Master & Dynamic has upped their game in the headphone business with the all new MW60 wireless Bluetooth headphone. Last year, I reviewed their MH40 headphones, which I’m happy to say is still my daily driver. I just love how they sound, and I can wear them for many hours at a time without any sort of discomfort (I’m looking at you, Denon.)
Available in two colors (gunmetal/black leather, and silver/brown leather), the MW60 is a classy looking pair of cans. For the review, Master & Dynamic sent me the one in gunmetal and black.
[themify_box style=”light-blue note rounded” ]Technical Specs
Drivers: 45mm Neodymium
Impedance: 32 ohms
Materials: Premium grain leather, lambskin leather, stainless steel, aluminum
Cable: Detachable 1.25m Standard Cable, Micro USB Input Cord
Headphone Connection: 3.5mm Passive Audio input micro USB charging/firmware update input
Earcups: Circum-aural, detachable lambskin memory foam
Microphone Type: Omni-directional
Bluetooth Profile: Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX™ high quality audio
Battery Life: 16hr
Passive audio available when wireless disabled.[/themify_box]
The MW60 is the company’s first wireless pair of headphones and like their wired counterparts, they’re just as comfortable to wear and offer no decrease in audio quality—which is excellent, to say the least. It has the same great build quality, shape, and it’s just as comfortable. With how much they cost, I’d expect them to be—and I wasn’t let down. They aren’t Beats, and that’s a good thing.
Master & Dynamic didn’t cut corners with the materials. The whole thing is made up of metal and leather, and it feels luxurious. The memory foam earcups are covered in lambskin leather that won’t flake off in humid environments, unlike the faux leather you might find elsewhere. If they do get damaged by some chance, you can easily detach the earcups (they’re attached to the drivers via magnets) and order replacements, which also work with the MH40.
They’re well made, but how well do they sound? Pretty damn good, I’d have to say. As I mentioned earlier, they have a similar signature to the wired MH40. They have what audiophiles might describe as a “warm” sound with excellent mids, highs, and a very balanced bass representation that doesn’t sound boomy or otherwise overpowering. I played a ton of Enter the Gungeon while wearing these headphones, and the synthwave-infused soundtrack sounded lively and vibrant. It sounded just as good as when I was listening to 65daysofstatic’s We Were Exploding Anyway album.
Not only do they feel good to wear and sound good, they also offer a tight seal so sound doesn’t leak out, which might be awkward if you’re in an office or commuting on public transport and value your privacy. And if you’re ever on a long flight and by some chance run out of juice, you can use the included 3.5mm standard audio cable to plug it into your phone or laptop to convert it into a regular pair of wired headphones. For what it’s worth, I was able to get 16 hours and a few minutes from using it wirelessly before it needed a recharge.
Bluetooth headphones generally offer worse sound quality than any wired connection or dedicated WiFi. To counter this issue, the MW60 uses something called aptX, which uses better encoding than standard Bluetooth 4.0. The headphones also maintain a solid connection to any Bluetooth receiver thanks to an antenna design similar to what you can find on a smartphone. It’ll work a short distance away (provided there are few solid obstructions) from whatever you have the headphones paired to, but don’t expect to walk around the whole house with it—they won’t work between floors.
If there’s one major downside with the wireless Bluetooth connection, it’s that activating the microphone lowers the sound quality tremendously. That isn’t a fault of the MW60, but a limitation with the Bluetooth technology. To counter that issue, I plugged a boom mic (the MM800 from Master & Dynamic and the V-MODA BoomPro will work) into the MW60 and hooked it up to my sound card. You’ll only want to use the onboard mic for taking phone calls and not much else. If you’re intending to play multiplayer games or use Discord or Skype with these, just keep that in mind. Honestly, apart from the Bluetooth microphone issue, it’s hard to find any faults with the MW60.
As an aside, the headphones come with a canvas pouch, and you can fold them up for easy transport when you’re not wearing them. There’s also a cable box and a cord case (you’ll want to use one or the other) for storing the cables.
Yes, they’re expensive, but if you have deep pockets and a taste for rich, luxurious sound, you can’t go wrong with Master & Dynamic’s MW60.
Disclosure: Master & Dynamic provided a single MW60 unit for the purpose of this review. The MW60 retails for $549 and can be purchased directly from their website.