Bottom line: Offering long battery life, excellent sound, and plenty of goodies, the MW75 headphones' biggest problem is the price. These are very expensive, especially when you factor in what other companies are charging for similar products.
- Long battery life
- Terrific, now-iconic design
- Four colorway choices
- Excellent ANC
- No customized EQ available
- Slower charging than previous model
High-quality products are nothing new for New York's Master & Dynamic (M&D). Founded in 2013, the company designs and manufactures a small but robust line of headphones, earphones, and speakers. Its newest product, the MW75 Active Noise-Canceling (ANC) Wireless Headphones, has a lot going for it from both a design and features perspective. And yet, these cans feel almost too familiar in a way most iPhones look nearly the same year after year.
Like new iPhones, most of the MW75's most significant changes vs. previous M&D headphones occur on the inside. And those insides cost $100 more than the MW75's predecessor, the MW65, which will remain on the market for the foreseeable future. So are the MW75 headphones worth the price of admission? It's time to find out.
Master & Dynamic MW75 Headphones: Price and availability
At launch, the MW75 headphones are only available through the M&D website, although that's likely to change soon. Typically, the company's products quickly reach online retailers like Amazon, B&H Photo, and more. The headphones are priced at $599; at least in the short term, don't expect to see a discount. However, when one does occur, it will likely happen on Amazon first.
Master & Dynamic MW75 Headphones: What's good
There's much to love about the MW75 headphones and the best starting point is its design. Featuring lightweight anodized aluminum, soft lambskin leather, and replaceable memory foam ear pads, the MW75 has a striking appearance enhanced by durable tempered glass on the outside of the left and right cup — a first for M&D. Weighing 338 grams (about 12 ounces), these headphones aren't the lightest ones on the market, but they are lighter than the Apple AirPods Max, which comes in at 384.8 grams (13.6 ounces). By comparison, Sony's new WH-1000XM5 come in at 250 grams (about 9 ounces).
Regardless, the MW75 headphones don't feel heavy even after hours of continuous use. This comfort largely comes from the lambskin leather headband, although the earpads are also impressive. M&D says each has been designed with weight distribution in mind.
Like previous M&D headphones, the MW75 launches in different color combinations. In this case, you can select from Gunmetal/Black Leather, Silver Metal/Grey Leather, Silver Metal/Brown Leather, and Black Metal/Black Leather. My review unit is Gunmetal/Black Leather, a color combination that will never go out of style. In addition, each MW75 comes with a beautifully designed and durable felted hard shell travel case, which I strongly suggest you use when the headphones aren't in use.
As noted, the most significant changes between the MW65 and MW75 are on the inside. These changes are mostly good, although some things stand out that could cause some heads to shake. On the positive side, the MW75 offers up to 28 hours of battery life between charges with ANC enabled and 32 hours without. In addition, the included USB-C cable performs charging. By comparison, the AirPods Max offers up to 20 hours between charges, while the MW65 maxes out at 24 hours. Impressive, M&D.
About ANC: the MW75 has three modes, including All Day, Max, and Adaptive. There are also two ambient listening modes, Ambient and Voice Listening. They all do an admirable job, and switching between them is seamless and doesn't involve hearing crackling, hissing, or other strange sounds.
Other great features of the MW75 headphones include the ear-detection sensors, which automatically pause your music as the headphones come off; an automatic turn-off feature, and the easy use of the onboard physical control buttons. In addition, you'll find the USB-C port on the right cup, which you can use for charging and wired digital audio playback.
The right cup also features a multi-function button that controls playback, audio track navigation, and voice assistant. Finally, the left cup is where you'll find the ANC button, a power/pairing light, and the power/pairing button that also serves as on/off.
The MW75 headphones offer 40mm beryllium drivers, eight microphones (four for ANC, the others for voice calling), Bluetooth 5.1 support, the ability to pair different devices simultaneously, and the support for AAC, SBC, and Qualcomm aptX Bluetooth codecs. You can also use the two EQ adjustments available to set in the companion app for iOS and Android.
The app serves several purposes. Firstly, it offers a second way to adjust key settings such as ANC and ambient modes. You can also select from different EQ presents, however, no personal customization of this is offered. You can also use the app to set the headphone's auto-off time, with choices ranging 30 minutes, one hour, three hours, and never. Software updates are also presented, when available, in the app. App updates are installed remotely.
What about the sound?
M&D headphones have always been designed to work well with any type of music genre and the same holds here. Crisp and balanced are the best words to describe the iconic M&D sound. The sound is accurate and natural whether you're listening to your favorite music, podcast or simply making a call.
Master & Dynamic MW75 Headphones: What's not good
One of the first things I noticed about the MW75 headphones that I didn't like was the 40 minutes it took to give it a 50% charge and the 100 minutes for a full battery charge. By comparison, the MW65 headphones take only 15 minutes to get a 50% charge and 60 minutes to hit 100%. These numbers won't be a problem for most, especially since the benefit is getting up to four more hours between charges. However, it's worth pointing out nonetheless.
Some might also dislike being unable to customize the EQ. You can only select from some EQ presets, which is a bit limiting, however, I don't think the average M&D customer will care about this.
What they will care about is the price. At $599, the MW75 headphones are more expensive than the AirPods Max ($549), Sony WH-1000XM5 ($399), and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 UC ($399). Though discounts will surely come, the MW75 could be a tough sell in the short term, especially during these uncertain times.
Master & Dynamic MW75 Headphones: Competition
There are plenty of competitors to the MW75 headphones, starting with its predecessor, the MW65. Reviewed twice at iMore in 2019 and 2020, the well-received and slightly less expensive MW65 headphones come in more colors, are lighter, and take less time to charge. But unfortunately, they also have fewer ANC choices, less battery life, and only support Bluetooth 4.2.
Here's a quick look at the differences:
|Microphone||Beamforming Noise Reduction Mic Array||Beamforming Noise Reduction Mic Array|
|Battery life between charges||32 hours (28 with ANC)||24 hours|
|Quick charge||50 percent in 40 minutes||50 percent in 15 minutes|
|Charging cable||USB-C to USB-C||USB-C to USB-C|
|Materials||Anodized aluminum, lambskin leather, tempered glass||anodized aluminum, leather|
|Ear Pads||Replaceable Lambskin-Wrapped Memory Foam||Replaceable Lambskin-Wrapped Memory Foam|
|Drivers||40mm Beryllium||40mm Beryllium|
Beyond the MW65, MW75's main competitors are familiar: Apple AirPods Max, the Sony WH-1000XM5, Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 UC, and countless others. These headphones all have pros and cons. Overall, however, they are highly rated.
The AirPods Max also received a 4-star rating when we reviewed it in 2021. Though Apple's flagship headphones have many strengths, we noted that they came with a "cumbersome" smart case and had occasional connection issues. Compared to the MW75, they also offer less battery life and no automatic turn-off. One additional point worth mentioning if your choice is down to the MW75 and AirPods Max: the latter is likely to see a hardware update in the coming months, so you might want to hold off.
Master & Dynamic MW75 Headphones: Should you buy them?
You should buy this if ...
- Have yet to experience M&D products and are looking to buy the latest it offers
- Are okay with the price
- Aren't tied exclusively to Apple ecosystem
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You consider the MW75 a budget-buster
- Already own the MW65 headphones
- Want to stick with Apple accessories
The MW75 are undoubtedly some of the best headphones on the market, offering excellent sound, fantastic battery life, a comfortable fit, and a design that's likely to turn a few eyes. They have plenty of attractive colorways for every taste and for the audiophile, three ANC modes and two ambient listening modes, as well as the ability to adjust EQ in the app. Speaking of the app, it also offers other functions such as setting the headphones' auto-off time and installing software updates. There's not a lot to complain about with these fantastic headphones.
As stated throughout though, these aren't some of the best budget headphones by any means, but if you came into this already familiar with M&D, you knew this. The main reason not to purchase these headphones is the price, which may scare some off. Another reason you may reconsider is that you may already own the MW65. If you do, this may not be a worth-it purchase, as the two headphones are pretty similar. If you're considering these headphones but you're all in on the Apple ecosystem, the AirPods Max may be a better buy. But other than these considerations, it's clear that the next stellar M&D audio product is finally here — and they work great with the best iPhones on the market and numerous other devices. Find a pair on sale if you can and go-go-go!
Bottom line: It's another winner from M&D, one of the hottest audio accessory providers on the planet. Can you stomach the price, however? If you can, these are well worth your time; they'll offer you years of comfortable, great sound. Just choose your color combination wisely!
Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.
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