New York audio specialist Master & Dynamic has just launched the new MW75 wireless ANC over-ears, and just look at them! On aesthetics alone, they're bound to give Apple's AirPods Max (and any of the best over-ear headphones currently on the market) a run for their money – and speaking of money, they're priced to make Apple perform a dramatic double-take, too.
We'll come straight out with it: cost-of-living crisis be damned, Master & Dynamic's new premium over-ears are priced at $599 / £549 / €599, which is very expensive – and by that we mean that they're equally as expensive as the launch price of Apple's premium over-ears (which arrived in December 2020, with an asking fee of $549 / £549 / AU$899).
Opinion: there's still a market for luxury over-ears, as long as they're sonically excellent
Master & Dynamic's MW75 wireless over-ear headphones support Bluetooth 5.1 (AirPods Max support Bluetooth 5.0) and house angled 40mm Beryllium drivers, plus there's adaptive noise cancellation taken care of by four mics in total.
M&D says there are three ANC modes to pick from, including an Ambient Listening mode which you can deploy from the M&D Connect app. Said app is also the place for customizing the MW75’s sound using promised EQ adjustments.
The battery claim is also up to 32 hours, or 28 with ANC activated – remember, you'll only get 20 hours from the AirPods Max on a full charge.
A 15-minute fast-charge nets a whopping six hours of playtime too, (quick reference: five minutes of charging provides around 1.5 hours of listening time with the AirPods Max) and there's wearer detection to pause the music when removing them from your head.
This is Master & Dynamic so we expect premium accessories and extras across the board, and the company has not disappointed us. You get an additional USB-C to 3.5mm cable, ¼-inch adapter, a twin-plug airline adapter for listening with computers/in-flight airline services, plus a hard-shell travel case.
And luxury is certainly the name of the game here. The ear cups are fashioned from lightweight and durable aluminium; the earpads are a high-end combination of soft leather, memory foam and lambskin.
The Master & Dynamic MW75 come in a choice of Gunmetal with Black Leather, Silver Metal with Grey Leather, Silver Metal with Brown Leather, or Black Metal with Black Leather colorways. They’ll be available from Master & Dynamic as of June 28 June 2022, and while we cannot vouch for the sound just yet, we hope to be able to report back soon.
Here's the thing: Apple's AirPods Max offer easy access to the Cupertino giant's proprietary and hugely popular head-tracked Spatial Audio, which is a remarkable party trick to keep in the back pocket – and remember, an update promising personalized Spatial Audio is coming with iOS 16.
Can Master & Dynamic compete with that? Yes. Because some of us listen to Tidal streams or Qobuz albums downloaded to our hi-res MP3 players. But the sound has to be very, very good… we'll find out soon enough.