PROS / The lightweight design won't constrict your head, and the ear cups are plush and comfortable.
CONS / Only 16 hours of battery life is less than other models, which can last up to 50 hours.
VERDICT / The superior sound quality and the comfortable design will allow you to listen effortlessly and quietly.
When searching for the best noise-cancelling headphones, batteries, noise reduction and comfort are some of the best indicators of quality. Unlike simple noise isolating headphones, a battery-powered noise cancellation feature like that of the Sennheiser PXC 450s more effectively blocks outside noises from interfering with your music listening session. Up to 23 decibels of sound blockage in the 450s keeps annoying conversations and street noises at a minimum. The 450s' overall sound quality, noise-cancelling technology and lightweight, luxurious design earn this set our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
Noise reducing headphones not only need to block noise, they also need to sound good doing it. With an 8-28,000 hertz frequency, they will allow you to hear every note in crystal-clear detail. Although human hearing only ranges from 20-20,000 hertz, the excess bass and treble will only enhance your listening experience. The 40mm drivers also help produce a wider soundscape for each and every track. Like others in the top ten noise-cancelling headphones, the Sennheiser 450s cancel outside noises up to 23 decibels. This means you won't be able to hear people talking around you. The 150 ohms impedance level is pretty decent, and won't suck too much life out of the battery of your music device.
Batteries are a major contributing factor in noise reduction headphones. Long life, simple charging or swapping out, and overall ease of use can make or break your listening experience. There are pros and cons when it comes to integrated batteries and AAA batteries. With integrated batteries you never have to worry about replacement, and you charge the headphones like you would your phone. However, they only have a limited number of recharging cycles and are more expensive to replace than AAA batteries in the long run. Also, if you're on a plane or car and can't find a wall outlet to charge, AAA batteries are the way to go.
The 450s are AAA battery-powered noise blocking headphones. Although you are provided with two, the Sennheiser 450s only require 1 AAA battery for the noise-cancelling feature. One battery can last more than 16 hours, and when it runs out you can just pop in a new one. Passive play is also an option for these easy-to-use noise-cancelling headphones. When the batteries run out, the design of the ear cups helps keep your music isolated for extended listening enjoyment.
A remote is a necessary accessory if you want to easily change the track or volume. The volume controls are easy to use and even include a TalkThrough feature, letting you pause the noise-cancelling technology to temporarily hear outside noises like in-flight announcements.
For sound-cancelling headphones to be effective, certain design aspects need to be in place. The over-ear, closed back design naturally keeps music in and street noise out. Coupled with battery-powered noise-cancelling technology, this design acts like a seal around your ear for the best sound reduction possible. Since the ear cups sit so tightly on your ears, comfort is a key concern if long-term wear is in your future. This set weighs 8.5 ounces, so no matter how long you listen, they won't feel heavy.
For easy storage, the Sennheiser 450s fold and pack into the included carrying case. Primarily designed for travel, the single-sided detachable cable stays out of the way when you're holding bags and scanning airline tickets or napping on the train.
Help & Support
When it comes to support, Sennheiser has you covered. The list of options on the website is impressive. You can access FAQs, software downloads and online manuals if you're searching for quick solutions. If you need to talk to someone directly, contact Sennheiser by phone, an email or an online repair request. These noise cancellation headphones are covered by a two-year warranty, much longer than other good noise-cancelling headphones we've reviewed. The one downside to Sennheiser's support system is the lack of an online chat feature, but in our experience, email response is almost as fast.
Easy-to-use noise-cancelling headphones are a hot commodity, and the Sennheiser 450s lead the pack. With some of the best features such as volume control, TalkThrough technology and a single-sided cord, the 450s keep traveling with headphones simple and trouble-free. You are in control when it comes to noise-cancelling technology. When you want more or less, the pause button, battery-powered noise reduction and plush ear cups are all at your fingertips. Never compromise quality for quiet again; the Sennheiser 450s can do both, and well. With a frequency of 8-28,000 hertz and a 40mm driver, these headphones create a colorful soundstage for any musical genre. Overall, the 450s excel in qualities seen, heard and completely silent.