For all of the headphone manufacturers that have products available today, only a handful have the distinction of offering quality, performance and value for money. Sennheiser is one such brand, with a wide product range that covers a wide range of prices from affordable to premium. It’s also among the older audio manufacturers around, having been in the business of audio manufacturing since 1945.
The latest product from Sennheiser that we’ve had a chance to review is the HD 4.40 BT headset. With an over-ear design focused on comfort, as well as wireless connectivity, these headphones offer convenience and ease of use. But at Rs 10,990, is the HD 4.40 BT worth the price? We find out in our review.
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Design and Specifications
The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT is light and easy to handle, thanks to its plastic build. However, this also means that it isn’t quite as solid as headsets that use metal, and indeed even the frame of the headphones is plastic. It never feels flimsy or weak, but then again similarly priced plastic headphones such as the Sony MDR-100AAP do feel better built than the HD 4.40 BT. The underside of the headband is soft-padded for additional comfort.
The light weight of the headset means that it’s extremely comfortable to wear for hours on end, and wireless connectivity ensures that you don’t have to worry about wires getting in the way. This makes it great for commuting and even office use, which is indeed what I primarily used the Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT for.
You get an ordinary adjusting mechanism, foam padded ear cups and wireless controls on the right side, to control the power and volume, plus skip to the next or previous track, or play / pause the music. There is also a 3.5mm jack for connecting the cable for wired battery-free listening, as well as a micro-USB port for charging. The sales package includes an auxiliary cable and micro-USB cable as well. The battery is rated to last up to 25 hours, and we got close to that amount of usage time from the headset. There’s also NFC connectivity for quick pairing.
Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Performance
While I did also test the headset with the cable for a brief period, most of my review is based on the wireless performance of the Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT. I had the headset paired to my OnePlus 3, playing through my collection of compressed and high-resolution audio. Focus tracks for the review were The Who’s Eminence Front and Nucleya’s Heer.
Starting with Eminence Front, I found the sound to be clean, focused and straightforward. As is usually the case with Sennheiser, the sonic signature leans towards neutrality, with very little additional emphasis given to bass and treble. Indeed, the mid-range sounded more pronounced on the headphones, with Pete Townshend’s smooth vocals sounding powerful and prominent. While this sonic signature may not appeal to listeners who prefer popular genres, it certainly suits listeners who have a wide range of genres in their music libraries, thanks to the versatility of the headphones to adapt to different types of music.
Listening to the more aggressive Heer showcased the ability of the headphones to get loud, and also to some extent the bass handling ability when the bass is given prominence, but it certainly doesn’t sound as exciting as on headphones that employ a typical V-shaped frequency curve. However, you do get a sense of openness, an immersive sound and a decent sound stage. It’s a clean sound that is inoffensive no matter what you’re listening to, and justifies the price of the Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT.
The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT doesn’t quite have the same sonic capabilities as a decent Sony or Bose headset, but it does get the basics for a feature-filled headset right. It’s comfortable, portable, has good battery life and can maintain a stable wireless connection, making it exactly what you need for listening while commuting or in crowded environments such as an office.
Priced at Rs 10,990, The HD 4.40 BT isn’t affordable by any means, but you do certainly get your money’s worth when it comes to performance and features. However, spending Rs 4,000 more will get you the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC, which is essentially the exact same headset but with added active noise cancellation, which will improve sonic isolation. However, if you’re strict about your budget and want a decent pair of wireless headphones at under Rs 12,000, the Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT is worth an audition.