While we often recommend high end noise-canceling Bluetooth headsets like the Aliph Jawbone Icon and the , sometimes all you really need is a cheap headset for occasional use. It is in that category where LG really shines, with affordable headsets that often cost less than $50. The LG HBM-210 falls into that category. It is really dead simple headset to use without any frills. Its sound quality isn't the best, but for something this cheap, that's to be expected. The LG HBM-210's retail price $39, but you can get it for about $15 if you shop around.
The LG HBM-210 has a very blocky and rectangular design. Measuring 1.75 inch long by 0.75 inch wide by 0.3 inch thick, the HBM-210 looks very much like a typical Bluetooth headset. Its front surface is covered in a shiny black plastic with blue horizontal stripes plus a strip of chrome along its left side. The top part of its surface presses down to act as the multifunction talk button, and there's a hidden LED indicator underneath that. The volume rocker is on the left, while the charger jack is on its top. The multifunction button is easy to press; however, its volume rocker is quite skinny.
Flip the headset around and you'll find a standard earpiece with a nonremovable earbud cover. There's also a flexible ear hook that you can rotate to fit either ear. It fits quite comfortably in the ear, but we would have liked more earbud covers for a better fit.
The HBM-210's features are quite basic. Its features include the typical answering, ending, and rejecting calls; last number redial; call waiting support; voice dial support; and the capability to transfer calls from the headset to the phone and vice versa.
We paired the LG HBM-210 with the Apple iPhone 3G. Its call quality was rather mediocre. On our end, callers sounded rather weak and soft, though the voice still came through clearly. On their end, callers said the call quality was rather choppy, and the voice quality sounded harsh. They also reported quite a lot of background noise, especially when we were in a crowded environment--so much so that they couldn't hear us at times. Even in a quiet office, there was a bit of static.
The LG HBM-210 has a rated battery life of 11 hours of talk time. It comes with a USB charger and an AC adapter.