LG Quadbeat HSS-F420 Review

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Added Jun 2013

Details: Stock headset for several LG smartphones; also sold separately
MSRP: approx. $35
Current Price: $30 from ebay.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 24Ω | Sens: 98 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 3.9′ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Generic bi-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (1/5) – Single-flange (2 sizes) and bi-flange silicone tips
Build Quality (3.5/5) – Much like the Sony MH1C, the Quadbeat utilizes aluminum housings and lightweight, tangle-resistant flat cables. There is a single-button mic and remote on the right-side cable
Isolation (3/5) – Good when well-sealing eartips are used
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Bothersome when worn cable-down but tolerable with over-the-ear wear
Comfort (3.5/5) – The shells of the Quadbeat are on the large side and the nozzles are extremely short. The stock tips are longer than average, designed to offset the issue with the housing shape, but are very soft and don’t provide a great seal for me. Those with small outer ears may have an issue finding a comfortable fit due to the housing shape

Sound (7.9/10) – The sound of the Quadbeat takes on a slightly v-shaped character with present but not overbearing bass and crisp, bright highs. Overall, it strongly reminds me of the Sunrise Audio Xcited. The low end has good extension and slight mid-bass boost for a punchy, yet clean sound. The Quadbeat lacks the depth and thickness of the Sony MH1C, so it won’t be a good match for those who prefer a fuller, weightier low end. However, its bass competes well with more neutral VSonic VC02, which has slightly less bass quantity.

The midrange of the Quadbeat is clear and detailed, cleaner of bass bleed than the mids of the Philips SHE3580 and Astrotec AM-800, for example. Note thickness is similar to the VSonic VC02 and again lacking some of the fullness of sets like the Sony MH1C and VSonic VSD1.

The treble is energetic, giving the overall tone a slightly bright tilt. Though the VSonic VC02 and VSD1 are slightly more predisposed towards sibilance, the Quadbeat has more overall energy in the upper midrange and lower parts of the treble, which gives it a brighter, slightly splashy sound. Next to the silky-smooth MH1C, it sounds a bit harsh but on its own the treble quality is decent enough. The presentation of the Quadbeat is wide and uncongested, as tends to be the case with other earphones with similar signatures. It is more out-of-the-head than that of the Sony MH1C and even the VSonic VSD1 and retains good separation and imaging.

Value (10/10) – The LG Quadbeat provides a clean and detailed, yet minimally offensive sound with a slightly v-shaped signature. It’s also rather user-friendly, boasting flat cables that are less annoying than those on the Sony MH1C and a universal single-button remote. Not all is ideal – the wide, straight-barrel housings won’t work for all ear shapes and the stock tips may need replacing, but even with the cost of new tips factored in the Quadbeat offers great value for money. It also means that owners of certain LG phones will have to spend a good chunk of change to upgrade from their stock headsets. Whether this is a curse or a blessing, I’m not quite sure.

Pros: Great audio quality
Cons: Wide housings not ideal for small ears; flimsy stock tips


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

19 Comments

  1. wasaki on

    please review the Genuine LG QuadBeat 3 Tuned by AKG . it sound very good .

    • ljokerl on

      I am definitely interested in trying these, just haven’t had the opportunity.

  2. Sofia on

    Thanks for the review. I’m currently using this pair as I got them as stock earphones (pretty lucky!) They’re basically the first pair of good earphones I’ve used and I really quite like it. I am guessing I prefer not too strong bass as well as clearer/louder vocals as compared to the instrumentals? What would be an upgrade for say less than $150?

    • ljokerl on

      The Ostry KC06 around $60 and the DUNU TItan 1 around $120 are good options. Both have a slight bump in the bass but not too much (like the Quadbeat) with very strong and clear vocals, and wide presentations (again like the Quadbeat). I quite like all three of these earphones.

  3. Gomes on

    How small are the smallest tips it comes with? I always use the small tips, do you think they would fit in my ears? Thanks in advance.

    • ljokerl on

      The small tips are small but a weird shape. I wasn’t a fan and recommend using different tips, maybe whichever ones you already have sitting around. The nozzle size on these is pretty standard so a lot of eartips will work – Sennheiser, Skullcandy, Sony, etc.

  4. Alec Robertson on

    Thanks for the review, these look like an interesting earphone to go along with my Xiaomi Piston 2.

    Have you used the Quadbeat 2? Also while I’ve got you here, have you tried the Xiaomi Piston 2 yet?

  5. Basshead on

    Any updates?How does the Quadbeats 1 SE compare to the Quadbeats 2?More importantly,how do either of them stack up against the Xiaomi Pistons 2.1.I can get the Quadbeats 2 for about 7 dollars cheaper than the Pistons(24 dollars).

    I listen mostly to rock and rap music,with some hip-hop in between.

    • ljokerl on

      Never got a chance to try the Quadbeat 2. Pistons I would say are better than the original Quadbeat by a bit, especially if you prefer a warmer, bassier, smoother type of sound. For your genres there’s a good chance the Piston is the better match.

  6. emmarbee on

    How’s the LG HSS-F530 Quadbeat 2 compared to this? Is the extra $5 addition noticed in the sound quality department or in some other criteria. Any change in sound signature?

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  8. rotator73 on

    I’m afraid the part about the universal singe-button remote is misleading: all the reviews I read say that the button doesn’t work with iPhones.

    I’ll test it out myself when I get my set though.

    • ljokerl on

      It worked without issue on my HTC One and LG L9. Seems like it should work on the iPhone as well – just without the extra functions of a proper i-remote. If your test shows otherwise please let me know so I can update it.

      • rotator73 on

        Nope, sorry, I decided not to risk and ordered the more comfortable GR02 Bass, since the remote on the Quadbeat had a chance of not working anyway.

        • ljokerl on

          No worries, hope you like the GR02 Bass!

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