In this video, I review the LIVALL LTS21 Pro Open Ear Headphones. You can buy these wireless headphones currently on Indiegogo for up to 41% off their final retail price, at $89 for the Pro Edition and $79 for the Sport Edition 👉🏻 https://bit.ly/livallts21pro.
LIVALL are makers of some nice looking smart cycle and scooter helmets. They have used their experience in open ear audio to create their LTS21 removable headphones, that is not only aimed at cyclists, they can also be suitable for other sports too where situational awareness is critical whilst simultaneously listening to audio from a Bluetooth connected device, such as jogging and yoga – and they can also be a good solution in the workplace too.
The Livall LTS21 open ear headphones are currently undergoing an Indiegogo campaign and it has already smashed through the funding goal by over 400%. So if you wish to jump on their 40%-off perk deals there’s still some time remaining before the campaign ends.
In the box, you get a hard shell and waterproof carry case with the headphones and accessories inside, there are a pair of wet wipes to clean the helmet surface for the attachable cycle arms, and you get a paper manual that describes how to pair the headphones to your device via the low latency Bluetooth 5.2 connection, learn the touch sensitive gesture controls, and how to attach the headphones to the supplied neck band or separate cycle helmet arms.
In the fabric covered, hardshell, carry case, you get a set of 6 replaceable 3M adhesive stickers for the helmet mounting arms, there’s an 800mAh charging box with the headphones inside. A 50cm USB-C to USB-A charging cable. There is an over ear neckband to attach the headphones on to, and for the Pro edition, there are a pair of helmet mounted arms and adhesive attachments.
All of the Indiegogo perks come with an additional remote controller as a free gift. This accessory is mainly aimed at cyclists and it allows you to pair it to the headphones and its mobile app to allow you to navigate your audio and adjust the volume, invoke Siri or Google Assistant, or if you pair it with their Livall app you can use this button to trigger the intercom with a group of other riders. The remote is battery powered and it connects directly to the headphones or your mobile if you use it alongside their app. The remote comes with two rubber inserts that can fit onto different sizes of handle bar thickness, and it secures to the handlebars with a thick elastic rubber loop.
Mounting the open ear headphones onto the neckband is the simplest of the two methods available. You first take the headphones out of the charging box and attach them to the neckband. Each side is clearly marked on both the arms or neck band and on the inside of the open ear headphones themselves. You simply slide them onto the neck band or helmet arms and they stay firmly in place. Then simply place the band around your neck and over your ears, and position the headphones over your ears. The silver metal speaker grills on the inside should rest over your ear canal to achieve the optimum sound.
The helmet mounting method takes a little extra time to install, but it is still very simple to carry out. After attaching each headphone to the separate helmet mounting arms, I found it best to wear your helmet and position each headphone over your ears (whilst playing audio through them) and look in a mirror or front facing camera to see if you position the adhesive mounts on a flat enough surface on your helmet. Once you have found a good spot, clean the surface of the helmet, remove the film on the adhesive pad and stick it in place. It takes 24 hours for the stickers to stick firmly in place. I was able to peel them off and readjust and still maintain a decent level of adhesion on my cycle helmet.
With not much adjustment other than rotation on the helmet mounting arms, their position will only suit your own ear position, so if you share your cycle helmet this helmet mounted method may not be a good solution for you. I recommend that you play back audio whilst placing the open ear headphones, and that positioning them a little further backwards resulted in a much better and deeper bass.
Being open ear headphones, I didn’t expect a great level of bass from these headphones but what bass there is, it sounds like a decent compromise for having the ability to also be aware of what’s going on around me. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality and even at its loudest audio level, it was enough to still drown out any outside noise whilst not leaking too much sound for anyone else to hear nearby. For sports like road cycling, I didn’t want to max out the volume level too much as it would still stop me from hearing nearby vehicles clearly, just like any other pair of earphones.
Each open ear headphone features gesture controls to control your audio. You can tap and hold each headphone to turn them on if they have turned off, tap twice to play and pause, tap and hold for 2 seconds to skip forward a track on the right headphone and backwards on the left headphone, and finally, you can tap three times to invoke your mobile’s voice assistant. You can also accept, reject and end calls with these gestures too.
With the open ear headphones attached to my cycle helmet, I ventured out to test them whilst on the move. As I said earlier, I felt I needed the volume to be set to a low to medium level to hear cars and traffic around me, alongside my own audio. Cycling off road with fewer hazards meant I could crank up the sound more, but I still found it a challenge to listen to anyone talking to me when they are set to a high volume.
I found the sound quality to be decent and rich enough for open ear speakers, thanks to their directional acoustic technology. Weighing just 24grams I found the headphones were also comfortable to wear, with the majority of their weight carried by the helmet and there was no pressure or irritation from the neckband with the headphones sitting on my ears.
I found its microphone quality to be adequate with no background noise, but in a noisier environment, I found the microphone didn’t cancel out the cafe noise that much. Although my voice was understandable, it didn’t seem like the outside environment was being reduced that much.
Its performance lacked greatly whilst cycling with lots of wind noise from cycling from anything over 5mph, I found it difficult to issue commands or messages successfully through Siri. So I found I had to slow down considerably, or stop, to use the voice assistant or calling.
To charge each headphone you have to remove them from the mount arms or headband and insert them back into the charging case. It’s obvious that this is not easily possible when they are helmet mounted, however, I found it disappointing that the case wasn’t designed to charge them with the neck band still attached. The single charging indicator on the inside of the charging case could have been more granular. With only one single light that either stays illuminated or flashes based on charging rates above or below 20% makes it hard to truly understand how much charge is left in the case as well as how charged the headphones are. Android users will have battery remaining levels shown in the OS, but iOS users are left in the dark as to how much charge is left in each headphone.
The LTS21 Pro open ear headphones from Livall currently sell on Indiegogo for 40%-off its final retail price at $89 and for 41%-off the full retail price at $79 for the Sport edition, which comes without the pair of helmet mounting accessories.
If you’re looking for an open ear sports headphone solution that’s free from heavy leaking sound, that doesn’t rely on bone conduction or create any irritating sound vibration, these open ear headphones could be what you’re looking for. They sound great for open ear headphones and they feel comfortable, whilst offering 12 hours of operation or 48 hours whilst using its charging case.
Its bundled remote control can take some of the frustration away from using the gesture controls on the headphones themselves, but I did hear regular disconnections from it, but this could be the remote disconnecting to save on its small internal battery. Once you learn where to touch the headphones to control your audio, the touch gestures are reliable enough to interact with your audio.
Even with transparency mode on earbuds, I find having anything inside my ears can limit me from being fully aware of any situations around me, and with the right volume level, these headphones from Livall can reduce this feeling, making it comfortable and safe for sports and also in the workplace, where being aware of your surroundings is just as important as the audio you’re listening to.
0:00 – Brief overview
0:52 – Unboxing
1:34 – Remote Control
2:12 – Installation Headband
2:47 – Installation Cycle Helmet Arms
3:52 – Sound Quality
4:24 – Gesture Controls
4:48 – Testing on the move
5:33 – Microphone test
6:43 – Charging
7:40 – My Impressions