New York City based Master & Dynamic is a unique company. While not aiming for the highest ‘audiophile’ quality in the universe—together with the very high prices that go along with that—they, instead, produce superb sounding audio products displaying a savvy mix of fashion, art and modern culture. They even partner with legendary companies such as Leica Camera and make a special series of headphones in honour of legendary musicians such as Michael Jackson. The result? Gorgeous products of audiophile quality in both sound and construction that engenders pride of ownership. In their own words, ‘We are a New York City based premium audio brand with a deep passion for building beautifully crafted, richly appointed, technically sophisticated sound tools for creative minds.’. How true, and I would add ‘at reasonable prices’.
While the high-end headphone market is now at the thousands of dollars per pair level, Master & Dynamic’s most expensive headphones (MW60 over-the-ear) are only $549 per pair and can be used wirelessly or with wire, and their flagship over-the-ear model is the MH40 at only $399; I use both as my reference. All come in different colours, too. More recently, they have been making earphones, and here I will cover their newest high-tech pair, the stunning looking MW07 True Wireless Earphones at $299. (Keep in mind that at audio shows, I get to listen to earbuds (yes, earbuds) that cost more than $2000 per pair.) Many thanks to Andrew Gretchko and to Jonathan Levine (Founder and CEO of Master & Dynamic) for sending me a pair for review. In line with their sense of fashion, you can buy them at Bloomingdale’s department store, among others, as well as directly from their website (linked below).
The elegant black box that the MW07s come in reveals, when opened, what appears to be some fine jewelry. A shiny stainless steel case sits in the box with the Master & Dynamic ‘M’ logo on its top. Upon taking that case out and opening it, one finds a sumptuous looking pair of earphones sitting side-by-side displaying their exquisite looking hand-crafted, grey terrazzo (acetate) sides, with the logo. Three other colours are also available: tortoiseshell, steel blue, and matte black.
The MW07s come already charged: Picking up either L or R, it starts to blink; it wants to pair (Bluetooth) the earphones with your player device right away. I used my iPhone 7 with iTunes as player software throughout my review; the pairing was immediate. The steel case serves as the charging case utilizing a USB-C input, and comes with a separate power cord and USB adaptor.
When needing a charge, 50% is complete in 15 minutes, while 40 minutes gives a full charge. A full charge yields about 3.5 hours of connectivity. But that is for the internal battery of the earphones. The case itself can hold 3 such full charges, so while on the road, if you run out of juice, you can place the earphones back in the case and wait a bit to recharge for another round. Thus, once the case and your buds are fully charged you have enough for 14 hours. Isn’t that convenient? When the case is fully charged (3 charges), the three tiny green LEDs illuminate.
When listening, the right earpiece has a button on top for pause/play, while the left one’s button is for volume up/down. Ear fit involves an included set of sizes for the outside cover from which to choose, but the very cool thing is that you give the MW07 a twist to seal them in place. It’s akin to using ‘EarPlanes’ earplugs on flights to reduce ear/air pressure—but now you get musical pleasure, too.
Further technical highlights
20+ meter range of Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity; uses an ultra low power consumption Codec
Proprietary silicon ‘Fit Wings’ antenna technology and optical sensors that detect in-ear placement to automatically play and pause the earphones. For example, if you take one earphone out, the music pauses.
Custom 10mm high-performance Beryllium drivers
Dimensions (mm): 25 x 22.2 x 28.3, Case: 64.6 x 26.8 x 45.1
Weight (gm): Earphones: 9gm each, charging Case: 76gm
IPX 4 Splash Proof–Protects from splashing water, no matter the direction
As for sound quality—as with all Master & Dynamic headphones, I found them well-balanced with no booming bass or screeching/edgy highs. Instead a full, articulate, clean and inviting warm sound. Check out the album Gaucho by Steely Dan to get my gist. And listen at CD quality resolution (16/44.1). Even as a non-user of earphones in general, I found these to be a very pleasant surprise. I would easily take these earphones with me whenever I travel. Highly recommended.
Further information: Master & Dynamic