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Lifewire / Jason Schneider
Insanely good battery life
Excellent sound quality
Stunning design and premium build
Somewhat spotty connectivity
High price tag
Easily scratchable case
The Master & Dyanmic MW07 are premium earbuds, with a premium price tag to match. Their beautiful design and excellent sound quality make them well worth the price.
We purchased the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
The Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus earbuds are a super-premium entry into a now-crowded field of true wireless earbuds. With options that range from $20 all the way to $300–400, this category of product offers a ton in the way of options. Even Apple’s most premium option—the AirPods Pro—come in at about $50 cheaper than the MW07 Plus. So, it’s clear that we’re talking about premium earbuds here.
I got my hands on a Kevin Durant-associated, Black Quartz-colored unit to see what all the fuss was about—and man, am I blown away. That said, they aren’t without their (sometimes maddening) shortcomings though. Read on to see what I mean.
The design and attention to detail of the MW07 earbuds is arguably the biggest selling point of these earbuds, and fittingly it’s the category in which there’s the most to say.
First off, the MW07 comes in three levels: the standard MW07, the more affordable MW07 Go, and the more premium MW07 Plus. The design of the earbuds across all three is virtually the same. From the outside, the casing looks like an oval that has been squared off on one end—almost like a sideways tombstone. This shape is one of the simplest and yet most striking designs I’ve seen in true wireless earbuds. As such, it really is contingent upon an individual’s taste—some might love it, some might hate it.
There are three other colors to choose from: a murky Steel Blue, an upscale White Marble, and a classic Tortoise Shell. The Black Quartz model I tested is actually a collaboration with Studio 35, Kevin Durant’s design and music venture. As far as I can tell, this is literally just an exclusive colorway, and is identical to the other three colors in every other way (even price). At first, I didn’t love how these earbuds looked, but they grew on me.
The other obvious point on the design front is the rechargeable carrying case. To my knowledge, this is the only polished stainless steel charging case on the market for true wireless earbuds, and it is a real differentiator. In-person, this case is striking and almost blinding in the right light, with a subtle Master & Dynamic logo etched on the front. While it does make the case seem much more premium, it is a material that is very prone to scratches (think about the old-school iPod Touch). It does look great, but is perhaps not super practical.
The more true wireless earbuds I test, the more important fit and comfort becomes in my review equation. In fact, one of the only complaints for Apple AirPods, outside of sound quality, is the fit. I’ve found that, for my ears, I really need more security than just the eartip pressing into my ear cavity.
I’ve dropped and scuffed more than a few earbuds that only employ this form factor. Master & Dynamic offer a few sizes of eartip, and that part fits nice and snug, but they also offer a ridged wing that is meant to cling to the outer part of your ear. This “two points of contact” method is, in my opinion, the superior earbud solution, especially for true wireless earbuds than can fall out and roll away, perhaps even down a sewer grate to certain demise.
While the build of these earbuds is big, using a thick acetate outer shell (not unlike the material of a guitar pick), I was surprised at how light and effortless they felt in my ears. In fact, they are only 9 grams per earbud, making them much lighter than they appear. The fit was just a bit tighter than I’d like for workouts, however, so if you intend to use these for long runs, that’s definitely something to consider as they seem to trap sweat.
The MW07 has “custom 10mm Beryllium Drivers”, a material that is light and resilient. In general, this tends to yield better performance at higher volumes, limiting harmonic distortion.
This is a tough category for me, because Master & Dynamic has really made sure to make sure buyers are pleased with the quality of product they’re receiving. The super-sharp stainless steel case feels very heavy-duty, with a snappy lid and a good-quality USB-C port. It’s also much heavier than you might expect for its size, weighing in at almost a quarter-pound. The earbuds also contain high-quality silicone and the aforementioned acetate outer shell.
All of these materials ensure that the earbuds themselves feel strong and durable, even in light rain (there’s IPX5 water resistance included). However, because the case is so glossy, it is extraordinarily prone to scratches and micro-scuffs. M&D has tried to mitigate this by including a velvety, almost neoprene pouch to store the case in.
But, setting aside the fact that this just puts one more step between you and using your earbuds, even when using the pouch religiously, I somehow acquired some mystery scratches on the bottom of the battery case. And I honestly don’t remember ever putting this thing on a hard surface. So, while the earbuds feel high-quality, and the case appears to be high-quality, it would have been nice to see a more resilient surface material for everyday use.
There are a few factors that play into how good these earbuds sound. First off, there’s the brand consideration. Much like Bose, Master & Dynamic has carved themselves a nice niche in the earphone market, with droves of fans purchasing their products because they’re convinced anything by Master & Dynamic sounds better than other brands.
In reality, there aren’t many specs on the site to qualify this. The MW07 has “custom 10mm Beryllium Drivers”, a material that is light and resilient. In general, this tends to yield better performance at higher volumes, limiting harmonic distortion. I can confirm these earbuds sound full and rich for podcasts, top 40, and everything in between, though I’m not sure that it’s just because of the Beryllium Drivers. The clarity at play here is because of how good they fit, how well Master & Dynamic has built the slightly chambered chassis, and the added benefit of some light active noise cancellation.
The MW07 Plus uses feedforward noise-cancellation technology, which means that rather than analyzing and canceling what noise is heard on the inside of the earbud, it attempts to analyze the external environment to cancel. There are two pairs of beamforming mics on the outside that accomplish this, and there is a notable attenuation of noise when you kick it on—though it isn’t nearly as extreme as standard over-ear noise cancellation.
This is a smart bit of engineering by M&D, because they’re able to use the same microphones and the same mic technology they use for phone calls and ambient sound feed-through. That means they can use the same hardware for all three functions. Overall, this amounts to a beautiful-sounding pair of earbuds that are (possibly) worth their bloated price tag.
I know I’ve said this in two other categories, but the battery life is a true standout feature here. On the spec sheet, M&D puts your total listening time on a single charge at around 10 hours, not including the battery case (that’s nearly as much as Bose offers with the battery case).
If that wasn’t impressive enough, the comparatively small battery case gives you an additional 30 hours of playtime. With about 40 total hours, I can easily see the average user getting through an entire week of commutes and workdays without needing to charge up.
In my real-world tests, I was getting closer to 8 hours on the earbuds themselves, but I was really putting all the features through their paces. Despite this, I was hardly able to make a dent in the battery case, running it down somewhere below halfway in a full week of use. Adding even more value here is the fact that you can charge up to 50 percent in only 15 minutes, and 100 percent in a mere 40 minutes. This really is an impressive feat, and one that I was surprised to see in a brand normally less focused on functionality than they are on sound and design quality.
On paper, the MW07 Plus has excellent connectivity options. For starters, there’s Bluetooth 5.0 included, ensuring about 40m of range and stable, modern connectivity. There’s also aptX built in—Qualcomm’s higher quality Bluetooth compression format that will transmit higher resolution audio files more accurately, provided your source device supports the format
While I definitely noticed the aptX in practice on the sound quality front, I was disappointed in the connectivity during my tests. I found that, particularly during phone calls, that there were more minor cutouts and moments of passing Bluetooth distortion than I’m used to on most Bluetooth earbuds. To be fair, I use my devices in high-traffic areas around New York City where there are more sources of interference, but even factoring that in, I felt there were too many dropouts.
On the spec sheet, M&D puts your total listening time on a single charge at around 10 hours, not including the battery case (that’s nearly as much as Bose offers with the battery case). If that weren’t impressive enough, the comparatively small battery cases gives you an additional 30 hours of play time.
Even the setup offered me more hiccups than even the manufacturer expected. While the MW07 Plus earbuds are supposed to come out of their case already in pairing mode, I actually had to toggle pairing mode on myself the first time (by holding the multi-function button until the light blinks). This wasn’t hard, but considering most manufacturers make this an automatic feature out of the box—even M&D claims that these should have been in pairing mode automatically—it was frustrating to have to dig into the manual to figure out how to pair them.
There also isn’t an app available, so doing things like toggling noise canceling (holding down the volume down button) or toggling ambient sound pass-through (holding down the volume up button) wasn’t super-clear. These are small gripes, but seeing as M&D has painstakingly developed the rest of its package, I was surprised to see them drop the ball here.
These are definitely expensive earbuds. Even when you consider Master & Dynamic is a luxury brand that has partnered with the likes of Louis Vuitton and sells products in the MOMA Design Store, I was surprised to see the standard retail price at $300. Even other audiophile brands like Sony and Bose place their top-tier true wireless earbuds at $200–250. That said, the fit and finish, the sound quality, and even the battery life are all huge positives for the MW07 Plus earbuds. So, if you have deep enough pockets, these are worth considering.
At first, I considered pitting the MW07s against other luxury brands like Bose or even the more full-featured Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds. However, the Apple AirPods Pro (see on Amazon) are the true rival, in spirit.
That’s because the number one feature for both of these options is the fit and finish, and the luxury experience you get with them. The AirPods Pro are a bit cheaper, and seem like they’d stand the test of time longer. But the MW07 Pro look way fancier, and will likely sound notably better.
Expensive, but excellent and premium true wirless earbuds.
I can really only recommend the MW07 if you’ve considered the Bose SoundSport Free or the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds and decided they aren’t premium enough for you. Those already-premium options will take care of most user needs for $50–100 less than the MW07 Plus. However, if you want a luxurious design, excellent versatility of fit, and class-leading battery life, then shelling out the $300 for the MW07 Plus might just be worth it. It’s not for everyone, but for a select few, these are near-perfect earbuds.
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