Extravagant Value for an Affordable Price
The Sennheiser HD 450SE is a special edition version of the company’s well-known headphones, the HD 450BT. In a way, Sennheiser is seeking redemption with the 450SE, trying to perfect what the 450BT lacks.
So basically, you pay an affordable price and in return, you get a pair of headphones that have great design, great comfort, the sound quality profile of Sennheiser headphones, and on top of that, ANC.
The famed Sennheiser wants a piece of the wireless spectrum with the 450SE. A pair of headphones with Sennheiser sound quality, a comfy design, and plenty of features.
Let’s Move to Their Storable Design: Sennheiser HD 450SE Review
So not only do they have good sound quality, the 450SE is deadly portable thanks to its design. The ear cups are foldable, which makes them easy to stow away. Besides that, they are also very light, weighing only 8.5 ounces. They come in black and white, and both versions are quite stylish.
The HD 450SE are a pair of headphones that have a closed-back design that screams minimalism. They have a full plastic matte finish that doesn’t feel cheap at all. Actually, it feels so nice and smooth.
The oval ear cups come in an ergonomic design fully wrapped in synthetic leather. If you dislike synthetic leather, no worries since it is fully replaceable. Both right ear cup and left ear cup have a rotation that is minimal, something that doesn’t affect comfort at all, but it would be good for transport options, even though they can fully fold towards the headband.
Another thing that I would consider a double-edged knife instead of a drawback is that the headphones tend to generate a bit too much heat, which is perfect for cold weather, but for hot summer days, well, you know.
The headband is quite sturdy, unlike as soft as I’ve seen in most headphones, which makes it great for people with long hair since it won’t pull the hair. I’ve had a bad experience with soft silicone headbands before.
There’s a drawback to this though; they have quite a clamping force that might squeeze your head a bit (especially for you people with big heads, no offense), but after a week of continuous use they should be fine, and you will be rewarded with great comfortability for hours.
Controls and Features:
It took me a while to get used to the buttons, they are all swamped together, I think they could have been placed way better. There are 4 buttons and they are quite small and hard to toggle. To make things easier for you guys who just got them or if you planning to buy them, I’ll go on and explain what they do:
⦁ Tapping or holding the power button for at least 2 seconds will turn the headsets on/off
⦁ Pressing the voice assistant button will toggle it on/off to talk to the virtual assistant
⦁ Sliding the switch button, the back will rewind the track, and sliding it forward will play the next track
⦁ Pressing the switch button will pause/play
⦁ And the volume rocker up or down will adjust the volume output.
⦁ For calls, depress the switch button only once to either answer or end the call, holding the switch button will hold the call
In terms of accessories, the Sennheiser was quite generous including a USB-A to USB-C charging cable and audio jack so you can make the headphones wired when you run out of battery. The carry case is great, it is zippered and it has an extra pocket. I should commend Sennheiser for offering all this hospitality.
The Sennheiser HD 450BT uses Bluetooth 5.0 and supports a bunch of codecs: SBC, AAC, and even aptX and aptX low latency.
Active noise cancellation is becoming a thing day by day and now most wireless headphones are noise canceling headphones. It is a killer feature that really reduces the ambient noise while providing the best audio quality possible.
The ANC is brilliant for a pair of mid-range headphones; it uses dual omnidirectional mics to monitor the ambient sound quality, which then cancels it out. Besides that, since they are closed-back headphones, the company has done a great job of sealing the pieces, so no noise is let in, meaning they have great noise cancellation even with the ANC feature off.
Still, I can’t overhype it. Compared to the likes of Bose noise-canceling headphones 700 and Sony WH-1000XM4, it is uncomparable because the latter ones are just unbeatable in the ANC aspect.
As I mentioned earlier, it has a virtual assistant button for Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant to make things easier for you. Besides that, for simple usage, there’s also the Sennheiser smart control App that provides an equalizer, podcast mode, and firmware updates.
So yeah as noise cancelling headphones, those are great.
Signature Sennheiser Sound, Performance: Sennheiser HD 450SE Review
Thanks to the 32mm drivers, which deliver a frequency range of 18Hz to 22kHz, you will be accompanied by lovely sounds.
The mids are impressive and the music comes loud and clear, you won’t miss any tone at all. What’s more, they don’t lose any richness even at higher levels, that’s a plus cause there’s barely any distortion.
The bass and treble are sufficient enough, sadly not that punchy to be felt in your throat. But overall, they proved great in every genre, I could hear the vocalists quite well and could tell in-between instruments without a problem.
The mic quality was adequate; it accomplished its purpose admirably.
Actually, for a mid-range pair of headphones and on top of it being wireless, I was impressed with the mic since in the crowded places it cancels the environment sounds so well, and your voice is picked up at its best clarity.
The battery life in one word is wonderful, with a battery life of 30 hours, 450SE get the chance to sit on the same table, with the “Big Dogs”, matching the stamina of the industry-leading ANC over ear headphones, the WH1000X M4.
Recharging was pleasant too, it took me only half an hour to get them to 80%.
- Durable and Portable Design
- Good simple looks
- USB C port
- Great noise isolation
- Unbeatable Value for the money
- Limited Features
- A bit tight on the head
- Bass and Trebles could have been better
Are they the best headphones? No, of course. There are options out there, like the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, that offer better ANC, but they also come at a cost of three times more. Let alone comparing them to the Sony WH1000X M4, it would be stupid.
At a nice price of under $100, you get a great design, decent comfort, and the nice sound quality of Sennheiser, on top of that, with a lovely ANC and great battery life. The value that the 450SE offers is unbeatable. Don’t embarrass yourself by asking for more at this price point.
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Mix & Mastering
I love to get my hands on all sorts of audio equipment, from headphones and speakers to audio interfaces. I love putting these products through their paces and seeing what they can do.