Microsoft Surface Headphones vs Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC.: Which Should You Buy?

microsoft surface vs sennheiser hd 4.50 btnc

This is the comparison between Microsoft Surface headphone and Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. The price of both the headphones is not same and has major difference in it. Both the headphones are noise cancelling and Bluetooth headphone. So, check out which one is best also considering the price.

microsoft_surface headphones_sennheiser hd 4.50 btnc
Microsoft Surface Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
Spacious soundstage. Adjustable noise cancellation. Innovative dial and touch controls.
Excellent connectivity.
Comfy and premium design. Supports multiple Bluetooth devices.
Great noise cancelling.
20-hour battery.
Travel-friendly design. Surprisingly affordable.
Battery life is lower than the competitions.
Cortana app is necessary for most features.
Bass can come on too strong.
NoiseGuard tricky to activate. Headband lacks padding.
Ear-cups lack ventilation
BrandMicrosoft Sennheiser
ModelHD4.50 BTNC
ColorLight GrayBlack
Driver Unit40mm
Frequency Response20 – 20kHz18Hz-22KHz
Impedance18 ohms
Sensitivity115 dB113dB S.P.L. at 1KHz
ConnectorUSB Type-C, mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm 4-poleMicro USB
Weight290g or 10.24 oz222g
BatteryUp to 15 hours (with music playback over Bluetooth, ANC on, hands-free Cortana² enabled)¹.
Up to 18 hours of battery life by disabling Cortana voice-activation².
Up to 19 hours (it lasts up to 25 hours with NoiseGard switched off).
Frequency Response100Hz-10KHz

Expert Reviews of Microsoft Surface headphones:   

By  PCworld
It feels like the Surface Headphones mostly exist simply to prove that Microsoft can make a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones. The design and audio quality is sound but they’re certainly not good enough to justify the premium price. Still, they…

The funny thing about the Microsoft Surface Headphones is that if you can look past the woeful voice assistant integration, the headphones offer a surprisingly warm sound the likes of which you don’t normally hear outside of a speaker.If you like your…

By Mobile Syrup 
After an initial launch in the U.S, Microsoft’s first pair of noise-cancelling headphones, the Surface Headphones, are finally available to purchase in Canada. They join an incredibly competitive market dominated by old standbys like Bose and Sony.Does…

The Surface headphones are an excellent first attempt from Microsoft and sound better than most headphones on the market. They offer impressive audio quality, convenient control and comfort but are slightly overpriced.Related PostsBose Soundlink on-ear…

While these headphones may blow the budget, we think they’re worth every penny. They sound great, are simple to use and have effective noise cancelling that helps you immerse yourself in your music!

Expert Reviews of Marshall Mid A.N.C.: 

By TechRadar 
The Marshall Mid ANC are handsome headphones for those who want to stand out from the crowd with an interestingly designed headphone. Audio purists might not enjoy that the sound quality is strictly mainstream with tons of bass and emphasized highs and…

By Phone Arena 
The result here is a pair of on-the-ear headphones that undercuts most of its esteemed rivals, showing to us that Marshall is without a doubt becoming extremely serious about its wireless headphones. If you’re tired of being like everyone else and want to stand out, the Marshall MID ANC will undoubtedly offer a refreshing change of scenery.

By cnet 
While it needs come down in price, Marshall’s Mid ANC delivers strong performance in a compact…

By Trusted Reviews
Satisfying rocker headphones – just a little off the best at the price – for sound and noise-cancellation.

By iLounge 
If you’re familiar with Marshall’s other headphones, Mid ANC doesn’t offer many surprises. The same iconic Marshall branding can be seen here, and it’s packed with the same basic accessories — a 3.5mm audio cable and USB to micro USB charging cable — as…

Detail Review: 


Microsoft Surface headphones

This is the wireless headphones of the Microsoft company and it’s also noise cancelling headphone. This headphone has lots of features which is new and also useful. The design, build quality, comfort all are good. 

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The previous model of these headphones are 4.40bt and they are almost identical to the 4.50, both in terms of build and the overall features. 4.50 has the same features as 4.40 but the main difference is that they are noise canceling. This is the main thing that separates them from the 4.40 and perhaps slightly less battery life.

microsoft Surface-Headphone 1


Microsoft Surface headphones

The headphones are quality built, they feel tight very well put together and at least gives me the impression that don’t last a very long time. The headband is reinforced metal as well with a ratcheting clicking system are for adjusting. If there’s any kind of creaking or cracking areas where there might be a little bit too much flex or any kind of chatter that makes this feel like it’s on the cheaper end. Now with my personal assessment and being fair, Bose and Sony headphones feels a little bit more premium though and justified for the price.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The overall design is minimal and simple to use. When you first open them up and see them for the first time, they look cheap but they certainly don’t feel cheap which I find fascinating.

The headphones are made from all plastic but not cheap plastic. They’re well-made and they don’t have any cracking or popping when they’re stretched out or used in general. The only issue I have here are the hinges, which could be better by including some sort of metal for peace of mind and long-term durability but the good thing is that they come with a warranty which covers you for 2 years in case they break. Just make sure to keep it with you.


Microsoft Surface headphones

I noticed they are comfortable enough but not as comfortable as the two giants on the markets but the Bose is hands-down the lightest and most eerie feeling while Sony did make great efforts and making theirs lighter as well. The surface

These headphones comes in at 290 grams which is happy heavier side while these Sony 1000 XM3 weighs in at 254 grams and Bose at 232 grams. At 290 grams, they felt more average in comfort and felt to weigh in my head after about an hour of wear, it’s not bad but and compared to all other headphones, the surface headphones did just feel slightly heavier over time. Ever so slight pinching at the crown of the head here. Moderate draw pressure and slight warming of the ears but to be fair not as warm as the Sony 1000XM3.

Those who have big ears this felt like the in-between of the three, it’s ever so slightly recessed in. This gives a little more room for your ears to breathe, my ears are ever so slightly touching the inside lining but in Sony, I’m definitely touching the inside lighting and with Bose, my ears are not touching at all.

As for the ear pads and ear cup design, sound leaking is kept to a minimum. The surface headphones are one of the least sound leaking headphones I’ve ever experienced and it leaks the least out of Bose and Sony.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

Once you put the headphones onto your head, they don’t slip and slide and they feel quite secure. They feel lightweight as well and sometimes you forget you’re even wearing them. When you put them on properly by making sure you adjust the ear pad onto your head, they provide exceptional wearing comfort for long playback sessions. There’s no irritation or discomfort from wearing them for a long time and this is something I experienced with most of Skullcandy’s headphones.

For traveling, these headphones are extremely portable. They weigh in at 238g and the foldable headband design only takes up a small space in your bag. Compared to headphones like Bose QC35 and Sony wh-1000xm3, these are more travel friendly because they take up less space due to the way they fold.

The pads are an over-ear design with an oval cut shape made from soft leatherette which provides comfort for all ear sizes. They’re also replaceable so over time if they start to wear out, you can replace them and they’ll be good as new. The depth here is good and your ears won’t be too close to the driver, causing irritation. The only problem with the pad is that they will heat up your ears over time like most over-ear headphones and cause some sweat.

sennheiser hd 4.50 btnc 2


Microsoft Surface headphones

One thing I do love about the surface headphones it’s the volume adjustment on the right side. The active noise canceling dial on the left side, a nice and simple glide forward and back adjusting levels that you want to obtain and it is smooth. These headphones unfortunately don’t fold in and themselves. So, storing these will be a slightly wider footprint carrying case but keep in mind they’re also thin well.

Power, pairing, mute with the newest USB C connection,it is a 3.5 millimeter plug for physical connections and you can use the headphones when they’re off and if you have no battery life left and you just won’t have A and C or any of the controls to use.

Bluetooth is 4.2 which is fine, we don’t have the latest Bluetooth 5.0 but the wireless Bluetooth connection is really good. I tested the distance on these things and surprisingly got up to 100 linear feet even with a signal going through one wall with video.

Besides the awesome rotating dials, there’s touch sensitive controls as well. Tapping on either ear cup, pause and play, double taps and triple taps will skip or go back on your music respectively and a double tap or answer and a phone call and a long hold when your phone is ringing will decline a call.

This is only most important features that set the surface headphones apart, it’s the always-on built-in voice assistant. The headphones are always listening and waiting for you to say that command. If you don’t want to use your voice, you can always hold down the side of the ear cup here to activate it.

Your headphones themselves is the one that’s always listening not your phone in this case and that’s something you’d need to ask yourself in deciding if these surface headphones are worth a purchase. I noticed it’s somewhat slower in general compared to the competition, in tests Bose takes about 2 to 3 seconds from the end of my question to me receiving my answer, Sony was similar as well but you can experience this in real-time yourself to show up being unbiased. In the end the Google and Siri, it’s just so much faster, intuitive, it just simply flows.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

You have an audio cable, a microphone USB charger, a simple carrying case and a manual with the headphone. The case is simple and prevents scratches and bumps when carrying in your bag. The best cases are always a hard shell design and this is what I recommend for optimal protection. The cable is 1.4m long and it’s a 2.5mm to a 3.5mm design.

The cable can be used as a backup when the battery life in wireless mode runs out. They can also be used in an aux port for mobile devices, computers, laptops, studio amps and even cars. The cable might require some adapters to connect to some devices.

The micro USB can be plugged in 4 ways, either a head adapter which would be your standard way of charging into a wall, you can plug it into a laptop or computer but it doesn’t offer music playback while connected which kind of sucks, it can be plugged into a portable adapter for charging on the go so you don’t even have to be a home and lastly, you can plug it into an in-car charger while you’re driving.

The controls on the right ear cup are fairly intuitive. We have mounted controls for different functions which includes a power button, a multi-function button and volume controls which can also be used for activating noise cancellation.

The headband is made out of rubber but it could do it a little bit more padding. If you have really short hair you might feel some slight pain after wearing them for a while but other than that they’re fine. They’re also adjustable and they can fit to larger heads or for bigger people in general. The rubber headband allows you to quickly wipe off grease or anything that might be caused by your hair and you can clean them very easily.

These headphones offer wireless connectivity via Bluetooth 4.0 and they’re compatible with NFC devices. The benefits of Bluetooth wireless is they give you the freedom of no wires involved and they help the headphones to last longer. The NFC make this process that much easier. Most issues and headphones are caused by the headphone jack so by using wireless, it can aid in lasting longer. They don’t offer multi-pairing which is kind of a downer, but they do have low latency and the Bluetooth range is good. You can walk anywhere in the house and the connection never cuts out. It goes through walls and even different floors.

To pair your device normally you simply go to your settings and make sure your headphones are in pairing mode by holding down the power button for a few seconds and then select the Sennheiser 4.50 btnc. For NFC you would touch your NFC device to the ear cup and it would pair instantly without having to go to your settings. Keep in mind your phone has to have NFC for this to work. To be able to connect to other devices such as gaming consoles or TVs and laptops, you must get a Bluetooth adapter so that external devices can recognize your headphones.

The Sennheiser 4.50 BTNC also comes with an app called Captune. This app allows you to control the EQ to tune the frequencies according to your preference in music. There’s already presets that you can choose from the list, for e.g Electro, Pop, Rock and more. When playing your music or watching movies, you can use the multi-function button for several things. Slide up once to skip the track, slide up and hold to fast-forward, slide down once to replay the track, slide down and hold to rewind, click once to play or pause audio and that’s it for the multi-function button.


Microsoft Surface headphones

As for phone call performance, the surface headphones picked up background noise quite easily though but my voice was still audible and clear.

Active noise-cancelling is impressive kind of shocked. I honestly wasn’t expecting to beat Bose but Microsoft did it. It’s now the second best ANC performance. It’s better than Sennheiser PXE 550 and Bowers & Wilkins px and Bose QC 35II. The only one it couldn’t beat is the Sony 1000XM3. Sony beats Microsoft just by a smidge.

The surface headphones blocks out a very good amount of background noises suppresses a lot of the vocals and chatter around you including that music they had blasting in the background.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The 4.50’s come with a microphone which is omni-directional. This is supposed to help with call quality. I’ve tested this out and to be honest the call quality could be better. There was light background noise picked up from the person I was speaking to and the person echoed on my side. The call quality overall isn’t terrible but I wouldn’t say they’re the best for making calls so keep that in mind. For the phone call functions, the multi-function button works like to click once to accept or end calls, click and hold to reject a call or put on hold while you’re on the phone, click and hold to say the number you want to call or re-dial the number.

They come with a feature called Noise Guard which is for noise cancellation. To activate it you simply click the volume control buttons at the same time. Noise cancellation reduces ambient noise levels for improving playback experience and gets rid of all the unwanted sounds such as loud engines or crowds of people. Whether you’re on the plane, a train or a noisy road the Noise Guard provides a bold experience allowing you to relax and focused on the music and not the noise.

The major benefit of this is that you can listen to music, watch movies and make phone calls in peace. For me personally, this feature really helps me to decrease the levels of anxiety when I’m in public places and dealing with overcrowded areas.

If you want to use these headphones on the plane, then you’ll experience little to no cabin pressure and the noise cancellation alone can be used for peace and quiet. It’s not as good with the music off so to really notice it, I suggest playing music on a low volume. If you experience any weird noise from noise cancellation, make the fit looser so it doesn’t create any pressure. If I were to compare the noise cancellation to Bose and Sony, these have 70% – 80% of their noise cancellation abilities which is excellent for their price range.



Microsoft Surface headphones

Regarding the audio test blasting this around 70% was comfortable and enjoyable listening personally for me. Overall, the audio characteristics are very similar to the Sony 1000XM3 with the basic sound signature any loud performance. The surface headphones is suitable for most average consumers and those who particularly prefer bass. I will admit though, you might have heard this in a demo but the mid-range is clear enough but it is missing a bit of fidelity or clarity. There is a slight sense of that mid-range being slightly recessed and not having a clear separation from bass to the vocalist.

The experience was just drastic, I can see most consumers experiencing mostly positive audio performances. As for the high notes, I never had listening fatigue to the music, never shrieked, there’s a good bit of roll-off on the top and preventing their headphones from being tinny your ear piercing. Now, the one thing that I think was missing was the amount of audio separation and the sound-stage. I wish those were a little bit more appearance.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The 4.50’s come with a codec called aptX which is better than your standard SBC. Codec is important in Bluetooth headphones because it’s what makes your headphones sound good during wireless mode. aptX delivers exciting, wireless sound quality which makes music sound great and provides no lag when watching movies or playing games.

The 32mm drivers delivers powerful, yet detailed and well-balanced sound with satisfyingly dynamic bass. There isn’t any brightness and it’s not too bassy to a point where it bleeds over the other frequencies. The mid-range however is slightly muddy and could be improved. The sounds are accurate and clean and there isn’t any playback fatigue or anything like that.

The only problems I have is that it could be slightly louder because on most songs I was playing near max volume. In wired mode, the sound is slightly more accurate and they’re a bit louder although you won’t have the noise cancellation benefits. In case you’re wondering, there is some sound leakage but it can only be noticed if you’re in a quieter environment like a library for example. This is why these headphones are perfect for traveling.


Microsoft Surface headphones

For battery life, Microsoft claims up to 15 hours with ANC on. This also has voice assistant cortana. This will act like google assistant. At 50% in battery, I was able to get 13 hours of use. The interesting part if you turn off Bluetooth and go into Wired mode, you can get up to 50 hours of playback. The most will use this wirelessly of course but the extended better life is there as an option. Charging from a dead better to full microsoft claims less than two hours.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The battery life is 19 hours with Bluetooth and Noise Cancellation on and 25 hours with noise cancellation off. Full charging takes 2 hours and there isn’t any quick charge feature but you can always use the portable charger on the go. When they’re fully charged, they can pretty much last you up to 2 days for casual use before recharging them again.



Microsoft Surface headphones

I don’t think these surface headphones hits this out of the park as being the best out there but if you personally value Cortana and the always-on listening feature, the active noise-cancelling and you can pick this one. If you don’t care for cortana and the always-on listening feature, the Sony provides slightly better ANC performance and slightly better audio performance and combine most other ANC headphones just simply waste less and have longer battery life.

Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

The positive points of this headphone is good comfort, price, long battery life and great noise cancellation. The negatives are the noise cancellation can be annoying to activate, the headband lacks padding and the ear cups lack ventilation. So overall they are lot cheaper than your competitors because they don’t have any of the pointless features which makes headphones expensive. This means that these headphones are on the same level as the other expensive headphones just without all the pointless add-ons.

So to finalize, these headphones are best for people who travel or commute to work. You can use them not just for music, but also movies, listening to podcast and playing games.