Sennheiser HD 350BT review: Good Sound with Compromises with Design

by Nicole on November 2, 2020
Sennheiser HD 350BT
Positives
  • Compact, travel-friendly design
  • Bluetooth 5.0; SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX LL support
  • Sidetone effect during calls
  • Sound quality is good for the price point
  • USB-C charging
Negatives
  • Doesn't turn off when you take them off and fold/close them
  • No fast charging
  • Poor button layout - large learning curve to use
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • No Active Noise Cancelling

The Sennheiser HD 350BT are a good pair of over the ear headphones for those who care about sound quality, they aren’t as good as headphones that are twice the price, but they are much better than most headphones in this price range.

Who should get the Sennheiser HD 350BT?

The Sennheiser HD 350BT is a good affordable general headphone that doesn’t have active noise cancelling (ANC) the passive isolation is good enough to block out distant chatter. When I’m wearing them on the street I feel like I can listen to music but not that the world is completely blocked out. Personally, I prefer this because there have been a few times while crossing the road that I wish I did hear more outside noise.

They have a good compact design that is easy to take on the go

I also don’t work in a noisy work environment, so I don’t need noise canceling while Im at my desk. These do work for when I need a decent microphone for conference calls.

Sennheiser HD 350BT Tutorial

These headphones come with a large learning curve. They are not easy to use, I still struggle to work them by touch. They require you to memorize the controls, they aren’t intuitive.

Here’s a quick list of controls so you don’t fumble around as much as I did.

Tap and hold the power button for two seconds to turn the headset on/off.
Press the voice assistant button (closest to the headphone yoke) to talk to your virtual assistant.
Slide the switch back (located just below the voice assistant button) to skip back a track.
Slide the switch forward to skip to the next track.
Press the switch like a button to pause or resume playback.
Press the volume rocker up or down to adjust media output.
For calls you have two options:

Depress the switch button once to answer or end a call.
Press and hold the switch button for two seconds to place a call on hold.

Sennheiser Smart Control App

The Sennheiser mobile app is very clean and easy to use and features a custom EQ module that lets you personalize the sound profile. You can also enable transparent hearing mode to remain aware of your surroundings or hold a quick conversation. If you really want to dive in, go ahead and configure voice prompts, this lets you toggle the headset’s voice notifications on/off every time you power the headset on. Arguably the most important feature of any headphone app is the ability to receive firmware updates, something the Sennheiser Smart Control app can also do.

Connectivity Issues and the Sennheiser HD 350BT

The Sennheiser HD 350BT operates via Bluetooth 5.0 and supports quite a few Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX Low-Latency.

Bluetooth multipoint suffers from the same issues as other Sennheiser Bluetooth headphones: notifications from the secondary device are rarely pushed through to the HD 350BT when streaming music from the primary device. The only event that interrupted playback from the primary device was if my smartphone received a phone call.

I am updating this review to reflect the change in connectivity issues. I updated the firmware on the headset and now multipoint Bluetooth works perfectly. One of the big advantages to having an app with your headphones! They’re constantly fixing issues on hardware that’s been out for a while!

Battery Life

Officially the HD 350BT are supposed to last 30Hours, I found this to be accurate even when listening to music at higher volumes. Charging these headphones isn’t something that I think about doing all the time. There are several headphones own in which you think of changing them frequently so you don’t get caught out on your commute, these are not those headphones.

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Rating
Design / 7
Sound / 9
Performance / 7.5
Price / 8.2
Hardware / 7.5
Sennheiser HD 350BT

Sennheiser did a good job with sound quality with the Sennheiser HD 350BT, usually when you drop below 100€ the quality suffers. Having said that, there are some issues with the headset that make you realize it's not premium. There is no headphone jack, but at least the Bluetooth is 5.0 and aptX.

The headphones are lightweight and portable but lack fast charging and even after months of use I still have to look at the buttons. I can't turn them on and off by feeling.

The saving grace of the HD 350BT is that the sound quality hits above it's price point, but you'll have to be ok with other usability compromises.

7.8
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