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Master & Dynamic MW50 Wireless On-Ear Earphones Review: Big Sound in a Small Package

by Shane McGlaun
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There are plenty of headphones out there that are cheap, and plenty of them that will cost you serious money. Firmly on the serious money side of that scale are the Master & Dynamic MW50 wireless-on-ear earphones. These little guys sound incredible for such a small and compact set of earphones. The price isn’t so incredible at $449(USD), but you definitely get what you pay for.

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That money goes to pay for seriously high-end materials with actual aluminum, stainless steel, leather, and the highlight of the show – beryllium drivers. What’s beryllium you ask? It’s the material of choice for audiophiles who want the best sound possible, it’s also very expensive. Everything about the MW50 headphones is high-end, from the design to the materials, and the audio quality. There is no vinyl or faux material on these headphones. They have premium heavy grain leather for the headband, the rotating fold flat hinges are stainless steel, and the antenna is aluminum.

The headphones boast best-in-class wireless range using Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX. In my testing I can attest that I was able to travel all around my house while cleaning and still listen to my phone sitting on my desk. Venture into the far reaches of my basement and things got dicey, but most wireless headphones I’ve used could barely transmit sound through a single wall, much less multiple walls. The MW50s also provide the ability to accept phone calls and speak using built-in dual mics.

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The headphones’ internal battery charges via a USB cable just like your smartphone. That means you can travel with one cord to charge both devices. Master & Dynamic promises 16-hours of power with the internal rechargeable battery, and while I didn’t ever use them sixteen hours straight, I certainly used them for several days straight of my typical listening, and they were still going strong. If you do run out of juice, an included 3.5mm audio cable will keep you going with a wired connection.

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Those beryllium drivers are 40mm units that deliver nice bass and nuanced music just as you are meant to hear it. The sound is very well balanced with highs, mids, and low sounds all working together very well, with no one range overshadowing the others. You can hear fingers traveling along strings, each quiver of your favorite artists voice, and the boom of bass drums.

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Their earpads look like leather, but are actually lambskin for breathability, wrapped over cushy memory foam. I normally shy away from on-ear headphones because I find the pressure they put on my ears to be uncomfortable. The MW50 earpads are comfortable even after hours of use.

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In all, it’s very hard to find any fault with the MW50 headphones. If a gun were held to my head and i were forced to choose a negative point, the only downside I can see is the price. That said you can’t shop for a Ferrari, then complain about the price. You most certainly get your money’s worth in style, materials, and sound quality with excellent call clarity to boot. If you can afford the price of entry, you will be hard-pressed to find a sexier, better performing, and more portable set of premium wireless headphones. The Master & Dynamic MW50 are highly recommended.

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