The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC wireless headphones provide a comfortable over-ear design, great sound, and solid active noise cancellation at an affordable price. Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC deliver a surprising amount of value for noise-cancelling headphones priced under $200.
And this is a brand that has become synonymous with excellent sound quality as well as pricey extravagance.
This set of wireless headphones combine a comfy and elegant design, active noise cancellation, NFC for easy pairing, and long battery life.
The noise cancellation isn’t quite Bose-level quality, but overall, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC is an excellent choice for travelers and is good enough to make our best cheap noise cancelling headphones list.
Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Price and Availability
The Sennhsier HD 4.50 BTNC originally launched at $199, but is now available for just $139 from Walmart.
That makes this great-value pair of headphones an even better deal.
Build and Design
At first glance, there’s nothing particularly special about how the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNCs look.
In fact, upon first inspection these black headphones with a brushed aluminium accent look a little flimsy.
There’s a reason for that, though.
While noise-cancelling headphones are fairly common in first class and business class aircraft cabins, their appeal has largely been restricted to those who travel with a lot of luggage – and can pack in some hefty over-ears to boot.
If you want to travel light, options have so far been limited, so Sennheiser has made the HD 4.50 BTNCs both lightweight and flexible.
Weighing 238g on their own, they use fairly narrow, but thick cushioned and closed ear-cups.
The narrow ear-cup design ensures they feel comfortable when worn around the neck, which is important if you’re waiting in airport queues.
On the right ear-cup is a volume rocker, track change slider and a micro USB slot for recharging the battery.
Although HD 4.50 BTNCs use wireless Bluetooth there’s also a 3.5mm stereo jack and an audio cable in the box.
It did take us a while to figure out that the volume button on the right ear-cup also toggled-on Sennheiser’s NoiseGuard active noise-cancelling tech – and it is a little tricky to perform the three-second hold needed to activate it.
While the HD 4.50 BTNCs may lack slightly in terms of build quality compared to rivals, the lighter the better for travellers.
The same goes for the included travel pouch; yes, it’s smaller, it’s softer, and it’s made from cheaper-looking nylon than the hard cases used by Bose and Sony.
But once again, that’s a positive; those bulky cases are incredibly off-putting for anyone who likes to travel light, and the pouch adds just 47g to the headphones’ total weiSennheiser HD 4.50 BTNCght.
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Controls & Connectivity
In addition to the headset itself, you have a charging cord, audio cable, carrying case, and documentation in the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC package.
The audio cable layout that features a 2.5 mm jack isn’t too general, reducing the selection of compatible wires.
In addition to the audio cable, a rather long USB charging cable supplied that, unfortunately, isn’t USB Type-C. On the good side, the headset works in wireless mode via Bluetooth 4.0 and is aptX compatible.
Furthermore, if your device has NFC technology (a protocol used for quick pairing), wireless connections become more intuitive and straightforward.
Sennheiser’s button controls are intuitive.
They power the headphones via Bluetooth pairing, offer audio management, and activate/power off the Noise Guard noise-canceling function.
For a purely audio set of headphones, the addition of voice assistant via Smart Control App is nice, though not substantial.
The Bluetooth connection ensures stable transmission within a range of 10 meters with no interruptions.
The controls are simple to use, but a sound signal accompanies most of them, whereas voice commands trigger other functions. You can, however, disable the voice prompts.
The presence of an exclusive audio cable to plug into the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC is beneficial, allowing you to reduce battery consumption.
Similar to the ambiguous implementation of B&W PX, where the noise-canceling stays enabled while connected via cable; Here, the control keys do not function when; and the noise-canceling feature is turned on by default.
Therefore, if you want to listen without it, after turning on the headphones, you’ll have to manually disable the noise-canceling.
Though I typically prefer a slightly exaggerated bass profile, I found that the balanced sonic profile from the 4.50 BTNC offered a full and rounded sound without sounding overprocessed.
Bass was generally clean and tight, while mids and highs were generally neutral.
Pearl Jam’s “Nothingman” brought me back to high school, with Eddie Vedder’s vocals front and center, while the cymbals and high hats in the background remained crisp against the aggressive electric-guitar riff in the foreground.
Comparing these to the Audio-Technica headphones, the Sennheiser 4.50 BTNC offered just a bit more presence in Vedder’s vocals as well as fullness in the instrumentation.
For another comparison, I listened to the same song on the V-Moda Crossfade M-100, a nonwireless, non-noise-canceling model, and I found the V-Moda to be significantly more bassy.
The Sennheiser 4.50 BTNC is tuned to sound more natural.
With the Sennheiser headphones, the subtle background chorus harmonies on “Finally Moving” by Pretty Lights were easy to pick out.
The headphones deftly combined multiple elements, beginning with a familiar guitar riff borrowed from Sonny Stitt’s “Private Number” with a vocal sample from Etta James’ “Something’s Got a Hold On Me.”
Elements of the song panned back and forth between right and left, without muddying between channels, while the guitar and simultaneous bass melody continuously looped through the song.
Again, compared with the Audio-Technica headphones, the Sennheiser 4.50 BTNC offers a slightly higher level of detail in subtleties and background music while the vocals were more prominent.
Additionally, the Sennheiser headphones are slightly louder while playing at the same volume.
The opening to Jasmine Thompson’s “I See Fire” presented a “breathy” vocal with reverb and remained graceful and light, clearing conveying the openness the artist intended before an acoustic guitar began to play.
The 4.50 BTNC easily reproduced each guitar strum and pluck, letting me hear the string ring out, while I could occasionally hear the guitarist’s fingers move up and down the neck.
Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Battery Life and Bluetooth
Sennheiser claims that the 4.50 BTNC lasts up to 25 hours on a charge. However, that estimate refers to when the active-noise-cancellation circuit is turned off.
With the ANC enabled, that time is closer to 19 hours. That meant that I had to charge the cans only three times in three weeks.
They easily lasted for two 2.5-hour flights, plus multiple 3-to-4-hour listening sessions, without needing a charge.
It took roughly 2 hours to get a full charge.
The good thing is that thanks to the micro-USB port, the Sennheiser 4.50 BTNC can be charged with a portable battery from any number of manufacturers.
Comparatively, the Audio-Technica headphones use a less-convenient, single AA battery to power the noise-cancellation circuit and are said to last a maximum of 35 hours on a charge.
In all the time I was using this pair of Sennheiser headphones, the connection stuttered only a few times.
However, they regained their connection relatively quickly, out to roughly 30 feet, even allowing me to walk up a flight of stairs in my apartment building.
However, when I reached the edge of the connection range, it actually mattered which way my head was turned; the Sennheiser 4.50 BTNC would lose and regain connection as I moved my head around.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions we have already answered so you don’t need to worry about the product. We really hope we answered some of your questions!
QUES: I like to connect to a TV. Is it Possible?
ANS: Yes, very possible. You will need a Bluetooth transmitter if your TV does not have functionality built in. I’m using an Avantree Priva III. Works great.
QUES: Can they be used while charging?
ANS: Cannot play while charging but the battery lasts more than 24 hours and charges fast, so you may manage between flights with an external battery.
QUES: Does it work well with Games?
ANS: It doesn’t work on ps4 via the original cable connected to a controller. It does however work on the phone and pc as far as I can tell.
QUES: Can it use Bluetooth and Cable Connection at the same time?
ANS: If you plug in the cable it recognizes the connection and turns off the Bluetooth
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