Review: Sennheiser HD 450BT

Reliable Sennheiser headphones

Sennheiser's most affordable NC headphones Sennheiser HD 450BT is a safe purchase.

Sennheiser HD 450BT
Karakter
Sennheiser HD 450BT
We think
Nice feeling of quality. Good sound and ok noise reduction. AAC and aptX support. USB-C charging.
Cannot be folded. A little uncomfortable. Too many confusing buttons.
Specifications
  • Type: over-ear, closed, wireless, active noise reduction
  • Connection: 3.5 mm, Bluetooth 5.0, AAC, aptX
  • Microphone: yes
  • Sound pressure level: 108 dB (1 kHz / 0 dBFS)
  • Frequency range: 18 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Battery life: 30 hours
  • Weight: 238 grams
  • Web: sennheiser.com
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Two years ago, we also tested affordable noise-canceling headphones, and then the Sennheiser HD4.50 BTNC did very well. Now comes the modernized model with the snarky name Sennheiser HD 450BT. As before, you only get a simpler carrying case that does not protect against unkind treatment. On the other hand, you get both an audio cable for the aircraft and a USB-C cable for charging. The headphones are available in black or white.

Well-built headphones with a classic design. (Photo: Sennheiser)

Construction and comfort

The design has become more sober, as Sennheiser has skipped the flashing logos of its predecessor. On the other hand, you can still not fold them completely flat, which makes them difficult to fit in smaller bags. However, it is possible to fold them together. Despite the fact that the material is mostly made of plastic, they do not feel cheap or weak. It seems like a reliable construction. The comfort suffers somewhat from the thin padding in the hoop, as well as the fact that the headphones press hard against the ears.

 

The headphones can be folded, but unfortunately not completely flat. (Photo: Sennheiser)

Features and handling

Even Sennheiser seems to think that you should squeeze as many buttons as possible on one watch. There is therefore an unnecessary amount of trial and error before you have learned it all. Sure, there is an app, but it does not allow you to do anything other than set EQ, and it is in a non-intuitive way. As one of the few headphones in the test, they are charged with USB-C. The same as modern mobiles, and it only takes two hours to fully charge the battery.

The app needs an update. (Photo: Sennheiser)

Sound quality and noise reduction

The sound in HD 450BT is soft, warm and appealing with marked bass. Support for better audio transmission gives quality a push forward. This makes most genres sound good, even if it is not correct. If you have to complain about something, it is that they lack a little detail and clarity. If you turn on the noise reduction, the middle register is raised and amplifies voices. It does make the music a bit unbalanced, but more like an advantage if you sit on the plane and try to hear the dialogue on the film.

Conclusion

To begin with the negative, the Sennheiser HD 450BT are large headphones that cannot be folded flat, which means that they take up space in the bag. There are also quite a few small buttons to keep track of, and the app does not add much. With that said, these are a pair of well-built headphones that feel significantly more expensive than they are. You get what you pay for with the noise reduction, but they make music sound appealing, and elevate the dialogue in movies.

Also in this test

Supra Nitro-X BT

Superb sound quality

Supra Nitro-X BT passes competitor after competitor, but unfortunately stumbles on the finish line.

Brilliant sound quality. Very fast charging. Comfortable comfort with ventilating pillows.
Moderate noise reduction. Micro-USB charging. No mobile app.

Sony WH-XB900N

Good noise-cancelling has become cheap

Sony's budget model Sony WH-XB900N borrows from the luxury model and thus becomes impossible to beat.

Good build quality and convenience. Easy handling. Feature-rich app. Excellent sound and noise reduction.
Well dominant bass if you do not adjust down EQ.

Philips PH805

Philips is back with affordable headphones

Philips PH805 sounds good for the price even if they didn't have noise reduction.

Very fast charging despite micro-USB. Good sound quality. Comfortable on the head.
Feels like plastic. Micro-USB charging. No app. Sensitive touch controls.

Jays q-Seven Wireless

Best budget choice

Jays q-Seven Wireless: It is impressive that you can get both good sound and ok noise reduction at this price.

Comfortable thanks to generous upholstery. Clear buttons. Captivating sound.
Takes up space as they cannot be folded. Micro-USB charging. No app.

JBL Live 650BTNC

Headphones full of contradictions

With as many disadvantages as advantages, it is difficult to recommend JBL Live 650BTNC.

Sound settings app. Fast charging. Tough design that stands out.
Not good enough padding in the hoop. Mediocre noise reduction and sound quality. Micro-USB connector.

Pioneer SE-S6BN

More for commuting than long flights

Pioneer headphones Pioneer SE-S6BN works well on the street, but are not the most effective at reducing noise.

Neat size makes them easy to carry. USB-C fast charging. Nice colors.
The on-ear design is not good for flights. Moderate noise reduction.

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