Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

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The Lowdown

I really like the Master & Dynamic MW75. They sound fantastic, get amazing battery life, and deliver effective noise cancellation that can be adjusted to your needs at any given moment.

Overall
4

Pros

  • Great sound
  • Premium materials
  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • Multiple modes of ANC including Adaptive ANC and two modes of ambient listening
  • Stellar battery life
  • Tons of included accessories, and all fit nicely in the included case

Cons

  • The MW75 represent a new design language compared to previous audio headphones that customers may or may not prefer
  • Bigger, thicker, and heavier than the MW65
  • The ANC button has been moved to be in line with other controls rather than in its own, unique, position
  • Large size requires a fairly bulky case
Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review Listen to this article

The new Master & Dynamic MW75 over-the-ear wireless headphones with active noise cancellation were recently introduced. The follow-up to the company’s impressive MW65, this latest offering builds on their years of experience and reflects Master & Dynamic’s growth since their first headphones launched in 2014. The MW75 are impressive, but are they worth the $599 price tag?

Its been fun watching the evolution of Master & Dynamic’s product offerings.

The MH40 over-the-ear headphones were the first Master & Dynamic product we reviewed. The wired headphones were comfortable and offered impressive sound. They also established the company’s signature design aesthetic.

Premium materials such as lambskin, steel, and aluminum, with metal buttons and controls, contribute to the expensive look and feel of the headphones. With their woven metal design, the metal ear cups helped them stand out in an ever-more-crowded market.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

Master & Dynamic MH40 over-the-ear wired headphones

By the time the Master & Dynamic MH40 headphones came out, the market was already beginning to be dominated by new wireless offerings. So the company got to work and, in 2016, released the MW60.

The new headphones were made from the same high-quality materials and had the same, albeit a bit more refined, design aesthetics as the MH40. But, as the change from MH to MW might indicate, they added Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

Master & Dynamic MW60 over-the-ear wireless headphones

Master & Dynamic sent me a pair of MW60s, and they quickly became my favorite wireless headphones. They looked amazing; they were comfortable, and they sounded fantastic. When I listened to familiar tracks over them, I heard musical details that I had never before noticed.

The thing is, by the time the MW60 headphones were released, the headphone market was already moving toward the ubiquity of including Active Noise Cancellation that we see today, but Master & Dynamic still didn’t have any over-the-ear offerings with ANC.

In the meantime, the company released their on-ear MW50 and, a year later, their MW50+, which could be used as either on-ear or over-the-ear headphones.

Then, in 2019, Master & Dynamic released the MW65. They looked like the MW60s, were made with the same premium materials, were comfortable, and sounded great. And the added ANC did a rather amazing job zapping ambient sound, so all you heard was the music.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

Master & Dynamic MW65 over-the-ear headphones with ANC

Oddly, I found that the MW65s sounded better with the ANC turned on, which is something I had never before encountered.

One of my favorite features of the MW65 was a new button on the ear cup’s surface that allowed you to toggle the ANC. The unique positioning made it easy to change the ANC setting without having to remove the headphones. I promise that this will become relevant in short order.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

The ANC toggle button on the Master & Dynamic MW65

The MW65 quickly became my go-to over-the-ear headphones.

I loved that, even as the company’s headphones were refined and enhanced, they maintained the same unique design aesthetic that drew so many of us to their products.

And then things changed.

Last fall, Master & Dynamic released their first gaming headphones, the MG20. With lightweight earcups made from magnesium and lambskin ear pads, the MG20 maintained the company’s commitment to using the best possible materials.

And while the headphones were immediately recognizable as Master & Dynamic, the company had changed its design language for the first time.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

Master & Dynamic MG20 over-the-ear gaming headphones

The ear cups were wider, which meant they lost some of the uniqueness of the oval design found in previous offerings. They were also the company’s first over-the-ear headphones that did not have the metal grill that had become Master & Dynamic’s signature.

That small but substantial change meant the MG20 lost much of the retro/steampunk look I had grown to love. Even the hinge, which had previously connected to both sides of the earcups, evolved and now had only a single pivot point connecting the headband to the earcups.

I was a bit mixed regarding the new design, but the headphones sounded great, got great battery life, and I loved the clarity I got on conference calls, thanks to the detachable boom microphone.

I was eager to see what the company would do next.

That leads us to the new Master & Dynamic MW75 Active Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones.

Master & Dynamic MW75 retail box

The MW75 are the company’s newest premium over-the-ear wireless headphones with active noise cancellation. Available in four different color combinations, they might best be described as the offspring of a marriage between the MW65 and the MG20.

Ear cups on the Master & Dynamic MW75

As I expected, premium materials such as anodized aluminum, tempered glass, and lambskin leather make for a headphone that looks and feels like the premium product they are.

Like the MG20, the MW75 are wider than the MW65 and have a solid ear up rather than the signature metal grill they had previously used. They look great, but I am still adjusting the wider stance of the MW75, and the new design isn’t quite as unique as prior offerings.

Because the Master & Dynamic MW75 headphones are a bit larger and, unlike the MW60s, do not fold, the included case is huge. Made with felt material, it falls somewhere between a soft pouch and a hard case.

The Master & Dynamic MW75 travel case

I’m not sure how protective it would be if the headphones were dropped or crushed, but the case did a fine job protecting them when we traveled last week.

Master & Dynamic MW75 inside travel case

Inside the Master & Dynamic MW75’s case is a plethora of included accessories. In addition to the headphones, you get a USB-C to USB-C charging cable, a USB-C to USB-A adapter, a USB-C to 3.5mm audio cable so you can use them as wired headphones, a 3.5mm to 1/4” adapter so you can use them with a home audio system, and a flight adapter.

On our flight to California, I will note that the United plane’s entertainment system used a different plug format, so the included flight adapter didn’t work. I had to use the crappy headphones at my seat to watch a movie.

In any case, that’s a nice selection of included accessories, and they each have a spot inside the case.

Master & Dynamic MW75

As I mentioned, the Master & Dynamic MW75 are made with premium materials. The headband is wrapped in lambskin leather and, like the MG20, has solid metal connecting the headband to the ear cups. Also, like the MG20, the headband connects to the ear ups at a single pivot point.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

The connection between the headband and the ear cups on the MW75 is the same as we saw on the MG20.

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

That one change makes them look far more like the MG20 than the headphones that came before them.

The inside of the Master & Dynamic MW75 ear cups

The Master & Dynamic MW75 ear cups are made from comfortable memory foam wrapped in lambskin. And they are replaceable!

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

MW65 left. MW75 right

The interior is a bit larger than previous headphones, so I find them to be a bit more comfortable for extended listening sessions. So, while I’m still mixed on the wider design of the earcup, there is no argument that the design change makes the headphones a bit more comfortable.

While rounder than previous offerings, the openings of the ear cups of the Master & Dynamic MW75s are actually not much larger than those found on the MW65; they are, however, much thicker. That’s not a problem, but it does make the headphones look far heftier than prior offerings.

The new headphones are also heavier than previous models. The MW65 weigh just 245g, while the MW75 weigh in at a whopping 338g. Despite the increased weight, the MW75 headphones don’t feel particularly heavy.

Inside the headphones are 40mm Berylium drivers with an impedance of 32 Ohms. Bluetooth 5.1 offers a range of 30 meters, and the inclusion of AAC and aptX Adaptive technology for hi-res Bluetooth as the audio source supports it; they combine to deliver fantastic sound.

I’ve always loved the way Master & Dynamic tunes their headphones, and these are no exception.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

One cool feature of Bluetooth 5.1 is multipoint, which allows you to connect the headphones to two different devices simultaneously.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

The face of the earcups is made from glass rather than the iconic metal grille.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

Master & Dynamic added a perforated metal band around the glass in homage to their earlier headphones.

The physical buttons on the Master & Dynamic MW75 are made from metal and offer a comfortable, tactile feel when pressed.

 

The left earcup has a power/pairing button and a button to toggle through the various levels of ANC. Between the two is a small indicator light. As I mentioned, the ANC button on the MW65 was separate from the other controls and, as a result, simple to adjust without removing the headphones.

I prefer this setup and wish the company had maintained a similar design.

 

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The right earcup has up and down buttons to adjust the volume; between them, there is a multifunction button (MFB) for audio control while wearing the headphones.

A single press on the MFB lets you play/pause media or answer/end a call. A double press advances to the next track, and a triple press skips back to the previous track.

When you press and hold the MFB, you can activate your phone or tablet’s voice assistant.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

You’ll also find the USB-C charger on the right ear cup.

The headphones sound fantastic, and as with the MW65, I prefer the audio on the Master & Dynamic MW75 when the ANC is active.

Speaking of ANC, Master & Dynamic put a great deal of effort into improving their already excellent ANC. You can listen to the headphones with the ANC off or choose from All Day ANC, MAX ANC, or Adaptive ANC.

As the company explains, their “Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation automatically adjusts the level of noise cancellation to match your surroundings, leaving behind nothing but the sound you want.”

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

There is only one ANC button, so to select between All Day, MAX, and Adaptive ANC, you’ll need to download the free M&D Connect app and connect it to your headphones.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

In the app, you can select which of the three ANC modes you prefer. Once selected, that mode will become the default ANC mode until you go back into the app and change it.

I have been using MAX ANC most of the time and found it worked quite well on our flight to and from California, but I suspect the adaptive ANC will be my preference when I wear it in the office.

The ANC button toggles between ANC and Ambient listening for those times when you don’t want to shut out the world completely. The headphones offer two modes of ambient listening, and with the app, you can select between Ambient Voice Mode and Ambient Awareness Mode.

Voice mode is best for capturing conversations around you, while Ambient Awareness Mode is best for increasing general awareness around you. The mode you select in the app becomes the default ambient mode until you go back into the app and change it.

The app also lets you select from one of four equalizer modes. The selection is a bit limited; hopefully, the company will offer an enhanced app with more features and a more attractive user interface at some point.

Master & Dynamic does a decent job summarizing all of this when they write:

Noise cancellation, re-imagined. The MW75 Active Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones deliver detailed, serious acoustics and custom-tailored sound with 40mm Beryllium drivers and Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation for the perfect combination of sound and silence. Experience effortless all-day listening with lightweight anodized aluminum and soft lambskin leather in a distinct, refined silhouette that is the MW75.

One of the things I loved about the MG20 was the detachable boom microphone, which worked great on conference calls. The MW75 doesn’t have a boom microphone, but they do have an assortment of beam-forming microphones and acoustically tuned mesh that “rejects wind sounds and filters out environmental noise.”

I haven’t used the headphones extensively for calls, but they seemed to work quite well the few times I have.

Finally, it is worth noting that the Master & Dynamic MW75 deliver up to 32 hours of listening per charge; with ANC enabled, you will get up to 28 hours. While headphones that deliver such impressive battery life don’t really need it, they also offer proximity sensors that automatically pause media playback when the headphones are removed.

Master & Dynamic MW75 Over-the-Ear Active Noise Canceling Headphones Review

I really like the Master & Dynamic MW75. They sound fantastic, get amazing battery life, and deliver effective noise cancellation that can be adjusted to your needs at any given moment.

I’m still a bit mixed on the new design language, as I think the MW65 looked a bit more unique; I also miss the unique positioning of the ANC button on the MW65. Those caveats aside, however, I can’t find any serious faults with the company’s decisions. The amazing sound, impactful ANC, and world-class battery life more than make up for any of the “deficits” I have identified.

The Master & Dynamic MW75 would be a no-brainer if not for the premium price of $599. For $499, the MW65, which are still available, might be a good choice for many. Still, they offer less battery life (they max out at 24 hours) and are stuck with Bluetooth 4.2, which provides less range and lower fidelity than Bluetooth 5.1 and has a far more limited range of ANC functionality.

So, if you want great over-the-ear headphones, the MW65 will serve you well. But, if you want the Master & Dynamic headphones with the latest and most powerful features, you should consider spending the extra $100 for the MW75.

The Master & Dynamic MW75 sells for $599; they are available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Great sound; Premium materials; Exceptionally comfortable; Multiple modes of ANC including Adaptive ANC and two modes of ambient listening; Stellar battery life; Tons of included accessories, and all fit nicely in the included case

What Needs Improvement: The MW75 represent a new design language compared to previous audio headphones that customers may or may not prefer; Bigger, thicker, and heavier than the MW65; The ANC button has been moved to be in line with other controls rather than in its own, unique, position; Large size requires a fairly bulky case

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.