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Reviewed on Jun 20, 2018 , Marc Henney, Yannick Khong

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
7.0
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:
7.3
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:
7.2
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:
7.0
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:
7.2
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:
6.0
Home Theater
Score components:
5.8
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are decently versatile over-ear headphones for most use cases. They have a customizable and above-average sound. They're well built, comfortable, and stable enough to run with although they won't be the ideal headphones for sports. They cancel enough ambient to be suitable for commuting but don't have as many features or options that you can control through the app, like the PXC 550 Wireless.

Test Results
Design 7.0
Sound 7.3
Isolation 7.6
Microphone 6.5
Active Features 7.1
Connectivity 6.4
Pros
  • Highly customizable sound.
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Low Leakage.
Cons
  • Slightly tight on the head.
  • Lacking in app features.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

7.0

Design

Score components:
Sennheiser HD 4.50 Design Picture

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 look somewhat like the PXC 550 Wireless with a slightly less premium build quality. They're still sturdy headphones that won't break easily, and they have a comfortable fit thanks to the well-padded ear cups. Unfortunately, they tend to feel a bit tight out-of-the-box on most heads, and their included carrying case feels a bit cheap for their price range. On the upside, because they're a bit tight and wireless, they're stable enough for running and they fold so they won't take too much space in your bag.

Style
Sennheiser HD 4.50 Design Picture 2

The Sennheiser 4.50 look like a more budget version of the 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 though, 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 will appeal to some.

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 4.50 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.
:
1.1 lbs

The Sennheiser 4.50 are comfortable and well-padded headphones that feel a bit tight on the head. They're decently lightweight with ear cups that fit comfortably around most ears. The padding on the ear cups especially is thick and soft, but the headband lacks a bit more cushion to feel as comfortable as the PXC 550. The cups are also a bit smaller than on the PXCs. Unfortunately, they clamp the head quite a bit which may loosen over time, but out-of-the-box, they get slightly uncomfortable during long listening sessions.

6.6 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 4.50 Controls Picture
Ease of use : Mediocre
Feedback : Subpar
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 : Yes
Talk-Through : No
Additional Buttons : N/A

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 have an above-average control scheme that gives you all the necessary functions but feels a little cramped and unresponsive. They provide call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The volume also controls double as a noise canceling off switch when you press both buttons at the same time. However, you only get a visual feedback from the LED, and there's not vocal feedback when they're on your ears so you may not know when you've turned the noise canceling 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.

6.4 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 4.50 Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.8 C

These headphones 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 ok for casual listening and most use cases but will make your ears sweat during more demanding activities like running and exercising.

6.2 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 4.50 Portability Picture
L : 4.5 "
W : 6 "
H : 3.2 "
Volume : 86 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

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.

6.5 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 4.50 Case Picture
Type : Soft case
L : 4.8 "
W : 7 "
H : 3.5 "
Volume : 118 Cu. Inches

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC come with a soft case that won't protect the headphones against impacts or drops but do have enough room for all the accessories and will shield the headphones from scratches and scuffs when in your bag.

7.5 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 4.50 Build Quality Picture

The build quality of the Sennheiser 4.50 is as good as the PXC 550 Wireless. They're lightweight yet still durable. The ear cups are dense and won't break from a few accidental drops. The headband is also decently flexible but won't be able to bend past 180° without getting damaged. The headband is also relatively thin although it is reinforced by a metal frame. Overall, it's a sturdy design, but it won't be as durable as some of the more premium headphones we've reviewed that use a lot more metal in their build quality.

7.5 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 4.50 Stability Picture

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless headphones have a stable wireless design that won't easily fall off your head. The firm swivel hinges, combined with the wide headband and broad ear cups prevent the headphones from swaying too much even during physical activity. They won't be the best choice for exercising or intense sports but the stability they provide is decent enough to jog with. The wireless design also removes the chances that the headphones will be yanked off your head because the audio cable got hooked on something.

Cable
Sennheiser HD 4.50 Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.5 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

They come with a 1/8"TRS to 1/16"TRS audio cable, and a USB charging cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.3

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 4.50 Frequency Response

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC is an above-average sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. These headphones have an excellent, deep, thumpy, and consistent bass, a well-balanced but forward sounding mid-range, and an even treble which lacks a bit of detail and brightness. Overall, they would be a very good choice for most genres, especially bass-heavy ones, but may not be best for classical or vocal centric-music because of their forward mid-range and lacking treble.

9.1 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 4.50 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
:
1.3 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
:
12.6 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
:
2.17 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
:
1.09 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
:
-0.03 dB

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC have an excellent bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 13Hz, which is great. Low-bass is flat and over our neutral target by 2dB. This brings a bit of excess thump to their bass which some people may like. Mid-bass responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of the kick drums is flat and within 1dB of our target. High-bass, responsible for warmth is flat and quite well-balanced.

7.8 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 4.50 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
:
2.89 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
:
-0.86 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
:
1.49 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
:
4.35 dB

The mid-range is good. Low-mid and mid-mid are well-balanced and within 1.5dB of our target. This is important for a clear reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. High-mid however, is over our target by more than 4dB, bringing excess intensity and projection to vocals/leads.

6.3 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 4.50 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
:
4.86 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
:
-1.74 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
:
-2.79 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
:
-4.4 dB

The Sennheiser 4.50 have a mediocre treble range performance. The treble response is relatively even, but under our target by about 2dB. The dips around 4KHz and 7KHz have a small negative effect on the clarity and presence of vocals/leads.

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.
Score components:
7.4 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 4.50 Consistency L Sennheiser HD 4.50 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
:
0.52 dB

The frequency response consistency is above-average. The bass range is quite consistent across our human subjects, which is impressive since they're closed-back headphones. Their consistency could be due to using their active noise cancelling as a feedback mechanism, similar the QuietComfort 35 II and WH-1000XM2. However, above 1KHz, their consistency is about average since there could be more than 4dB of deviation around 2KHz.

8.9 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 4.50 Group Delay Sennheiser HD 4.50 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
:
0.26
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
:
0.3
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
:
1.5
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
:
3.72

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC have great imaging. Weighted group delay is at 0.26, which is very good. The GD graph also shows that the group delay response is almost 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 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.

5.1 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 4.50 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
:
3.99 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
:
3.54 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
:
10.78 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
:
2.9
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
:
1.7
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 4.50 BTNC have a sub-par soundstage. The PRTF graph shows an inadequate amount of pinna activation with low accuracy, and there's not a 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.

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 4.50 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
:
3.308
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
:
11.301

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC have an average harmonic distortion performance. The bass range distortion is within good limits. But the THD produced in the mid-range is elevated, especially in the Mid Range. There is also a peak in distortion around 9KHz which could make the sibilances on these headphones slightly harsh.

7.6

Isolation

Score components:

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless create a decent seal around most ears. This prevents them from being too leaky even at higher volumes and also stops a good amount of noise from seeping into the earcups. That and the above-average noise cancellation makes them a good option for commuting although you may still hear a bit of the outside world in really noisy environments.

7.1 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 4.50 Noise Isolation
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
:
-19.38 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
:
-9.11 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
:
-15.78 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
:
-33.71 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
:
17.14 dB

The isolation performance is decent. The active noise canceling system of these headphones are effective from 20Hz up to 1KHz. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sits, they achieve about 9dB of isolation which is about average. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they reduce outside noise by almost 16dB which is good. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds they isolate by 34dB, which is good.

8.5 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 4.50 Leakage
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
:
30.69 dB

The leakage performance is great. The significant portion of their leakage is between 500Hz and 3KHz which is not too broad. However, the overall level of the leakage is very low. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at about 31dB SPL and peaks at 44dB SPL, which is noticeably quieter than the noise floor of an average office.

6.5

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 4.50 BTNC have an average integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin and noticeably muffled and lacking in detail. In noisy situations, they do better than most Bluetooth microphones and are able to separate speech from background noise in moderately loud environments, like a busy street.

5.9 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 4.50 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
:
329.38 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
:
5.02 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
:
3368.2 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
:
8.924
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
:
38.48 dB

The recording quality of the mic is sub-par. The LFE of 329Hz results in a recorded/transmitted speech that sound relatively thin. The HFE is at 3.4KHz, making speech noticeably muffled and lacking detail. The response between the LFE and HFE points is quite uneven suggesting an unnatural speech transmission.

7.1 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 4.50 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
:
21.02 dB

The integrated microphone of the HD 4.50 BTNC is decent at noise handling. It achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 21dB in our SpNR test. This means it will be able to fully separate speech from ambient noise in moderately loud environments.

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 4.50 BTNC have a good battery life and decent app support. They do not last as long or have as many customization options and features as the PXC 550 wireless, but they have a good EQ and about 22 hours of continuous playback, which will easily last you the whole day even if you're a heavy user.  Unfortunately, they do not have an auto-off timer to extend their battery life and you do not have as much control over the noise canceling or the sound profile like some of the more recent releases, like the Sony WH-1000XM2.

7.1 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
:
22.3 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
:
2.2 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 your 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 Sennheiser HD 4.50 have a good battery life and charge relatively fast. They lasted up to 22 hours of continuous playback at average volumes which should easily last you full day's worth of use. Unfortunately, they don't have many power-saving features. There's no auto off timer, and you can't charge and listen at the same time. On the upside, they can be used completely passively which makes them a decent option if you're close to a power source like being at the office.

7.0 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 4.50 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 also support the excellent Sennheiser Captune app but have limited functionality. Unlike the PXC 550 Wireless which gives you full control over the noise cancellation and additional functions like an auto off timer and smart pause when you remove the headphones. You still get access to the great parametric equalizer, but that's a bout it which is a bit disappointing when comparing it to the functionality and versatility of the PXC 550.

6.4

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 4.50 like the PXC 550 Wireless can pair simultaneously with multiple devices, support NFC and have an above-average wireless range. They also come with a regular audio cable that will work with most devices but does not have an in-line microphone compatible with consoles and PCs. Unfortunately, like most Bluetooth headphones, they have a bit too much latency, which won't be ideal for gaming or watching a lot of video content.

8.8 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's allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example switching from your phone to your home or work PC.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
2 Devices
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

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC can pair simultaneously with 2 devices and support NFC. This makes them a rather versatile headphone when using Bluetooth.

8.0 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
:
Yes
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
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
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

These headphones come with a 1/8TRS audio cable that does not have an inline mic like the PXC 550 wireless so they won't have a mic compatible with the Xbox One, PS4, and PCs. On the upside, you can use the USB cable for audio over USB when connected to PCs or tablets.

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 base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7 by SteelSeries.

8.2 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.
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.
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.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
42 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
:
120 ft

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 have a good wireless range indoors and outdoors. They reached up to 40ft when the Bluetooth source was in another room and obstructed by walls and up to 120ft in direct line-of-sight. This should be more than enough range for most casual uses.

4.2 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
:
161 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
:
140 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 Sennheiser 4.50 benefit from aptX which gives them a slightly better latency performance than typical Bluetooth headphones. However, your Bluetooth source needs to support aptX and the at 140ms and 161ms for the default (SBC) base latency is a bit too laggy for watching movies and gaming.

In the box

Sennheiser HD 4.50 In the box Picture

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

Compared to other Headphones

Sennheiser HD 4.50 Compare Picture

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC is a decent mixed usage headset with strong noise isolation and an above-average sound quality. These headphones have slightly fewer features than the similarly designed PXC 550 Wireless but still benefit from a good app that offers decent customization options. They have a long 22-hour battery life, they isolate well enough in loud, noisy environments and do not leak much which makes them a good choice for commuting and office use. Unfortunately, their build quality is not 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 of the headphones compared below.

Sony WH-CH700N

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are somewhat better wireless headsets than the Sony WH-CH700. 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 and have a slightly more balanced sound. They also have a longer battery life.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are a bit better overall than the Sennheiser HD1 wireless but not by much. The HD 4.50 have more features and a slightly better-balanced sound than the HD1 out of the box although both headphones can be EQed with the Sennheiser captured app. The HD 4.50 have a tighter fit on the head that's a bit more suitable for sports, but the HD1 have the much better build quality that feels a lot more durable in the long run. The HD1 also isolate a bit better in noisy and quiet conditions

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are a good alternative to the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 with a more customizable app. They do not sound as exciting out of the box as the Plantronics, but they have a decently balanced sound and a comfortable if slightly tight fit. They're also not as well built as the Plantronics, but their smaller size and more stable fit make them a bit more suitable to take to the gym. They also have a better isolation performance than the Plantronics but they're not as intuitive and do not have aptX-LL for home theater use like the Pro 2. The Sennheiser are the best alternative to the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, especially if you need strong app support to tweak the performance of your headphones to match what you're listening to.

Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II

The Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II are a better sounding but less versatile wireless over-ear than the Sennheiser HD 4.50. Like the QuietComfort 25 or 35, they are super comfortable, so you can wear for longer than the Sennheisers. They're also a little more lightweight and portable to carry around in your bag with their good hard case. They have a more balanced audio reproduction but do not benefit from an EQ with their app so you can't customize their sound like the HD 4.50. The Sennheiser HD 4.50 are, overall, the better, more customizable headset. However, if you want the better-sounding option and comfort is your highest priority when getting a headphone, then the Soundlinks are a decent alternative 

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II  are better commuting and mixed usage headset than the Sennheiser HD 4.50. You can't customize their sound profile like with the Sennheisers, but they do sound better out-of-the-box and may not need an EQ for most listeners anyway. On the upside, they're one of the best noise-canceling headphones with a comfortable, easy-to-use design and a very good sound. So if you need a headset that has a customizable EQ and doesn't leak much, then the Sennheiser HD.450 could be a decent and cheaper alternative. But for most use cases, especially commuting and traveling, the QC35 II are the better more comfortable headphones.

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless is a better-mixed usage headset than the HD 4.50. These headphones have a slightly better sound and have a lot more customization options and settings than the HD 4.50 despite having the same app.  They isolate well enough for moderately loud environments and for commuting, although they do leak a bit more than the HD 4.50 so they won't be as good to use in noise-sensitive environments like a quiet office. On the upside, they have a longer battery life, with power-saving features, and a better wireless range. They also come with a more versatile cable that will provide audio and mic support when plugged into your console controller or PC. Overall, the PXC 550 wireless are the better choice for most use cases but they're also more expensive.

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Conclusion
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7.0Mixed 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:
The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are decently versatile headphones for most cases. They have a highly customizable sound like the PXC 550 but lack some of its better features. They're above-average comfortable, stable and durable and isolate relatively well in loud environments. That and their low leakage make them a good decent option for most use cases, especially for traveling and at the office.
7.3Critical 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:
Above-average for critical listening. The default audio reproduction for these headphones is better-than-average and should sound good enough for most listeners. They may sound a bit harsh due to the slight bump in the high Mid and low Treble range that tends to push the instruments and vocals to the forefront of any track. However, you can customize the sound profile to match your taste and preferences thanks to the CapTune app so they're versatile enough to suit most listeners. Unfortunately, they have a relatively small soundstage due to their closed-back design.
7.2Commute/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:
Above-average for commuting. They block a good amount of noise, they're decently comfortable, however, their control scheme is not as responsive as some of the other wireless headphones we've tested.
7.0Sports/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:
Above-average for sports. The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are not specifically designed for high-intensity activities, but they're stable enough to jog with. They have a comfortable fit and provide decent control over your audio. Although, they can get a little warm when using them for a while under strenuous conditions.
7.2Office
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:
Decent for office use. They don't leak much at regular or high volumes and block enough noise for a lively office environment. However, they are a bit tight on the head which might not be comfortable for very long listening sessions.
6.0Home Theater
Score components:
Average-at-best for home theater. They have a decently comfortable fit and an above average sound quality but a bit too much latency for watching movies and videos. On the upside, they come with a simple audio cable that has practically no latency, but the cable is short and you may need an extension cord depending on your home theater set up.
5.8Gaming
Score components:
Sub-par for gaming. The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC have a bit too much latency even with aptX enabled. They're not compatible with consoles via Bluetooth and cannot be customized to the extent of other gaming headphones. They also have a mediocre integrated microphone and their audio cable will only provide audio and not chat support when connected to your console's controller.

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