Sennheiser HD 250BT Review
With the HD 250BT, Sennheiser offers affordable on-ear headphones with aptX LL, aptX, and AAC that last 25 hours and are compatible with the Smart Control app. In addition, the short-latency sets it apart from even more expensive competition. However, the sound is not completely convincing, and compromises are necessary for terms of comfort.
The Sennheiser HD 250BT are inexpensive wireless on-ear headphones that offer extras such as aptX LL for a low offset between image and sound, optional app support, and a battery life of up to 25 hours.
- Accurate bass depth matched with solid high-frequency clairty
- App has adjustable EQ
- Support for both AAC and AptX codecs
- Headband could be more comfortable
- Not for those seeking robust bass
In addition to the lightweight headphones, the black Sennheiser HD 250BT comes with a quick start guide and a USB-C to USB-A charging cable.
Technology and functions of the Sennheiser HD 250BT
Bluetooth 5.0, aptX, aptX LL and AAC
Sennheiser relies on the latest Bluetooth 5.0 for the wireless connection to smartphones or tablets. The supported audio codecs offer SBC, but with AAC and especially aptX LL in addition to aptX, more than with cheaper competitors. In connection with a suitable end device that also supports aptX LL, the latency can at best be reduced to up to 60 ms – usually, it is at least 160 ms without adjustments. Unfortunately, you have to do without an HD codec with the mobile companion. AptX Adaptive or HD codecs from the competition are not offered.
Multipoint for two simultaneous connections
Another extra of the Sennheiser HD 250BT, which many headphones still lack, supports Bluetooth Multipoint, also known as Bluetooth Multi-Connect. As a result, the Sennheiser HD 250BT can be connected to two end devices simultaneously via Bluetooth without any problems. The playback from one of these devices can be seamlessly switched at any time. Anyone who frequently uses two-end devices with headphones will appreciate this function very much. There is no need to constantly deactivate and manually pair the headphones via the Bluetooth menus of the two devices.
Dynamic 32 mm drivers from 20 to 22,000 Hz
Sennheiser specifies the frequency range of the dynamic converters as 20 Hz to 22 kHz. The integrated spherical microphone offers a frequency range of 100 Hz to 10 kHz to transmit the voice. The sound pressure level at 1 kHz is 110 dB. Sennheiser specifies the distortion factor at 1 kHz to be less than 0.3 percent. The drivers have a diameter of 32 mm.
Lightweight headphones without padding
The on-ear headphones weigh only 124 g, so they are lightweight on the head. Due to this, however, the comfort functions are also limited. Because you have to do without a padded headband, the plastic bracket rests directly on the wearer’s head. Because of the low weight and the correct setting of the twelve-stage grid of the headband on the auricles, this is not a problem in everyday life. The Sennheiser HD 250BT does not even have any joints that could wear out. The mobility of the auricles forwards and backward is based purely on the loose suspension on the headband. The auricles have a diameter of 70 mm.
Battery for up to 25 hours of music
The integrated lithium polymer battery has a capacity of 190 mAh. It is charged via USB-C on the right auricle. The charging time is about 3:15 hours when fully discharged. Music cannot be played while the headphones are charging. The test person does not offer a quick charge function. If Sennheiser refers to the codec SBC for the measured battery life of up to 25 hours, 24.50 hours are achieved in the test with AAC. Good battery life for the size and weight, but a Marshall Major IV (test) even managed more than 80 hours.
Buttons, LED, and USB-C on the right auricle.
Sennheiser has placed all control elements and interfaces on the right auricle. In addition to the USB-C port already mentioned, these are a status LED and three buttons for operation. Unfortunately, the Sennheiser HD 250BT does not have an AUX input.
Operation via three buttons
Three buttons are available for operating media playback and controlling calls. The middle button is intended for switching the headphones on and off and pairing the headphones and serves as a multifunction button for controlling playback. If you press it once, the current playback starts or pauses. If you press it twice, you jump to the next track, while pressing it three times jumps back one track. Calls can also be accepted, ended, or rejected by holding them.
The two buttons surrounding it are primarily used to adjust the volume. Only the volume down button has other functions. If the volume down button is pressed without playing music, the current battery level is announced. If the volume down button is pressed for two seconds during a call, the microphone is switched off. If it is held down again for two seconds, the microphone is reactivated.
Due to the different heights of the keys, they can be hit accurately after a short time.
Smart control app also for the inexpensive headphones.
The Sennheiser HD 250BT is also supported by the manufacturer’s well-known Smart Control app, which is available for Android and iOS. The functions in the app are limited to an equalizer with presets, two of which Sennheiser already provides with “Neutral” and “Film,” the current battery level and firmware updates – firmware 2.9.0 is used in the test.
The equalizer offers to adjust the bass, middle, and treble using three controls or a frequency graph. It is positive that adjustments to the current playback have an immediate effect and do not have to be saved first. Saved presets also remain active on other end devices without an app, so that individual adjustments may only have to be made once to be able to use them on all devices.
Quality and comfort
The quality of Sennheiser HD 250BT is good overall. Still, the comparatively low price cannot be overlooked with the aspects already mentioned, such as the absence of padding on the headband or hinges. The notch for adjusting the headband holds securely in the selected position but is best adjusted by pressing down on the headband with one hand on top of the head and pushing the auricle up with the other. This is more convenient with more expensive models. The fact that the auricles rattle on the loose suspension cannot be compared with high-priced headphones.
The artificial leather earpads are pleasantly soft and can be removed, cleaned, and exchanged. However, a unique mechanism is not used. The earpads must therefore be threaded back into the narrow gap with a bit of dexterity. The headphones cannot be folded or twisted, and the ear cups cannot be worn around the neck. The cables on the ear cups are laid open and disappear in a groove on the headband.
Thanks to its low weight and good contact pressure, the Sennheiser HD 250BT is very comfortable wearing on-ear headphones. Moreover, as a lightweight, it can easily withstand the sprint to the train or bus on its head.