Master & Dynamic may not be one of the juggernauts of the headphones market, but it does specialise in producing attractive and premium products. And for 2022, the New York company has delivered the MW75 – a bigger and bolder sibling to the MW65 released three years ago.
They’re not necessarily a direct rival to ANC headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM5, Bose QC45 or Apple AirPods Max, but, on paper, they do represent an interesting alternative for those who want something on the boutique end of the spectrum.
Offering a pair of headphones with high-end materials is one thing, though, and having them perform at a high level is another.
Does Master & Dynamic do enough to justify the price tag here, or is this one pair of premium headphones that’s all style and no substance? We’ve been testing the MW75 to find out.
The MW75 might not be the absolute perfect pair of headphones when it comes to portability, but you’re unlikely to find another option with the same combination of premium materials and exciting, bold sound. Simply, they’re the best headphones we’ve seen yet from Master & Dynamic.
We’d love to see an update with more reliable on-head detection for auto-pausing, and for M&D to add auto-playback, too. However, there’s more right here than wrong with this package. For music lovers craving a premium and comfortable listening experience, these are right up there with our favourite pairs of wireless headphones.
You will pay over the odds for the more premium design, as ever, so just keep in mind that you can be served elsewhere – particularly if you value features.
It’s an exercise in high-quality craftsmanship. There are no unnecessary gaps or seams, with every hole around each earcup purposefully micro-machined in a pattern and the round buttons being perfectly solid and clicky.
Even the stems that hold the ear cups in place are really well put together. The smooth movement when rotating the cups or sliding the arms to adjust is heavenly. And that’s without mentioning the generous, soft and comfy memory foam padding inside the headband and ear cushions.
All this ensures that, despite being a relatively heavy pair of headphones (338g), they’re really comfortable to wear for long periods and sit nicely on the head. They don’t feel like they’re weighing you down or pressing down on the top of your scalp, which can, unfortunately, be a feature of many alternatives.
The only negative thing we did notice during testing was that the bottom edge of the cushion did sometimes press against our earrings (which are admittedly pretty chunky), and so that could potentially cause some discomfort – depending on your style. However, we never had any issues when combining them with glasses, which is rare for a pair of over-ears or on-ears.
If there’s any general criticism we have about the design of the MW75, it’s that they aren’t exactly primed for portability and travel. Unlike the smaller MW65, which came with a soft fabric and leather pouch, this pair comes with quite a bulbous hard case covered in felt. It takes up a lot of space and is completely inflexible. It’s also noticeably larger than the case that comes with either the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 or the latest Sony WH-1000X series headphones.