There is a whole world of high end audio products that make a far bigger difference than you’d think. Truly good audio is special and can’t be compared to cheaper products on the market. Spending hundreds on a single set of headphones is the norm.
The Master & Dynamic MW50 wireless on-ear headphones aim to bring that high end audio to a portable and wireless form factor.
Drivers: 40mm Beryllium
Impedance: 32 ohms
Bluetooth version: 4.1 with AptX
Battery life: 16 hours
Where to buy: Master & Dynamic
The Master & Dynamic MW50 headphones have three buttons on one ear cup; two volume buttons and a play/pause button. There is also a USB Type-C port, and it’s great to see manufacturers start using Type-C on accessories.
The other ear cup has a switch. One click of the switch turns on the headphones. Pushing the switch momentarily to the second position will give you an indicator showing the battery life. Holding it there will enter pairing mode. There are two status LEDs nearby. Underneath is a 3.5mm headphone jack to use the headphones when the battery dies.
Included is a very nice round leather box. Inside are high quality braided cables with metal ends; one USB Type-C for charging and one 3.5mm. Also included is a carrying pouch.
These headphones are impeccably built. Every bit is designed to be as premium as possible. The body is made out of aluminum and trimmed with heavy grain leather on the cups and headband. The inside of the headband and the ear cups are made of lush lambskin and memory foam.
There are buttons on both cups and they’re made out of metal as well. They feel extremely solid and clicky. Despite the volume buttons being tiny, they’re engraved with a + and -.
The rotation of the cups as well as the size adjustment are both very stiff and smooth. They scream premium.
One feature I love is the replaceable magnetic ear cups. If they ever wear out, a firm tug removes them and new ones can be installed.
The headphones have a very light pressure on the head and very soft ear cups. When they’re on your head, they are very comfortable and can be worn for long periods of time with no problems.
If you want to get these for fitness, don’t count on it. Due to the light head pressure, they don’t stay on your head reassuringly. Running in them will not work. However, walking is fine.
For $450, you’d expect amazing sound quality. Yes, they’re extremely well built and use high end materials. And yes, there are finishing touches that are simply amazing on these headphones. All of this costs money. But they’re headphones, they have to sound good.
Thankfully, they sound amazing. The drivers used are fantastic and capable of some serious sound. The highs are crystal clear, the bass is smooth and pleasant, and every detail can be heard. These surpass any other Bluetooth headphones I’ve ever used.
They can also be turned up really loud without distortion. Volume junkies won’t be disappointed by the loudness of these cans. And even at ridiculous volumes, everything sounds crystal clear.
Audiophiles may not be completely happy with the sound. They are definitely not reference headphones: the sound is far from flat. They have a very powerful sound signature with warm lows and very strong highs. In some instances, the highs may sound a little shrill. Nonetheless, the lows are well balanced (there is no rumbling or distortion) and the mids are present.
In the end, the “consumer” tune on these headphones serves them well. Perfectly flat sound doesn’t sound great to most people. While I’d prefer the highs to be smoother and the bass to be punchier, they sound absolutely excellent and very enjoyable. The detail is amazing and up there with high end headphones, even wired ones.
The headphones are rated at 16 hours of battery life, which is very nice for their size. Heavy use even at higher volumes barely makes a dent to the big battery. 16 hours is easily attainable at reasonable volume, and this should last weeks with light use.
The MW50 wireless on-ear headphones may be expensive, but they’re worth every penny. Everything about them is exemplary. The build quality is phenomenal, the comfort is fantastic, and the sound quality is a joy. And the little extra touches like a USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and really nice cables included seal the deal.
The sound quality could be tuned a little better, as I do prefer a smoother and warmer sound, but they sound amazing and the drivers themselves are up to the task.
If you’re in the market for a truly good set of high end Bluetooth headphones, look no further. Master & Dynamic has made a high end product that doesn’t disappoint despite the high price tag. They truly feel special.