SENNHEISER HD 450BT
Design & Construction
Here we are in 2020 and finally, Sennheiser updates its popular HD series of wireless headphones. But just how much have the HD 450BT improved since the previous generation? Let's dive straight into the design. Once again, in typical Sennheiser fashion, they went with a full matte black/white plastic finish for the sides, All controls for music playback and calls are controlled via the physical buttons on the right earcup (From Back-Front): Smart Assistant/Bluetooth Pairing Button, the multi-function rocker, Volume buttons, USB-C port, 2.5mm audio-in port and the ANC/Power button, Single press the ANC button turns on or off Noise-cancelling. Single press the Volume + increase volume and single press Volume - to decrease volume. Single press the middle button on the rocker to play/pause the music or answer/end a call, upwards push will skip forward and a downwards push will skip backwards. Pressing the smart assistant button activates Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Siri and holding it down puts the headphones in pairing mode. Throughout long listening sessions, I never experienced any severe wearing fatigue, but my ears do heat up in warmer climates due to how narrow the earpads are. It does however not cause discomfort to those who wear spectacles. On the headband, there is also silicone covered headrest which provides for some stability when commuting. Both sides of the headband bear the Sennheiser logo. The exterior of the headphones features a matte colour scheme that resists fingerprints smudges very well. On the top, the headband holding the structure is made of plastic and the earcups pivot left and right and folds up for easy storage.
The Sennheiser HD 450BT produce a very neutral yet dynamic sound signature. Users can also tune the sound settings to their liking via the Sennheiser Smart Control App available on the App Store and Play Store. In the app, you will find an equalizer which allows users to tune the sound signature to their liking. Fiddling with the in-app equalizer, you will hear a bass boost or treble boost depending on which side of the equalizer you raise. Highs are bright and crisp and mids have clarity and bass can be heard but it does not hit as deep or resonates as much. The soundstage was a little shallow and lacks depth but left and right channels can be heard clearly. The HD 450BT is great for all genres of music ranging from soothing jazz to fast-paced EDM tracks. There was minimal sound leakage at full volume and no high-volume distortion. However, there is also a lack of the Smart Pause feature which allows the user to stop music from playing when the headphones detect that you remove them. Based on user experience, the noise cancellation is decent for its price point, I could not hear much of my surroundings but it never managed to silence louder high frequency noise. There is also no way to control the strength of noise-cancellation in the app or on the headphones itself. Call quality was decent, the caller managed to hear me on the other end but it certainly isn't anything fantastic for long calls. There is also no Transparency Hearing feature which allows users to listen to both environmental noise and music for safety or striking up a quick conversation with someone without removing the headphones from your ears.
Connectivity & Portability
The headphones support the AptX Low-Latency, AptX, AAC and SBC codecs together with Bluetooth Version 5.0. The battery life peaks at 30 hours per use and it takes 2 hours to fully recharge the headphones from a dead battery. The package also comes with a USB-C cable for charging and a soft pouch for storage. The USB-C cable, however, does not allow for wired music playback when connected to a USB-C device, only the 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable can do so. On the other hand, the soft pouch has ample space to store the headphones as well as cables and keep everything in place with a zip. Definitely notable when compared to other brands who threw in a cheap felling drawstring pouch. The headphones' connectivity to the app is perfect as I never experienced it being unable to detect my headphones. If you are planning to watch videos or movies with these, I am glad to report that they do not suffer from any latency.
AptX LL & AptX Support
30 Hours Battery Life
Physical Controls For Music Playback, Volume & Calls
No Transparent Hearing
No Smart Pause
2.5mm to 3,5mm Cable Difficult to Replace
The Bottom Line
The Sennheiser HD 450BT have proven themselves in a saturated market of budget noise-cancelling wireless headphones. With a neutral sound signature, customisable sound settings and decent noise-cancelling, it makes it worthy of its price. Sennheiser does offer these in a two colours, black and white.
WE RATE IT!
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