When the brand Master & Dynamic is mentioned, I always think about beautifully crafted products with premium materials. My first Master & Dynamic headphones were the MH30 and now I have the chance to test the bigger version, the MH40 over-ear headphones.
Design & Features
The M&D MH40 comes in a variety of color options, including black, brown, navy/silver, white, or gunmetal. My favorite one is still the retro brown version but the black one doesn’t look bad at all. It might not be as attractive as the brown leather with metal chassis, but you will have a very elegant look instead.
Inside the box, I can see a nice carrying pouch with a magnetic clasp, a small leather-covered case containing two woven audio cables, a 3.5mm to 6.3mm male adapter, and the headphones. The two cables come in different lengths, so you should use the shorter one (1.25m) with your mobile device. The cable also has in-line controls but the volume rocker is compatible with iOS devices only, it doesn’t work with Android phones. The audio cable is detachable, so you can plug it into any of the 2 earcups. The other port can be used to daisy-chain headphones together and share music with your friends.
Although Master & Dynamic is a new brand, they really did a great job with their headphone lineup. The design and build quality of the MH40 are admirable, it can stand on the same level as headphones from established manufacturers like Sennheiser, AKG, Beyerdynamic or Audio-Technica. Many people will also appreciate that Master & Dynamic is using luxurious materials for their products. You can see here the forged aluminum body with some steel components and real lambskin leather covering the earpads and headband. The real leather feels so soft and comfortable on my skin.
The MH40 looks just flawless in every detail. The mesh on the outside of the earcups with a logo in the center even makes the headphones more stylish. You might think that these are open-back headphones but they are actually closed-back, so there is no sound leaking out.
Another nice addition is the Mute button on the right earcup. You can mute your music with just one press and don’t need to take the headphones out.
One of my biggest complaints with the M&D MH30 was the discomfort during a long music session. That’s no longer the case with the MH40 since it has an over-ear design, you won’t feel any pressure on your ears at all. These are not the most comfortable over-ear headphones as the space inside the earcups is cramped and your ears might get hot after a while. However, it is totally acceptable and I don’t have any problem wearing the headphones for about an hour.
At the moment of reviewing the MH40 headphones, I was also testing two other headphones from Sennheiser and Audio-Technica. Therefore, I was able to compare the sound signature among those popular headphones.
Surprisingly, the MH40 manages to deliver the most enjoyable sound, especially for millennials. That is a rich sound with some boosts on the low frequencies, but the bass is not as overwhelming as on other cheap headphones. On the other hand, the treble is pretty clear and accurate and it doesn’t sound harsh even when I crank up the volume. The mids are well present and they make the sound slightly forward.
However, the sound is not as accurate as the Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 which is priced way cheaper. The MH40’s sound is a little warm for my taste. The cans boast the large 45mm Neodymium drivers which are expected to deliver a great soundstage. The soundstage is actually quite impressive and better than the Sennheiser Momentum headphones. Unfortunately, the sound is still dominated by the low responses, besides, the compact size also restricts the potential of the soundstage. Therefore, the soundstage is not really spacious and the sound couldn’t give me goosebumps due to the lack of details in mids. The sound signature is suitable for people listening to pop or EDM music, but not jazz or classical music.
- Top-notch design & build quality
- Quite comfortable
- Rich & enjoyable sound
- Sound is not tuned for audiophiles
Overall, the Master & Dynamic MH40 is a safe choice for young listeners. They will absolutely love the design and richness of the sound. However, is it enough to justify the premium price tag?