Sennheiser’s HD 450BT wireless over-ears support high-quality audio codecs with AAC as well as aptX, they also offer low latency for watching movies and playing computer games thanks to aptX LL. For everyday use and when travelling, they also benefit from exceptionally long battery life, both with and without active noise reduction.
These Bluetooth headphones are primarily made of plastic, which was a little surprising considering their price range. However, the workmanship is flawless and the styling also looks quite robust. Due to their hinged design, these over-ears can be conveniently folded up to save space and are easy to transport. At the same time, the ear cups tilt and swivel, which allows flexible adjustment and makes them fit quite tightly, rather than being loose. One drawback is that the earpads are not very roomy. Ideally, the earpads should fit snugly around the ears, which increases shielding from the outside world, and this is aided by the fact that the oval-shaped cups are slightly slanted. However, if there is not enough space, the padding rests on the ears, which in view of the tighter fit is not very comfortable. Therefore I would recommend these over-ears for those with smaller to medium head shapes and ears.
The HD 450BT support Bluetooth standard 5.0 and can be multi-paired with two devices simultaneously. We didn’t detect any connection problems when used in combination with various Android and iOS devices, and within an urban environment, there were ranges of a good twelve metres, with a highly stable wireless connection. Pairing is done by holding down the power button, which turns the system on and puts it into pairing mode. The central remote element is a push button that controls playback with a touch and this button also answers and ends telephone calls, which were conducted with excellent speech intelligibility. A further feature is a vertical push button, which is used for title selection, allowing you to skip forward and backward. Separate buttons are available to call up the speech assistant and for volume control, which, at least at the start, makes operation a little confusing, as all remote buttons are located on the lower right side of the ear cup and are therefore quite close together.
These headphones have a powerful bass foundation, which is agile, lightly sprung and has depth, so that listening to bass-heavy productions is fun. At the same time, the low frequencies sound well defined and energetic, but by no means obtrusive or overloaded. The mids are also characterised by precision and possess a profiled clarity that benefits vocals as well as voices that are natural and appealingly lively, which works well for spoken content and movies. In contrast, the highs appear quite soft and rather restrained, especially when listening wirelessly. A slight drop in the high-frequency range is noticeable, but not when the headphones are used wired when there was a more present treble reproduction. Having said that, there are no peaks or tendencies towards harshness even at high volumes. I wouldn’t recommend the HD 450BT for classical music due to the somewhat weak high-frequency range in Bluetooth mode, but from my point of view these over-ears cover a wide range of applications.
In ANC mode, which is automatically activated when the headphones are paired, the virtual stage seems to come closer. At the same time, the perceived volume increases and the bass range is amplified. There is also a subtle background noise, which is accompanied on the left side by a whirring sound, which is not the case when they are used wired. Predominantly, monotonous low-frequency ambient noise is significantly reduced and more complex noise sources are noticeably reduced, even if higher tones penetrate in attenuated form. While noise suppression can be switched off and on again via the Power button during an existing wireless connection, it is necessary to hold the button down for longer when in wired use in order to activate the ANC mode again. When the headphones are used with the cable, a blue LED indicates whether noise suppression is active, which unfortunately does not happen in Bluetooth mode, so you need to check if it is on. However, the Active Noise Cancelling can be used as “noise protection” on long train journeys or flights, to create a quiet space, even when there is no playback.
The HD 450BT from Sennheiser offer both listening pleasure with bass-driven music and a straightforward, quite natural sound, which also scores well in films and audio books thanks to its clear, fatigue-free voice reproduction. One criticism is the slight background noise and whirring on the left side when in ANC mode which can be detected when used via wireless. Otherwise, these portable over-ears convinced us with their remarkably stable Bluetooth connection, very good speech intelligibility during phone calls, and their excellent battery life.
- very good speech intelligibility when making phone calls
- very long battery life
- stability of the radio connection
- supports AAC, aptX and aptX LL
- offers multipairing
- quite small, closely spaced controls
- ANC with slight background noise and left-handed whirring
- fit only partially suitable for larger ears
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)18 - 22.000 Hz
- Impedance21 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)101,48 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head616 g
- Weight with cable256 g
- Weight without cable243 g
- Cable length140 cm
What's in the box
- 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- Travel bag
- available in black and white
- BT codecs: aptX, aptX LL, AAC, SBC
- BT version: 5.0