls will be adequately clear. The audio isn't as rich or full as the best Bluetooth headsets with wideband audio. This is clear when you stream audio from your phone. The bass sounds hollow and the treble is thin. You can try to fix this by downloading apps that allow you to customize the different bass, mid-range and treble levels.

This LG Bluetooth headset is compatible with all kinds of Bluetooth-enabled phones. The HFP Bluetooth profile allows you to use your voice to answer, reject or dial calls. It doesn't include voice-to-text capabilities, but it does include a text-reading feature so that you'll hear all your incoming texts.

The LG headset can stream audio through the A2DP Bluetooth profile. While this isn't ideal for listening to music because you'll only receive one mono channel of a song's stereo frequency, you can still listen to audio books, podcasts and GPS directions through the headset. When you receive a call, the audio pauses automatically and resumes after the call ends. In addition, with multipoint technology, you can pair this with a Bluetooth-enabled media player while still maintaining a connection to your phone.

At just 0.39 ounces, this LG Bluetooth headset is light for its size. There is nothing subtle about this headset – it covers half of your face. There's no hiding this headset. It has a microphone that sticks out farther than most headsets. This length requires an over-ear hook that is flimsy and prone to unclipping from the headset. When it unclips from the earpiece, the weight of the headset rests on an earbud that struggles to handle it. This makes for a fit that isn't as secure as you'd want, especially for extensive on-the-go use that requires stability.

Despite having an advanced triple-microphone noise cancellation system and wideband audio drivers, the LG HBM-905 Bluetooth headset is underwhelming. Its size isn't appealing and the flimsy over-ear hook doesn't instill much confidence that the headset won't fall off your head at the first nod. However, the LG HBM-905 is a good headset for the features and audio quality that it offers.