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Today we’re reviewing the Sennheiser 4.50 BTNC headphones. And I know these headphones are a little over a year old now. But these headphones went on sale on prime day for just $98, which was a ligit steal. And I'm willing to bet these headphones are going to go on sale again on black Friday 2018. So whether you’re planning on getting these headphones at their full retail price or on sale, lets see what the Sennheiser 4.50BTNC are all about.
At the time of this recording, these headphones are a little over a year old now. These headphones were released around April of 2017 and they retail for $180 dollars. You can get them in any color you want as long as its black and if you want to pick these headphones up I’ll have links in the description below and if you use the links it really helps out the channel. I suggest you check them out cause these headphones routinely go on sale so you’ll might get lucky. And also check out the new merch shelf down below.
Regarding what comes in the box these headphones are pretty standard issue, you get a 2.5 to 3.5 millimeter audio cable, a micro USB cable for charging and this soft shell carrying case. Plainly put this soft shell carrying case isn’t going to do much protecting. So if you plan on traveling with these headphones on a regular basis I highly advise you invest in a hard shell carrying case. The majority of these headphones is made out of plastic, but their build quality is very good. Body panels are very well aligned and over all there are very tight tolerances. The under side of the headband is minimally padded silicon, so it helps keep these headphones in place. Regarding the ear pads, they’re covered in very smooth faux leather and the padding its self is not too firm but not too soft. And inside the ear pads theres some felt material covering the transducers. And yes, these ear pads are removable.
The right ear cup houses all of your buttons and ports. Which I personally wish were better labeled. Theres your power button and media controls which I will touch on in a minute, a 2.5 millimeter audio jack and a micro USB port for charging. One of my first issues with these headphones is that since this audio jack is so hard to reach, it does limit your cable options if you plan on getting a better audio cable in the future.
When it comes to design and fit. Im going to be honest, when I first saw the product pictures I thought they were pretty ugly. But actually seeing them on me… I think they’re pretty dope. I think their shape and the silver contrasting against the black makes these headphones look very classy. You may have noticed by now that these headphones do fold up, but they do not lay down flat. But the ear pads on these headphones do pivot and swivel more than enough to accommodate most head types, and these headphones sit very comfortably on my head. Even though these headphones do fit a little snug, these are big head approved. But we do need to look at these cushions. These cushions are thick, and the opening for your ear is pretty narrow. So if you have larger ears then they’ll might rest on your lobes or they’ll might feel a little cramped. They don’t feel too cramped on me but they don’t rest on my earlobes. Over heating isn’t an issue if you’re just sitting watching a video or listening to music on the bus, but if you’re going to be walking around with them on then sweaty ear cups are a persistent problem.
Now remember, these headphones do not lay down flat and since their ear cups are pretty big if you rest these headphones on your neck they’re going to severely limit your heads range of motion. And this can be pretty annoying if you’re at the airport or something. But when it comes to tech specs, these headphones have a strong bluetooth connection that doesn’t cut out and they also have very little latency, so I would recommend these headphones for watching youtube videos. Their latency isn’t as little as the AirPods, but its barely even noticeable.
Sennheiser advertises a 25 hour battery life on these headphones, which is average for headphones these days. And in my testing which has been a combination of listening to music and watching videos, these guys have routinely gotten more than 20 hours of playback time. My only grip is that these headphones don’t have quick charging. But if you are caught with a dead battery you can still use these headphones passively.
Now lets talk about these headphone’s active noise cancelation. It does a pretty descent job of blocking out constant low frequency sounds like road noise or the constant rumbling of an AC unit, and it also does a fairly good job of blocking out chatter if you're in a cafe. Theres a little bit of cabin pressure which is manageable and you do get used to it after a few minutes of wear. We’re going to jump into an ANC test with a few other $200 ANC headphones. If you want to watch that versus video I’ll have that video linked in the I Icon above.
The ANC on these headphones performs pretty similarly to other $200 ANC headphones on the market. I blocks out a good amount of sound with a lot less cabin pressure than the JBL E65BTNC. And cabin pressure feels like theres a little bit of pressure on your ear drums when you’re under water or that pressure you feel when you’re in an airplane for those who may not know what I’m talking about. When it comes to sound quality, these headphones have a neutral sound signature with clean bass that doesn’t bottom out and the highs don’t crash either. These headphones are suitable for people who want a balanced listening experience but if you’re a bass head then you're going to have to look else where. But these headphones sound their best when their Active noise cancelation is turned off. Which you can turn off by pressing both the volume up and volume down button for a few seconds. The sound stage considerably opens up, they sound clearer, and the bass does manage to get a little deeper. Sennheiser also suggests that you use their Captune app with their headphones, but honestly since the majority of people these days stream their music this app isn’t really helpful. All it does is changes the EQ settings for any music you have stored locally on your phone or if you have a tidal account. Which I bet you don’t, or did but canceled after you were done listening to lemonade or everything is love.
But now lets talk about those control buttons, I appreciate their minimalist design and I like them for the most part, but there are a few things I would change. I really like the main rocker, you simply rock the knob left or right to skip or go back a track and you press the knob down to play or pause your music. I lets you skip through your music very quickly and accurately. But I just wish the knob was a little larger and textured, cause it is very easy to confuse the power button for the rocker knob. And the same thing goes for the volume rocker, I wish it was a little bigger. But the biggest change I would like to see on these headphones is the indicator light. When the headphones are on the indicator light rarely blinks. There have been multiple times where I have placed these headphone on my desk and forgot that they were on and just walked away. And if I played a video on my phone in another room the audio would start playing on the headphones. Or sometimes Ill put the headphones on thinking they were off and end up turning them off by accident. On most other headphones the indicator light is either constantly blinking or just on, its a very useful subtle reminder. I would also like the indicator light to change color when the ANC on these headphones is turned on or off. Cause right now every time I put these headphones on im not sure if the ANC is turned on or off, so I usually have to do a quick little check first.
But over all I like the Sennheiser 4.50BTNC headphones, I think they look very classy now that I’ve seen them in person, they sit very well on my head, their ANC gets the job done very well for $200 ANC headphones with minimal cabin pressure, and their neutral allows for a very balanced listening experience. But keep in mind these headphones have a lot of padding so I don’t think these headphones would be the best for people with bigger ears and I don’t think these headphones would be the best option if you’re looking for headphones to use at the gym cause those ear pads are going to get very hot. Now, at the time of this recording we are just a few weeks away from IFA 2018, which is Europe’s CES. Sennheiser is supposed to be attending this convention and I personally think its unlikely that we’re going to see a follow up to these headphones just yet. I personally think we’re going to see sennheiser’s new version of their PXC 550 ANC headphones.