The truly wireless earphone invasion is in full swing and we are seeing lots of new entries into the market. In this review of the Master & Dynamic MW07 we are looking at the first wireless earphones from the this luxury headphone brand.
M&D’s full size headphones in the past have always impressed us. Their styling, packaging and build is always on point and they always go that extra mile. Whilst expensive, they have always felt like a premium brand maybe not the best sonically but well rounded and with looks to die for.
The MW07, as I alluded to above, is a fully wireless set of earbuds that is devoid of cables and designed to give you the absolute maximum amount of freedom without the hassle of cables getting in the way.
Packaging and Accessories
The packaging is ok on the MW07, its nothing fancy but gets the job done. The companies packaging on other products has in the past felt a lot more premium but this still looks good and will easily keep them safe in transit.
There is and outer sleeve and and inner top open box and when you open it you get your first sight of the carry case. All the accessories are stored in separate sections out of sight and here is what you get in the box.
1x MW07 Earbuds
1X Chrome Charging & Carrying Case
Various sized silicone eartips
2 sets of rubber stays (or wings)
1x Cloth carry case
1x USB-C to USB-C Charger
1x USB-C to USB-A adapter
The accessories are well though out and as usual come branded with Master and dynamics logos so it is nice to see that its not just generic stuff thrown in the box. It gives a nice cohesiveness to the package and is in line with how M&D present across their existing headphone line.
USB-C charging is thankfully now standard and we are happy to have it here and the inclusion of an adapter to USB-A is also a thoughtful addition.
The charging case though I definitely am not a fan of. I got set a fairly well used set of earphones (standard loan and return policy), there was wax on the pre-installed tips which was frustrating but they did seem to have been disinfected. I actually don’t mind getting used units in because its a good way of seeing how a product is holding up over time. I was happy to see was how the product was holding up after being passed around. The earphones themselves are in excellent shape but that carry case looks quite rough.
It’s a chrome carry case and had it come out the box all shiny and new I would definitely of been impressed. However, with some use on it you can see that this just wont hold up as well over time as well as a Apple, Sennheiser or Bose case.
There are light scratch and scuff marks all over and the thing was covered in fingerprints when I received it. It’s a mirrored surface and is is a fingerprint magnet in the way that the back of Ipods used to be years ago.
Sadly my dislike for the case extended further than just the cosmetic, in comparison to competitors cases its one of the worst I have used.
The hinge mechanism is kind of rattly and has a lot of side to side play in it so I’m not sure how well it will hold up over time. Additionally, the magnet system to pull the earbuds in place felt very weak when compared to my other wireless earphones.
For example the Huawei Freebuds positively click into place as do the Airpods and you can hold them upside down with the lid open and they wont fall out. The MW07 feel like they are just floating loosely and they will definetley fall out if you don’t make sure the lid is locked in place. Knowing Master & Dynamics level for detail I can’t understand how this got to production in its current state.
In fact it the inclusion of the second soft case in the box hints that someone might have known something was off. It seems the intention is for you to carry your case inside the pouch. A rather pointless inclusion because it just makes handling the earphones all that more cumbersome. Why would you want to have a carry case for your carry case, just make it right in the first place.
Unfortunately this case is a big let down and an area where the MW07 don’t feel like they justify their price tag.
Styling & Build Quality
Coming from my Huawei Freepods Pro 2 the Master & Dynamic MW07 look and feel humongous. in fact they are more than double the weight at 9 grams. These are not a small set of earphones and they feel it.
The reason is that the outer faceplate is designed to sit outside you outer ear as opposed to in it. At first I thought it looked a little strange but you get used to the MW07 the more you use them and to be honest I think with the personalised designs that they are one of the better looking true wireless earbuds on the market.
The build quality is excellent and is befitting of Master & Dynamics high standard. They feel very solid and there has been zero issues with durability over the course of the review. The MW07 are IPX4 rated so they have the ability to withstand sweat and dust so this could be an good option for sporty people who are looking for a wireless earphone to use in the gym or whilst running.
Comfort & Isolation
Despite that hard exterior faceplate on the outside the inner part of the earphones are all molded in a soft touch rubber that makes them very comfortable to wear. I was worried about the stability in the ear given the size of them but Master & Dynamic have designed a clever rubber wing that does a great job to hold the MW07 snugly in place even when moving about with vigor.
The insertion depth was fairly shallow but the size of the outer housing deflects a lot of unwanted noise and I found them to be decent isolators. They are more than suitable for commuting and light years ahead of the Airpods with their full open earbud design. The other thing to note here is that the earphones fully seal with your ear so there is zero sound leak as well which is perfect for use in quiet environments like offices and libraries.
Pairing & Operation
Pairing was super simple and involved switching on our phones bluetooth, holing down the pairing button and selection the MW07 on our device. It took just a few seconds and since that initial connection we haven’t experienced any drops or need for repairing. What is less exiting is that the MW07 will only pair to 1 device so if you are going to switch between a phone and a computer or iPad often it might get tedious having to connect to each individually.
Operation was very intuitive and I really like that there are hard controls on this device. The touch controls on other earphones can be a bit hit or miss and the physical buttons give you a more tactile feel when interacting with your earbuds.
There are controls on both the left and right modules. The left has volume controls in an independent rocker formation (1x button up, 1x button down) and the right side has a single button that controls power, play/pause and connection to your voice assistant (Siri/Google Assistant). The buttons never failed to register a click in our testing and lag between click and implementation of command was near instant. There is also double and triple tap functions that you can see on the instruction manual below.
The MW07 are not cheap so sound quality was where I was hoping to get my value for money. People will moan about the high 299 usd price tag on these earphones and rightfully so because while the design is nice the sound is just average.
You will here things about the Airpods being almost half the price but that fact of the matter is that those don’t even come close to the Master and dynamic model in terms of out and out sound quality. So whats the problem? Well it’s this.
Being better than Airpods isn’t really setting the bar high. The problem Master & Dynamic have is that they don’t sound any better than a lot of their competition and that in most cases the competition is far cheaper sometimes even by half.
There is no significant advantage sound wise over the Creative Outlier at just 80 dollars or the mid priced Jabra 65t and when it comes to the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless Earbuds they really fall behind…and the Sennheisers are the same price and better overall package.
Sound is acceptable but it severely lacks behind a pair of wired headphones. The bass is overly boomy on the MW07 and while I would much rather have that than a thing and shrill low end it does get sloppy.
The midrange is kind of sucked out feeling with no sense of depth and lacking clarity. Vocals and stringed instruments in this frequency band are on the thin side in regards to depth of presentation and imaging.
Really there is no point in going into to much depth in this section because the sound quality is merely acceptable taken on its own merit and maddening when you see the price.
Conclusion - Not Value for Money
I say this with a hint of sadness because Master & Dynamic are a company that I think makes some great looking and well built headphones. However, I just don’t feel that the MW07 is worth anywhere near the price they are charging. You can get better sounding earphones and better functioning earphones for a fraction of the price. It feels like this was simply the case of following the market trend before the market was really mature enough to make a good product.
Styling wise they do look good and they function well with strong connections and easy controls but the sound is still uninspiring. It’s really when you look at the competition and compare the MW07 side by side with other truly wireless earphones on the market that you they might be one of the worst value for money ratios in this market segment. They aren’t losing out on performance but on price to performance.
This technology is still very young and we expect it to advance rapidly over the next few years. I have the feeling that if I put 300 bucks into the MW07 I would soon regret it so for that reason we can’t recommend them to our readers. If Master & Dynamic lowered the price below $150 I would be more comfortable but at $299 its best to put your money elsewhere.