I recently joined the editorial team of NXT Singapore as a freelance writer and will be contributing to the monthly publication. NXT Magazine is available at newsstands in Singapore and digital magazines from Magzter. Naturally, I get to test more products to write for the magazine. In this article, I want to briefly share about the 2 wireless over-ear headphones by Sennheiser.
The HD 4 series headphones are the latest announced during the CES 2017 in January. The 4.40 and 4.50 are identical in design, only differentiated by the metal accent colours. The 4.50 is in bright silver while the 4.40 appears in muted dark silver. The ear cushion stitches are also slightly different, with the HD 4.50 appearing more premium.
The 4.40 retails at S$239, and the 4.50 retails at S$299. The S$60 extra gets you ANC and a better carry case. Both delivers 25 hours play time over battery, and supports wired listening without battery.
There are stark difference in the audio quality. Let me describe the 4.50 first.
HD 4.50 BTNC Wireless
The HD 4.50 delivers satisfying audio balance. The bass plays out prominently without too boomy, delivering sustained bass notes for the low register support. The mids add character to the upper bass without too much bloat. The treble is clear and although slightly veiled by the more aggressive mids and lows, still affords clarity and sparkle, while not sounding brittle. Sound staging is sufficiently tight. The active noise canceling is effective in reducing overall noise together with the passive noise isolation from the ear cushions. It does not kill noise as extreme as Bose, but it is more effective than most headphones in the market. The PXC 550 is still slightly better Though, but it also costs almost double.
HD 4.40 BT Wireless
The HD 4.40 delivers more bass, brighter treble, more forward sounding. Simply put, it is a more enjoyably dynamic headphones for the modern genres. They sound better than 4.50 under quiet environment, but the ANC on the 4.50 improves audio details in noisy environment, wheras with 4.40, I am forced to increase the volume to get the same details.
When listening with direct cables, both headphones sounded less dynamic, while mids are more forward, due to absence of internal amplifier.
Audio wise, I prefer HD 4.40 BT. It sounds livelier, more exciting, more enjoyable. Get the HD 4.50 BTNC only if you must have ANC and compromise the slightly less aggressive audio quality, which in itself is quite commendable, especially if you like a more faithful sound production.
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