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Reviewed on Mar 22, 2019 , Marc Henney, Jake Thauvette, Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.7
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.1
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.6
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.8
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.8
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.2
TV
Score components:
6.1
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 are okay mixed usage over-ear headphones that can be used for a variety of use cases. They don’t excel in any usage but can be very versatile. Their sound is decent, and you also have a great EQ that lets you customize it to your liking. Unfortunately, they lack an ANC feature to be a good option for commuting, unlike the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. On the upside, they have low latency for Bluetooth headphones, so most people might not notice the delay when watching video content. They're a good option if you’re looking for headphones that can do a bit of everything without breaking the bank.

Test Results
Design 6.8
Sound 7.2
Isolation 5.9
Microphone 6.0
Active Features 7.1
Connectivity 6.7
Pros
  • Fairly comfortable and durable design.
  • Low latency for Bluetooth headphones.
  • Great battery life.
Cons
  • Sub-par isolation performance.
  • Bass is prone to inconsistencies across users. Sensitive to glasses.

Check Price

6.8

Design

Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Design Picture

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT headphones are very similar to the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC, but they don’t have a noise cancelling feature. They are decently well-built headphones and they feel less tight than their ANC variant. The ear cups are well-padded, but the headband lacks padding, which you can feel after a while. On the upside, they come with an audio cable to use the headphones wired, even if the battery is dead.

Style
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Design Picture 2

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT look fairly similar to the Sennheiser HD 4.50, but they don’t have silver accents on the ear cups and headband, which makes them stand out a bit less. They are fairly low-profile over-ears and don’t have a very flashy design. The padding is decently thick on the ear cups, but there’s not much on the headband. The dark matte finish gives the headphones a high-end look but might feel a bit plasticky once in your hands.

7.0 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.9 lbs

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 are decently comfortable and have good padding on the ear cups. They feel a bit softer than the Sennheiser HD 4.50, but they are noticeably less tight, which people may prefer. The headphones are lightweight and don’t apply too much pressure on the head, which is good since the headband isn’t well-padded. Also, the cups are fairly small and shallow and might not be very comfortable for people with bigger ears. These headphones might get uncomfortable for long listening sessions.

6.5 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Controls Picture
Ease of use : Average
Feedback : Mediocre
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : No
Additional Buttons : N/A

The HD 4.40 BT don’t have the best control scheme and have similar flaws to the Sennheiser HD 4.50. The buttons are the same, and they feel cramped and unresponsive at times. You get call/music management, track skipping, and volume controls, which are common. However, the track-skipping switch also acts as a button to play/pause, so it feels very mushy and feedback is poor. On the upside, the volume rocker is good, but you get an audio queue for each volume change, which can get annoying.

6.6 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.1 C

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 are not very breathable. They have a tight fit and a decent seal around your ears which obstruct a good amount of airflow. They should be okay for casual listening and most use cases, but will make your ears sweat during more demanding activities like running and exercising.

6.1 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Portability Picture
L : 7.1 "
W : 4.5 "
H : 1.8 "
Volume : 58 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : No

The HD 4.40 BT are not the most portable over-ear headphones, but they can fold into a more portable format, which takes less space. However, the cups don’t swivel to lay flat, which would make them easier to slide in a bag or to wear around the neck.

5.5 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Case Picture
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones come with a soft pouch that protects the headphones from small scratches but won’t protect against water exposure and physical damage if they are dropped. On the upside, the pouch doesn’t add bulk to the design.

7.0 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Build Quality Picture

The HD 4.40 and 4.50 are built the same way. They are lightweight but feel fairly durable. The cups feel dense and should survive a few accidental drops. However, the headband isn’t reinforced by a metal sheet like the higher-end Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless. Overall, they feel a bit plasticky, but they don’t feel too cheaply made.

7.0 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Stability Picture

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 are stable enough for you to run with, but they still won’t be the best option for exercising or intense sports due to their bulky over-ear design. They aren’t as tight as the HD 4.50 and fall off your head more easily. On the upside, the wireless design also ensures that the headphones won't be yanked off your head, as there's no cable to get hooked on anything.

Cable
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.8 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

The Sennheiser 4.40 come with a 4.8-foot long right-angle 1/8” TRS audio cable and a micro-USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.2

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Frequency Response

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT are decent-sounding closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a good, powerful, and extended bass and a well-balanced and accurate mid-range, but have an underemphasized treble range that lacks in detail. Also, their bass is slightly thumpy, which some may like, but is inconsistent across different users. Overall, these headphones will be suitable for a wide variety of music genres but will sound a bit on the darker side, so they may not be ideal for vocal-centric music. Their audio reproduction is similar to the HD 4.50, and we didn’t use any EQ settings from their app to measure their frequency response.

8.2 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.66 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.73 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.38 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.31 dB

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 have excellent bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Low-bass, responsible for thump and rumble, is overemphasized by almost 4dB, which adds a noticeable excess of thumpiness to the bass, but some may prefer this. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of the kick drums, is also overemphasized by more than 2dB. There’s also a small dip in high-bass, which results in a slight loss in warmth.

Also, their bass delivery varies noticeably across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response, so your experience may vary.

8.7 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.78 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.52 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.37 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.9 dB

The mid-range is great. There’s a small dip in low-mid as a continuation of the high-bass, which makes the vocals slightly thin. However, low-mid and mid-mid are well-balanced and within 1.5dB of our target. This is important for clear reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. High-mid, however, is over our target by more than 2dB, bringing a bit of excess intensity and projection to vocals/leads.

6.2 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.92 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.19 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.66 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.86 dB

Like the Sennheiser HD 4.50, the HD 4.40 BT’s treble range is mediocre. The response throughout the range is fairly uneven and very underemphasized. The dips centered around 4.5kHz and 7.5kHz have a negative effect on the clarity and presence of vocals, leads, and cymbals.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
6.3 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Consistency L Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.81 dB

The HD 4.40 BT have a mediocre frequency response consistency performance. These headphones are prone to consistency issues, especially in the bass range. The maximum variance measured across our five human subjects was about 8dB at 20Hz, which is noticeable. We also noticed that certain types of glasses could break the seal on these headphones and cause a drop in bass. In the treble range, they delivered fairly consistently but might be a bit sensitive to positioning.

7.8 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Group Delay Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.35
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.96
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.28
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
6.31

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 have good imaging. Weighted group delay is at 0.35, which is good. The GD graph also shows that the group delay response is entirely below the audibility threshold. This results in a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response, ensuring accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, and video game effects) in the stereo field. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

5.5 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.58 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.09 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
15.3 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
5.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
2.4
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT have a sub-par soundstage. The PRTF graph shows an inadequate amount of pinna activation with low accuracy, and there's no notch present in the 10kHz area either. This suggests a soundstage that will be perceived as small and located inside the listener's head as opposed to in front. Also, since they are closed-back headphones, their soundstage will be perceived as less open-sounding than that of open-back headphones.

6.8 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
5.825
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
4.222

The Sennheiser 4.40 have a passable harmonic distortion performance. The bass range distortion is within good limits, but there are peaks in distortion in the treble range around 4.5KHz and 7.5KHz, which could make the sibilants on these headphones slightly harsh and impure.

5.9

Isolation

Score components:

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 have sub-par isolation performance. Unlike the HD 4.50, they're not noise cancelling, therefore they won’t block out lower frequency noises like engine rumbles. This means they won’t be a good option for commuting. Thankfully, since they don’t leak too much, you’ll be able to block even more ambient noise by raising your listening volume without disturbing the people surrounding you.

4.9 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-13.55 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.18 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-10.23 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-31.46 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
21.91 dB

Their noise isolation performance is poor. Since they don’t have an active noise cancelling system, they don’t isolate against low-frequency noises like the rumble of airplanes and bus engines. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they reduce outside noise by more than 10dB, which is okay. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds and A/C noises, they isolate by over 31dB, which is good.

7.9 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people to hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
34.66 dB

The leakage performance of the HD 4.40 BT is good. The significant portion of their leakage is between 450Hz and 2.5KHz, which is not too broad. However, the overall level of leakage is very low. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at about 35dB SPL and peaks at 45dB SPL, which is slightly quieter than the noise floor of an average office.

6.0

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT have a mediocre integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin and noticeably muffled, lacking in detail, and might feel unnatural. In noisy situations, the mic will be able to separate speech from background noise in moderately loud environments, like a busy street, but will not do well in loud environments such as a subway station.

5.2 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
306.43 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
5.32 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3272.31 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
68.448
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
38.09 dB

The recording quality of the mic is sub-par. The LFE of 306Hz results in a recorded/transmitted speech that sound relatively thin. The HFE is at 3.3kHz, making speech noticeably muffled and lacking detail. The response between the LFE and HFE points is quite uneven, suggesting an unnatural speech transmission.

6.9 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
19.99 dB

The integrated microphone of the HD 4.40 is decent at noise handling. It achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 20dB in our SpNR test. This means it will be able to fully separate speech from ambient noise in moderately loud environments but will struggle in loud places like a subway station.

7.1

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 have a great battery life that will last you for about 29 hours, which means you won’t have to charge them daily. Also, you can use them passively, even if the battery dies, which is very convenient. They are also compatible with the Sennheiser Captune mobile app, and you get access to a good EQ to customize their sound to your liking.

7.0 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
28.9 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
2.4 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
No
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when you're relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
Yes

The HD 4.40 BT have a great 29-hour battery life. This will be more than enough for a normal workday, and you won’t have to charge them often. When you do, they only take about 2 hours to fully charge. Unfortunately, they don’t have a power saving feature, so be sure to turn them off when not using them. On the upside, you can use them passively with an audio cable even if the battery is dead, which is convenient.

7.5 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless App Picture
App Name : Sennheiser Cap Tune
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
Parametric + Presets
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
No
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
Yes
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones support the Sennheiser Captune app. They don’t have as many features and controls as the HD 4.50 and Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless, since they aren't noise cancelling. You still get a nice parametric EQ to customize their sound to your liking and have access to an in-app player, but that’s about it.

6.7

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT are Bluetooth headphones that can also be used wired when needed. Unfortunately, they don’t connect to multiple devices simultaneously like the HD 4.50 and Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless do, but they support NFC, which is good. They also have excellent wireless range, but it seems to be a bit inconsistent at times. Also, while their latency is lower than most Bluetooth headphones, it might still be a bit high for watching video content and gaming.

8.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.0
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth compatible. While they can’t connect to two devices simultaneously, they support NFC for a quicker and easier pairing procedure. If you really care about multi-device support, then consider the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC instead.

7.2 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : Not OS specific
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4 controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only

You can use the included 1/8” TRS audio cable to use these headphones passively on pretty much any platform that has a headphone jack. However, their cable does not have an in-line microphone.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a dock. If you're looking for headphones with a dock for customization options, look at the Arctis Pro Wireless. If you want a charging dock, look at the Astro A50, and if you're looking for wireless headphones for watching TV, look at the Sennheiser RS 185.

9.5 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. We test our obstructed range with a Moto E4 Plus. Results may vary depending on your phone model or Bluetooth source.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth sources' signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
52 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
284 ft

The wireless range of the Sennheiser 4.40 is excellent. We practically maxed out our facility during our testing procedures, but we noticed very different results. However, the wireless range was fairly inconsistent, and we could get results down to about 150ft of line-of-sight range. On the upside, with 52ft of obstructed range, you should be able to walk to the next room over without getting too many audio cuts. Note that wireless range is dependent on your signal strength and many other factors, so you may experience different results.

5.8 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
116 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
109 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

The latency of the HD 4.40 is good for Bluetooth headphones, which normally average around 200-220ms of delay. However, this will still not be optimal for watching videos and gaming. On the other hand, they support the aptX codec, which may give you an overall better performance and slightly lower latency, provided you have the right dongle/transmitter. Also, some apps and devices offer some sort of compensation, so you might not even notice the delay that much.

In the box

Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless In the box Picture

  • Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT headphones
  • 1/8” TRS audio cable
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Carrying pouch
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless Compare Picture

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 are decent mixed-usage headphones that set themselves apart by their amazing wireless range and low latency, which makes them more suitable to watch video content than most Bluetooth headphones. However, they don’t have a great isolation performance, since they lack an ANC feature like other similar Sennheiser models. If you’re looking for ANC headphones for your commute, take a look at our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones, the best over-ear wireless headphones, and the best over-ear noise cancelling headphones.

JBL E55BT Wireless

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT might be a better option than the JBL E55BT for most users, thanks to its nice app that allows you to EQ the sound of the headphones to your liking. They also have very low latency for Bluetooth headphones and have a few more hours of battery life. On the other hand, the JBLs are slightly more comfortable and can be paired with two devices simultaneously. They also come with a cable that has an in-line microphone, which the HD 4.40 lacks.

Sony WH-CH700N Wireless

The Sony WH-CH700N are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT. They have a great audio reproduction and have over 30 hours of battery life. Their control scheme is noticeably easier to use, and they have an ANC feature, though it doesn’t seem to isolate against ambient noise that well. The Sony app is also great and offers multiple controls and customization. On the other hand, the Sennheiser headphones have low latency for Bluetooth and take noticeably less time to charge. However, they won’t be as comfortable as the WH-CH700N.

Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT are better mixed-usage headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh 3, thanks to their app that gives you access to a good EQ. They also have less latency, which is good for watching videos. Other than that, they are similarly performing headphones; they even have a very similar look. The Hesh 3 might be a better choice for you if you like bass-heavy genres.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are more versatile headphones than the Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT due to their ANC feature, which makes them suitable for commuting and at the office. Other than that, these two models are practically the same and perform quite similarly. The HD 4.40 is also a bit less tight on some heads, which can be more comfortable for people with bigger heads. They also have a bit less latency, which is noticeable when watching videos.

Conclusion

6.7Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Okay for mixed usage. They have decent sound and you can EQ them to your liking as well. However, they don’t have an ANC feature like the HD 4.50 or PXC 550, which makes them a bit less versatile for commuting and to use at the office. While they are stable, they won’t be the best option for sports due to their bulky design. Their latency also might be too high for watching videos, and some will notice a delay. Their microphone is mediocre at best for online gaming, and latency issues will be noticeable with video games.
7.1Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Decent for critical listening. The Sennheiser 4.40 have a good, powerful, and extended bass, a well-balanced and accurate mid-range, but an underemphasized treble range that lacks in detail. Also, their bass is slightly thumpy, which some may like, but is also inconsistent across different users. Overall, these headphones will be suitable for a wide variety of music genres, but they have a slightly darker sound overall, and vocals and cymbals will sound a bit bland. On the upside, they have a good EQ, which lets you customize their sound to your preference.
6.6Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Passable for commuting. The Sennheiser HD 4.40 aren’t the most portable headphones and they lack an ANC feature like similar Sennheiser models. They don’t isolate at all against lower frequency noises like engine rumbles. On the upside, you’ll be able to use them during the longest flights, as they have a great 29-hour battery life.
6.8Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Okay for sports. The headphones feel secure and stable on the head for jogging, but they are noticeably less tight than the Sennheiser HD 4.50. Also, their bulky over-ear design won’t be ideal, as it traps heat under the ear cups, and they aren’t very portable. Their control scheme also isn’t the best, and might be hard to use during exercising.
6.8Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Okay for the office. These headphones passively isolate well against A/C noise and do a decent job against ambient chatter, especially if you're playing a bit of music. They also don’t leak too much, so you’ll be able to block more noise by raising your volume without disturbing your surrounding colleagues. Additionally, their great battery life will last you longer than a full workday, but some might need to take a break because their headband lacks padding.
6.2TV
Score components:
Passable for watching TV. They're fairly comfortable and you should be able to wear them for a full movie without feeling too much soreness. Also, their latency is lower than most Bluetooth headphones, but some may still notice a delay when watching video content. On the upside, their great wireless range will easily let you watch from the comfort of your couch without getting audio cuts.
6.1Gaming
Score components:
Mediocre at best for gaming. Playing video games over Bluetooth is not ideal, even with latency that is lower than most Bluetooth headphones. Also, their microphone is mediocre and won’t be suited for talking with friends and teammates online.

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