The name Sennheiser has been synonymous with exceptional audio products for decades. The Sennheiser HD 350BT Headphones are the latest update on one of their most accessible workhorse models. For a reasonable price, you’re treated to a real set of headphones, with good sounds, comfortable fit, and very good build quality.
Sennheiser sound in an affordable headphone
Sennheiser HD 350BT headphones are over-ear sound isolating Bluetooth headphones designed with comfortable vinyl cushions. They are available in white and black and have the following features.
- Bluetooth 5.0 technology gives you a seamless connection to your headphones without wires
- AAC and aptX LL (low-latency) codecs deliver high-quality audio with deep dynamic bass
- Built-in virtual assistant button lets you tap to access Siri and Google Assistant so you can use voice commands and switch your playlist hands-free
- USB-C ultra-fast charging gives you a full charge in an hour and a half
- 30 hours of battery life keep your music streaming
- Foldable minimalist design lets you quickly store your headphones in a bag or backpack
Sennheiser HD 350BT headphone review
Every major studio has its own professional microphones at the ready, and its line of headphones can be seen during professional sports broadcasts or at the highest-end boutique audio shops. Often when a brand with the kind of legacy Sennheiser has will enter the consumer market in one of two ways: they can sully their name for the sake of a quick buck, or they can allow some of the higher-end technology to trickle down to more affordable models. They’ve done the latter with the Sennheiser HD 350BT, and I think you’ll enjoy listening to the high-quality sound of these headphones.
Sound isolating headphones keep the focus on your music
The HD 350BT model uses sound isolation to block out the outside world, working essentially as a comfortable pair of audio earmuffs. Thanks to squishy circumaural (ie., over-the-ear) pads and hard-backed sides, these headphones keep the music aimed at your head while outside noises are kept to a minimum.
You can find Sennheiser noise-cancellation headphones that are similar to this model, but I actually prefer listening without it on when wearing on-ear headphones. The closed-capsule design means there is nothing to mess with the sound signature of the headphones like when active solutions are engaged.
Sound quality of Sennheiser HD 350BT headphones
All Bluetooth headphones are dependent not only on the construction of the transducers themselves but also on the quality of the digital amplifier inside that’s taking the signal from your device and turning it into sound. Thankfully Sennheiser’s solution is well-honed and works well with this model, producing a sound that’s far more neutral in presentation than found with many of its competitors. While some may crave the tuned bass slam that exaggerates what’s actually in a given recording, these headphones do a good job at giving you what’s really there to be reproduced, never overly “juicing” the sound in fatiguing ways.
There’s still a bit of a “smiley-EQ” type sound to them, where the midrange feels slightly scooped as both bass and treble are slightly attenuated, but this is easily dialed in using the associated app that allows custom equalization to tune to taste. Compared to Senheisser’s higher-end models the sound presentation is certainly less refined, and direct comparison to their celebrated flagship that costs 20x the price certainly proved a bit unfair.
In direct match with these higher-end models, I was pleasantly surprised about how well the HD 350BT managed to sound while maintaining the Sennheiser ethos of emphasizing accuracy over colouration of the sound whenever possible.
If there’s one quibble I have it’s that the highest volume level pounded out by the built-in amplifier is relatively meagre, especially for those of us with older ears. For those that listen to high-resolution audio that hasn’t been overly compressed you may find the quiet passages a bit underwhelming, and while this may save your ears from being blasted all the time, the inability to turn it up to taste may frustrate.
The easiest solution would have been to include a minijack input to allow you to bypass the internal amp and be driven by a device of your choice, but while other models in the line have this capability the HD 350BT, unfortunately, does not.
Look and comfort of Sennheiser HD 350BT
Built out of sturdy plastic, the HD 350BT seems perfectly pragmatic in its design. It’s an elegant if underwhelming looking pair of headphones, and while the model may not have the fashion credentials of other flashier models its focus is, as it should be, on how it performs in both comfort and exceptional sound reproduction at the price point.
The adjustable band and large circumference earpads work well to not only keep the outside world at bay but to provide a light presence on your head. The tension of the pads being pressed into your head is well balanced, and while there aren’t levels of fine tension adjustment like on some other models one is treated to this simple yet effective solution.
Despite packing in the battery, transducers, and amplification modules, as well as the other wires and other bits, the headphones still feel remarkably light. I managed several hours with them pounding out songs without feeling a sense of fatigue either from what I was hearing or how they sat atop my noggin.
I would prefer that there was a split back to the band like Sennheiser allows for on some of their professional models for an even more comfortable fit, but given the general design of the 350BT, you’ll find the fit extremely well for most users. Yes, they’re bigger and harder to tuck into pockets, but these over-the-ear headphones are by far my preferred way of listening, especially for those who find regular in-ear models to be particularly uncomfortable or frustrating.
I’m extremely pleased to see that Sennheiser allows for the earpads to be user-replaceable, meaning that as long as the battery will hold charge you’re certain to get many years of use out of these.
For storage, they fold down in a bit of a strange way, with one side collapsing and the other “hugging” the other pad. The result may take up slightly more space in your bag than other models, but the addition of a fold in the middle of the headband may have compromised the overall comfort or performance in other ways.
Operation and 30-hour battery life
With 30 hours of battery life (a length of time helped no doubt by that volume cap and lack of active noise-cancellation), these headphones should last you several days of use without losing a beat. Thanks to their USB-C port they quickly can be recharged.
I’m personally grateful for the increasing use of this connector which is a far better solution than the fragile micro-USB connector from previous generations. On the right side, there are a number of buttons that allow you to adjust volume, change tracks, connect to different devices and even initiate a virtual assistant on your phone, thanks to the built-in microphone.
Audio quality from that mic is relatively poor, especially during phone calls, but in a pinch they’ll do well to serve as an extension of your smart device, and do well in helping you tell your phone’s virtual assistant to follow your whim.
Bluetooth connectivity seemed excellent and painless to configure. The model supports SBC, AAC, and Qualcomm’s AptX and AptX low latency, a boon for gamers especially. Higher-end audiophile codecs such as AptX HD or AptX adaptive are not supported but are likely overkill given the built-in system of amplification where these esoteric capabilities would be difficult to perceive.
A few ways to improve the Sennheiser 350BT
As a long-term user of Sennheiser devices, I feel it’s unfortunate that the 3.5mm adapter is being steadily eschewed from devices like the 350BT headphones. It remains an exceptional solution for a wide variety of uses. The lack of jack certainly limits the lifespan of headphones like these, compared to the several decades that I’ve been able to use my other Sennheiser products.
My only other concern is that I find updating firmware over Bluetooth is an excruciating process. I needed to wait more than half an hour for the request to complete only to have it repeatedly fail and then have to restart. Given the high-speed USB-C port there should definitely be a more elegant solution out there for these cans.
Final thoughts on the Sennheiser 350BT Bluetooth headphones
I’ve been a huge fan of Sennheiser for many years, and that’s due to their commitment to accuracy over colourizing the sound. I own more than a half dozen pairs for use in recording situations and simply for pleasure of audio playback, and I’m extremely pleased that the 350BT shares many of the qualities of its pricier siblings. I have already convinced a few friends to pick a pair up for their own use and found this model is absolutely ideal for those looking for a rock-solid pair of headphones at a reasonable price. I’m pleased to see this segment of the market being handled as well as it is by the HD 350 BT.
Thanks to its easy-to-use EQ app you’re able to further tweak the sound to taste while starting from a relatively neutral starting point, meaning that for most users they’ll be able to hear the sound fairly close to how it was intended right out of the box.
If purchasing I personally might consider the slighter higher-end model as part of my workflow, if only for the mini-jack input while disabling active noise-cancellation. For the vast majority of users, this is an unnecessary decision to make, and for the many of you looking for a Bluetooth-only solution, I believe you’ll be extremely pleased with this choice.
With the Sennheiser 350BT headphones, you’re getting the results of decades of audio excellence from an exceptional brand that’s providing far more than a slapped-on logo on a mediocre product. With extended battery life, comfortable fit, great Bluetooth implementation, and the ability to tweak via a free app, there is a lot to love about these headphones.
Above all, these headphones sound great, and for the price they’re a bargain to enter into a world where the quality of sound reproduction trumps all the other considerations. I highly recommend the Sennheiser 350BT headphones Over-Ear headphones. You can find them right now on Best Buy.