REVIEW: Master and Dynamic MW50 Stylish Headphones For Those With Cash To Spare
6.8Overall Score
Performance7
Design8
Value5.5

Headphones are more than just a way for a person to listen to music. People can use them as a fashion accessory, a must have for the gym or an essential piece of equipment for a job; The Master and Dynamic MW50 falls under the fashion accessory category.

These headphones are for those who want a good-looking audio product and have no qualms with the price tag.

What you get in the box are the headphones, a case for the charging cord, a bag to keep them in and a thick instruction book for the MW50.

Sound Quality

I first tried these headphones out on my flight to Perth for the Easter break. What better way to test out a headphones capability by seeing how it copes against loud Airbus engines.

Surprisingly, I didn’t need the volume up too much to block out the constant plane whirring, I’d say my volume levels were at 30 per cent.

I used them on another flight to Melbourne where a toddler was screaming her lungs out in the seat behind me, so I popped these on and cranked up the volume. The sound of ear-piercing screaming faded away.

The MW50 has custom 40mm drivers made from beryllium, a material which Master and Dynamic say has ‘unbeatable rigidity-to-weight ratio’ creating a ‘rich, detailed and expansive sound profile’.

Unfortunately, the sound quality for the MW50 changes depending on the environment you’re in. If I’m in a quiet office or my house the sound is clear and every nuance can be heard. When I’m out in public, whether it be on public transport or walking around I don’t get the same clarity when I’m in a quiet place.

They don’t have good noise isolation which should be a priority when these are a high-end product.

Master and Dynamic claim you can use the MW50 up to 100 feet away (30.5m) from a connected device whether it be a tablet, smartphone etc.

I got maybe 15 metres away and the audio started crackling then walked an extra couple of metres and the sound conked out.

I have no problem with a Bluetooth headset not being able to function when it is not near a connected device but when a product cannot follow through with its company’s claim that’s when I think ‘why bother saying that?’

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Performance

The MW50 only has a few buttons and switches giving a more minimal look.

The on and off switch is located on the left cup with an additional notch on the switch for pairing. The up, down and play/pause buttons are on the right cup.

The controls are the usual for headphones, holding down the up button skipped a track, holding down the down button went back a track.

To up the volume you had to press the up button which is normal. However, I found I had to really attack the up button to get some sort of increase in volume, the same went for the down button.

These headphones also have a microphone embedded in them so when you get a call you don’t have to do the awkward routine of answering, yelling hold on, pulling off the headphones and then taking the call.

I had a bit of trouble using the microphone when answering calls with only one successful conversation had with the MW50 on, the other occasions I had to take them off and use the handset like a normal person.

The downside to a lot of Bluetooth devices is when they’re in use, they churn so much of your battery you don’t even realise.

The MW50 headphones take my iPhone down from say 93 per cent when I leave my house to around 75 per cent when I head to the office. I do play a few games on the train and respond to messages/check emails during my commute, but those actions don’t take that much battery when I use my go-to earphones.

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Battery Life

The battery life in the MW50 is something the company should be proud of and something I am a huge fan of. Master and Dynamic says the battery lasts for 16 hours and I’ve gotten more hours than that from them.

I use the headphones for an hour to get to work and 45 minutes back so nearly 2 hours each day. I have also used them on four separate flights, all for about an hour each journey.

Only after three weeks of intermitted use during the working week plus a few plane rides did I have to charge them.

When the battery is low the battery/headphone icon will show a red line, it will also make a sad sound suggesting its time to pop the device on charge.

I estimate for my first full charge I’ve gotten around 18 hours of use. To charge them it takes 2.5 hours.

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Design

Master and Dynamic says these headphones are made from, ‘premium leathers, stainless steel and aluminium, and feature Master & Dynamic’s signature lambskin-covered memory foam ear pads’.

They come in either a beige or black colour.

Master and Dynamic make some damn good-looking headphones. For someone who does not think they suit over the ear headphones these don’t look too bulky on my noggin.

The company says these are ’30 per cent smaller’ than the MW60 headphones.

I did have an issue with the earcups as they sit right on the ear so when I’m wearing sunglasses during the day, the combination of the sunglasses and earcup’s pressure on my ear creates an uncomfortable situation. In one occasion, I had to switch to my iPhone headphones (even the notion) as the pain was becoming unbearable.

The ear cups themselves are soft to touch but it does not feel like there is much padding in the ear cups. It feels as if there is not much foam in the earcups.

Normally after an hour my ears start getting sore when wearing them but that has been the case for a number of other over ear headphones I’ve tried.

They have a smaller ear cup compared to the MW60, which engulfed the ear while these rest on top of the ear.

The premium leather did not seem ‘premium’ to me, after using the headphones for a couple of days, I saw a scuff mark on the band. When these headphones are not in use I put them in their protective bag for that reason. For a product that brags about its premium leather, it didn’t seem to last that long.

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Value

Master and Dynamic headphones are a high-end brand so the price point of $799.95 is understandable.

But being a high-end brand, you’d expect to get 10/10 quality in all aspects whether it is sound or looks.

From what I’ve experienced you are paying more for the aesthetics than the sound quality.

They can be purchased from David Jones in-store or online.

Overall

If you are all about looking good while listening to music these should be on your wish list.

The sound quality is great, but the noise isolation is nothing to note. However, if you’re on an airplane wanting to block out the background noise you can do so with these headphones.

The sound might not be the best in the world but the battery life on these were true to claim as they lasted longer than the quoted 16 hours.

The old saying goes, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ but when it comes to these headphones all you’re really getting is a pretty piece of equipment with a strong battery life.

 

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