Let’s get right to this Master & Dynamic MW50 Headphone review. This is one of the most captivating (and truly useful) pairs of wireless headphones we have ever covered, I want to mention right away.
The fit and finish of Master and Dynamic’s finished goods are quite difficult to match, and they have already produced some outstanding headphones. Even some of the largest headphone manufacturers would have trouble competing with this kind of product. We notice when they release a new product because of their attention to detail and consistent design language, so we were delighted to receive this set of MW50 for review.
Be aware that the MW50+ headphones are not your typical pair of Bluetooth headphones before we continue. Instead, they are a 2-in-1 design with interchangeable pad systems that let you wear them over or on your ears. combining the finest of comfort and portability in one convenient package. Over the years, we have tested a lot of concept headphones, but they have all felt rather underwhelming in comparison to the MW50.
Master & Dynamic MW50 2-IN-1 System in further detail
The MW50 is just a single pair of headphones with a technology that allows you to remove one set of earpads and change their design to something entirely different. You can choose to have them set up as over-the-ear (circumaural pads) or in-ear headphones in this situation (where the pads sit directly on the ear instead of around it).
There have been a few approaches to this before, but they were almost always too impractical to live with, and modifying the system would require too much work. The MW50+ switches out each side in around 2 seconds.
The alternative earpads simply pull themselves into place once you remove the current ones, which are kept in place by magnets, by just grabbing the headphones in their current configuration. It’s as easy as it should be; there’s no fumbling with clips or changing out headbands.
How come you would want to do this? Yes, it is a bit of a gimmick, but let’s be honest and acknowledge that the majority of people will probably choose one style and stick with it. This kind of system does, however, have a few special benefits over a non-adaptable model.
They are far more adaptable as a fashion accessory because you can effectively have two different styles. Additionally, they are incredibly small and portable when worn on the ear, making them ideal for travel. But what if you get at work and decide that you don’t want to experience the sustained pressure that direct contact pads provide during extended listening sessions? You can switch to the circumaural pads, which are lighter and more open. In the end, it really depends on how you utilize your headphones.
Gadgets & Wrapping of The Master & Dynamic MW50
In terms of their total package and accessories, Master & Dynamic has consistently ranked first. The MW50’s unboxing is equally as lovely as it was for the MH30 headphones and ME05 earphones. The styling is well-planned, tidy, elegant, and practical, and quality materials are used extensively. The quality of the accessories is at the absolute top of the market for consumer headphones, and they are practically flawless.
As a side note, I will say that Master and Dynamic Headphones are wonderful presents. Come Christmastime, I will definitely recommend this because they have a terrific unwrapping experience, feel incredibly special, and scream quality.
You do feel like you are getting value for your money in the package. Many businesses cut corners on the extras in an effort to save a few dollars, but Master & Dynamic added certain features that really set their package apart from most of their rivals.
What are in the Box?
- Headphone master unit Master & Dynamic MW50+
- 1 pair of little leather on-ear cushions
- 1 set of sizable leather over-ear ear pads
- 1 3.5mm headphone jack cable for using wired headphones
- 1 carry pouch with the trademark Master & Dynamic
There is only one item missing from this review, and that greatly irritates me. You are compelled to use the provided bag, which plainly provides no impact protection, because there is no hardshell case included. To protect your headphones while traveling, I advise you to get an aftermarket case like this one from Cowin, but if you only use them at home, you may get by without one.
Style and construction quality
I believe I have made it obvious enough in the past that Master & Dynamic headphones are really aesthetically pleasing to me. It is stylishly and expertly finished in a retro-modern style. When utilizing either set of earcups, the MW50 has a somewhat distinct appearance, but both are equally appealing and have a low profile that sits well on the head.
They feel just as high-end as they seem because the entire unit is covered in plush leather and sleek metal.
This portable headphone will offer the long-term durability you seek from a portable headphone because the headband is quite strong and the slider mechanism is made of metal. The band itself is padded with memory foam and wrapped in thick, soft grain leather. In contrast, earpads are made of incredibly soft lambskin leather and even softer memory foam, which makes them strong, breathable, and pleasant.
Although the earcups fully articulate inward and let you lay the headphones flat on a table, unlike many of the MW50’s rivals, they cannot be folded for storage. This, in my opinion, is an omission that should have been made because it makes them more difficult to stow in a bag when not in use and restricts the types of aftermarket cases you can use with them.
It will be difficult to choose one of the three colors that are offered for the MW50 because they are all so attractive. You can choose between the company’s recognizable silver and brown hue and a stealthy black, silver, and black combination. Now that I’ve seen all three sets in person, each has a distinct charm and is executed with great taste.
Isolation and comfort
The MW50 is more comfortable than its rivals in both of the configurations that they are used in. When lambskin leather is used in the on-ear setting pads, you can feel how soft it is and how it differs from other manufacturers that choose to utilize synthetic protein leather in this region. On-ear headphones, of course, have their cons when it comes to comfort, and the MW50 is no exception, but I’d say on average I avoided discomfort for roughly an hour longer than I would have with other similar models.
When paired with the over-ear earpads, comfort is much improved, making it possible to use them for extended periods of time. Thus, there is little to no direct contact with the outer ear in this situation, and the earcups are still extremely permeable, minimizing perspiration buildup and heat pressure.
The clamping force and weight—two factors I haven’t yet discussed but which are quite important when determining how comfy these headphones are—come into play. The MW50 is extremely light and doesn’t put any strain on the neck in either setting. Additionally, the clamping force is on the light side, which decreases isolation in both forms while improving comfort.
In both instances, isolation is comparable. Evidently, on-ear headphones provide less isolation than those with over-ear cups. The Sennheiser HD25 DJ headphones or a pair of specifically designed noise-canceling headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM2 do not give the same amount of ambient noise reduction as the MW50, which will be a good set of headphones for commuting.
CLEAN WARMTH – SOUND QUALITY
The Master & Dynamic MW50’s overall tuning is on the warm side of neutral, and as a result, they sound terrific with a wide range of genres. These use 40mm beryllium drivers, which are not simply a marketing ploy because IMR Acoustics IEMs and Campfire Audio Lyra are two of my favorite earphones that also use beryllium drivers. The MW50 generates a lot of information while also being intimate and engaging, and scaling up to a full-size headphone driver appears to also work well.
Highs – The MW50’s high end sounds clean and unoffensive. But that doesn’t imply they don’t experience highs at all. The majority of the time, they play unobtrusively, but when we tested them with the jazz music in our listening tests, they really began to stand out. This is due to the treble range’s fine detail rather than an artificial sounding augmentation. The treble is generally clean and smooth, but occasionally, when used with the correct source material, a sharpness and definition can be heard.
Mids – The mids have a lot of instrument separation and are warm, smooth, and smooth. Although I thought they sounded fantastic with both male and female voices, I felt that stringed instruments were where they really shone. They captivate you with a sense of intimacy and have good decay through the midrange notes. Although the mids do a fantastic job at retrieving detail, the 1More Triple Driver headphones still outperformed them in terms of overall clarity. On bass-heavy music, a small amount of bass bleed into the mids was seen, but only when we really pushed them.
Lows – The MW50’s lows are its best feature. They manage to offer strong volumes of sub-bass while being calm and clear. They particularly excel in this area when you have the full-size earcups on, completely engulfing and involving you in the music. Although they don’t have the size to move as much air as a headphone with a 50mm or more driver, they have a nice texture that displays the different bass frequencies well, and we must admit that for such a compact container, we were impressed.
Both were able to provide an above-average amount of width and depth when compared to their respective competitors. The soundstage will mostly depend on the pads we utilized with them.
The sound is something I really like overall. They are well-tuned, comfortable headphones that don’t in any way make you tired to listen to them. Yes, there are more flat-response, visceral audiophile-grade headphones available, but although they may be excellent for analytical listening, they are simply impractical for use when traveling. The MW50 has a sound that many people are likely to recognize, yet it’s good, and it fits with practically every genre we tried.
A CLASSY AND WELL-EXECUTED CONCLUSION
The Master & Dynamic MW50 is undoubtedly a high-end headphone and one of the most fashionable portable headphones available today. They are intrinsically adaptable because the earpads can be swapped out, but I think that most users will eventually just go with one design. The MW50+ headphones are among my favorite headphones of 2018 because of their superior style and construction.
Although I wouldn’t categorize these as audiophile headphones, they rank at the top of the consumer Bluetooth headset market for smooth, detailed sound. They sound far better than typical Bluetooth 4.0 headphones thanks to the addition of Aptx. Comfort and isolation rate highly, and controls are straightforward and intuitive.
The only drawback is the high asking price, but in this case, the construction quality and materials alone show that you get what you pay for. One of the greatest luxury headphone manufacturers on the market offers yet another excellent model.
Updates to the MASTER & DYNAMIC MW50
Follow-up at 6 months – Over the past six months, the headphones have been used extensively both inside and outside the office, and there are a few things to note.
The style of these headphones is really popular. Even though we already knew it was attractive, this is one of the most aesthetically pleasing headphones we have ever worn.
Build quality is exceptional. Except for the lovely patina that is growing on the leather, these headphones appear to be brand new. There are no concerns regarding their long-term durability despite having been dropped three times from a great height, put in a flight case, and transported numerous times.
After using them for a couple of weeks, I decided to only wear them over my ears. Since I frequently go abroad and don’t want to carry both sets of pads, this is the perfect solution for me. The small pads would probably stay on the headphones if I were only commuting, and the large pads would stay at my desk at work.