Master & Dynamic (M&D) is a young audio brand founded in 2014, however, they have already released a wide range of highly-acclaimed headphones including wired, wireless, in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear cans. The Master & Dynamic MW65 is another pair of over-ear headphones but they are the first ones equipped with the active noise-canceling technology. Let’s see if it’s worth its premium price tag.
Design & Features
If there is one thing you can be confident when purchasing Master & Dynamic headphones, it must be the design. The manufacturer always makes the most stylish headphones on the market and use high-quality materials, so we are always guaranteed to have beautifully crafted products. You can just take a look at the MW65 and then compare it to other active noise-canceling headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 35, Sony WH1000XM3, or Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless; Honestly, the MW65 has the most attractive look and unbeatable build quality, that’s why I don’t want to wear other ugly cans on my head.
Inside the box, we can find the headphones, an audio cable, a USB-C cable, a USB-A adapter, a flight adapter, and a canvas carrying pouch with zippered pocket and magnetized clasp.
While other manufacturers use plastic to make their products lightweight, M&D chooses premium materials like anodized aluminum and fine leathers. Surprisingly, the MW65 is the lightest over-ear headphones from the manufacturer and it has almost the same weight as those plastic headphones. Specifically, it weighs 250g while the Bose QuietComfort 35 II weighs 235g and the Sony WH1000XM3 weighs 255g. This is truly amazing considering the fact that MW65 is using a metal body. As a result, I can wear the headphones for hours and they feel extremely comfortable. The memory foam ear pads are really soft and smooth as they are wrapped in lambskin leather. I don’t feel the weight on top of my head and the pressure of the two earcups is pleasant.
The two earcups can be folded flat for easier storage. All control buttons can be found here. On the left earcup, we have a power switch and an ANC button to change among noise canceling modes; You can turn noise cancellation off, set it at low or high. On the right earcup, there are a volume up/down buttons, and a multi-function button to play/pause, answer phone calls, or access Google Assistant. The Google Assistant integration is another nice trick of the MW65; It comes useful when you need to quickly ask Google a question, find a song, read new notifications, or control smart devices in your home and you don’t need to touch your smartphone at all. It can be accessed by holding the multi-function button.
I see some people couldn’t access the Google Assistant feature and the headphones keep saying “the Google Assistant is not connected”. If you have the same issue, you just need to disconnect the headphones, forget the device and then repair them with your smartphone. You should see a notification asking to set up Google Assistant with the headphones.
It is really difficult to find out a problem with the MW65. The battery life is amazing as it could last up to 24 hours. When you enable the noise canceling feature, the battery life is a little shorter but you won’t need to recharge it for over a week. The USB-C charging port also allows a much faster charging speed; When the battery is drained out, you can plug it in for about 15 minutes and then you can keep using the headphones for over 10 hours.
The Bluetooth connection of the MW65 is also unrivaled. Similar to its predecessors like the M&D MW60, I can walk around my apartment and leave my phone in one place, and I haven’t experienced any hiccup even once. Most other wireless headphones would start losing connection as soon as I move to another room.
The M&D headphones are perfect in the design and features but those wouldn’t mean anything if they didn’t sound good. Fortunately, recent M&D headphones sound much better than the first generations and the MW65 is among the best-sounding headphones they’ve ever made. It seems like M&D is using the same 40mm beryllium drivers as seen on the M&D MW50+.
They feature a rich sound that emphasizes on the lows and mids. However, the sound is quite natural and clear since the bass is boosted moderately and it is not stepping into the lower mids. Therefore, the MW65 doesn’t sound muddy as some other bass-heavy cans. On the other end, the treble is very well-extended and it helps reveal a lot of details in the upper mids and highs. That said, the treble is still controlled to avoid distortion; Although I hear some treble spikes and the treble is a little sharp in some specific tracks, it is still acceptable and we won’t notice those problems most of the time.
Some other reviewers called the sound neutral but I have a different opinion. I made a comparison between these and other reference headphones and found out that the sound is significantly richer, warmer, and brighter. More importantly, everything is boosted moderately so that the drivers can still produce clear and detailed mids. Therefore, I believe young listeners will like the sound and even audiophiles could approve it since it sounds great for classical or acoustic music.
The only weakness of the M&D headphones is the noise-canceling feature. In fact, it performs pretty well at the high setting; I tested it during my flight and it successfully eliminate low-frequency sounds like the engine noise. However, I still can hear public announcements and baby voices although they were reduced greatly. I guess this is caused by the ear pad sealing rather than the noise-canceling tech itself. The ear pads are comfortable by reducing the pressure against my head but they don’t block out the high-frequency noise completely. Having said that, the noise-canceling performance is just a little lower than some of the best options out there like Bose QuietComfort 35. If you are just using the headphones in a coffee shop or a library, you will be satisfied with their performance.
- Premium build and design
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Long battery life
- Consistent Bluetooth connection
- Google Assistant built in
- Good noise cancellation
- Amazing sound quality
- Noise canceling feature is not the best
I am satisfied with almost everything about the headphones and I totally believe it’s worth the expensive price. You can buy other products on the market to save $100-$200 but none of them could bring you the premium build and trademark industrial design. We highly recommend the high-end active noise-canceling headphones.
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