Are you looking for a more affordable pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones? Our Sennheiser HD 4.50 Review will give you all the information you need to decide if they’re the right fit for you. They come equipped with Bluetooth and Active Noise Cancelling technologies.
We’ll cover all of that, as well as some additional factors worth considering. After reading our review, you’ll know which genres of music sound the best playing from these cans, how the Bluetooth function performs, if they’re comfortable, how well the ANC works, and a brief rundown of NFC pairing.
Should you consider the HD 4.50 as an affordable, but quality pair of headphones? Keep reading to find out!
Sennheiser HD 4.50 Review – Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with ANC
Basic Features & Technical Specifications:
- Closed back, circumaural (around-ear) design
- Listen for up to 19 hours on a single charge (with ANC + Bluetooth activated)
- Get up to 25 hours of battery life (without NoiseGard ANC activated)
- Wireless connection uses Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX technologies
- Sennheiser NoiseGard active noise cancelling keeps unwanted noise out
- Swivel ear cups and compact folding design (for better portability)
- Built-in microphone for taking calls, talking on Skype, etc.
- Ear cup padding is covered with soft leatherette material
- Features ear cup-mounted controls (for easy, intuitive playback control)
- Use the NFC (near field communication) pairing technology for easy wireless pairing
- Use the CapTune App to tailor the EQ to your personal preference
- Also Included: Canvas carrying pouch + standard 3.5 mm wired cable
- Driver Type: Dynamic
- Frequency Response: 18 – 22 kHz
- Impedance: 18 Ohms
- Weight: 8.4 oz.
- Dimensions: 7.08 x 3.94 x 10.25 inches
If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at buying a new pair, it might be helpful to read through our Headphone Buying Guide to get a quick refresher on what to look for.
For this review we’ll be covering these 5 performance features:
- Sound Quality
- Comfort & Fit
- Build Design + Portability
- NoiseGard Active Noise Cancelling Feature
- NFC Pairing + Bluetooth Functionality
Now that you’ve taken a quick look at the technical specs and other features we’ll be covering – let’s start by examining one of (if not the most) important feature – sound quality!
Sennheiser never disappoints when it comes to sound quality. The sound signature is much cleaner than the previous Sennheiser 4.40 model. The bass response is punchy and powerful, but not overwhelming.
Mid tones have a good amount of warmth, and the treble sounds crisp and bright. They have a closer to neutral sound signature. The mid range frequencies aren’t as powerful as some might like, but that boils down to personal preference.
You also have the option to listen wireless or wired, using the included 3.5 mm twist-lock headphone cable. As is the case with most ‘phones, the wired connection will sound a bit more powerful. (We’ll cover the Bluetooth feature in more detail below.)
Which Genres Sound The Best?
These headphones will reproduce pretty well-balanced, neutral audio across a wide variety of genres. Here’s a brief list of which genres will sound the best and why (this is especially helpful if you mainly listen to the same type of music on a daily basis.):
- Pop (prominent vocals and crisp production)
- Hip-Hop/Rap (powerful bass response + controlled highs)
- EDM (vibrant lows + crisp melodies)
- Rock (clean vocals + low distortion at high volumes)
- Hard Rock (pristine vocal quality + powerful/crunchy guitar)
- Metal (separated drum patterns + clean vocal quality)
- Country (clear instrumentation + warm vocal representation)
No matter what your genre of choice happens to be, you won’t hear the “tinny” sound in the upper range of frequencies. Some cheaper headphones tend to top out at higher volumes and produce an audible distortion. The HD 4.50 don’t have this problem since they’re more neutral and have low distortion.
CapTune – Personalized EQ App
Another great feature you can take advantage of is the CapTune app from Sennheiser. It’s fully compatible with this headphone model and allows you to personalize the EQ settings. Once you have them dialed in and sounding exactly how you like, you can save the settings so you don’t have to go back and re-tune your audio.
The CapTune app is also included with Tidal’s HiFi music streaming service, which can elevate your sound quality even more.
Listening fatigue will be kept to a minimum – so your ears will stay happy the entire time. Some people have even used these cans as a headset for gaming. Let’s see how they fared.
Microphone Clarity & Use As A Gaming Headset
The built-in microphone is adequate for most gaming needs, taking calls, and talking on Skype. Although they aren’t specifically designed for gaming, they still perform pretty well at it.
Additional Call Features – Sidetone
These cans also have a sidetone feature that allows you to hear your own voice while you’re having a conversation. This adds to the functionality for using these cans as a headset.
When you answer a call and speak into the microphone (directly on the right ear cup), it’ll sound like you’re having a conversation face to face. The noise-cancelling dials back a few notches so you won’t be yelling during your conversation. (We’ve all had that experience.)
Comfort & Fit
If your headphones aren’t nice and comfy, it’ll be hard to be fully satisfied. Sennheiser usually makes comfortable headphones and these are no exception.
Listed below are the most important features that will affect comfort and fit for this model:
- Adjustable headband
- Replaceable ear pads available
- Swivel ear cups
- Leatherette covered ear pads
The adjustable headband widens up in order to fit most head sizes. If you decide to use these for working out or running and the ear pads start to wear down – you can find replaceable ear pads.
Swivel ear cups are nice to have – especially when you’re wearing them around your neck (or if you need to flip them to the side while you’re listening). Although these aren’t the best for studio monitoring, the swivel ear cups are a feature that’s often most prominent in some of the models for DJs and other audio professionals.
The leatherette covering is lightweight and pretty comfortable overall. Since leatherette isn’t as breathable, some people have had minor issues with their ears heating up after 2 hours+ of listening. This will depend on how tight they fit over your ears, which you can read more about below.
One Common Concern
One common concern is that these fit more like on-ears rather than over-ear headphones if you have a bigger head (or ears). They are designed to fit snugly, but it’s worth considering if you already know your hat size is bigger than average.
Overall – For Longer Listening Sessions
Overall, the comfort provided is more than enough for listening past an hour or two. The padded headband and ear cups work well together at keeping your ears happy, for longer. This takes us into the build design, which also plays a major role in your overall experience.
Build Design + Portability
These cans are constructed with all plastic material. Despite them being plastic, they have a durable feel with some weight to them. As long as you don’t throw them at a wall (or down a flight of steps) they should hold up well against normal wear and tear.
They’re pretty durable, but not so heavy that it causes discomfort. The HD 4.50 are a pretty lightweight model that won’t weigh down on your head too much. There’s nothing worse than wearing your cans for 20 minutes and having to constantly readjust them.
As mentioned above, the ear cups have soft padding that’s covered with a leatherette-style material. The synthetic leather isn’t the most breathable material, but at this price point – you’re paying for the additional features (rather than extreme comfort).
You’ll get a canvas carrying pouch to keep your ‘phones safe. They fold at the hinges above either ear cup, and fit nicely into a pretty compact shape. This makes them a great travel companion for watching movies on a plane, or listening to your favorite album or podcast. Not to mention the Active Noise Cancelling feature, which makes them even better for travel (or on-the-go use).
NoiseGard Active Noise Cancelling Feature
Usually, premium Active Noise Cancelling headphones end up being priced around the $300+ range. These cost a lot less and still perform their function of blocking outside noise.
The Active Noise Cancelling on the HD 4.50s isn’t the best, but it will get the job done in most cases. For example: they’re more than fine for wearing in a semi-crowded coffee shop like Starbucks. They’re great for use on an airplane and in most other semi-crowded situations.
Bluetooth technology isn’t quite perfect yet, so this next part is worth noting. Once you activate the ANC, you’ll notice a slight audible hiss. While the hiss is slightly audible, it’s not overwhelming to the point where you can’t enjoy your music. (This is normal for most ‘phones with noise-cancelling.)
The circumaural ear cups will provide some passive noise isolation when the ANC isn’t activated. Overall, it works well in most situations, but won’t completely block out all the ambient noise in louder environments. Although the NoiseGard still needs some work, the 4.50s did make the cut for many Best Noise-Cancelling Headphone lists.
FAQ about ANC
Question: Will I experience the “air cabin pressure” feeling when I turn the noise cancelling feature on?
Answer: No, the ANC produces little to no pressure feeling at all.
Question: What’s the difference between ANC and passive noise isolation?
Answer: Use the link here to see the difference between noise isolating vs. noise cancelling.
Question: Does the ANC block out the ambient noise completely?
Answer: The ANC feature blocks out as much noise as some of the more expensive competitors, but won’t completely block outside noise.
NFC Pairing + Bluetooth Functionality
NFC (near-field communication) is an easy form of wireless pairing. To pair with your wireless device, line up the symbol on the outside of the ear cup (pictured below) with your phone/portable player.
You don’t have to go into your phone’s Bluetooth settings at all, which is pretty convenient.
Are There Any Lag Issues?
These also work well if you decide to use these for watching movies, Netflix, or gaming on your favorite console or PC. The aptX codec ensures that you won’t experience any lag issues at all. (It can be pretty distracting when you realize the mouth movements aren’t matching up with the sound of the voice.)
You can wander around 15 to 20 feet away from your paired device without having any connectivity issues. It’s not the best wireless range, but it’s more than adequate for most uses.
When you have the NoiseGard ANC activated, you’ll be able to get about 25 hours of continuous playback. If you turn the ANC off, you can listen via Bluetooth for closer to 19 hours.
To charge your headphones, you’ll recieve a USB cable that you can plug into your laptop or other USB charging port. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use them while they’re charging. To get a full charge, it takes about 2 full hours.
Everything We’ve Covered + The Answer You’ve Been Waiting For!
Was our Sennheiser HD 4.50 Review helpful in giving you all the information you needed? By now you’re probably wondering about the cost. “Okay, this all sounds great, but how much do they cost? With all these features, they must cost a fortune, right?”
Not exactly. Before you check the price, take a look at the review table below. You’ll be able to see a final pros/cons checklist, and our final rating out of 10. We compiled all the features that we think matter the most and laid them out in an easy-to-read form.
If you’re ready to check for current pricing info and/or more customer reviews, click the button at the bottom of our review table or use the link here.
Now that you’ve read through our in-depth breakdown, what do you think? Are these a strong competitor? Are the HD 4.50 be your solution as an affordable headphone with active noise cancelling that you can depend on?
Do you have any questions about anything we covered here? I’d love to hear your thoughts below. Feel free to ask a question or just leave a comment about your experience with noise cancelling headphones. Thanks for stopping by!
Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves.
Sennheiser HD 4.50 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones With ANC
Bluetooth aptX Performance9.5/10
NoiseGard Active Noise Cancelling8.5/10
Comfort & Fit8.5/10
- Lag-free Wireless Playback
- Neutral Sound Signature (With Prominent Lows)
- Outperforms More Expensive Models (At a Fraction of the Price)
- Compact Folding Design + Carrying Pouch Included
- Great Battery Life
- Leatherette Ear Covering Isn't As Breathable As Other Materials
- Minor Fit & Comfort Complaints For Those With Bigger Heads/Ears
- Can't Be Used When Charging via USB