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Sennheiser PXC 450

Your Price: $349.95
MSRP $349.95 No Sales Tax
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The sound of the Sennheiser PXC450 noise-canceling cans is quite good with a slightly withdrawn mid-range and well-balanced response otherwise. The noise canceling feature is highly effective and provides a significant reduction in outside noise during airline travel. The PXC 450 includes a "talk-through" button that allows you to hear someone chatting with you without removing the headphones. Operates from 1 AAA battery and also functions in normal 'passive' mode without batteries, so you'll never be without your music.

Read Our HeadRoom Blog Post on the Sennheiser PXC450.


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Product Features:

  • Good sound quality, especially for watching laptop / iPad movies & films
  • Excellent ambient isolation provided by closed-back earcups with proprietary "NoiseGuard" circuitry
  • Compatible with iPad, iPhone, iPod or other portable players
  • Bypass switch allows improved sound with high-end headphone amps
  • Free 2-year Sennheiser manufacturer's warranty

What's In The Box:

  • carrying case
  • airline adaptor
  • 1/4" adaptor
  • 2 AAA batteries


The Sennheiser PXC 450 updates their proprietary "NoiseGard 2.0" noise-blocking headphone technology to provide very good ambient noise attenuation while leaving musical impact, clarity, and dynamic range mostly intact. The PXC 450 circumaural 'full size' circumaural earcups offer great wearing comfort compared to some smaller noise-canceling headphone ergonomics. Sonically, it delivers perfectly acceptable -- and quite robust -- audio performance given the non-audiophile 'noise-canceling' application. All in all, the PXC 450 is a welcome advancement by Sennheiser in a rather thorny category of travel-oriented noise-blocking headphones.

The Sennheiser PXC450 offers a handy 'Talk-Through' function so listeners can communicate with the outside world while wearing the headphones. Just press the switch on the right earcup and external conversation comes in loud and clear while automatically muting the audio. Significantly larger than the previous Sennheiser designs, the full-size Sennheiser PXC 450 comes outfitted in an elegant grey/matte-silver color scheme with glove-soft black leather earpads on its folding 'circumaural' ("around the ear") sealed-back earcups. An adjustable, tough-built headband allows for a nicely personalized fit. The single-sided cord (no "Y" cord!) is completely detachable 6-foot cable and another nice plus; it terminates to a 1/8" [3.5mm] mini-plug, with the bigger 1/4" stereo plug adapter included. Even without the cable attached, the headphones can still be activated ato be used as hearing protectors with about -20dB of ambient noise attenuation overall. A soft-sided but rugged Sennheiser travel case contains the folded PXC 450 headphones and all included accessories like a two-prong airline adapter, the aforementioned full-size 1/4" adapter plug, and even has handy slots for extra AAA batteries. A free 2-year manufacturer's product warranty remains standard on all Sennheiser headphones with your HeadRoom 'authorized dealer' purchase receipt.


  • Sensitivity: 108 dB/V
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 2 year
  • Warranty: 2 Years
  • Cord Type: Straight Left-Side
  • Coupler Size: Large
  • Detachable Cable: Yes
  • Cord Length: 4.5 ft. (1.4 m)
  • Impedance @ 1kHz: 150
  • Weight: 13oz
  • Ear Coupler Type: Noise Cancelling
  • Headphone Type: Full Size
  • Wireless: No
  • Noise Cancelling: Yes
  • Isolation: -32dB
  • Acoustic Seal: Closed
  • Microphone: No
  • Driver Type: Dynamic

Additional Resources:

Reviews At A Glance
1 Reviews
1 Reviews
1 Reviews

Average Rating 
(Showing 3 of 3 reviews)

Excellent with some EQ
Posted by Nuclear Nerd from Cranberry, PA on 2011-12-09

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Comfortable, Well-Made, Fantastic potential for sound, Sounds incredible with NC off
Cons: Made in China, Requires EQ with NC on, Large (no big deal for me)

I bought a pair of Bose QC15s on ebay, only to determine they were actually rebadged QC2s and generally fishy. I sent them back and decided if I was buying a second time, I had a bit more time to look. I am generally disgusted by Bose's business practices and could not swallow the idea of buying a set of headphones that may last 2 years (according to dozens of online reviews) due to their terrible build quality. At 50 bucks, sure. At 300, unacceptable. I initially went with the QC15s because they were supposed to have the best NC, and that's probably true. However, more analysis of my usage indicated the Sennheisers would be up to the task, and they were supposed to sound better. So enough of my path to this product, on to the review.

Noise Cancellation: I would put these pretty equal with the QC2...maybe better. They are certainly good enough for my usage, blocking out all but the faintest hint of office noise. On a plane, I am sure they would provide great relief, although maybe not the near silence the QC15s evidently provide. My friend has the Audio Technica ath-anc7b and these are better by a bit in my opinion.

Comfort wise, these are fantastic. Probably the most comfortable cans I've ever put on. More comfortable than the Bose's by a bit.

Build Quality: While made in China (a personal gripe of mine on a 350 dollar set of cans), the build quality is above the Audio Technicas and WAY above the Bose's. They feel like 200-250 dollar headphones, rather than 20 dollar headphones. I am sure there are nicer non-NC headphones for this price (B&W), but they aren't paying for all the electronics, so that only makes sense.

Sound: All the other stuff up there doesn't count if they sound terrible. Without noise cancelling, these headphones sound fantastic. I like them nearly as much as my Grados, and that's saying something, because I LOVE my Grados. With Noise Cancelling on, I was pretty disappointed at first. All the gripes about bass are there and the treble/upper mids aren't quite right either. I was all set to send them back, but I figured I'd play around with the EQ on FOOBAR (what I use at work to listen to music) to try and even out the sound. Starting with the measurements from headroom here, I adjusted each band to compensate and then normalized the sound. Lastly, I warmed up the bass a bit, just because I like more bass than flat. With these adjustments in a preset on FOOBAR, these headphones sound fantastic. They are considerably better than any other NC headphone I've heard, albeit I haven't heard the QC15s outside a showroom. Because I listen using my phone and my computer, both with EQs, I am fine with this workaround. If you don't have the ability to make this adjustment, I wouldn't recommend these headphones.

I am going to give them my recommendation with the noted caveats above.

UPDATE: After 20-30 hours of break-in, the oddities in the majority of the frequency range have disappeared entirely. The lack of bass is still there, but probably only about half as bad as before and not bad enough to warrant a demerit. It's probably closer to flat than anything. I just hit it with a touch of bass boost and am perfectly satisfied. No weird EQ curves necessary.

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20 out of 22 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Good experience - but not perfect
Posted by Deek O'Malley from San Francisco, CA on 2011-04-15

Recommend Product: No
Pros: Comfort, Quality, Design
Cons: Noise cancelling low-freq flutter

After reading all of the reviews about the Sennheiser PXC 450's I was excited to purchase a product that clearly had all the hallmarks of quality, and appeared to be a great alternative to the benchmark Bose QuietComfort 15. I am not solely driven by price - in fact I am willing to spend more for a great product, and I hate the overly bassed Bose listening experience.

Initial Experience -
On the basis of comfort, packaging, design, and overall quality, I was quite impressed by the Sennheisers. They are very comfortable, and come with a nice package and several plugs to accomodate 1/4" jacks as well as multiple airline configurations.

Listening Experience -
I work in a loud office, which was the reason for my purchase. As soon as I put my Sennheisers on, I was very satisfied with the active noise cancelling capabilities. My co-worker next to me has the Bose QC 15's so we were able to do side-by-side comparisons. The Bose outperform the Sennheiser's in noise cancellation, but only slightly.

The "15 minute later opinion"

15 minutes after wearing my Sennheisers, I became aware of a low level 'flutter' sound that my ears became aware of...and I became annoyed by.
It was almost as if there was an inaudible low level Hz activity being sensed from the noise cancelling technology that I was aware of. As I cocked my head sideways, it would disappear, and as my head went back to normal upright work position...the barely audible flutter would reappear. Soon enough, I was completely out of patience, and went back to my non-noise cancelling earbuds on my desk.

Second Chance- On the plane
I didn't give up hope completely. I later took my Sennheisers on a cross-country flight and while I was still aware of the low-level flutter, it was not nearly as noticeable against the drone of jet engines outside the plane. The Sennheisers did a fantastic job on the plane and remained comfortable as I slept on the redeye flight.

I have kept my Sennheisers, but know that I cannot use them in the office to drown out loud conversations. I will keep them for the plane only.

The sound quality of these headphones is excellent. They are not quite an audiophile headphone (like my ATGs), however they provide a far more balanced soundstage than the Bose QC 15's which just feel artificially enhanced to me.

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16 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Posted by gddctr from cali on 2011-04-15

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Comfort, Sound, Bass
Cons: Talkthrough.

These are awesome. They blow Bose away. Sound quality is great, but you WILL need a headphone amp for any portable MP3 hookup, so plan on another 100 dollars. The headroom one work ok, but there are others. The only downside is that the talkthrough function is only useful for momentary usage. It creates a pressure differential that isn't painful, but is slightly uncomfortable against your eardrum. Basically, you'll only wind up using this to respond to others before turning it off again. Fortunately the button is easily used without removing the unit. Good purchase, I recommend these.

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6 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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