Product Review

Sennheiser PXC 450 Noise-Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones

Part I

November, 2007

Kris Deering



● Over the Ear
● Sensitivity: 108
   dB/mW at 1 kHz
● Weight: 8 Ounces
● MSRP: $449.95 USA;
   Includes Case, Audio
   Adapters, Batteries



Headphones aren't as simple as they used to be. When I was younger you had pretty much two kinds to choose from: small ear buds that fit in your ear, and big cans that would fit around them. Not much technology involved and the quality of the sound varied greatly depending on design and cost.

Nowadays there are quite a few advancements in headphones including noise cancellation and talk- through designs that allow you to participate in conversations without having to remove the phones from your ears.

Sennheiser has long been recognized as one of the better lifestyle headphone manufacturers out there. They've released products across all price ranges and styles from ear buds to studio monitor headphones.

Most of the friends I know that are DJs use Sennheiser exclusively due to their comfortable fit and good bass response.

For this review I received a pair of their new noise canceling over-ear headphones dubbed the PXC 450s. These are a larger design than most typical consumer headphones and more along the lines of what you'd see in a recording studio or on a DJ at a club. Each earpiece fits comfortably around the ear and offers plenty of padding, which works well, especially with extended wear.

The Package

I typically don't use headphones except on travel. I know that iPods are the "in" thing right now, but I generally don't wear mine around except when I jog in the morning or on business trips.  Since the PXC 450s are far too big for jogging, I only use them on plane rides during my business trips, or when I'm hanging out in the hotel room.  I've managed a flight from Seattle all the way to Atlanta with these headphones on and never once did I feel uncomfortable.

Before receiving these headphones I used a pair of Bose lifestyle over-ear headphones that were also very comfortable. But their padding wasn't quite as good, leaving the area around my ears sore after about an hour and a half or so. I could usually manage a full movie, but after that my head needed a break.

The Sennheisers are far more comfortable and more form fitting. The slanted design molds to the head far better, which helps a lot for extended wearing. The cups also swivel from the main headstrap, making them conform even more without feeling like your twisting the frame. The only downside I found to the design was my ears got warmer than I generally prefer. Not too distracting, but I noticed it nonetheless.

Included with the headphones are a carrying case, two connection adapters, and removable headphone cable. You also get a spare battery for the noise reduction function and built-in amplifier. The case is a tight weave design that offers some flex but is not a full hard case. The headphones swivel and fold in to allow for a perfect fit in the case. The case also has small loops to store the included items. There is an adapter for airplane headphone jacks; you know the annoying ones that require two prongs to actually get stereo sound out of them, and there is also a phono adapter for professional jacks like you'd find on most higher end stereo equipment.

One of the nicest features is the ability to remove the cable from the headphones, allowing you to wear them without a cable dangling; this is nice when you just want to take advantage of the noise canceling features of the headphones and not necessarily listen to something with them. You simply slide the adapter out of the bottom of the left earphone and store it in the case.

Go to Part II.

Copyright 2007 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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