Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless review: A worthy Bose competitor at a better price

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The Good The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless is wireless noise-canceling headphone with effective noise canceling that sounds great and costs significantly less than Bose's QuietComfort 35. It works well as a headset and offers decent battery life. The headphones fold up into a simple canvas carrying bag.

The Bad Not quite as comfortable as higher-end models from Bose, Sony and Sennheiser.

The Bottom Line Sennheiser's HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless gets you most of what you want in a premium wireless noise-canceling headphone but costs significantly less.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Sound 8
  • Value 8

Not everybody can afford a premium wireless noise-canceling headphone, which is where Sennheiser's more budget-conscious HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless comes in. At $200 (£170, $AU329), it's not cheap, but it's less than what you'll pay for certain models from Sony and Bose -- and Sennheiser, too.

I like the straightforward look of the HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless and its understated matte-black finish (it does look a little like the Bose QuietComfort 35). However, Sennheiser did cut some design corners to get to the lower price point. This is an all-plastic affair and while the earpads feature cushy memory foam, the material covering them is a synthetic leather that doesn't feel as luxurious and isn't as breathable as the real leather you'll find on step-up models.

The well-cushioned earpads are covered in faux leather. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

There's no fancy case for storing the headphones, but they do fold up nicely to fit in an included simple canvas case that I liked just fine. 

Overall I found the 8.4 oz. (238 g) headphones comfortable -- they fit snugly though not too snugly. However, during longer listening sessions I did have to make some small adjustments from time to time and give my ears a little air. In other words, they aren't quite as comfortable as Bose's QuietComfort 35, Sennheiser's PXC 550 headphones or Sony's MDR-1000X.