Master & Dynamic’s MW75 Wireless Headphones Send Your Ears to an Overpriced Sonic Spa

Master & Dynamic’s MW75 Wireless Headphones Send Your Ears to an Expensive Sonic Spa

If you’re looking for the best performance in wireless headphones, including great sound quality, comfort, battery life and noise cancellation, ditch the earbuds and invest in something bigger. Master & Dynamics’ new MW75 wireless headphones bring all of the above to the table with style, but also come with a price tag that’s steeper than even Apple’s premium AirPods Max

It may not be as recognizable headphone brand as Sony, Beats, Apple or Bose, but since it was founded in New York nine years ago with a focus on premium materials and premium sound, Master & Dynamic has long been high on Gizmodo’s recommendation list – at least for those who want to splurge. The Master & Dynamic MW08 True Wireless Earbuds are still my personal favorite when it comes to buds, but at $300 ($416) they are undeniably expensive considering what you can get now get for under $100 ($139)† The same can be said for the company’s new MW75 over-ear headphones, but do premium materials and performance really justify the $600 ($833) price tag?

Master & Dynamic MW75

WHAT IS IT?

Wireless headphones made of premium materials such as aluminum and lamb leather, with impressive sound and solid active noise cancellation.

PRICE

$US600 ($833)

LIKE IT

Superb sound quality, ultra-comfortable ear cups and plenty of buttons make controlling your music through the headphones a breeze.

dislike

Expensive, and the active noise cancellation doesn’t outshine the best offerings from Sony or Apple.

An improved design that still offers a luxurious experience

Although several light years away from the premium prices of true audiophile equipmentMaster & Dynamic’s latest release is primarily a luxury product that also happens to offer one of the best audio experiences available right now, making the $600 ($833) price tag a little easier to justify.

Master & Dynamic changed the way the headband adapts to the increasing flexibility of the ear cup and improved the fit.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)Master & Dynamic changed the way the headband adapts to the increasing flexibility of the ear cup and improved the fit. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

An update of the Master & Dynamic MW65, which debuted in May 2019, the MW75 shares many design elements with its predecessor, including the use of aluminum for the earcups, making them strong and durable as well as lightweight. The outside of each earcup features a raised glass panel featuring the company’s branding, which is surrounded by a ring of aluminum mesh to keep the microphones used for active noise cancellation out of sight.

The headband on the MW65 connects directly to the top of those raised panels on either side, but on the MW75 it now connects to the side of each earcup via an additional curved arm that follows the curve of the cups. It sets the MW75 apart aesthetically, but also allows the ear cups to be a little more flexible to sit flush against the side of a user’s head. The only thing missing (I seriously can’t find them anywhere) are simple L and R labels so users know which way to wear the headphones. If you’re concerned about the aesthetics, just hide the left and right labels in the earcups like Apple did on the AirPods Max.

The lambskin-wrapped earcups of the Master & Dynamic MW75 (right) offer a thicker padding than the Sony WH-1000XM5s (left).  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The lambskin-wrapped earcups of the Master & Dynamic MW75 (right) offer a thicker padding than the Sony WH-1000XM5s (left). (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

The MW75’s most premium feature is the use of lambskin leather covering the padded headband and the thick layer of memory foam on each earcup (which is much thicker than what Sony and Apple use). The lambskin feels fantastic, of course, and I can understand why the company chooses it over synthetic alternatives. Part of Master & Dynamic’s original story is that one of its founders was inspired by 1940s metal and leather headphones that were still in great shape over 60 years later.

Leather lasts a long time when properly cared for, but since we now know that the problematic toll on livestock raising takes on the environment, now is a good time for even premium electronics manufacturers to move away from leather and lambskin. The synthetic leather-like material that Sony uses on its WH-1000XM5 feels as soft as the lambskin leather of the MW75, while the knit material Apple uses for the AirPods Max offers unparalleled breathability.

Give me all the buttons

I will forever be a proponent of companies pushing as many buttons on headphones as possible. I understand voice assistants are helpful, but I don’t get to talk to Siri or Google Assistant on public transit, and touch screens often have a learning curve that I’m not willing to spend time learning.

The Master & Dynamic MW75s have dedicated volume up and down buttons on the right earcup, as well as a separate playback control button.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The Master & Dynamic MW75s have dedicated volume up and down buttons on the right earcup, as well as a separate playback control button. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

I want buttons, and the MW75 has plenty. On the right earcup you’ll find dedicated volume up and down buttons, and in between is a raised button (easy to distinguish by touch alone) for controlling song playback with single, double and triple presses.

The left earcup of the Master & Dynamic MW75 features an on/off button and a button to switch between ANC modes.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The left earcup of the Master & Dynamic MW75 features an on/off button and a button to switch between ANC modes. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

On the left earcup is a power button (which also activates Bluetooth pairing mode) and a dedicated button to toggle between the MW75’s ANC and ambient sound-enhancing modes, or turn that stuff off altogether.

Excellent sound with solid noise cancellation

One of the things I like about Master & Dynamic is that it’s not a company that just puts a premium finish on a regular pair of headphones. The new MW75 sounds fantastic, and with a 40mm beryllium driver in each earcup (same size as in the AirPods Max, while the WH-1000XM5 uses smaller 30mm drivers) I actually think they sound better than both Apple and Sony’s premium ANC options. The vocals in Wig Wam’s Do you want to taste it? (made popular as the theme song for HBOs peacekeeper) sound crisp and clear through the MW75s, and while it’s a busy track, all the layers, from the driving high-hats to the electric guitar, come through clear and separated.

The ANC on the Master & Dynamic MW75's (left, bottom) can't compete with the highly effective ANC on the Sony WH-1000XM5's (right, top).  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The ANC on the Master & Dynamic MW75’s (left, bottom) can’t compete with the highly effective ANC on the Sony WH-1000XM5’s (right, top). (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

Where the Master & Dynamic MW75 performs slightly less, is with active noise reduction. It’s very good at taking a big bite out of the lower bass frequencies of an airplane engine roar, as heard from the cabin (as simulated through my home cinema setup) but it’s noticeably a step behind the AirPods Max’s ANC capabilities, and even further behind Sony’s. For whatever reason, Sony has decided that ANC is the only feature the headphones will excel at, as evidenced by the impressive WH-1000XM5† Sony now crams eight microphones (plus two processors for nuking noise) into its flagship ANC headphones, while Master & Dynamic sticks to just four in its new MW75. The difference is very noticeable, but all the more so since the WH-1000XM5 is $200 ($278) cheaper.

Make some extra space in your hand luggage

The best reason to opt for more expensive active noise canceling headphones is to drown out the sound of airplane engines on a long flight, plus everything else going on in the cabin.

The carrying case of the Master & Dynamic MW75 (below) is much thicker than that of the Sony WH-1000XM5 (above) and does not sag smaller when the MW75s are removed.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The carrying case of the Master & Dynamic MW75 (below) is much thicker than that of the Sony WH-1000XM5 (above) and does not sag smaller when the MW75s are removed. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

While the ear cups on the MW75 fold completely flat (with the opening down), they are actually designed to sit in the included carrying case in the same direction they are worn. That means the MW75’s housing is actually one of the bulkiest I’ve ever tested, and unlike the one Sony provides with its WH-1000XM5, it doesn’t fold any thinner when the headphones are removed.

The Master & Dynamic MW75 carrying case contains accessories such as a headphone cable, a charging cable and an adapter for headphone jacks in airplane seats.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The Master & Dynamic MW75 carrying case contains accessories such as a headphone cable, a charging cable and an adapter for headphone jacks in airplane seats. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

That makes the Master & Dynamic less attractive for travel, especially for those who want to pack as light as possible. On the plus side, in the carrying case you’ll find a headphone cable, a USB-C charging cable, and even an adapter for the clunky dual headphone jacks that have been found on airplane seats for decades.

Worth the splurge?

Back in 2019, when Sony wasn’t so obsessed with ANC performance and the AirPods Max only existed in an Apple R&D facility, the excellent MW65 was an easy choice for someone looking for excellent sound in a premium package. In 2022, the new MW75 will face much stronger competition.

The Master & Dynamic MW75s feel great and sound even better, but disappointing ANC performance makes it hard to justify that $600 price tag.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The Master & Dynamic MW75s feel great and sound even better, but disappointing ANC performance makes it hard to justify that $600 price tag. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

If you’re looking for the perfect over-ear wireless headphones to make your return to the plane more peaceful and enjoyable, the $400 ($555) Sony WH-1000XM5 is still your best bet, and if you’re all-in on the Apple ecosystem and prioritize effortless wireless connectivity (plus easy access to the sometimes useful Siri), the $550 ($764) AirPods Max is the way to go.

The MW75 outperforms both Sony and Apple when it comes to sound quality, but at $600 ($833) I was hoping to be blown away by its ANC performance, and it wasn’t. Despite the premium finish, that makes the expensive price tag harder to justify. Unlike the more than 60-year-old analog headphones that inspired Master & Dynamic when the company was founded, premium construction materials that last for decades are no longer so important as the technology in headphones may be obsolete in a few years. year. (The next evolution of Bluetooth is just around the corner.) At $600 ($833), the MW75 really had to beat both Sony and Apple on all fronts, and unfortunately it falls just short of that target.

#Master #Dynamics #MW75 #Wireless #Headphones #Send #Ears #Expensive #Sonic #Spa

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *