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Verdict

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Sennheiser embraces Alexa for this particular version model of its HD 450 wi-fi noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones. They’re gentle, clean and surprisingly reasonably priced…

Execs

  • Common voice assistant help
  • Light-weight, snug design
  • 30-hour battery life
  • Balanced, even efficiency
  • Worth

Cons

  • Handbook controls are fiddly
  • Noise cancelling isn’t top-notch

Availability

  • UKRRP: £169
  • USAunavailable
  • EuropeRRP: €199
  • CanadaTBC
  • AustraliaRRP: AU$299.95

  • Common voice assistant help Constructed-in Alexa, and helps Google and Siri

  • Lively noise cancellingHelps ANC

  • AptX Low LatencyDiminished latency with music and movies

Introduction

The Sennheiser HD 450SE headphones on evaluate are a Particular Version variant of the model’s HD 450BT wi-fi cans. They differ in that they add Amazon Alexa help to Siri and Google Assistant, and consequently are completely out there by way of Sennheiser’s net retailer and Amazon.

Nevertheless, in each different respect the BT and SE editions are a match. Design, options and efficiency are equivalent. Battery life at 30 hours on each iterations is formidable, and Bluetooth implementation options aptX Low Latency, for higher gaming and film watching on the go.

They’re additionally aggressively priced in comparison with equally specified rivals. Are these Sennheiser HD 450SE cans the neatest headphones you should buy proper now?

Design

  • Light-weight
  • Over-ear fashion
  • Handbook controls

If headphones are intrinsically a vogue merchandise, the HD 450SE are a staple you’ll be able to put on with something. Recognisably Sennheiser, they provide the identical uncluttered profile and construct high quality because the model’s cheaper HD 350BT. The earcups are fairly padded, and the scarf sufficiently cushioned.

They’re additionally on the fitting facet of sunshine, at 238g. A few hours’ use flies by.

Sennheiser HD 450SE in the hand

The design is over-ear and closed again, they usually fold down into a pleasant bundle that’s simple to stow away. This makes them preferrred for commuting and normal journey.

The HD 450SE additionally sport a 2.5mm jack for a wired connection, which gives a helpful backup for these events you’re low on energy or want to attach your headphones to an in-flight leisure system. Energy charging is by way of USB-C and takes about two hours to totally juice them up.

Options

  • Sennheiser Sensible Management app
  • Lively noise cancelling
  • AptX Low Latency

Utilizing the Sennheiser Sensible Management app, you’ll be able to elect to exchange Google or Siri because the sensible assistant default with Amazon Alexa. However whichever your voice assistant of selection, there’s extra to those cans than AI chit-chat. The headphones use sturdy Bluetooth 5.0 and help AAC, aptX (make sure to associate with an aptX cellular machine for optimum constancy) and aptX Low Latency, which gives tighter syncing with video materials.

One characteristic lacking, although, is contact pad management. Every little thing you’ll want is accessed by way of a button, slider or rocker swap on the rim of the fitting earcup. There’s a devoted Voice Assistant button in addition to the standard energy, Bluetooth pairing and transport keys.

Manual controls on Sennheiser HD 450SE

I’m in two minds about this. There aren’t any secret swipes and wipes to be taught, however the ensuing button fest is a bit inelegant.

The much less apparent characteristic attraction is Sennheiser’s Sensible Management app, required to entry particular audio presets or the customisable EQ. The app additionally reveals present battery standing.

Battery life is spectacular, at 30 hours. I discovered I may simply handle a few days between prices.

Sound High quality

  • Easy and refined
  • Some lack of treble element
  • Sound Examine EQ mode

If there’s one phrase that sums up the HD 450SE, it’s stability. With no EQ utilized, these Sennheisers current every thing with a fair hand. They don’t draw back from deep bass, however they by no means sound overly booming. Dialogue readability is nice, with zero sibilance.

The languid piano, vocals and harmonies of Tears for Fears’ Rivers of Mercy ebb and circulation, exhibiting air and rhythm, whereas Explosions within the Sky’s Wilderness drops deep, confirming an honest bass extension, all with out comprising some sharp, synthy jangles.

If there’s a difficulty, it’s that this sense of equilibrium can lead to tracks congealing, and an absence of dynamics and scale. Nonetheless, given these headphone’s higher finances price ticket, we’ll reduce them some slack, and there’s loads of scope to tweak.

The Sennheiser Sensible Management app has presets for Rock, Pop, Dance, Hip Hop, Classical and Film selectable underneath an Equalizer banner. There’s additionally a devoted Podcast mode.

Sennheiser HD 450SE earpads

Use the Rock preset and there’s a 3dB elevate to the mid band; however go for the Pop preset and there’s a pronounced treble elevate. I most well-liked the latter mode for the riffing pomp of Freeway to Oblivion, by DragonForce, however opted for the previous to optimise bass to go well with the driving beat of Omen by Bullet For My Valentine – so to every their very own.

Utilizing Sennheiser’s Sound Examine mode, you’ll be able to even create a personalised listening expertise, successfully producing a library of EQ presets on your favorite genres.

The HD 450SE do a very good job with small-screen video catch-up. I by no means felt I used to be lacking out on the cinematic motion of Picard (Prime Video, Collection 2). When the Borg got down to assimilate the Stargazer, there’s a deep ominous rumble, and the soundtrack has tangible widescreen width.

I’ve some reservations in regards to the high quality of the noise cancellation right here, although. It really works effectively sufficient in terms of combating normal background banter, nevertheless it isn’t as sonically isolating as the very best ANC, as skilled on the higher Sony or Bose headphones. However then Sennheiser is working to a extra reasonably priced worth. 

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Must you purchase it?

If you happen to’re on the lookout for easy-wearing over-ears, with huge voice assistant help, the HD 450SE are one thing of a steal. Bizarrely, they’re cheaper than their HD 450BT stablemates, that are much less effectively specified.  They fold down neatly for simple stowing and have a prodigious battery life.

They’re not the final phrase in noise cancellation, although. In order for you cans that may isolate you from the clatter of the day by day commute, you then may do effectively to spend a bit of extra on fashions from Sony or Bose.

Remaining Ideas

It’s tough to fault the HD 450SE in terms of worth and efficiency: they ship on each counts, providing a very good total stage of musicality at affordable price. The middling ANC is finest considered a bonus at this worth level.

The addition of Alexa to the 450’s voice assistant help looks like a no brainer, though using a Voice Assistant button and handbook controls strike me as a bit of clunky.

By way of design and wearability, these cans additionally rating extremely. They’re gentle and cozy sufficient for sporting over protracted durations. 

General, we charge the HD 450SE as nice worth. They provide a strong stage of efficiency, whereas delivering glorious battery life. If you happen to’re extra seemingly to make use of them for podcasts, video playback and gaming over music, they warrant an enthusiastic thumbs up.

How we check

We check each headphones we evaluate totally over an prolonged time frame. We use trade customary assessments to match options correctly. We’ll all the time inform you what we discover. We by no means, ever, settle for cash to evaluate a product.

Discover out extra about how we check in our ethics coverage.

Examined over the course of a number of days

Examined with music and video content material

FAQs

What Bluetooth streaming codecs to the HD 450SE help?

The Sennheiser HD 450SE help aptX, aptX LL, AAC, SBC Bluetooth streaming codecs, with aptX LL providing the very best efficiency of the lot.

UK RRP

USA RRP

EU RRP

AUD RRP

Producer

IP ranking

Battery Hours

Weight

ASIN

Launch Date

Mannequin Quantity

Audio Decision

Driver (s)

Noise Cancellation?

Connectivity

Colors

Frequency Vary

Headphone Sort

Voice Assistant

Jargon buster

aptX

Qualcomm’s aptX codec can help greater high quality audio than Bluetooth alone.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth – named after Tenth-century Danish king Harald Bluetooth who united Denmark’s tribes right into a single kingdom – is a technique of wi-fi transmission that enables for the trade of information between units over brief distances.

ANC

ANC (Lively Noise Cancellation) makes use of an array of microphones in a headphone to detect the frequency of the sound coming on the listener, with the ANC chip creating an inverse wave (i.e. opposing sound) to suppress any undesirable exterior noises.