Step up to great wireless sound with the new HD 458BT from Sennheiser. Thanks to a winning combination of superior sound quality, advanced Bluetooth 5.0 technology, and an excellent 30-hour battery life, this versatile wireless headset is a companion for enjoying better audio. Whether listening to a podcast or on the go with your favorite song, you can count on the new HD 458BT to be your ultimate companion for wireless audio – whatever you listen to.
Active Noise Cancelling
Active noise cancellation for uninterrupted listening pleasure
Superior Sound Quality
Superior wireless sound with deep dynamic bass and high-quality Bluetooth 5.0 codec support including AAC and AptX™ with AptX™ Low Latency to keep audio perfectly in sync with on-screen action when watching videos.
30-hour battery life with Active Noise Cancelling and Bluetooth actived and USB-C connection for fast charging
Crafted from high-quality materials for outstanding durability with a minimalist design
Intuitive controls and microphone for music and call control including a dedicated Voice Assistant button for Siri and Google Assistant
The free Sennheiser Smart Control App (available on Apple & Android devices), with selectable sound modes, allows you to tailor the sound experience to your travel playlist. Dedicated podcast mode that optimizes the intelligibility of podcasts, audio books, and other speech content.
HD 458BT Wireless Headphones
Quick Guide & Safety Guide
USB-C charging cable
Noise Cancelling (Active)
Maximum Wireless Range
Battery Charge Time
Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
HD 458BT Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (HD 458BT Exclusive)
Sennheiser was the brand that started me down the road to becoming an audiophile. Their HD280PRO headphones were the starting point into a journey that spiraled through countless further headphones, amplifiers, a resurgence of CDs, lossless audio codecs, and more. I still reach for a set of Sennheiser cans when I want to really listen to some music, and now it seems they want me to reach for one of their products when I need a bluetooth headset, too. The HD450BT’s are as well-rounded a set of bluetooth headphones I can fathom, knocking it out of the park where audio quality is concerned, but a few small issues both personal and objective give me pause.
A disclaimer - headphones are a tough item to review when comfort and sound are the two major factors that influence the buying decision. Though things like frequency response can be measured, sensations of comfort and sound are extremely subjective. My impressions will be different from someone else’s, and as such I would recommend finding an avenue where you can sample these headphones, such as in-store at Best Buy, before buying them.
- Physical Impressions
One of the first things I noticed after unboxing the headphones is that the earpads are not sized as expected. Marketed as an “over-the-ear” set of headphones, the diameter of the pads are over an inch shorter than Sennheiser’s wired over-the-ear offerings, and thus fit much more like a set of “on-ear” headphones as a result. This is a very odd design or marketing choice since true over-ear headphones disperse their clamping force around the ear and need less pressure to seal off sound for passive noise canceling, while the HD450BTs press onto the ears.
The biggest drawback from an on-ear design is that extended comfort is difficult to achieve, at least in my case. I couldn’t wear these headphones for more than an hour or two before I had to take a break. Even though foam inside the pads is very soft, and the leather padding equally forgiving, I just couldn’t find a position that was comfortable after the first half-hour. Your experience may vary greatly, however - my head and ears are on the larger side with my preferences formed from years of wearing over-ear headphones.
Fortunately, the headset is reasonably lightweight without feeling cheap. There’s just the right amount of heft here that makes it feel like a premium device without it weighing your head down, and the clamping force is enough that it won’t slip off your ears while walking or turning your head.
- Headset Controls
All of the buttons on the HD450BT are on the right earphone and can be thumb-operated. The power button serves multiple functions depending on the length of time it’s held, including noise cancellation toggle and pairing mode. The volume rocker is easy enough to use, with a physical nub on one end to signify volume up, and a “digital assistant” button triggers Google Assistant when connected to Android phones and Siri when connected to iOS ones. The media and call buttons are set on a spring-loaded rocker with a push-click, and I found this the most troublesome to use both in that the center press (play/pause) usually also resulted in a slip where I pushed either direction and the playlist skipped forward or back accordingly.
Needless to say there’s a learning curve with the button layout, but because the media buttons double as call controls, I found myself continually pressing play/pause expecting my music player to resume from my phone’s home screen but instead it would act as a call control by default and dial the last person I spoke with. This functionality occurred on PC as well, where pressing play/pause didn’t hook to the media app first, and instead tried to place a call on my default messenger. Not sure if this is the headset’s fault or issues with my own configuration.
- Active Noise Canceling (ANC)
The selling point for bluetooth headphones in this price range is noise-canceling. Active Noise Canceling, or ANC, uses microphones on both sides of the headset and a small onboard computer to listen to noises in the surrounding environment and play an opposite, offsetting tone inside the headset at the same time, causing a sensation where the listener hears little to none of the noise. The quality of noise cancelation depends greatly on the quality of the microphones and algorithms used in the headset, and Sennheiser’s are among the better I’ve tried.
The headphones are able to cancel out a lot of droning background noise (such as HVAC systems, engines of trucks driving by the office) and quiet down abrupt noises (such as typing on a loud keyboard) by about half. It’s a solid performance all around.
- Sound Quality
Sennheiser’s reputation for high-quality audio makes its mark here - the HD450BT’s sound great all around when ANC is enabled. These sound very close to their HD380 PRO headphones, a highly-regarded set of studio monitors, though perhaps lacking just a tiny bit in power comparatively (as is expected when comparing a wired headphone to a bluetooth one). These get quite loud as you approach max volume, and I didn’t pick up a hint of distortion on the way.
The signature trait of Sennheiser headphones is replicated here just about perfectly - bass is incredibly clear and balanced so that they neither “boom” nor “punch.” Competing headphones in the lower price brackets will assuredly have one of those profiles to their sound, but here you get just the bass as you expect it. Midrange and treble are also well balanced to the point where the headphones seem to have a pretty flat response curve overall. Small adjustments to equalizer settings are all you need to dial in your preferred sound balance, since these start so neutral already.
Sadly, the bass falls off by a considerable margin when ANC is disabled, resulting in tinny audio that doesn’t sound all too great for most kinds of music. It’s probably better for calls, podcasts, and TV shows at that point.
- Microphone & Call Sidetone
Speaking of things involving a lot of talking, the HD450BT’s biggest weakness is its microphone or set of microphones it uses for calls. While I expected just passable sound quality since voice microphones are difficult to get right when the microphone is by the ears rather than by the mouth, the audio is still not particularly great, with those I called all noticing my voice sounding hollow, low-frequency, and somewhat distant.
But the worst part about making calls on the HD450BT’s is by far the sidetone, or the little bit of vocal feedback that goes from microphone to headset to compensate for the wearer’s ears being covered. Most headsets simulate this just fine, but in the Sennheiser’s case, the sidetone volume is both too loud and has a delay. This results in a voice echo that’s incredibly distracting and irritating, and I found no way to disable or adjust the sidetone. I haven’t experienced this on any of the other headsets I own, wired or wireless, and it frustrates me to the point where I found myself wishing I had the time to turn off bluetooth when I answer a call and just use the handset rather than dealing with the echo.
- Range & Battery Life
Connection range on the headset is very strong. I left my phone on one end of the house and walked all over searching for where it would drop, but the connection held solid everywhere I went and it wasn’t until I stepped outside and got about 20 feet from the door that I finally lost connection. An impressive performance - I’m sure the bluetooth antenna extends into the headband.
Battery life is similarly impressive. Although my time in testing has been limited to only a few hours of use so far, the headset reported 95% battery remaining after several hours of listening with ANC enabled. I have no doubt that the headset will hit Sennheiser’s rated 20-25 hours of battery life estimate, and when it does need to recharge it uses the familiar, ubiquitous USB-C port to get back to full in just 2 hours from a properly-spec’d charger.
- Bottom Line
Though I’m not a fan of on-ear headphones, Sennheiser’s HD450BT’s deliver great sound, strong noise cancelation, and a bevy of features that earn their spot on the shelf next to the high-end headsets. The weak microphone, sidetone issue, and frustrating controls detract from an otherwise solid headset that’s well-built and has a long battery life. I just wish they were proper over-ear headphones so I could wear them comfortably for a longer period of time, but if on-ears are the style that you prefer for your headphones, then the HD450BT’s come recommended.
Overall these are great noise canceling headphones with many features that are very comfortable to wear. My initial impression from opening the box was that the headphones appeared to be well built and were designed for comfort. Included with the head phones is a carrying case, an usb-c charging cord, and pleasantly, an auxiliary cord. The carrying case isn’t impressive, seems very cheap, but I was very happy with the aux cord and the functional length of it.
Prior to using the headphones I made sure to charge them for the 2 hours required for a full charge. I have had the head phones for nearly two weeks and still haven’t had to recharge them yet. Most days I’ve only used them for an hour or two, but a couple days have included 3-4 hours of use.
The headphones are flexible and fit perfectly when worn. I had no problems connecting to my android phone or iPhone upon the first use with each device. The sound quality from the headphones is great. Everything sounded crisp and clear. The noise cancellation is excellent, although I couldn’t tell much of a difference from when the active noise cancellation was on or off. With being so limited on hearing my surroundings, I’m not sure I would ever wear these while out running or exercising, but I didn’t intend to wear them for that. (I prefer my earbuds for running outside.)
The buttons on the right ear piece are quick to get use to, and are perfect in sensitivity in that they aren’t too sensitive to touch but also aren’t so stiff that they’re difficult to use. The microphone feature of the head phones seems to work great as well. I took a couple phone calls while wearing the head phones, and each time the person I was talking to didn’t mention any problems with hearing me. (I was worried that there would be too much background noise in the call because the microphone seemed to pick up a lot of sound; which I could hear since the microphone also lets you hear yourself speak.)
What I like the most about these headphones is the noise cancellation. A couple days I wore them for 3-4 hours while I tackled tasks around the house. One day I wore them while extensively cleaning inside, and another day I wore them while power washing the exterior. Instead of dealing with the loud noise of the vacuum and power washer, I blocked out the noise and listened to music. It made the tasks much more pleasant to tackle, and the headphones are so comfortable that wearing them for the 3-4 hours resulted in zero discomfort. Last, the range of the Bluetooth is impressive. While cleaning I left my phone in the kitchen and never lost connection, even when going outside, and while power washing I was able to leave my phone in a dry area without losing the connection.
If you’re looking for an excellent pair of noise cancellation headphones, with multiple features that are super comfortable and reasonably priced, then I would recommend trying these.
I am a member of Best Buy’s Technical Insider Network, TIN for short. Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews.
The 450BT sound is crisp, clean, and bright. So bright that I had to turn down the treble and boost the base in the Sennheiser application. The ANC reduces constant ambient noise, such as a computer fan, to a little more than half. Sounds such as typing, doors closing, or cars driving by is reduced by a little but not enough to make my listening experience truly immersive. Hands free calling works well. The people I spoke with over the phone did not realize I was wearing a wireless headset that did not have a dedicated microphone boom. The controls on the right ear cup are useful, well placed, and responsive while connected too my phone over Bluetooth. Only ANC is functional when connected over the included stereo cable. The headphones are attractive and low profile. You can get away with walking with these on the street without looking like a dork. Construction is plastic, light weight, with stiff cushioning. The ear cups can accommodate any size head up to 9 inches from ear to ear. The head band is flexible and is covered with soft padding. The ear cups are smaller than on other headphones I have used at this price point. I have two issues with these headphones. First, the ear cups are too small for my ears. I am forced to push my ears into the back of the ear cups and then fold the ear cups forward to towards the front of my head to get a correct fit. Second, the ear cup padding is very stuff. I have TMJ. The padding puts enough pressure on my jaw that I cannot wear these headphones for more than an hour without discomfort. Please read on for the details.
I started off with the K-Pop single “Pop/Stars” by K/DA, Madison Beer & (G)I-DLE. The very first thing I noticed was how weak the bass was and how bright the highs were. I immediately loaded up Sennheiser’s control app, boosted the base, and dropped the treble. This evened out the sound and brought it more in line with my personal tastes. I followed up with Momoland’s, “Boom Boom”. The base was punchy and fun. Next is a little-known track, “Train Wreck of Electro Swing” from the video game A Hat in Time. This piece if electronica and base heavy. Every sound was crisp, clear, and the base was punchy. I then switched over to Mega Death’s, “Holy Wars… Punishment Due” and “In my Darkest Hour”. The 450BT’s did a great job of representing the guitars, drums, bass guitar, and the vocals. These headphones held their own at all volume levels. Finally, I threw some classical to get a feel for how lengthy homework sessions may go. For this I chose Bach’s “Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins and Orchestra BMW 1043: III.” The violins high pitched violins were distinct and present. The 450BT’s did a good job of representing the orchestra in the background. Overall, I think these headphones did a good of reproducing a rather complicated piece of music.
Setting up the earphones was easy. The very first thig I did was make sure they charged for two hours. Holding the power button for a few seconds put the headphones into sync mode. My iPhone had no issues picking up the 450BT and adding it to the Bluetooth wireless device list. A few seconds later I was listening to my favorite iTunes. I also set these up for use with my Windows 10 laptop. The headphones did protest a bit jumping connection from the iPhone to the computer over Bluetooth. The solution was to turn the iPhone’s Bluetooth off. I have other Bluetooth enabled headphones that swap easily between devices. The 450BT is inconsistent. I never have issues with the iPhone. It is switching devices that give me issues.
Sennheiser’s Smart Control app allows for a single configuration item, the Equalizer. The 450BT allows for three adjustments: Bass, Mid, and Treble. There are two presets: Movie and Neutral. You can adjust the three sliders to your personal taste and then save that as a new preset. Personally, I think Sennheiser should have taken a little extra effort here to add a few other presets such as Rock, Jazz, and Classical. The app also reports the 450BT’s battery level and firmware version.
First, the good. The button layout on the right ear cup will take a little practice to get used to. Everything works as advertised. The power button performs triple duty with the Bluetooth sync activation and the noise cancelation, or ANC. Then there is the volume control rocker button, forward/skip/pause switch, and the voice assistance switch. The right ear cup also houses two microphones, the stereo jack, and the USB charging port. The buttons are easily accessible, have good travel when pressed, and are responsive. Pressing any of the buttons immediately activate the corresponding feature on my phone. The same is true with my Windows 10 laptop. However, unlike my iPhone, I can only control the features available through the app I am using. For example, I cannot skip from one YouTube video to another using the skip forward/back features on the right ear cup. Finally, the only 450BT feature you can control while using the headphone jack is the ANC.
The headphones are light weight plastic construction. Even the extension arms and ear cup holders are plastic. The ear cups are soft vinyl covering stiff foam. The head band is stiff enough to hold its shape and flexible enough to allow for larger heads. The head band expands to accommodate a space of about 9 inches from ear to ear. The ear cups are also on a swivel along the Y axis to allow for use with big hair or hats. You can get about 7 inches of clearance from the middle of the ear cup to the top of the head band in the right situation. The ear cups also swivel about 10 degrees forward and back to accommodate different head shapes. Finally, they have a little “L” and “R” molded into the decorative molding on the head band. They are hard to see unless you are looking straight at them. The controls are on the right ear cup.
Why I cannot recommend these:
The ear cups are too small. The padding is too stiff. The opening is 1-inch wide front to back and 2 ½ inches long from top to bottom. A child will probably do fine with the size and fit. Certainly not your average teenager or adult. If Sennheiser hallowed out the earcups then the comfort issues would vanish. As designed, the padding partially covers the speakers, forces the ear into an unnatural position, and puts undue pressure directly to my jaw’s joint which causes fatigue and pain. To illustrated the point, I load my ears starting from the back of my head, catch the back edge of my ears inside the ear cup, and then fold the earcups over my ears until the earcups rest flat against my head. The tips of my ears touch the speakers. I could wear these flat against my ears, however, these are marketed as over the ear and not on the ear. Also, wearing them flat is equally uncomfortable.
I gave these to my youngest. This is most likely the age group these headphones are marketed towards. She gave me similar feedback to what I wrote above. She does not want to wear these headphones. All the positives of these headphones become irrelevant if no one in my household is willing to use them.
I own other Sennheiser headphones and am very satisfied with them. The 450BT is not one of them. Human comfort needs to be front and center for headphones at this price point. And then everything else.
Thank you for reading this review.
Sennheiser is one of those recognizable names that speaks quality. I find it no different with these HD 450BT headphones. There are lots of features that make these a great value and one that I would recommend to others for a great listening experience.
The build quality on these headphones seems to be top notch. They are minimalistic and attractive looking headphones. They are light weight, yet very sturdy. They do fold down to a pretty small compact size. The hinges so far seem to be well built and I am not worried about them failing or breaking any time soon like I have seen on other folding headphones. These have a nicely padded headband and soft ear cups. Overall, these are very comfortable to wear for long listening sessions. I would note that my ears did start to get a bit warm after a few hours, but it was not enough for me to have to take them off and stop listening.
Sound quality on these is fairly good and you do have the option to adjust the EQ settings in the app. They have a range of 18Hz-22kHz and a Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of .3% which seems to be a good standard for these. I did feel the need to adjust the EQ settings right away, as out of the box, they lacked some brightness on the high ends. You can also create custom EQ settings so you can easily switch depending on the kind of music you are listening to. These do utilize Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and along with a closed back design, works very well for sound isolation.
Some of the great features on these are USB-C Charging – full charge in about 2 hours and an outstanding 30 hour battery life claim. I used these on a full charge for 3 full 8 hour days of work and they have not died yet. Simply awesome! These do come with a physical 3.5mm headphone cable for hardwired connection in case you do run out of battery. These do have a built in mic and the ability to be used for phone calls. I found the phone call quality was clear and I was able to use these for calls while working from home.
There are a few things to take note of. The buttons are not labeled at all and I kept having to reference the user guide to use them until I was able to remember what buttons did what and where they were when I was wearing the headphones. These utilize Bluetooth 5.0 so be sure that what you are trying to connect them to is compatible. Other than that, these are a great pair of what I would consider mid-range headphones. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these to anyone looking for a nice pair of feature rich, nice sounding headphones.
The Sennheiser HD 450BT come well packaged. Opening the box you find the headset, storage case, AUX cable (2.5mm one side and 3.5mm the other side), USB-C cable, safety guide and quick start guide. You have everything you need to get started. As always, the first thing I do is give the headset a full charge. According to the manual the charge will last 30 hours. I have used it at least 10 hours and the charge is still full. According to the manual it takes 2 hours for a full charge.
I found the quick start guide not as easy to follow as it could be. So here is a rundown of the functions on the right headset from front to back (see picture):
1. Power and Bluetooth pairing button. Hold for 4 seconds.
2. Receptor for the AUX cable 2.5mm side. Make sure you insert it all the way and turn to lock. I did not the first time and the sound is not great unless inserted all the way and locked. A cool feature actually to keep it secure.
3. USB-C cable connector.
4. Volume adjustment
5. Slide button. Listening to music: Press 1x press to pause a song. Forward to skip to the next song. Backward to skip to the previous song. Using the phone: 1x press to answer or hang up a call. Hold for 2 seconds to hold the call.
6. This has two functions as well. This will enable or disable active noise cancelling. This will also activate voice assistant (Siri, Google, etc.)
Pairing the headphones was simple. All of the buttons are on the right headphone. The most forward button is held for about 4 seconds to pair the headphones. You will hear the voice tell you “power on – connected” every time you turn them on.
Downloading the Sennheiser Smart Control app is recommended. With all electronics, you should update the firmware immediately. There are often new features or bug fixes in the firmware upgrade. My headphones came with v5.0 and I updated to v5.4 using the app. It took about 8 minutes to update the firmware. You can also set the sounds the way you like it using the equalizer feature. There are 2 choices: 1) use a slider to pick your EQ setting, or 2) use the traditional bands to pick you EQ setting. Now on to the listening experience.
I find the headphones to be well balanced. The highs are crisp and clear and not to “tinny”. The bass is solid and punchy but not overbearing. Some bass junkies may want more bass. With the EQ I am sure everyone will find their perfect sound.
I used the headphones for making some calls. The microphone is very sensitive and picks up your voice as well as other sounds. I was told they could hear me very well with no feedback or distortion. I found their voice sounded kind of hollow like I was in a large room.
You can adjust the headband for a comfortable fit. These are snug on the head by default. I listened for about 3 hours straight before I noticed any uncomfortableness. For me, over the head headphones are rarely comfortable for long stretches. These were more comfortable than others I have used.
With the Sennheiser name, you know you are getting a quality product. The build quality is solid as well as the sound and features. You can use them for phone calls but the sound was not as great as other headphones I have used. I rate these 4 stars due to the calling experience. From a music listening perspective they are awesome.
This was my first Sennheiser Headphone and I was really impressed by how good this Sennheiser HD 458BT sounds at very good sale price plus the quality of this headphone is really good and it has its own app which is really cool!
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
I would recommend this to a friend
Noise cancellation, Sound quality
Listening to music
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
A set that doesn't get in the way of music
Noise cancellation, Sound quality
Listening to music
I received this pair free to test and review.
If I had to pick one word to describe this headset that word would be, effortless. Everything on this set and the app are intuitive and easy to navigate.
Physically these are very comfortable. They sit firm on ear and over the head without any movement during natural head movement. I can wear these for hours without any discomfort with our without my glasses.
Audio is great across the board. I was able to pick up all the tiny nuances in my music that other sets miss. The volume doesn't break apart at high volumes. Noise cancelling works very well. I could barely hear the hum of my air conditioner unit sitting 5 feet away. At the time of writing this review I'm actual using them and there's nothing but great quality audio coming through.
I love the equalizer UI in the phone app. You can adjust settings the traditional way using sliders for individual ranges or slide a point across a XY axis grid. The later being my preferred method for quick toggling for when I want quick adjustments for music across different genres. It's something that I find myself using a lot because it's so easy to set.
Build quality is nice. Buttons don't feel cheap and materials seem like quality parts with no fear of early wear out. They fit very well in the given bag with enough room for the cords.
Usually I don't wear over the ear headset as a daily driver, but I am using these pair almost everyday, that's how noninvasive they are. They don't come between me and great quality music.
A:AnswerThe specs for these headphones, in the "Connectivity" section say that it can connect 2 devices simultaneously. My hope is to have these for my father and my father-in-law, who are both hard of hearing, but have their cell phones ring thru into their ear, and then be able to take a call. I believe Sony's WH-1000-XM4 will do this as I spoke to the Sony presales support. Sennheiser support said this model would also swap between bluetooth connections for my objective.
The issue for me, and the only way I can determine this, is to test them so I'm buying both to test. The user interface is critical, because if you must navigate thru menus on a small smartphone....that process would likely be too frustrating for very-seniors (95 and 101!). We will see!
A:AnswerPersonally, I would go to a Best Buy with a Magnolia Warehouse (if there is one close to you) and try on the headphones. They are reviewed to be a tighter fit on several sites, I bought them to try and while they sound great, they quickly hurt ME to wear them. The headphones do come with a 3.5mm adapter and I believe all airlines use that, now.