Master & Dynamic is changing the headphone world. For a few years now, the company has been launching not only great-sounding headphones, but also headphones that feature some of the best design in the headphone world. Now, the company is changing things a little, with the Master & Dynamic MW50+.
But what’s so different about the Master & Dynamic MW50+? Well, perhaps it’s more that they’re not all that different than the original MW50 headphones that makes them so great. The major difference that the MW50+ headphones do bring, however, is that they’re suddenly a whole lot more versatile, a whole lot more comfortable, and a whole lot more interesting. Why? Not only are the Master & Dynamic MW50+ headphones excellent on-ear headphones, but they also happen to be an awesome over-ear option too.
The first thing you’ll notice about the MW50+ headphones is their design, and like any other pair of Master & Dynamic headphones, they look beautiful. They’re extremely well-built, featuring plenty of metal and leather — and the little plastic that there is on the headphones is clearly strong and well-placed.
Of course, we’re not going to go super in-depth with the overall design of these headphones. The overall design is exactly the same as the Master & Dynamic MW50 headphones, so if you want to read more, you can check out our review of them here.
Instead, we’ll focus on the major difference between the two headphones — the fact that the Master & Dynamic MW50+ headphones come with two ear cup size that are extremely easily interchangeable. It’s really an ingenious system. Of course, we probably should have known this was coming — when the Master & Dynamic MW50 headphones were first released, we noticed how easy it was to remove and replace the ear cups. They’re magnetic, so all you have to do is pull them off, which requires little effort, then place the new ones on. The over-ear ear cups look natural and classy — even classier than plenty of headphones with only one pair of ear cups.
The only thing to note is that we noticed sometimes the magnets weren’t enough to immediately pull the over-ear cups in place. There’s a little plastic on the outside of the over-ear ear cups that makes the fit a little tight — but an effortless push immediately puts them in their place, where they’ll remain unless you want to move them. The over-ear ear cups are sleek and stylish, plus it doesn’t matter which one you put on which side, which makes for a smoother user experience.
The concept is both smart, and well implemented. Not everyone can afford to buy different types of headphones for different purposes. With the Master & Dynamic MW50+ headphones, you don’t have to — simply change out the ear cups for a more comfortable fit at home, or for a more portable shape on the go.
The different ear cups affect the overall comfort-level of the headphones too. While the on-ear ear cups are above-par in comfort for a pair of on-ear headphones, the over-ear ear cups step comfort up a little.
Inside both ear cups, Master & Dynamic uses a clearly high-quality memory foam, that’s covered with a soft, high-quality leather. With both types of ear cups, it’s easy to forget that you’re wearing the headphones — though even more so for the over-ear ear cups, as you would expect.
We absolutely loved the sound of the original Master & Dynamic MW50 headphones, and the company has left it unchanged for the Master & Dynamic MW50+’s. That’s a good thing.
As with the design, we’re not going to do another deep dive into the sound-quality here. The bass is powerful and deep, the mid-range is very well-tuned with a warm tone, and the high-end is exciting and detailed. The headphones aren’t the most natural, and audiophiles may want a little more detail, but for a pair of consumer headphones, these are among the best.
The sound is pretty much the same no matter which ear cups you use, as they feature the same drivers and technology under the hood. It seems, however, that there’s a little more clarity with the over-ear ear cups, and there’s slightly better isolation too. Both of those things are probably just because of how the ear cups are shaped.
The headphones connect to a listening device through Bluetooth 4.1, and as such you’ll get a listening range of 10 meters, or 33 feet. During our testing, they retained a connection pretty well, with only very rare skips or connection issues of any kind.
The headphones boast a battery life of 16 hours, which is pretty good, especially for a pair of headphones the size of on-ear headphones. You would expect slightly more battery life from headphones built for over-ear use — but 16 hours on a pair of headphones this sleek is impressive.
The Master & Dynamic MW50+ headphones are a home run. They take all the best things about the Master & Dynamic MW50 headphones, and make them more versatile with better value for money. Gone are the days when you had to shell out a ton of cash for a pair of on-ear headphones, and another ton of cash for a pair of more comfortable over-ear headphones. Master & Dynamic has come up with a modular design that both makes sense, and is executed beautifully.
Of course, there is one situation when you might want two pairs of headphones — and that’s when you want a pair of audiophile-grade over-ear headphones that boast a far superior audio quality. For the average consumer, however, not only do these headphones sound awesome — but they can be used in the vast majority of situations too.
This is actually a rare moment for us here at Headphone Review. Despite the $399 price tag, the modular design that’s so beautifully executed has increased the comfort level and value for money of these headphones — and has made them only the fourth pair of headphones in our history to be awarded a Headphone Review Gold Medal. What does that mean? It means these are an excellent purchase, that we don’t think you will ever regret.
|Master & Dynamic||$399|
|Frequency response||5Hz – 30kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||40mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Sensitivity||Unknown||Earpad material||Memory foam|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||16 Hours|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth 4.1||Cable length||1.25m (4ft)|
|Weight||240g (8.47oz)||Colors||Silver Metal and Black Leather, Black Metal and Black Leather, Silver Metal and Brown Leather|