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Hands-on review: Sennheiser HD 450 BT headphones

03 Sep 2020

Earlier this year, I got the chance to review the Sennheiser HD 350 BT, and I loved them. They were a great pair of budget headphones that provided a decent listening experience while also looking great. I was excited when I got my hands on the HD 450 BT, as they took everything that I loved in the 350 model and made it better. 

What is in the box

The HD 450 BT ships with the beautiful HD 450BT Wireless Headphones, an audio cable for those who enjoy having the option to plug in, a carry case, and the quick guide and safety guides. 

Just by seeing what is in the box, the HD 450 has already addressed two of my minor complaints about the previous headset: it comes with a carry case and has the option to be plugged in via audio cable.

While everyone is all about the wireless connection these days, I think this is a great feature for emergencies when you run out of battery or if you are editing music or sound and need that 100% accuracy.

The carry case is also a very welcome addition as even though it is nothing special (not a fancy hardshell case), it is still good to have the headset be protected when I throw it in my backpack. 

Design

At first glance, the HD 450 BT looks just like the 350 BT - this is not a bad thing. It has a simple, elegant design that is available in both black and white. This time around I tried the white unit, and I fell in love with how it looks. The white one has a nice design with all the silvery-greyish detailing on the top. 

Just like the 350 BT, the white side holds all the controls and the plugs. It has the USB-C port, the audio jack, a dedicated voice assistant button, on/off and noise cancellation button, volume control and playback control. At first, the buttons are a little overwhelming, but after a few days with the headset, controlling it becomes easy. 


Sound

Just like you would expect from Sennheiser, the 450 BT sound great! Straight out of the box with no extra customisations, the headphones provide a clear, balanced sound with prominent low, medium and high notes and just the right amount of base. Just like the 350 BT, the 450 BT is not as loud as other headsets out there, but that is not something to worry about. It still is loud enough. 

The headset supports the Sennheiser phone application. The application gives you access to the equaliser that allows you to customise the sound to your heart’s content. 

My one sound complaint carried on from the previous model. The headset sounds a little muffled when using it on a call. While you can still hear everything, it sounds a bit low and far away. 

Battery

The battery on the 450 BT is impressive. It has a solid 30-hour battery. That means if you use the headset only while you commute, it can easily last the full week. And if you use it all day, all you have to do is charge it overnight once every two days. The headset supports fast charging over USB-C. So even if it dies halfway through the day, 15 minutes on a fast charger would carry you through the other half. 

Noise cancellation

At the retail price of $250 to $300, the 450 BT is considered a budget headset when compared to the $700 noise cancelling headphones on the market. The noise cancellation on the 450 BT is decent for its price. It is not the best noise cancelling out there. You can still hear people talk across the room, and you can hear some cars while walking down the street, but it certainly makes it better. It removes a lot of the noisy unwanted ambient sounds, which is great. For the price, I think it does a great job. 

Verdict

The 450 BT is a stylish headset that sounds great and has a form of noise cancellation for an affordable price. It doesn’t get better than that. If you are in the market for a great sounding headset for music or media consumption, then the HD450 is a great option.