Review: Master & Dynamic MH40 Headphones

Disclosure: Master & Dynamic sent us a single pair of MH40 headphones for review purposes.  

Master & Dynamic is making the waves in the audiophile scene with its over-ear MH40 and on-ear MH30 headphones.

I was given the opportunity to get an MH40 around my ears, Master & Dynamic’s flagship model, and I’ve been using it for over six weeks now to play video games and listen to music. For the review, I received a black metal and black leather model. It’s available in five color variations. 

Retailing at $399, its asking price puts it in the same range as other high-end models from Audio Technica, Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser, so that’s what I’ll be comparing it to.

Designed as a closed-back, over-the-ear headphone, the MH40 is constructed of aluminum and  stainless steel parts, with genuine lambskin leather for the earcups and headband. The leather feels pretty good on the ears and unlike faux leather, it won’t flake or peel off after a few months. Many an expensive headphone suffer from having cheap earpads. Should you damage the magnetically attached earpads, you can order replacements in three different colors.

Though it’s slightly heavier than an all-plastic set of headphones at 360 grams, I don’t find the MH40 to be fatigue-inducing because of its comfortable design. 

Equipped with 45mm neodymium drivers with a 32-ohm-rated impedance, the headphones have low power requirements and play well with mobile devices, laptops, and PS4 and Xbox One controllers. You won’t need an amplifier to get the most out of it. 

In terms of packaging, the MH40 comes in a pretty nice box that also includes a circular carrying case containing two sets of cables. Both cables are cloth-covered for tangle-free design. The first is a 1.25m cable with a built-in microphone and volume controller that works for mobile devices as well as the PS4 and any Apple computer. The other’s a 2m cable for home listening. Yes, the MH40’s cables are detachable and use standard 3.5mm audio plugs. 

Though I didn’t receive one, MH30 and MH40 owners can also purchase an aluminum boom mic separately to convert either headphone into a dedicated headset. 

The MH40 doesn’t leak sound, as far as I can tell, so you won’t find yourself annoying your coworkers with your music if you wear it in the office. Its enclosed design offers good sound isolation, so you’ll be able to silence the outside world. There’s also a metal mute button on the right ear cup that you can press to quickly silence what you’re listening to without having to unplug the headphones.

The sound of the MH40 perfectly complements its solid design and build quality. It offers highly detailed, crisp sound with with deep, rich bass. To test the MH40’s performance with music, I listened to countless hours of 65daysofstatic and any other post rock stuff I could get my hands on. I also tested it in gaming with Mad Max and Destiny: The Taken King, where I could almost feel the bass from their soundtracks and the constant sounds of gunfire and the occasional explosion resonate in my bones. Incredibly, the deep bass did nothing to drown out the higher frequency sounds and notes in the music. 

The MH40 measures up incredibly well to the similarly priced Bowers & Wilkins P7, which I’ve also reviewed, and other headphones in the range. It’s hard to say which one sounds better. And as far as looks go, they both look wonderful.  

Finally, if anything ever gets damaged, you can use Master & Dynamic’s two year warranty to cover any replacements. 

In conclusion, Master & Dynamic have produced a pair of headphones that look, sound, and feel great. If you have the money to spend, you can’t go wrong with the MH40.