Headphones that offer noise cancellation, great audio quality and clear calling abilities have suddenly become a necessity and are no longer a luxury. With the lockdown making working from our small, often noisy, homes a way of life, more of us will have to spend our money on getting better audio capabilities. This is where the new Sennheiser HD450BT wireless headphones suddenly become relevant.
The Sennheiser HD450BT have an over the ear design with soft ear cups and headband. The headset can fold into itself in case you want to carry it in your backpack, not that we are going anywhere these days. The controls are all on the right earcup, packed one after the other in a slightly confusing arch. The power button also switches on the noise cancellation, volume controls and navigation are in a toggle and voice assistant is another button. Quite a lot to remember.
The design makes the headphones very comfortable to be worn over a longer period of time. However, it does get a bit hot inside the earcups in the Adelphi heat. But the foam ensures that after a while you forget that you are wearing headphones. Also, even before you switch on the headphones you realise that the cups can keep a lot of the noise away.
Over the past few weeks, I have in a way become addicted to noise cancelling. My part of Delhi is so quiet that you can hear babies cry in faraway apartment blocks and an empty metro train going about its pointless trip sounds like a scene from Speed. But I still need the noise cancelling to be able to cut off the cacophony of home, all soft but still noises we are not used to while working. The Sennheiser HD450BT has very good noise cancellation, especially when you consider that this is not really a high-end option like we are used to from Sennheiser. It takes away most of the drones like that of the fan and my rickety old AC, but I can still faintly hear my wife go about her Zoom calls and my son watch Avengers for the n-th time.
The audio quality is as good as you would expect from Sennheiser — rich, deep and still precise. Farid Farjad’s violin surrounds wraps your mind, transporting you on a Persia carpet skipping over your memories. And when you switch to a Suresh Wadkar singing Seene Mein Jalan, you let his sharp vocal prod you think about our present predicament. But then you are also wondering why the amazing song from the 1980s did not have better recording quality. The HD450BT is perfectly balanced, not overpowering it either its bass or the highs. As Landon Austin and Megan Davies play Heroes, you hear every note of their guitars, just the way they recorded.
The HD450BT offers one-tap access to Siri and Google assistant. And it’s a great idea to just ask either of them to play a song that suddenly comes to your mind.The headphones can also be good for calls. But while making calls I realised the audio profile changing drastically, it is almost unnatural. While you can hear everything being said, it still feels like you are speaking from a lonely room. It sounds a bit better when you switch on the noise cancellation for the calls. However, the audio quality on the other side is quite good.
The battery lasts about 30 hours on a full charge and I did not have to charge the HD450BT for the week I used it. While this might not be a Bigg problem with everyone stuck at home, it will be huge once humans are back to travelling. You could technically go to New York and come back with all your inflight entertainment is taken care of on a single charge.
Priced Rs 14,990, the Sennheiser HD450BT is a good value for money headphones that offer top-end audio quality, noise cancellation and voice assistance. For those spending hours on conference calls, this seems like a great option for work from home and for the unwind later.
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