LG is going for a double whammy this May, releasing both its LG Heart Rate Earphones, right alongisde the compatible LifeBand in an attempt to take up some of the market share left vacant by Nike’s speedy exit from the game. Whether either will be any good remains to be seen, but let’s review what we know so far to see if they might be worth picking up.
While nobody knows for sure yet how smart the next-generation of smart devices is going to be, the general consensus that they’re going to be wearable. That’s why many companies, LG included, are now looking to add these sorts of functions to headphones, since they’re a much easier way of implementing sweeping changes without having to worry about fashion trends – at least quite so much.
With that in mind, LG’s Heart Rate earphones offer tracking of – you guessed it – your heart rate by measuring the blood flow in your ear. Of course they play music too – they’d be pretty awful headphones if they didn’t – but the selling point is that you can keep an eye on your body’s second most important organ, without resorting to a wrist band or regular doctor visit. This is a much more accurate way of doing it too, according to LG, especially when it comes to strenuous physical activity where sporadic or fast motion is common, like running.
There’s a plug-in option if you want to simply use the earphones as god intended, to listen to music with and track your data on your phone, but if you attach the bluetooth adaptor, you can also send your heart rate statistics to the LifeBand or other compatible devices. You’ll also get audible updates on how you’re doing, letting you know how fast your heart is going, as well as your oxygen consumption. Both of these statistics might take some time to draw much of a conclusion from, but they will at least show progress over time as you get fitter.
You can also use the earphones to measure distance travelled and your speed, when hooked up to a compatible smartphone.
The LG Heart Rate Earphones are a little more expensive than their Life Band partner, setting you back a somewhat expensive $180. This will probably work out to around £130 in the UK, thanks to our wonderful taxing system. Also if you want to get the Life Band too, you’re looking at a total cost of over £200.
The fact that the stats produced by these earphones aren’t particularly useful, especially since cheaper devices can do the same thing, makes these seem like an odd purchase, unless you really want the LG double whammy. The audio capabilities of the headphones would also need to be excellent to justify that sort of price, when you can get some very good in-ear headphones for much less.
The LG Heart Rate Earphones seem like a much less recommendable purchase than their partner Lifeband, especially since they both record roughly the same information and you probably have a good pair of earphones anyway. Perhaps if you want to get yourself ready for future LG products, but for now, we wouldn’t give this one the thumbs up unless the price takes a big nose dive.