Sennheiser 4.50BTNC - Compact over-ear

Sennheiser has added two bluetooth models to its popular HD 4 series: the HD 4.40BT and HD 4.50BTNC. The difference between the two models is in the noise-cancelling functionality. This is reflected in the letters NC in the name of the latter. We were allowed to try out the HD 4.50BTNC for a while.

Sennheiser 4.50BTNC


€ 199,-


Over-ear with noise canceling

Battery life:

Max. 25 hours

Frequency range:

18Hz – 22kHz


113 dB


To buy: 7 Score 70

  • Pros
  • Many control buttons
  • Insulating ear cushions
  • NoiseGard
  • Negatives
  • App adds little


The Sennheiser 4.50BTNC are compact over-ear headphones. Despite the larger ear cups and thick ear cushions, the headphones give a slim impression. The new closed over-ear from Sennheiser is clearly designed for on the go: it is foldable and comes with a fairly sturdy storage bag. Like many other Sennheiser headphones, the HD 4.50BTNC has a cable that you can securely attach to the headphones using a twist system. This way, the cable does not fly out of the headphones immediately when voltage is applied to it.

Also read: Tips for finding the best headphones

This seemed useful to me, but this system does create the risk that you will completely tear the cable if, for example, you run into the cable with your full weight. If you don't break the cable, the headphones will be ripped off your head, which doesn't seem pleasant to me either. You could save both your cable and headphones in such situations by simply having a cable that snaps off.

Also read: Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless - Premium enjoyment without a wire.

A big plus of the Sennheiser 4.50BTNC is the adjustability of the headband and the fact that the earcups can tilt quite generously. This made it very easy for me to find a very nice fit.

The size of the ear cups is good. By this I mean that the headphones fit over my ears without pinching, without compromising on compactness. Often the tips of your ears touch the inside of the ear cups with such headphones, because the manufacturer makes them too shallow. The cushions are thick, comfortable and well insulating. They are so insulating that it sometimes feels like your ears are sealed airtight. After a good hour they start to feel stuffy for me and I let my ears air.

For the rest, Sennheiser gives us the trusted build quality. The design consists mainly of sturdy plastic and rubber for the ear pads and headband. The material and the silver-and-black color give the 4.50BTNC a rather serious and almost businesslike impression.

Sound and Control

Fortunately, the serious look also brings seriously good sound. The sound of the HD 4.50BTNC fluctuates between quite neutral and a slight emphasis on the lower frequencies. This gives the headphones a slightly sultry sound. This is probably also partly due to the highly insulating ear pads of the headphones in combination with the closed sound box.

The Sennheiser 4.50BTNC is equipped with NoiseGard, Sennheiser's own active noise-cancelling technology, which you can activate with the buttons on the right earcup. The operation of this is a bit strange, since it changes the moment you switch from wireless to a wired connection. When using the wired headphones, turn on noise canceling with the power button, while in wireless mode, turn on both volume buttons at the same time. You get used to it, but it's still confusing.

Also read: Sennheiser Flex 5000 - A little too far ahead of its time.

The buttons on the headphones allow you to answer calls and control your music: play, pause, select next, select previous and even fast forward and backward. We miss this functionality with many headphones and is an important plus.


Sennheiser also has an app that allows you to tweak the sound of your headphones. You can download CapTune in the App Store for iOS and in the Play Store for Android. The app serves as a separate music app, allowing you to play local music and access your Tidal account. That's it. No Spotify. We understand that Sennheiser wants to focus on the higher segment and music lovers with the HD-4 series, but they make the app useless for a large audience by not processing Spotify in the app.

If you have local music on your bluetooth device or have a Tidal subscription, it is fun to play with the app. You can choose from multiple equalizer presets or create and save your own. The app doesn't really add much more, but it's a nice extra.


The Sennheiser 4.50BTNC are very solid headphones. The sound is pleasant and the ear cushions are so insulating that active noise canceling is not necessarily necessary for me. The 4.40BT without noise cancellation is 50 euros cheaper, which makes us prefer it over the 4.50BTNC of 200 euros. Nevertheless, 200 euros for the Sennheiser 4.50BTNC isn't much when you consider the quality you get in return, especially if you think noise canceling is important - that's fine. The many operating options in combination with the comfortable over-ear cushions make the headphones an excellent choice for music lovers.

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