Review: Master & Dynamic MW60
Master and Dynamic are a US-based audio manufacturer that pride themselves on their flawless industrial designs and well-realised tuning. Shortly following the success of their portable over-ear MH40, they promptly released the MW60, its wireless, closed-back counterpart. Alongside wireless connectivity, the MW60 brings a completely redesigned chassis that is more suitable for portable use, but also one that carries the same rigidity and flawless level of finish furthermore, though it uses the same drivers as the MH40, the MW60 sounds different due to a well-considered retune in addition to differing acoustics between their respective semi-open and closed-back designs. At $550 USD, the MW60 does represent a sizable price jump from the already premium MH40, though its exceptionally premium construction and lush sound will surely win buyers over. Master and Dynamic in the past have made some stunning headphones and the fit and finish of their end products is very hard to beat. Even by some of the biggest headphone companies would struggle to match this level of quality.
If you happen to like clean and minimalistic, you will definitely adore the made completely out of high-quality materials this headphone simply oozes luxury and elegance. No plastic to be found, as the MW60’s construction exists out of stainless steel and aluminium. The headband is wrapped in heavy grain leather, which also covers the outer parts of the earcups. On top of that, your ears will be spoiled by the soft lambskin leather earpads. Foldable hinges for easy and compact storage makes the MW60 a pleasure to travel with the MW60’s closed design and the comfortable leather earpads, which completely fit over your ears, gives the user a great seal. Meaning that this is a headphone you can fully enjoy, even when you’re in noisy environments.If you have a big head you can experience a high clamping force. But don’t let this be an issue. As with every headphone, the clamping will loosen up over time. You can always speed up this process by putting the headphones over a large shoebox when you’re not using them or by stretching the headband a little bit.During wear, the MW60 suffers from the same ergonomic niggles as the MH40, even though it’s actually a little lighter at 345g vs 360g. Chiefly, though nicely padded, its thin headband and heavy steel construction tend to form a hotspot after just a few hours of listening. And as with the MH40, I found the MW60 to have quite a narrow range of headband adjustment. I still found a strong seal and the sliders are smooth with unlimited adjustment points, though I just fit the maximum setting (I use a medium setting on most headphones). In return, the headphones fold for storage, becoming considerably more compact.e MW60’s design.
The MW60 seems to be having some of the best Bluetooth connectivity in the industry at the moment. Instead of an internally placed antenna, M&D have placed the aluminium antenna externally as part of the outer earcup frame, this should mean no sudden dropouts when moving around the house even if you’re separated by a few walls from your smartphone or are on different floors. In fact, M&D claims that the MW60 has four times the range compared to the industry standard most people seem to agree that the pairing of these cans with their Bluetooth device is excellent. In fact, a lot of people saw this as one of the most improved features compared to other Bluetooth headphones. However, several persons commented that when pairing to multiple devices things started to go wrong. Especially with switching between devices. Going as far that the MW60 forgets the paired device and you need to re-pair it again. Fortunately, the pairing process does work fast and flawlessly.
On the left earcup, we have the so-called Tactile Controls. This is where you can turn off Bluetooth and get into pairing mode. Also on the left earcup, we have the omnidirectional microphone which features noise isolation for crystal clear conversations. So even when you’re making phone calls in noisy environments, the other party will still be able to clearly hear your voice, as all the other noise will be filtered away on the right side, we have three buttons. The outer buttons control the volume and when pressed and held you can skip tracks. The middle button is used to take phone calls. It is pretty much a standard control setup as we know from most other Bluetooth headphones charging the MW60 is done by a micro USB cable which can be plugged in beneath the right earcup. The MW60 is claimed to have a battery life of 16 hours which is more than enough to get you through the day. It’s more likely that your phone will run out of juice way before the MW60 does even when wireless is disabled you can still enjoy listening in passive mode. Thanks to the standard 3.5mm stereo jack and the included cable.
The MW60 is equipped with powerful 45mm neodymium drivers which make sure you won’t have to worry that these cans will ever sound too thin. A lot of portable headphones only have 35mm drivers and while this increases their portability, they will never have that full sound you can only get with bigger drivers the sound signature of the MW60 is described as being rich and warm. This makes the MW60 a very relaxing headphone that will not cause you any fatigue. Excellent if you want to kick back after a stressful day or even when you need to focus on getting work done. Accompanied with the right tunes – music that is well recorded and full of detail – the MW60 is sure to put a smile on every owner’s face when discovering all the warm texture in your favorite songs.
The soundstage is not as open as with full-size open headphones, what is to be expected, but can be described as more intimate being a closed headphone means you can actually use them in the presence of others, for example at the office. While sound leakage is kept to a minimum at moderate listening levels, do expect some leakage when you really turn up the volume. Passive noise isolation is actually quite good despite having a warmer sound, the treble is by no means rolled off. It is only not accentuated as with other brighter headphones. In fact, this is simply a matter of preference. If you’re looking for a bright sounding pair of cans, the MW60 is not the right choice for you, People who like their bass with a lot of slam should probably also look somewhere else. The MW60’s bass is by no means slacking, but it’s a more natural sounding. With bass heavy songs this can be an issue as the MW60 will have problems delivering the necessary impact to bring these songs really alive. Vocals and instruments, however, sound very lively and detailed and shows the full musical potential of these cans. As said before, the MW60 expertise lies with well- recorded music and if you like that sort of music, the MW60 will not disappoint.
Gone are the days that Bluetooth audio meant that sacrifices had to be made to the sound quality. The MW60 is one of the best-sounding Bluetooth headphones available. They are not cheap, but well worth the money if you can appreciate the enormous detail in built quality accompanied with a warm and beautiful sound signature. They also come with a 2-year warranty instead of the standard 1 year! Issues with the pairing of multiple devices could, however, be a deal breaker, so I advise you to certainly try this feature out before buying if you have the chance. Still, the Bluetooth range is what makes the MW60 exceptional to use in real life situations. Having the freedom of moving around the house while leaving your smartphone on your desk and without the fear of losing connection, is something you’ll get used to very fast all in all the Master & Dynamic MW60 comes highly recommended and I’m curious to see what the future brings as these guys definitely are on the right path in designing stellar audio equipment!