So you all know that we love hardware and it doesn’t take much to convince us to search for something new, and that is exactly what did. We get tons of questions from our readers about headphones and we figured what the heck lets go get some to review. TLR has a few sets of headphones but decided to pass down her Skull Candy Hesh 2 which still sound great and arguably better than the Hesh 3. I usually have 2 sets of earbuds on me, the JBL Everest 110 GA and a set of wired Klipsch earbuds. My goto on-ear Monster Ntune headphone broke across the headband, A common problem that monster used to have across their headphone line. All that said it looked like we’re going after on-ear / over-ear designs.
We at TLR know these aren’t the best headphones ever. Sound is a subjective topic, we all have our preferred listening experience. TLR prefers a more bass-heavy experience while I prefer a much more refined balanced sound. I say this every time I review headphones, ALWAYS buy them someplace with a great return/ exchange policy in case you don’t like the sound.
The last thing I want to mention is we decided not to go online and just order headphones. I know we could get some that sound just as good or possibly better at the same price but we wanted to find something local so that our Readers could run out and likely find a set with minimal effort. We chose to go to the local Bestbuy, now onto the review.
Onto The Review
TLR and I are huge Sennheiser fans, TLR’s gaming headset is Sennheiser GAME ONE, so we knew that we’d likely be leaving with a set Sennheisers. TLR chose to give the HD 4.40 a try, the reason for the 4.40 vs the more expensive 4.50 is they sound the same. The difference is the 4.50 have active noise canceling and the 4.40 does not. Something to note is the noise canceling is not as good as Sony, but the higher volume level you won’t really be hearing many if any outside noises. If you’re going be spending a lot of time at a relatively low volume AND the environment is really noisy then maybe the 4.50 that is near twice the price is for you. BUT before you pull the trigger…read the review.
The overall first impressions are pretty good. The package is nice as you expect. Inside the box, you’ll find the headphones which are black and plasticky. The build quality is good enough, the black is matte so not a huge fingerprint magnet but Sennheiser didn’t do anything design-wise to make them stand out from the crowd. At a quick glance, you could be excused for thinking these were a pair of Sony or JBL’s but I digress. The 3.5mm cable is detachable which is a huge plus… however someone, somewhere thought it was a good idea to make the cable proprietary on the headphone side (facepalm).
Why Sennheiser, just why. Ugh! -Jules B.
When it comes to controls and features the Sennheiser HD 4.40BT is fairly stacked. The standout feature to me is the NFC pairing. All you need to do is turn on the headphone to ensure NFC is enabled on the phone and tap them together, it’s that easy. As for physical buttons, there is a power button next to the power indicator L.E.D, next to that is the multifunction button/switch that allows play/pause when pressed and skips track forward or backward when its slide. The rocker button in the middle is the volume control followed by the headphone jack if you want to go wired and lastly the micro USB charging port.
On the side of the box is the ad for the CapTune app which you can use to adjust the sound profile of the HD headphones and after listening to them in the store I determined that was the only way that I’d consider them. The 2 songs the display demoed really lacked mids and I really couldn’t tell if it was the songs or headphones. The notes and sounds that I heard were super clean so we optimistically picked them up to run a proper test.
Spoiler Alert: I picked up a pair of Beats EP headphones as well, I’ll be reviewing them very soon.
In the office, we put the Sennheiser HD 4.40BT through its paces. We played various songs from different genres from rock to rap. One of the songs that stood out was
The sound starts off really crisp and clean, with drums, guitar, cowbells, and maracas. You can tell that some audio engineers at Sennheiser put in the time when they created the drivers. However, when Bob Marley starts singing… Sigh, the experience goes downhill, big time. While the drivers used in the headphones are what I expect from Sennheiser it is obvious the tuning was done on 5% Friday… You know the Friday you go to work and only give 5%, yes they sound that bad. It’s like Bob is singing through a toilet paper roll.
I know what I’m saying sounds harsh but I know from a technical aspect that the speakers are amazing because in certain ranges with certain instruments the sound is so clear it brings a tear to my eye and seconds later I’m left confused. It is like the Sennheiser HD 4.40BT are 2 completely different headphones. I know you guys by now and I know you wondering about other songs, and I’m sad to say the story was again the same. The only genre that may sound well “could” be Jazz maybe.
Long story short I can’t in good faith recommend the Sennheiser HD 4.40BT unless you can easily exchange them or get a refund. I’ve provided our affiliate link to Amazon although the hopes are that you can find them locally.
As for the rating, these are a big bowl of NOPE! for me.