If you happened to read my review last year about Master & Dynamic’s corded MH40 Headphones last September, you know how much I LOVE the brand, and the only downside being I wanted a Bluetooth option.
Well, it seems as if they heard me because late last month they sent me over a pair of their MW60 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones to try out, and they’ve easily continued their reputation as my favorite new headphone brand!
The MW60’s are everything I’ve already spoken about that the MH40 featured, from their lambskin leather headband and accents, down to the steel and aluminum finishings and the subtle logos on each of the headphone cups. But then again, for $500, you’re expecting to get what you pay for, and Master & Dynamic knows that their consumers are looking for not only a comfortable pair of headphones for that price but for an even more premium listening experience.
I’d had no concerns with the build quality of the headphones as they fold up very nicely, and even come with a very distinguished looking carrying case that is not as bulky as some of their competitors. The exposed wiring and the headphone cups having that industrial look with the faux grill just looks beautiful. I was so stunned at the overall appearance of the headphones I thought I’d ding them up if I dropped them down on my desk too hard, but the black and gunmetal color I received held up way more than I could’ve ever imagined. There’s also a Brown and Silver version, but I enjoy the model I received since it goes with pretty much everything.
I’ve noticed that compared to the MH40’s I reviewed a few months ago, the MW60’s are considerably lighter. Which you’d think would be the opposite considering the insertion of the Bluetooth capabilities but somehow Master & Dynamic managed to add more features, without compromising the overall build and weight distribution of the MW60’s.
Now the best part about the MW60’s is the actual audio quality. I’ve listened to a host of Bluetooth devices both over-ear and in-ear, from many brands that claim to give it’s listeners a premium listening experience when in all actuality you’re just paying for the brand name and attempting to convince yourself you’re getting some sort of out-of-this-world experience to your music. Master & Dynamic actually backs it up. I compared the Master Dynamics with a random pair of Beats that I had lying around the house and, personal preference, it’s not even fair.
My more recent go-to track to is A Day To Remember’s “If It Means a Lot To You”. I’ve had a poor habit of listening to a lot of already bass heavy tunes in my music, and while they haven’t ruined my overall perspective on audio quality, it’s a bit more difficult trying to decipher a pair of headphones muddiness, and overall fluidity while listening. With the MW60’s, the track itself even at a medium volume, you can hear the lows crystal clear, the vocals do not sound distorted and the track sounds as it should be heard.
I did also attempt to listen to Logic’s “Fade Away”, which is a track that has a lot of heavy bass, as well as drums and snares that if you listened to with lesser headphones would attempt to over compromise the bass line and drown out the actual lyrics themselves. With the MW60’s I didn’t have this problem because coupled with the mid-treble from the headphones, you’re getting to hear every word without having to try to turn the headphones up full volume to compensate.
Although there’s one thing that most audiophiles might feel the MW60’s lack is noise cancellation. A lot of people, especially frequent travelers encourage noise-canceling headphones, especially at the price, but with the audio I received from the headphones themselves (without the feature) it was a complete oversight until I sat down to write this review. But just as a reminder, this is just the Bluetooth portion of the MW60’s…there’s more!
There’s an included braided cable that to be completely honest, never got much usage from me, for two reasons. One, the battery life of the MW60’s lasted me an entire flight from Washington DC to Vegas heading to CES 2016 as well as the commute in the Uber to my hotel, so it’ll easily last you eight hours on a full charge.
Two, which is a bit of a bummer, is the fact that the cable included with the MW60’s, while detachable, does not come with volume control. So if your battery dies on your MW60’s, you can always plug them inline to your device, but attempting to change tracks will result in you having to actually use the device itself. The reason being is that once you’ve connected the cable to the headphones and it detects it as such, there is no power capability to the MW60’s, so you cannot use the volume controls included in the headphones at all.
Interesting enough though, since I still have my MH40’s, what I did was simply connect the cable that came included with those into my MW60’s and VOILA! It worked. I don’t know exactly why Master & Dynamic didn’t just include this, especially for the $500 price tag, but that’s the only issue I’ve noticed in my month of testing the MW60’s.
However, if you have the funds, or simply want to stop paying $100-200 for headphones that promise you the premium experience, yet use every shortcut in the world with their plastic finishes, down to their promise of a “studio-like listen”, you can easily save up a little bit and not only end up with a comfortable pair of headphones that will pay for themselves in their longevity, but for the self-proclaimed audiophiles out there (bass lovers or not), the Master & Dynamic MW60’s are a simple case of “getting what you pay for”.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: The overall look and feel of the headphones; Audio quality is right on par with any Bowers & Wilkins, Harman and JBL headphone I’ve ever used
What Needs Improvement: Audio cable should’ve come included with Volume Control