Review: Sennheiser HD 450BT Bluetooth Headphones

Sennheiser HD450BT Bluetooth Headphones

It’s been a while since I wrote a review of a product; and Christmas has just passed, meaning I have some new tech to write about. This Christmas, my mother-in-law bought a pair of Sennheiser HD450BT Bluetooth headphones; and the following is my opinion of my new Sennheiser cans.

Starting with the comfort and fit; the HD450BT headphones are fairly lightweight, the clamping force is comfortable initially. I chose the Sennheiser’s as they were advertised as over-ear type headphones on Amazon, but in reality, they’re somewhere between on-ear and over-ear. The main part of my ear fits inside the pads, but my earlobes are being pressed upon, which despite the soft and padded earpads starts to get fatiguing after 3 to 4 hours of use, so much so that I have to take a break from using them.

Moving onto the sound, it’s a mixed bag for me. When connected with the cable to my Mayflower Electronics O2 headphone amplifier, they sound at their best, being able to handle good power with little to no distortion. The sound mix is definitely more mid-tone focused, pushing vocals and guitars forward in the mix, which for me is great as I like rock and metal, with the highs and the lows a little recessed. If you’re a bass junkie, these headphones are probably not for you, not to say the HD450BT lack low end, the bass is more punchy than a deep down thud, while the highs a little rolled off for less harshness.

Moving onto Bluetooth performance, this is where I feel the sound is falling short. I would like to get more volume out of the HD450BT’s while connected to my Pixel 4 XL. The sound balance remains the same as when connected to my O2 ODAC, just at a much-reduced volume. This is my first set of Bluetooth Headphones, so this may be normal, but I feel distinctly underwhelmed by the wireless performance.

The Bluetooth range is good, I can walk everywhere in my 1,400ft² house without any signal loss, and the controls on the right headphone are fairly intuitive, with a button for Google Assistant or Siri, a rocker switch controls next track and previous track, and play/pause when pressed down, a second rocker switch to control volume up and down, and finally a combo button to control power on/off and ANC (active noise canceling). In addition to the controls for media playback, volume, and assistant, there is a USB-C connector for charging, for which a USB-A to USB-C cable is provided, and a 2.5mm jack input to connect to a headphone out for wired use, although it’s a shame Sennheiser elected to use a 2.5mm jack instead of a standard 3.5mm jack, the headphones are big enough to easily accommodate a 3.5mm jack.

There is an app to help tune the sound a little on Android and iPhone; called Sennheiser Smart Control, which gives you low, mid, and high frequency adjustments to change the sound profile to suit your taste, also allowing for the creation of user sound profiles. Personally, I prefer the flat, natural sound of the HD450BT’s, I just wish there was a setting to boost the volume while using Bluetooth connectivity.

Finally, the battery life, well, I don’t know, it’s claimed to have 30 hours of use from a single full charge, which I have not tested as I have been at home, and prefer to use the HD450BT’s wired, but I have not had to charge them at all, it started with 90% charge out of the box and is currently sitting at a little under 70% after maybe 3 hours of Bluetooth use, so 30 hours doesn’t seem an unreasonable claim.

I do like the sound profile of the Sennheiser HD450BT headphones, despite the shortcomings of the lack of volume while using Bluetooth and the earcup design, which becomes fatiguing in extended use. The HD450BT’s are the best sounding headphones I have ever owned, and the most expensive at $145 (list price: $200), previously the most expensive headphones were the JVC HA-RX900 at $52 (list price: $100).

Have Something To Say About This Post? Please Comment Below!