Master & Dynamic MW75 headphones review: A strong rival to the AirPods Pro Max

New York luxury brand Master & Dynamic launches its new high-end headphones. The MW75 provides high performance at a really high price.

What ? Is Numerama still testing an expensive helmet? After Apple and its AirPods Max at €629 (on the multinational website, on other sites it is cheaper), Master & Dynamic launches the MW75 at €599. The New York brand, known for its well-designed accessories, dares again with the luxury product in a market where competition is fierce.

The MW75 is the successor to the MW65, a noise-canceling wireless headset that was already expensive at the time of its launch (€499). For €100 more, Master & Dynamic goes further in the pursuit of style, while perfecting what you buy headphones for: the sound, here exceptional.

the master & dynamic MW75
The Master & Dynamic MW75 helmet cover. // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

A true smart case

Colors

The MW65 is available in four finishes: black metal/black leather, steel grey/black leather, silver metal/brown leather and silver metal/grey leather.

Rarely have I had in my hands (and ears) such beautiful headphones as the MW75 from Master & Dynamic (the products of Bang & Olufsen compete, among those I tried). The American company has made design a priority, and its premium helmet perfectly embodies this focus on aesthetic virtues. When Apple bets on the AirPods Max with a very differentiated look, when Sony bets on recycled plastic for its latest born (the WH-1000XM5), Master & Dynamic choose nobility, and nothing more. For this reason, its MW75 imposes, not only because of its size. It is a true fashion accessory.

A true fashion accessory.

You could almost link the MW75 to the world of haute couture. The materials testify to this: delicate lambskin (which does not mark) dresses an anodized aluminum structure, while two tempered glass discs shine on the outside of the two headphones (beware of fingerprints). Everything is delicately assembled, with impeccable finishes. It would almost be art at this level. The MW65, its predecessor, was already a beautiful object. Here we climb a step. Master & Dynamic is so proud of the result that it does not dare to impose the letters ‘R’ and ‘L’ that symbolize the two sides. To find the direction, rely on the loop which should extend back.

the Maestro & Dynamic MW75 in its case
The Master & Dynamic MW75 helmet in its case // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

The MW75 comes with a number of accessories and, above all, a very well designed hard case. In addition to protecting the helmet very well, it has different slots to house these accessories. For example, himusb-c adapter A USB will fit into a slot provided for this purpose, while the cables wrap around a round bump. It’s pretty nifty and makes it a real Smart Case, unlike the one Apple offers with its AirPods Max.

The complements of the Master & dynamic MW75
The accessories of the Master & Dynamic MW75 helmet // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

simple use

To use the MW75 to its full potential, it is necessary to download the M&D Connect application, available on iOS and Android and with which the MW65 (a flaw we had noticed in our test). In addition to earphone fitting, it gives access to some additional features, including more modes related to active noise reduction (not to mention firmware updates).

Master & Dynamic did not want to transform the two tempered glass discs into surfaces for touch controls (probably to avoid fingerprints). The MW75 then relies on small physical buttons: power and noise reduction control on the left, volume and multifunction on the right. They are located in the outermost part, which makes them relatively accessible.

Application Master & Dynamics
The Master & Dynamic application.

The multifunction button allows for some non-customizable shortcuts: one click to manage playback (or accept a call), two clicks to skip to the next song, three clicks to go back, and a long press to activate the voice assistant. It’s damn simple, no frills. Also, in the application with its very modern and refined interface, you can play with very few parameters. Please note that the MW75 is equipped with a sensor that allows it to turn off when removed and resume playback when quickly placed back on.

the master & dynamic MW75
The buttons on the Master & Dynamic MW75 headset. // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

A well distributed weight (heavy)

At 338 grams on the scale, the MW75 isn’t the lightest helmet on the market, which doesn’t mean it’s the least comfortable. Master & Dynamic manages to find the right balance so that the weight is ideally distributed (as is also the case with the AirPods Max). The MW75 owes a lot to its memory foam ear cushions, despite their tendency to encase the ear very tightly (some body types may not be suitable). Also, if the padding of the headband is not very thick, it manages not to put too much pressure on the upper part of the skull. A great point.

The dynamic Master & MW75 tempered glass disc
The tempered glass disc of the Master & Dynamic MW75 headphones // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

A wonderful sound signature.

When a helmet sells for €600, it must be irreproachable in terms of acoustic performance. With the other products in its catalogue, Master & Dynamic quickly showed that it knew how to do it. And we are delighted that this observation also applies to the MW75. It is committed to a very delicate sound signature, deliberately abandoning the emphasis on the bass to go further in the mids and, above all, in the treble. The result is an accurate rendering, with everything you need and full of details. I rediscovered several tracks with the MW75, which provides depth of field, with a clear breakdown of the different registers, and a listening quality that is both rewarding and relaxing. As a bonus, it proves to be a welcome versatility. Musically speaking, his qualities are, therefore, immense.

In the worst case, you can always add extra bass to it with one of the four presets available in the app. Purists will certainly wink at the lack of a full EQ. But Master & Dynamic, in addition to being proud of musical performances by default, privileges ergonomics. In any case, you can select the following sound profiles: Bass Boost (our choice, since the gain is not artificial), Bass Cut (even less bass), Podcast (emphasis on vocals) and Audiophile (emphasis on high frequencies). high and medium).

the Maestro & Dynamic MW75 has impeccable finishes
The Master & Dynamic MW75 helmet has impeccable finishes. // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

What about active noise reduction? First point to note: it still produces a slight hiss in the ear when no music is playing, a sign that the technology is not 100% mastered. After this small inconvenience, it must be recognized that it does a good job of dimming with the ANC at MAX option, recommended for the noisiest environments (the adaptive mode is less relevant). Thanks to it, you will no longer hear the noise produced by your keyboard in an open space, nor the discussions further away (closer, the voices will not really be drowned out if you are not listening to anything else). For total silence, it will be necessary to privilege the competition. Otherwise, the transparency mode is efficient, with a natural treatment. Two options are offered, Voice or Awareness, and the difference is barely noticeable.

the master & dynamic MW75
The Master & Dynamic MW75 helmet. // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

Greater autonomy

The autonomy varies between 28 and 32 hours, depending on how the headphones are used (with or without active noise reduction). This is an increase in data compared to the MW65, which cuts out after 24 hours. On the other hand, the MW75 takes longer to refuel: it takes 1h40 to fill the battery, compared to an hour before.

The verdict

€599 for headphones? The market is thus made, and Apple did not wait for Master & Dynamic to offer an expensive product. If we stop at the price criterion, yes, the MW75 is very or even too expensive. Does it have the qualities to justify such a price? It’s a big yes for the ultra-beautiful design, the finishes, the chosen materials (leather, glass, metal), the impressive acoustic qualities, the really well-thought-out cover, and the overall user experience.
On the other hand, the MW75 struggles to withstand the comparison on active noise reduction, which should be of excellent quality at this price (this is the case with the AirPods Max). It also lacks the Apple ecosystem, the other strong argument in favor of the AirPods Max. In short, the MW75 is for wealthy people who are not afraid to put a few tens of euros more to acquire a nice object. Others will set their sights on a more affordable competitor.

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