Headphones like the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700, the Beats Solo Pro or the Sony WH-1000XM3 cost up to $ 300 or $ 400, but not so much. Their sound quality, their comfort and their ability to completely eliminate ambient noise-canceling noise are out of the question. However, the plastic designs do not provide the best first impression.
The opposite is the case with Master & Dynamics new MH40 Wireless, a wireless version of the original over-ear cans. They are among the few $ 300 headphones that really feel worthwhile for the investment. The soft leather ear cups and the smooth canvas headband help to achieve this effect. The aluminum details that can be found everywhere on the MH40 Wireless, however, ensure that the sound comes out perfectly. As a jerk for the workmanship, these headphones radiate style, but above all, the feeling that I have earned my money.
This feeling does not at least extend to the sound quality of these headphones or their limited functionality. Compared to M & D's original MH40 and even its new MW07 Plus earphones, the sound performance of the MH40 Wireless is weaker because too much emphasis is placed on high frequencies. I can usually rely on this brand overloading the mid and highs without overdoing them at both ends. This gives a warm, exciting sound. And while these new wireless headphones in the office are pleasant to hear (especially as they can maintain a connection to my phone and my laptop at the same time), they sound noticeably compromised compared to other M & D products.
This may be because the wireless MH40 headphones use 40mm drivers instead of the same 45mm drivers from the wired version. But that's not a big difference in size. So I am not sure that this is the only reason for the sound change. M & D said it was an effort to make these headphones lighter so they are comfortable enough for everyday use.
This goal was achieved by replacing the heavier steel frame of the original with aluminum details. This fixes one of my biggest problems with the original MH40s. Their heavy weight meant more clamping force was needed to keep them close to your noggin. These new headphones weigh less and are therefore much more comfortable to wear. For reasons of ergonomics, I can not make this change anymore. This change is certainly also a cost-saving measure, and it could have plausibly made other adjustments to drivers, earcups, or other internal hardware, thus affecting sound quality.
This is not the case that the MH40 Wireless sounds bad, they do not. It's just that, due to my experience with Sony's flagship wireless headsets from 2018 and my colleague Chris Welch's accumulated knowledge of more recent competing models, they do not sound nearly as good as what you're bringing elsewhere for $ 300 can.
The MH40s fulfill the main tasks of modern wireless headphones – play music, make calls, and use your favorite voice assistant to tell you the weather or next event in your schedule. But they do not go much beyond the minimum functionality I've come to expect from headphones, even though they're cheaper than this model. These have neither noise reduction nor a transparent listening mode. The navigation buttons are difficult to use – and I'm not even better able to control them.
These buttons are spread behind the cylindrical case, where the headband snaps into place on the right auricle. Buttons should be easy to find, but they are a bit too good with M & D wireless headsets and compete with other design elements that are easily confused with buttons. For example, the volume control is too close to the hinge of the pinna, which feels like a button. It is helpful that the volume keys and multifunction buttons are arranged side by side. So if you found one, you found all. Nevertheless, due to their precarious placement, they tend to press incorrectly and only feel tight, especially considering that the entire left auricle remains unused. The right auricle contains every single button, including the on / off switch (which also acts as a pairing button), a USB-C charging port and two beam-forming microphones.
M & D claims that the MH40 Wireless has a battery life of 16 hours. That's less than most competing wireless headsets at this price. That's forgivable if they make the claim, but they did not do that to me during my week. Although they have a power-saving feature that automatically turns them off after 10 minutes of inactivity, they have not reached the 16-hour mark after each recharge. I would guess that I have about 12 hours combined use each time. On the other hand, these headphones charge quickly via USB-C. According to my tests, they can be fully charged in about an hour.
If you're looking for someone looking for the best sound and features (why not?) That are available for over $ 300 Headphones, there are other options to watch out for – those I've listed above : the WH-1000XM3 from Sony, the Bose Noise Canceling 700 or Beats Solo Pro. The way the Master & Dynamic Wireless MH40 looks like is their greatest asset and that's worth it only if there's not much else going on inside.
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