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Sennheiser PXC 450 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v0.9
Reviewed Feb 26, 2016 at 12:00 am
Sennheiser PXC 450 Picture
Test Methodology v0.9
5.9
Mixed Usage
6.5
Critical Listening
5.8
Commute/Travel
5.7
Sports/Fitness
5.7
Office
6.5
Home Theater
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise-Cancelling Yes
Mic No
Transducer Dynamic

The Sennheiser PXC450 are average headphones with good audio reproduction and decent build quality, but questionable design choices. Unfortunately, the noise isolation is severely lacking and is not recommended for use in noisy environments.

Our Verdict

5.9 Mixed Usage

The PXC 450 make poor everyday headphones. Their sound is decent for a bit of critical listening, but they are not comfortable and too bulky for everyday use.

6.5 Critical Listening

Mediocre for critical listening. They have an adequate frequency response but a poor soundstage because of their closed back design.

See our Critical Listening recommendations
5.8 Commute/Travel

Poor for commuting. Their noise isolation performance is decent enough for moderate levels of ambient noise.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
5.7 Sports/Fitness

Not designed for sports use. Although they're moderately comfortable They're bulky, cumbersome and too unstable for sports headphones.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
5.7 Office

Poor for office use. Noise isolation is not enough for the chatter of a busy office. They're also quite leaky.

See our Office recommendations
6.5 Home Theater

Average for Home Theater use. They have no latency since they're wired and have a sufficiently decent sound for movie watching. However, they have a relatively short audio cable so unless you have an extension cord they won't be ideal for comfortably watching movies from your couch.

  • 5.9 Mixed Usage
  • 6.5 Critical Listening
  • 5.8 Commute/Travel
  • 5.7 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.7 Office
  • 6.5 Home Theater
Pros
  • Decent leakage performance.
  • Great audio reproduction.
Cons
  • Uncomfortable, Inner-earcup design.
  • Slightly overpowered mids.
  • Poor noise isolation.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The PXC450 are unremarkable in their style. They do not look as premium as the Sony MDR-XB950N1. The large gray ear cups are accentuated by the silver highlights of the buttons and Sennheiser branding. The headband, as well as the cushion of the ear cups, is coated with a soft black padding. The sliver of the metal at the hinges and the frame add a little more style but not enough to make the PXC450 stand out.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.71 lbs
Clamping Force
0.96 lbs

The large earcups are decently padded and mold well to the head. They are very large though, and may be a little too massive, depending on the user's head size. The PXC 450 would be a lot more comfortable if it wasn't for another odd design choice: The inside of the ear cups protrude outwards and touch the listener's ears, if not placed on the head perfectly. This causes a lot of discomfort after long listening sessions.

6.6
Design
Controls
Ease of use Mediocre
Feedback Above-average
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Noise Canceling Control Yes
Talk-Through Yes
Additional Buttons No

Button layout is average at best. The buttons are functional but just poorly designed and feel cramped on the very large ear cup. They offer volume and "talk-through" controls but no play/stop button. There's also a strangely hidden switch on the left ear cup that just adds to the oddness of the button layout.

6.0
Design
Stability

The Sennheiser PXC450 are decently stable headphones that stay in place during casual listening sessions. They are not designed for sports, though and will quickly fall off your head during high-intensity exercises. They're not good for the gym and don't have a detachable cable that will disconnect if it gets hooked on to something, and will pull the headphones off your head.

5.9
Design
Portability
L 7.48 "
W 8.27 "
H 1.97 "
Volume 121.68 Cu. Inches
Stand required N/A

The PXC450 are on the larger side for over-ear headphones. The big earcups lay flat to be somewhat portable. Unfortunately, they will take a decent amount of space in a backpack. They won't comfortably fit in a handbag and are far too big to fit in any pockets, even larger jacket pockets.

7.0
Design
Case
Type Soft case
L 8.27 "
W 9.06 "
H 1.97 "
Volume 147.4 Cu. Inches

Comes with a soft case that will protect the headphones from scratches and minor falls. However, the case adds a bit of bulk to the already large headphones. It also won't shield them from water damage.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

Build quality for the PXC450 is somewhat decent but has a couple flaws. The headband and ear cups are well-padded and the metal frame adds a little more sturdiness to the build. Where they lose points is with the build of the ear cups. The plastic looks and feels cheap, the inner earcups stick out and touch your ears if the headphones are not placed perfectly and the battery compartment is placed awkwardly.

6.4
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 5.9 C

Design
Cable
Detachable No
Length 5.2 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS

Design
Front

Design
Angled

Design
Side

Design
Rear

Design
Top

Design
In The Box

  • Sennheiser PXC 450 Noisegard 2.0 Headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
  • AAA battery (x2)
  • Airline Adapter
  • Manual
  • Carrying case

Sound
6.1
Sound
Bass
Std. Err.
5.29 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
55.76 Hz
Low-Bass
-8.03 dB
Bass
0.85 dB
High-Bass
2.76 dB

5.8
Sound
Mid
Std. Err.
5.64 dB
Low-Mid
5.37 dB
Mid
5.81 dB
High-Mid
-1.61 dB

6.5
Sound
Treble
Std. Err.
4.66 dB
Low-Treble
-2.52 dB
Treble
-2.68 dB
High-Treble
2.77 dB

6.7
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Error
5.89 dB
Openness
7.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.1
Correlated Crosstalk
0.01 dB

5.5
Sound
Imaging
Phase Error
184.78 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
1.01 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
2.43 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
50.66 °

9.5
Sound
Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
0.062
Weighted THD @ 100
0.141

Isolation
5.2
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
-11.15 dB
Bass
-1.31 dB
Mid
-9.3 dB
Treble
-25.08 dB
Self-Noise
16.52 dB

Poor noise cancellation overall. Passive isolation is decent, about average. There seems to be a little bit of build-up happening in the 300Hz range though. Passive isolation starts at around 500Hz and reaches -30dB at 5KHz. The active noise cancellation doesn't do a lot, offering less than 10dB of reduction starting at 100Hz up to 600Hz.

5.9
Isolation
Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
45.7 dB

Decent leakage performance. The peak of the leakage is in the high-mid to low-treble range.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Wireless
Type
N/A
Obstructed Range
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
NFC
No

10
Active Features
Latency
Base Latency
0 ms
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

7.7
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
AAA
Battery Life
20.9 hrs
Charge Time
N/A
Auto-off
No
Audio while charging
N/A
Passive Playback
No

The PXC 450 provide up to 21 hrs of continuous play time. They are decent headphones to take on a long flight, but you will have to keep a spare AAA if you don't have access to a store while on your trip. Unfortunately, they also do not have any battery saving features like an auto-off timer and can't continue playing audio passively once the batteries are dead.

0
Active Features
App Support

No compatible app.

Sennheiser PXC 450 Price

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