Master & Dynamic MW65 review: Shut out the world in style

Masterdynamic Mw
(Image: © Stephen Warwick/iMore)

iMore Verdict

Iconic styling makes these headphones a smash-hit, and they have the crisp audio quality to match. ANC and extreme comfort make these some of the best headphones around, but it'll cost you.Price: $499Bottom line: M&D's MW65 headphones are perfect for relaxing and shutting out the world, but you'll have to pay through the nose for the privilege.


  • +

    Unbelievable sound quality

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    24-hour battery life

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    Ultra Light-weight

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    Functional physical buttons

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    Fast charging

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    Dangerously good ANC


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    Bluetooth 4.2, not 5.0

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    Style isn't for everyone

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    Connectivity quirks

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If you need a pair of stylish, perfectly balanced, and extremely comfortable headphones for long-haul flights and rainy nights with your favorite albums, then you can't go to far wrong with Master & Dynamic's MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones.

9 months after our first Master & Dynamic MW65 review, these headphones are still an absolute masterclass, where style and function meet tremendous audio quality. But at what cost? Well, since you asked, $500.

Still fantastic

M&D's MW65 headphones are its lightest-ever and "most technically sophisticated" noise-canceling headphones. The crème de la crème of its lineup. They are crafted from fine leather and lightweight anodized aluminum and feature some of the best active noise-canceling around, as well as up to 24 hours of battery life and fast charging, which can net you 12 hours of listening time in just 15 minutes.

Who it's for

  • If you want exceptional audio quality
  • If you want very strong active noise-canceling
  • If you wear your headphones for long periods of time
  • If you need headphones for travel and relaxation
  • If money is no object

Who it's not for

  • If you aren't a fan of the styling
  • If you need headphones for sport, or that can take a bit of a beating
  • If you're on a budget
  • Vegans

MW65 What's there to love?

As the title of this review suggests, the MW65 headphones are absolutely perfect for anyone in need of comfortable, stylish headphones that you'll be wearing for long periods of time. The leather cups and band are of a very high quality, made with extremely durable yet soft leather that makes these headphones tremendously comfortable to wear. They also weigh just 245 grams, significantly reducing any fatigue you might have experienced from other brands of over-ear headphones. The headphones are designed so as to provide a perfect, snug fit around your ears for that ANC goodness, but not so tight that they squash your head like a melon in a vice. There are plenty of headphones less comfortable, and very few that are more so.

Mw65 Closeup

Mw65 Closeup (Image credit: iMore)

This was M&D's first-ever crack at ANC, and they've done a fine job. The MW65 model actually comes with two modes, high and low power, and a handy switch to choose between them. High power is for city streets, planes, buses, and other noisy environments, low power is for less noisy or windy environments. You can also switch off noise-canceling altogether if want to connect with your surroundings.

The coup de grâce of these headphones is, of course, the sound quality, which is up there with the very best rivals in the premium category. The audio is crisp and perfectly balanced across the entire spectrum (20hz to 20kHz if you were wondering). The headphones respond beautifully to all modes of media, and every genre of music imaginable, as well as spoken word and podcasts. Using these headphones, I've heard sounds and parts in songs that I've never heard before, even whilst rocking Apple's very own Beats Studio 3 headphones.

MW65 black and brown

MW65 black and brown (Image credit: Master & Dynamic)

The headphones have a really excellent array of physical buttons for use whilst listening, minimizing disruption, and use of your phone whilst listening. A sturdy mechanical switch handles the 'on' and 'off' setting as well as pairing, whilst on the other side three buttons control volume, skipping, and pause/play. A red button on the left cup is used to switch between the headphones' aforementioned noise-canceling modes.

If you do get interrupted whilst listening, the MW65 has a really excellent microphone thanks to a "beamforming noise reduction mic array", which means call quality is of the highest order not only in your ears but also in the ears of the person you're speaking to.

MW65 Any drawbacks?

One quirk of the MW65 headphones is their connectivity. Whilst sharing these with my wife, we've both found that upon switching on the headphones and connecting them to either of our phones, the headphones also automatically connect to the other's phone too without warning. When the non-headphone wearer plays audio on their phone, it interrupts the audio of the other who is wearing them, so you have to manually disconnect the headphones from the device you aren't using. Not a deal-breaker by any means, but something to bear in mind if you're going between devices or sharing your headphones with anyone in your family.

Mw65 Macbook

Mw65 Macbook (Image credit: iMore)

As with any product such as headphones, styling is very subjective. Some users might be put off by M&D's choice of design, and there are more conventional styling options in this price bracket. If you have any reservations about the MW65's design, however, make sure they are purely aesthetic. The earpads are lambskin-wrapped memory foam (hence not suitable for vegans) and coated in beautifully soft leather, and the aluminum is extremely sturdy. There can be no questioning the MW65's build quality.

The MW65 likely won't make the list of anyone looking for some good workout headphones, as from a style and functionality point of view, they don't really seem like a good fit for working out, and are certainly not suitable for any aerobic activity or inclement weather.

By far and away, the biggest drawback for most will be the price. At $500, these headphones are not cheap. In my opinion, they're worth every penny, but if you don't want to spend $500 on wireless headphones, you can still get top quality audio for less.

MW65 What's new?

Mw65 Apple Music

Mw65 Apple Music (Image credit: iMore)

Since our first Master & Dynamic MW65 review, M&D has partnered with some brands to create some very exciting new colorways. A collaboration with BAPE brings fiery new camo prints in two new colors to the MW65 (although these are more expensive), and another partnership with Leica brings a stunning all-black color scheme into the mix. There are now five standard colors to choose from also, up from two the first time we took these for a spin.

Have any questions?

If you have any questions or concerns about our Master & Dynamic MW65 review or wireless headphones in general, let us know below.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9