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Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Review updated Apr 23, 2020 at 10:05 am
Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Picture
Mixed Usage
Neutral Sound
Wireless Gaming
Wired Gaming
Phone Calls

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are decent Bluetooth over-ear headphones. They're decently comfortable, and while their tight fit may cause fatigue during longer listening sessions, it helps them stay on securely during light workouts or jogs. Despite having ANC, they aren't the best at blocking out background noises, especially the low rumble of bus or plane engines. On the upside, their 22-hour battery life is great, and their decently well-balanced sound profile makes them a good choice for most genres, though they do lack a bit of detail and brightness on some tracks.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are alright headphones for mixed usage. Their sound profile is fairly well-suited to most genres, though some may find it lacks a fair amount of detail and brightness. Their thick padding is decently comfortable, though they clamp the head fairly tight - still, this helps them feel very stable. Their 22-hour battery life is great, and their ANC works decently well, though it doesn't help much with the low rumble of bus or plane engines.

  • Great battery life.
  • Stable fit.
  • Tight fit isn't the most comfortable.
  • No longer has a dedicated companion app for customization.
  • ANC is only decent.
6.9 Neutral Sound

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are okay for neutral sound listening. While their sound profile is fairly well-balanced in the bass range, they're fairly overemphasized in the high-mid range which may cause some instruments and vocals to be honky and harsh. Their treble range is also very recessed, causing a lack of detail and brightness. While they used to have a companion app with EQ settings, Sennheiser has removed this app, and its replacement isn't compatible with these headphones. As with most closed-back headphones, their soundstage is closed and is perceived as being inside the listener's head.

7.2 Commute/Travel

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are decent headphones for commuting or travel. Their 22-hour battery life should easily get you through most flights, and they come with a basic soft case to give them some protection while traveling. Unfortunately, while they have ANC, it doesn't work that well against the low rumble of bus or plane engines. They also may be slightly uncomfortable during extended periods as they clamp the head quite tightly.

7.1 Sports/Fitness

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are decent headphones for sports. Like most closed-back over-ears, they don't breathe very well and will likely cause you to sweat more than usual. On the bright side, since they clamp fairly tight on the head, they feel stable and won't move around too much even during somewhat strenuous workouts.

7.1 Office

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are decent for office use. They don't leak much at regular or high volumes, and their ANC does a good job of blocking out chatty coworkers. Their 22-hour battery will easily last a few full work days, but unfortunately, they might be slightly uncomfortable after long listening sessions.

5.3 Wireless Gaming

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are Bluetooth headphones and aren't recommended for wireless gaming. They aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4 with a wireless connection. While you can connect them to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, they have high latency and a mediocre microphone.

6.9 Wired Gaming

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 aren't recommended for wired gaming. While they plug into the controller of an Xbox One or a PS4, they're audio-only, so you can't speak to your teammates.

6.7 Phone Calls

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are only okay for phone calls. Like with most Bluetooth headphones, their microphone recording quality is mediocre-at-best, and the person on the other end of the line will have a hard time hearing you in noisy situations. On the upside, you can answer or hang up phone calls with the buttons on the headphones themselves.

  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 6.9 Neutral Sound
  • 7.2 Commute/Travel
  • 7.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.1 Office
  • 5.3 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.9 Wired Gaming
  • 6.7 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Feb 05, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  4. Updated Dec 04, 2018: We've updated wired connectivity. The HD 4.50 does not have audio over USB.
  5. Updated Feb 16, 2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  6. Updated Sep 28, 2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  7. Updated Aug 10, 2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  8. Updated Aug 08, 2017: Review published.
  9. Updated Aug 06, 2017: Our testers have started testing this product.
  10. Updated Aug 04, 2017: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  11. Updated Jul 24, 2017: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Compared To Other Headphones

Comparison picture

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are decent mixed usage headphones but offer slightly fewer features than the similarly-designed Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless. Unfortunately, their build quality isn't as good as some of the other wireless over-ears we've tested, and they're a little tight on the head so they won't be as comfortable as some other options. See our recommendations for the best wireless headphones, the best noise cancelling headphones under $200, and the best noise cancelling headphones.

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are a better wireless headset than the Sennheiser HD 4.50. The BackBeat Pro 2 have a sturdier and slightly more comfortable design, easier to use physical controls, a longer wireless range and battery life, and a better sounding default sound that packs a lot of bass. The Sennheiser, on the other hand, have a better noise cancellation feature, and since they are more compact, they're a bit better-suited for travel and commute. The HD 4.50 also leak less and have a more stable fit that you can use at the gym.

Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless

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 are a bit less tight on some heads, which can be more comfortable for people with bigger heads.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless/HD1 Wireless

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless/HD1 Wireless are a bit better than the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC overall, but not by much. The HD 4.50 have more features and a slightly better-balanced sound than the HD1 out-of-the-box. The HD 4.50 have a tighter fit on the head that's a bit more suitable for sports, but the HD1 have a much better build quality and isolate a bit better in noisy and quiet conditions.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. Most notably, the XM3s' ANC is excellent and blocks more ambient noise than the HD 4.50 BTNC. Their overall audio reproduction is more accurate, but with a slightly overemphasized bass, which can be EQ’ed inside their great app. The XM3 are also more comfortable and better-built than the Sennheiser. On the other hand, the HD 4.50 can connect to two devices simultaneously. Some may also prefer their control scheme with physical buttons over the touch-sensitive surface of the WH-1000XM3, which may be unresponsive in colder temperatures.

Beats Studio3 Wireless

The Beats Studio3 Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. The Beats are noticeably more comfortable, slightly better built, and have a more premium feel than the Sennheiser. They also have a better-balanced sound profile, but our unit had significant phase mismatch and performed differently on various users. The ANC feature of the Beats is quite good, but the self-noise is pretty high and can be heard when no audio is being played through the headphones. The Sennheiser can connect to two devices simultaneously, and you can use them passively, which you can't do with the Beats.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC and the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless are both decent wireless noise cancelling headphones, though the Anker provide better value if you prefer their sound profile. The Anker are more comfortable, easier-to-use, have a better microphone, isolate more noise, and have longer battery life. However, the Anker's V-shaped sound signature won't be for everyone. That said, while the Sennheiser are less bass-heavy, they can also sound quite harsh and dull.

Sony WH-XB900N Wireless

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are marginally better than the Sony WH-XB900N. They have a more neutral sound profile, but the XB900N are more comfortable and have a better control scheme. The Sennheisers can be connected to two devices simultaneously and have a better ANC feature as well. On the other hand, the Sonys feel slightly better made and have a dedicated companion app with access to a graphic EQ.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are better noise cancelling headphones than the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. The Bose isolate much better in noisy conditions with a more efficient ANC feature that's excellent for commuting and travel. They're also a lot more comfortable to wear for long listening sessions and have a more balanced sound profile than the Sennheisers. On the other hand, the Sennheiser's have a more stable fit, making them slightly better-suited for physical activity if you like working out and running with over-ears instead of in-ears.

Sony MDR-XB950N1 Wireless

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are better headphones than the Sony MDR-XB950N1 Wireless. The Sonys have a very dark sound profile and their ANC feature is quite disappointing. On the upside, they have slightly longer battery life, but they take twice as much time to charge as the HD 4.50. The HD 4.50 can also connect to two devices simultaneously.

Sony WH-H900N/h.ear on 2 Wireless

The Sony WH-H900N are better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 4.50. They are slightly more comfortable, have a better-balanced sound profile, and their touch-sensitive control scheme is precise and fairly easy to use. On the other hand, the HD 4.50’s ANC is more effective at blocking out background noise and would be a slightly better option for commuting. The HD 4.50 can also be connected to 2 devices at the same time, which can be useful at the office, but the Sonys have a dedicated companion app which gives you customization options and a graphic EQ.

Sony WH-CH700N Wireless

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are a somewhat better wireless headset than the Sony WH-CH700N. The Sennheisers have much better noise isolation and would be more suitable for commuting and noisy environments. The HD 4.50 also leak a little less, so you won't distract your colleagues. On the other hand, the WH-CH700N are a bit more comfortable, have a slightly more balanced sound, and a longer battery life.

Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. They are more comfortable, noticeably better-built, have a better-balanced sound profile, and have a dedicated companion app with access to an EQ. On the other hand, the Sennheisers can also connect to two devices simultaneously and have lower latency on PC.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are better headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT. The Sennheiser have a decent noise cancelling feature that the Audio-Technica lack and can connect to two devices simultaneously, which is convenient. However, the Audio-Technica have almost twice the battery life, a slightly better-balanced sound profile, a better microphone for calls, better wireless range, and are slightly more comfortable. 

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless are better headphones with more features than the Sennheiser HD 4.50. The PXC 550 have a more comfortable fit, touch-sensitive controls, a longer battery life, a better-balanced default sound profile, and more control over their audio profile and noise cancelling. On the other hand, the HD 4.50 have a slightly better isolation performance, thanks to their tighter over-ear fit.

JBL Live 650 BTNC Wireless

The JBL Live 650 BTNC Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. The JBL are more comfortable, have better controls, a slightly better-balanced sound profile, and a dedicated companion app with access to a fully parametric EQ. On the other hand, the Sennheiser have slightly lower latency.

Bose SoundLink 2 Wireless

The Bose SoundLink 2 Wireless are slightly better wireless headphones than the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. The Bose are much more comfortable and have a better-balanced sound profile. On the other hand, the Sennheiser block out more background noise thanks to their ANC feature, feel more stable on the head, and have a slightly longer battery.

Plantronics Backbeat Pro Wireless 2014

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are better noise cancelling headphones overall when compared to the Plantronics Backbeat Pro. The Sennheisers have a more compact design, a tighter fit on the head for the gym, and they block a lot more noise with their ANC feature. On the other hand, the Plantronics have a better battery life, wireless range, and easier-to-use controls. They're also a bit more comfortable than the Sennheisers since they're not as tight on the head. Their sound profile also packs a lot more bass, which some may prefer.

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Test Results

Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Sennheiser 4.50 look like a more budget version of the Sennheiser PXC 550. They have differently shaped ear cups and have a significantly thinner headband, but they keep the same matte color scheme and polished Sennheiser design. Unlike the PXC 550, the HD 4.50 ear cups feel a little bland since there's no branding. They're not very fashion-forward headphones, but their understated and minimal over-ear design may appeal to some.

Weight 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
1.1 lbs

The Sennheiser 4.50 are decently comfortable and well-padded headphones that feel a bit tight on the head. They're fairly lightweight with ear cups that fit comfortably around most ears. The padding on the ear cups is thick and soft, but the headband lacks a bit more cushion. Unfortunately, these headphones clamp the head quite a bit which may cause discomfort during long listening sessions.

OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Mediocre
Feedback Subpar
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Additional Controls Multi function

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 have a mediocre control scheme. While they provide call/music, track skipping, volume controls, and ANC control, they feel cramped and unresponsive. You only get visual feedback from the LED, and there's no audio feedback when they're on your ears, so you may not know when you've turned the ANC on or off. The track skipping toggle and play/call button is a little recessed and not as responsive as some of the other headphones we've reviewed with a similar control scheme.

Avg.Temp.Difference 5.8 ยฐC

These headphones aren't very breathable. They have a tight fit and a decent seal around your ears which obstructs a good amount of airflow. They should be okay for casual listening and most use cases but will likely cause your ears to sweat during more demanding activities like running and exercising.

L 4.5"
W 6"
H 3.2"
Volume 86 inยณ
Transmitter Required No

The Sennheiser 4.50 BTNC are decently portable headphones. They fold to take less space when you're carrying them around in their case. However, they're still a bit cumbersome to carry around on your person without a bag due to the relatively large ear cups.

Type Soft case
L 4.8"
W 7"
H 3.5"
Volume 118 inยณ

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 come with a soft case that won't do much to protect the headphones against impacts or drops. On the upside, it's large enough to fit all the accessories and will help to shield the headphones from scratches and scuffs when in your bag.

Build Quality

The build quality of the Sennheiser 4.50 is decent. The ear cups are made from a dense plastic, and the headband is relatively thin and flexible, though it's reinforced by a metal frame. Overall, they should be able to withstand a few accidental bumps or drops, but don't feel as durable as headphones with more metal in their build.


The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless headphones have a stable wireless design that shouldn't easily fall off your head. While they won't be the best choice for exercising or intense sports (see our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones for working out), they should be stable enough for some light workouts or jobs. The wireless design also removes the chances that the headphones will be yanked off your head because the audio cable got hooked on something.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
In The Box

  • Sennheiser HD 4.50 headphones
  • Audio cable
  • Carrying case
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.71 dB
Treble Amount
-2.85 dB

The sound profile of these headphones is somewhat well-balanced, though they lack detail and brightness. They aren't too bass-heavy, however, and should be well-suited to warmer-sounding genres like classic blues or hip-hop.

Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.52 dB

The frequency response consistency of these headphones is decent. Most people should experience their sound reproduction the same way, though you may need to slightly adjust them to get the same treble response every time you wear them.

Raw Frequency Response
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.79 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
13.16 Hz
1.93 dB
1.99 dB
1.71 dB

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC have excellent bass accuracy. The entire range is even and only slightly over-emphasized. This brings a bit of excess thump and kick to their bass which shouldn't be overpowering or boomy.

Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.38 dB
-0.02 dB
2.18 dB
5.26 dB

The mid-range accuracy is good. Low-mid and mid-mid are well-balanced and accurate, which is important for the clear reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. High-mid, however, is quite overemphasized, bringing excess intensity and harshness to leads and vocals.

Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.47 dB
-1.31 dB
-1.69 dB
-8 dB

The treble accuracy of the Sennheiser 4.50 is disappointing. Low-treble maintains the harshness of the mids, while the rest of the treble range is quite underemphasized, which will cause a lack of detail and brightness.

2 dB
2.19 dB

The peaks and dips performance of the Sennheiser HD 4.50 is alright. The peak in high-mid followed by a sharp dip in low-treble causes vocals and instruments to sound especially honky and harsh as they lack detail and clarity.

Weighted Group Delay
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
Weighted Phase Mismatch

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 have great imaging. The GD graph shows that the group delay response is almost entirely below the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were exceptionally well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response, ensuring accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field. It's worth noting that these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.99 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
3.54 dB
PRTF Distance
10.78 dB
Acoustic Space Excitation

The passive soundstage of the Sennheiser HD 4.50 is poor. The PRTF graph shows an inadequate amount of pinna activation with low accuracy, suggesting a soundstage that will be perceived as small and located inside your head.

Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
Speaker Modeling
Room Ambience
Head Tracking
Virtual Surround
No App

These headphones don't have any virtual soundstage features.

Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
WHD @ 100

The weighted harmonic distortion of these headphones is decent. While there may some artifacts and distortion at higher volumes, it likely won't be too noticeable to most people.

Test Settings
Bluetooth 4.0
aptX, 16-bit, 48kHz

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when these headphones are used with these settings. We were unable to determine the firmware of these headphones; if you know where to find it, please let us know in the discussions.

Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-19.38 dB
Noise Cancelling Yes
-9.11 dB
-15.78 dB
-33.72 dB

The isolation performance is decent. While these headphones have an ANC feature, unfortunately, it doesn't work as well as some higher-end options, like the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless. While it does a good job of blocking out background chatter, it doesn't help much at blocking out the low rumble of bus or plane engines.

Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
30.71 dB

The leakage performance of these headphones is great. It's noticeably quieter than the noise floor of an average office, so you should be able to listen to your music at fairly high volumes without bothering those around you.

Microphone Style
Detachable Boom
Mic Yes

These headphones have an integrated microphone.

Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
329.38 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
5.02 dB
3,368.2 Hz
Weighted THD
38.48 dB

The recording quality of the mic is sub-par. Voices transmitted or recorded sound relatively thin and noticeably muffled and lacking in detail.

Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
21.02 dB

The noise handling of the microphone is decent. It's easy to hear your voice in even moderately loud environments, though it'll get lost in very noisy situations.

Active Features
Active Features
Battery Type
Continuous Battery Life
22.3 hrs
Additional Charges
Total Battery Life
22.3 hrs
Charge Time
2.2 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Audio While Charging
Passive Playback
Charging Port micro-USB

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 have a good overall battery performance. While their 22.3-hour battery life is great, unfortunately, they don't have a power-saving feature to help conserve battery. On the upside, they can be used passively by plugging them in with the included 1/8" audio cable, which is great if they die on you in the middle of a long flight or workday.

Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
ANC Control
Mic Control No
Room Effects
Playback Control
Button Mapping No
Surround Support

Unfortunately, the Sennheiser companion app for these headphones, known as CapTune, is no longer available. The replacement app, Sennheiser Smart Control, isn't compatible with these headphones. If you still have CapTune on your phone it might continue to function, but it's no longer possible to download it.

Bluetooth Version
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
Line Of Sight Range
120 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
161 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
140 ms
PC Latency (aptX HD)
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
iOS Latency
137 ms
Android Latency
61 ms

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are Bluetooth 4.0 headphones that can pair simultaneously with two devices and support NFC for quick and easy pairing. They support aptX, but their latency likely is still too high for most people to watch videos or play games. It's worth noting that some apps and devices seem to compensate for latency, so your mileage may vary in real-life usage.

Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
Non-BT Latency

These headphones only connect wirelessly via a Bluetooth connection.

Analog Audio
USB Audio
Detachable Yes
Length 4.5 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

These headphones come with a 1/8" TRS audio cable that doesn't have an in-line mic like the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless, so they won't have a mic compatible with the Xbox One, PS4, and PCs.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC/PS4 Wired USB
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless

While you can plug these headphones into a PC or the controller of a PS4, they will only transmit audio and you can't use the microphone.

Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless

While you can plug these headphones into the controller of an Xbox One, it'll only transmit audio and you can't use the microphone.

No Base/Dock
USB Input
Line In
Line Out
Optical Input
RCA Input
Dock Charging
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don't have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless.