Master & Dynamic's new AirPods alternative lets you listen to music all day without worrying about battery life — here's our full review
Master & Dynamic's new MW07 Plus true wireless earbuds provide a nice upgrade over the New York-based company's previously released model. Fitting the city they were designed in, the MW07 Plus earbuds offer New York-style sound that's big, brash, exciting, and best when played loud. The stylish, handcrafted acetate panel on the side of the headphones gives them an unusual, eye-catching look, which is matched by a beautiful, shiny stainless steel case. Exceptional 10-hour battery life means you won't need to worry if there's enough charge to last the day, and the Bluetooth 5.0 connection is solid. At $300, The MW07 Plus are a little pricier than some of the competition, but the headphones' audio performance, battery life, and style all help them stand apart.
Master & Dynamic tune their headphones to perfection, delivering a desirable, exciting sound. The first Master & Dynamic MW07 true wireless headphones naturally sounded superb, but were plagued by connection problems and were worryingly delicate. Thankfully, the follow-up MW07 Plus true wireless headphones correct a lot of those issues. The new headphones offer a rock solid Bluetooth link to your phone, more features, and even bigger and better sound. Master & Dynamic's MW07 Plus have been our companion for a few weeks now, and this is what we think of them. Sound When I visited New York, it was loud, brash, intense, and often overwhelming. It was also exciting, and the vibrancy made me want to get out and experience the city. Master & Dynamic's MW07 Plus in-ear headphones embody everything I felt about the city itself in the fabulous sound they produce. The company's expertise in headphone tuning shines through, and with the volume up, the MW07 Plus entertain like few other sets of true wireless headphones. Let me explain. Choose a song that sounds best loud — The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary," for instance. The 10mm Beryllium drivers on the MW07 Plus ensure the song's often slightly muted vocals are never overpowered, the wonderful crack of the percussion and the thump of the relentless bass kick isn't lost, while the guitar sings exactly as it should. There's so much emotion and intensity to the sound produced, even though it's a song I know very well, it still gave me shivers.
The soundstage isn't that wide, but the tightness suits that intensity. The MW07 Plus are playing for you, not for some massive audience, and they're highly involving. The bass is solid and deep, with the opening to Mat Zo's "The Sky" producing a very strong thump you can feel, but it's the balance that impresses most. The MW07 Plus don't play favorites when it comes to the vocals or mids. Instead, both are prioritized for a highly enjoyable, rich, well-rounded sound. This eagerness encourages you to turn up the volume on everything. They never lose control, aren't unpleasant or harsh, and the only negative I could hear was the slight hint of sharpness to the vocals. It's not the most subtle sound, though, with Master & Dynamic tuning the headphones for maximum attack at all times. This isn't a bad thing, but if you prefer listening for intricacies in classical music, you may not get the best from the MW07 Plus. Everything else sounds as bombastic as you'd expect from a set of in-ears that come with a gleaming stainless steel case designed in New York. Specifications
Drivers: 10mm Beryllium drivers Earbud size: 22.5mm x 19mm x 25mm Earbud weight: 9 grams Battery life: 10 hours, with additional three charges from the case Charge time: 40 minutes full charge, 15 minutes for 5 hours of playback. Connection: Bluetooth 5.0, AptX, SBC, and an approximate 30 meter range
Noise cancellation Thankfully, there are no annoying touch controls on the MW07 Plus, as Master & Dynamic has retained the physical controls found on the first model. Active noise cancellation (ANC) is initiated with a long press of the volume down button found on the left earbud, and easily turned off with a long press of the volume up button. Because the in-ears have an effective seal on their own, they block out a lot of the world around you. Switch on the ANC and there is a small but noticeable change in the sound deadening. The noise of a cafe, the street, and the gym are dampened with the ANC on, but it's not quite as effective as over-ear ANC headphones, or Sony's true wireless WF-1000XM3 earbuds. They also have a slightly annoying way of seemingly not reducing voices of a certain pitch. If you press and hold the volume up button on the left earbud, it activates ambient listening mode. This amplifies sound around you while still playing music. Likely for safety when out running or moving through town, the volume level is skewed in favor of the outside world, overpowering the music, and ends up being quite distracting. Again, like the noise cancellation, it's less effective than the similar mode found on Sony's true wireless WF-1000XM3. Design, connection, and battery life
Master & Dynamic has certainly hit on a unique, eye-catching design with its MW07 Plus. The handcrafted acetate side panel comes in different colors and is unlike any other earbud out there. The steel blue color seen in our photos looks sharp and stylish, but we love the tortoiseshell version too. Similarly, the fin-like wings that keep the buds securely in your ear are unusual. While the earbuds won't come lose even at the gym, they are quite large and heavy at 9 grams each. This does cause some fatigue over time. The use of physical buttons is inspired. It doesn't feel as "futuristic" as touch controls, but they are unquestionably easier and more natural to use. You don't have to think about what action to make to change the volume, you just use the volume buttons like you would on your phone. I found this, and the quick double-tap of the right earbud's button to advance tracks, especially helpful on the treadmill, where touch controls are inconsistent and frustrating. If the earbuds themselves look great, the case they're stored in looks even better. Made from shiny stainless steel, it's about as high class as a headphone case can get, and looks more like it should contain expensive cufflinks than a pair of earbuds. The battery inside the case has enough juice for three charges, providing 40 hours of playback. The earbuds themselves should return about 10 hours of playback, which is exceptional. This means battery life is a non-issue on the MW07 Plus. I simply never worried about it, as they always had enough juice to get me through the week with regular use. One of the main problems I encountered with the original MW07 true wireless headphones was with the Bluetooth connection. This has been rectified for the new model, and I never experienced any serious problems. Both earbuds remained solidly linked to my smartphone during my evaluation. I tested the MW07 Plus with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Connectivity is simple and there is no separate app to install. The bottom line
The Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus true wireless headphones have a bold sound to go with their New York origins, providing plenty of bass, balanced audio quality, and lots of volume. The noise cancellation is decent and dampens loud background sound, but it isn't as effective as the ANC on some competitors. You'll have to pay plenty for them, but the MW07 Plus are excellent. Should you buy it? Yes. With loud and detailed audio, a solid feature set, and long battery life, the MW07 Plus true wireless headphones are a brilliant purchase. What are your alternatives? The world is awash with true wireless headphones at all price points. You are truly spoiled for choice when out shopping for a set. There are two main competitors to the $300 Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus: the Apple AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3. Apple's newest headphones have active noise cancellation and cost $250, while the Sony's have the best noise cancellation available and superb sound quality for $230. However, the battery life is shorter on both of those models. This makes the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus a better fit for buyers who don't want to worry about losing juice throughout the day. Outside of Sony and Apple, the Cambridge Audio Melomania won our recent true wireless headphone shootout, and provide an incredible sound for $100, along with very long lasting battery life. Unlike the MW07 Plus, however, they do not have active noise cancellation. Interestingly, Master & Dynamic offers an alternative too, in the shape of the MW07 Go for $200. This less expensive model provides the same battery life and sound as the MW07 Plus, but ditches the noise cancellation and the stainless steel case. Pros: Loud, detailed, highly enjoyable to listen to, long-lasting 10-hour battery life, noise cancellation works well for areas with low ambient sound Cons: They're expensive, noise cancellation isn't as good as some competing wireless earbuds, large size can cause ear fatigue after extended listening sessions
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