Sennheiser reveals cheap rival for Sony WH-1000XM3 at CES 2020

wireless headphones
(Image credit: Sennheiser)

Sennheiser has launched two new wireless headphones at CES 2020 in Las Vegas – one of which looks to be a real (cheaper) alternative to the class-leading Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones

Building on the success of the HD 4.50BTNC (which we awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars in our review), the new HD450BT over-ear headphones offer a 30-hour battery life and instant access to your voice assistant of choice thanks to a dedicated button. 

Furthermore, the HD450BT also offer active noise cancelation, allowing you to listen to your music without distracting environmental noise cramping your style – and at $199 (around £150 / AU$280 based on current conversion rates), they could represent a compelling alternative to the $349 / £300 / $499 Sony WH-1000XM3 when they launch in mid-February.

The HD450BT model also supports wired mode, for those wanting a more direct connection – say, to avoid disturbances to your Bluetooth connection in a public place with a lot of wireless headphones.

Even cheaper, though, are the HD350BT, which will cost $119 (about £90 / AU$170) upon their release later this month – although they don't come with noise cancelation like their pricier sibling.

Everything you can do, I can do cheaper

Both models support the latest Bluetooth 5.0 wireless standard, as well as the AAC, AptX and AptX Low Latency codecs (for syncing audio seamlessly with video). They'll come with a companion app, Sennheiser Smart Control, for firmware updates, instructions, battery status, and the like – as well as a dedicated 'podcast mode' to improve the "intelligibility of podcasts, audio books, and other speech content".

Jermo Köhnke, Product Manager at Sennheiser, tells us that “Our new HD 350BT and HD 450BT headphones were made for everyone seeking to step up their everyday audio experience."

While we haven't yet gone hands on with either of the new Sennheiser headphones detailed here, we can usually count on the audio company to provide some real audio chops, whether it's the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019) or Sennheiser PXC 550-II over-ears.

With the HD450BT and HD350BT retailing around half the cost of both of those premium models, this could be a real competitor in the wireless headphones space – even for Sennheiser itself.

  •  Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2020 coverage. We're live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.
Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.