Throughout the year 2017 I been hunting for a good pair of headphones but not wanting to splurge on any premium high-end models but found one at the fag end of the year which ticked most audio checkpoints I had , meet Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC and in this review I unravel the headphone for you with all its plus and minuses you would be interested at.
Sennheiser has a wide arsenal of headphones catering to various budgets and requirements and they also give a serious competition to the most popular Bose QC35 but what I look for here is a not so pricey tag but still something that would be audiophile grade. Sounds a tough hunt, right? Yes, it indeed was.
- Carry case.
- Audio cable with 2.5 mm and 3.5 mm jack plug.
- USB charging cable with micro-USB connector.
- Quick guide
Sennheiser has cut corners at many fronts to cut cost. The 4.50 BTNC construction is all plastics and you don’t get pampered to some metallic gleam or luxury leather the premium models offer. Available in black, the headphones have a matte finish with a touch of soft silver-grey breaking the blacks for a good appeal. The plush memory foam does feel initially good but the material covering them is a synthetic leather or faux-leather as popularly known.
The head band has light padding on the underside, they are quiet comfortable for a decent extend of time I been using and I can live with it. (considering I sport a bald look, it should be more comforting to you it is not pressing hard on the scalp) The headband can be adjusted easily for an accurate ear-to ear fit. It can also be folded which is good for storage as well as when traveling.
Controls and Ports
The right earcup houses all the controls and port placed around the outside panel. There are controls for power/pairing, a multi-function button that controls playback, call management and track navigation and a volume rocker button. The volume button pressed together activates or deactivates the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC).
Bit on the lower side of the panel houses a micro USB connection for the included charging cable as well as a port for the included audio cable. Senneheiser has opted for the 2.5mm port on the headphone while the other end of the cable is a 3.5mm jack.
The facing out panel of the right can also has the NFC chip for easy pairing with compatible device.
The ear cans does a good job at passively eliminating decent amount of ambient noise even without a need to engage active noise cancellation. There are almost no bluetooth hiccups and I had no problem pairing and repairing. There is an audio prompt when powering on/off the headphone. While the controls are a bit flimsy and barely there took me a while to get hold of the way to use them at ease.
Sennheiser’s NoiseGard noise cancellation is quite effective. It might not match the “blissful quietness” offered by the QC series of Bose but let’s not forget these headphones comes at half the price. Still, the HD 4.50 offers a decently good noise cancellation circuitry unlike some of the cheap ones in the market that also screams ANC on their boxes. While there is a very subtle audible hiss is there, it is too less from being unpleasant and doesn’t bother while listening to music.
Talking about audio quality, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC would appeal to the bass lovers delivering a commendable low frequency response. The bass is clean without being unnecessarily boosted or overdone. The vocals have a good clarity and the treble are lively and the midrange sounds fairly natural with good definition. The sound stage is not so open but the sound signature is good nevertheless.
The headphone also performs well as a headset with my friends having no issue with the audio channel.
Sennheiser claims a battery life to be roughly 19 hours or 25 hours with noise cancellation switched off, but of course the real life scenario might differ depending on your listening preference and volume levels.
The Sennheiser HD 4.5 BTNC is the closest to my wireless headphone needs at least for now. Sennheiser has clearly chopped down few premium elements but what I liked about the headphone is it is a practical offering with a good audio delivery. If you don’t want to step up your budget for premium models, the Sennheiser HD 4.5 BTNC won’t disappoint you.