Great noise cancelling
Replaceable ear pads
Pain at the crown of the head
Headband feels flimsy
Master & Dynamic has established a name for itself within the world of premium audio. Its latest headphones, the Master & Dynamic MW65, feature excellent noise cancelling, superb build quality, and Google Assistant integration. The MW65 are certainly eye-catching but is the $500 price tag justified?
Read the in-depth review by SoundGuys
What is the Master & Dynamic MW65 like?
These headphones are the pinnacle of premium build quality. Master & Dynamic goes to great lengths to ensure the MW65 look and feel outstanding. Lambskin leather and anodized aluminum accents make for a complementary contrast. The memory foam ear pads are removable, elongating the life of the headset.
These cans aren’t just about looks: there’s some brain behind the beauty. Google Assistant integration means your incoming messages may be read aloud to you and you can immediately dictate a response. You also get the usual virtual assistant functionality like setting reminders, checking the weather, and more. They operate via Bluetooth 4.2, rather than 5.0, which is odd given the exorbitant price. However, functionality is unhindered, and you can also connect two devices for quick source switching.
The ear cups fold flat, making them easy to stow away into the included carrying pouch. The pouch isn’t very protective, but it prevents scuffs. Clearly distinguished buttons adorn the ear cups and facilitate playback control, Bluetooth pairing, and noise-cancelling adjustments.
The MW65 are great for anyone who wants to fly and commute in style.
You can cycle through three noise-cancelling modes: high, low, and off, depending on your environment. They cancel noise well but are still outperformed by the likes of Sony and AKG. That said, neighboring chatter and distant traffic are effectively quieted by the headset.
How is the battery life?
With ANC set to high, the battery lasts 20 hours, 41 minutes. When the battery dies, quick charging via the USB-C cable yields 12 hours of playback after just 15 minutes of charging. This is crucial for on-the-go listeners who may not always remember to charge their devices. Worst-case scenario, you can always resort to the included 3.5mm cable assuming your phone has a headphone jack. A full charge cycle requires about two hours.
How does Master & Dynamic MW65 sound?
The headphones play nicely with almost all genres of music. According to SoundGuys’ testing, they have a neutral-leaning frequency response. All this means is audio reproduction is accurate. Whether you’re listening to Metallica or Andrew Bird, your music should sound close to how the audio engineer intended. If you tend to listen to vocal heavy, acoustic-oriented music, you’ll enjoy the Master & Dynamic MW65 sound signature.
Whereas some headphones egregiously exaggerate the bass response, the MW65 de-emphasize it. This makes vocals and string instruments easier to hear. Android users will benefit from aptX HD support. Unfortunately, iPhone users won’t be able to enjoy high-quality Bluetooth audio since AAC isn’t compatible.
Should you buy it?
Expensive headphones can be worth it. If you have a flexible budget and are drawn to the MW65, it may be justifiable. For better or worse, most of us operate within limited financial constraints. If that resonates with you, the better audio quality, battery life, and noise-cancelling capabilities of the Sony WH-1000xM3 make more sense. Sure, they’re not as pretty as Master & Dynamic’s headset, but they’re $150 cheaper.