What We Like
- A comfortable fit with padded earcups and a good headband.
- 25 hours of continuous playback is pretty fantastic.
- A versatile listening experience that can be customized to your taste.
What We Don’t Like
- Design is a little generic; not a whole lot of additional extras.
Sennheiser has become something of a gold standard when it comes to mid- to high-range audio equipment. Their headphones are often the yardstick by which we measure the competition, but can the HD 4.40BTs retain this quality?
Available only in black, it would be hard to call the HD 4.40BTs a paragon of innovative design. The overall effect is of a very standard look, slightly on the bulky side, that does not have much in the way of a unique aesthetic. But this is par for the course for Sennheiser for whom form tends to come secondary to function. Most of their product line is fairly understated in appearance, but you get the clear sense that this is an intentional move to allow them to focus their resources on performance rather than visual flair.
The ear cups are pretty large, and very well padded which makes for a comfortable fit. They also have a secondary use as passive noise cancellation which Sennheiser has not advertised at all with this model. But, let me tell you, the combination of a lot of padding and a large ear cup means you cut out a good deal of the background noise and can focus on the audio.
Although nothing to write home about, the design certainly manages to feel premium despite the mostly plastic building materials. This is a testament to Sennheiser’s careful, considered approach; they haven’t shelled out tons of money to innovate wildly in the design space, but have perfected the art of creating a ‘good enough for the job’ design which allows them the freedom to prioritize the internals.
Like their approach to design, Sennheiser is not big on extra (or, as they would probably consider them, ‘superfluous’) features.
Aside from a microphone for taking calls and talking to your digital assistant, the only other offering comes in the form of the standard, three button remote controls. These are pretty much a default at this price point, so it isn’t especially exciting. But, as you would hope, you are able to manage playback, skip tracks, and adjust the playback volume via these controls.
Not specific to this device but also worthy of a quick mention is Sennheiser’s CapTune app. This allows you to dig into some elements of customization so you can “design your own sound” by adjusting various elements of the EQ. As well as adjusting the general sound, you can create and save a number of sound profiles. This is a nice feature, and allows you to optimize your listening experience based on the environment you happen to be in.
Connectivity—as you would expect from a headphone at this price point—was an entirely simple, painless process. Initial pairing was near instant, and from there we experienced no detectable audio issues like skipping, lag, or any kind of distortion. The range is good, and definitely extends beyond that which you are likely to require on a day to day basis.
With a clear emphasis on prioritizing performance over aesthetic and features, one would hope that the sound quality of the HD 4.40BTs lives up to expectations. And, for the most part, it does. It’s a bass heavy response (subject to your own customization), but the overall balance and clarity is such that this ramped-up bass never overwhelms or drowns out other elements of the mix. Mids are distinct and sound great; highs are crisp, clear, and soar above the rest of the track.
The battery life Sennheiser is offering is pretty fantastic. 25 hours is longer than a full day of playback. Just think of that. A day and then some. You just can’t complain about that.
Although the design is a little generic and they’re light on features, the HD 4.40BTs certainly deliver on the promise of a superior audio experience. With battery allowing for continuous playback for over a day, this is a solid choice.