Since its launch in 2014, New York City-based Master & Dynamic has kept to its vision of building durable, timeless and premium quality audio products. Their headphones product line are inspired by WWII aviator headsets and over the years, minor design adjustments are made but the look remains distinctively recognisable.
The latest MW65 which weighs only 245g is the lightest and most technically sophisticated headphones made by Master & Dynamic. Like the earlier models, the MW65 are framed with anodised aluminium while plastered with generous luxurious leather. The meticulous details in both ends are exceptional: the double stitching towards the upper headband, the rear cup grille pattern, the hidden wires running within the adjustable metal headband, the embossed buttons. The tiny switches and buttons are designed to be inconspicuously small yet practical enough for the fingers to get it right. Even the ANC button is purposefully prominent with a design intent. All the accompanying accessories like the cables and adapters are also branded with metal accents.
There are two ANC modes and the noise cancelling is above average, though not as capable as rival ANC headphones from Sony and Bose. The MW65 is less aggressive in eliminating the upper frequency, but the low and midrange is suppressed sufficiently well. With ANC enabled, the MW65 produces impactful bass and treble sparkle tastefully. At loud volumes, the energy and intensity gets my feet tapping while I enjoy the clarity without sounding too noisy. Under passive audio mode, the MW65 achieves a much more balanced sound tuning. With the bass less pumped up compared to the ANC mode, the treble turns out a little cleaner and detailed. The direct wire audio also helped in delivering lossless signal, translating into better sound details. Midrange is clean, instrumental layering is impressive.
The headphones deliver 24 hours of continuous music enjoyment and up to 12 hours with a 15-minute quick charge. They are also optimised for Google Assistant, not just for triggering commands, but also to receive Google notifications and to read out messages, though it can get disruptive from the music listening.
Among the ANC headphones, the Master & Dynamic MW65 wins hands down in design, style and build quality. It will attract consumers who appreciate balanced sound quality in a premium package.