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CNET First Look
Sennheiser's cheaper HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless makes its case against Bose's QC35Can't afford the Bose QC35? These more affordable Sennheiser wireless noise-canceling headphones cost a lot less and are almost as good.
Not everybody could afford a premium wireless voice cancelling headphone, which is where Sennheiser's more budget conscious HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless comes in. At $200 it's not cheap but it's less than what you pay for higher end models from SONY, Boze and yes, Sennheiser as well. To get to that lower price, Sennheiser did cut some design corners. I like the straightforward look, but it is all plastic, and while the ear pads feature cushy memory foam, the material covering them is a synthetic leather that doesn't feel as luxurious or breathable as the real leather you'll find on step up models. You also don't get a fancy case for storing the headphones, but they do fold up nicely to fit in an included simple canvas case that I liked. Although I found the headphones comfortable, they fit snuggly but not too snuggly, however during longer listening sessions, I did have to make some small adjustments and give my ears a little air. They aren't quite as comfortable as Bose's Quiet Comfort 35 Were Sennheiser's PXC550s. They performed well. I had no trouble pairing and re-pairing them and I experienced minimal Bluetooth hiccups. The controls on the right ear cup are easy to operate by feel. The noise cancelling isn't incredibly strong, But it is fairly effective, and did a decent job muffling sound while only a very faint audible hiss. Sound quality was quite good for a wireless noise cancelling headphone. This model isn't quite as open, or as refined sounding as Sen Heizer's step up models. I thought it sounded as good or better than Other $200 wireless noise cancelling headphones, the bass is powerful with good definition, the treble has some sparkle, and the mid-range sounds fairly warm and natural. You also have the option to connected cord and go wired, I didn't notice a big difference in sound quality, one going wired You'll save some battery by turning off blue tooth, battery life is rated at 19 hours with blue tooth and noise cancelling activated, which is pretty decent. The final thing worth noting is the headphone does perform well as a headset, it has a side tone feature that allows you to hear Hear your voice in the headphone as you talk. That feature isn't usually available in a headphone at this price point, and even some headphones that cost more. I'm David Carnoy for cnet.com. And that's the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC wireless. Thanks for watching.