Review: Master & Dynamic MW65 Active Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones

The latest wireless headphones from Master & Dynamic bring USB-C, dual microphones and active noise cancelling technology to these premium models. Hollin Jones took them on the road...  

Although Master & Dynamic comes across as a premium consumer brand rather than necessarily a pro audio one, its headphones have found many fans among music producers and professionals. Not just because of the luxurious look and feel and classic style of its models, but also because of their incredible audio fidelity and reproduction. People who know about mixing want accurate headphones but without necessarily wearing studio models, especially when they’re not in a studio.

Shut Out The World

The MW65 Active Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones are Master & Dynamic’s latest release, sharing much of their design with the MW60s. The major difference is internal - the MW65s contain active noise cancelling circuitry that compensates for external noise, making your listening experience more immersive and enjoyable without your having to turn the volume up high.

Before we get to that though, it’s worth mentioning that these share many of the features of the MW60s (which don’t have noise canceling) - you can read our review of them here. So there’s an incredible fit and finish, removable ear cups, a high quality 3.5mm jack cable for use in wired mode, 40mm beryllium drivers and incredibly detailed, rich and balanced sound.

What's New?

The MW65s now use USB-C for charging, with a cable and a USB-A adapter supplied. You also get a carrying case and a flight adapter, and these models have Google Assistant built in as well as two microphones that are used to filter out external noise. That brings us to the noise cancelling, which is activated using a simple button on one of the cups. It has two modes (or three if you count switching it off). Low power is designed for more moderate noise environments including low winds, and High power mode for city streets and louder environs.

It works incredibly well, successfully isolating outside noise even at lower listening levels, and creating a more focused and immersive experience whether you are listening to music or speech. Crucially, the amazing audio fidelity of the headphones does not seem to be affected by the cancellation, so you don’t feel like you are sacrificing quality just to get isolation. I’d not necessarily advise walking across busy roads wearing any kind of isolating earphones - but then this is hopefully just common sense advice.

Conclusion

Even with wireless and noise cancelling off - and thus operating more like regular wired headphones - these are absolutely gorgeous to listen to. They are a premium design and there is a price tag that comes with that, although headphone connoisseurs will know that it’s possible to pay far more than this for headphones which (in my opinion) are not objectively better enough to justify their higher prices.

If you never use them outside the home, noise cancelling is something you can arguably live without unless your house happens to be particularly noisy. But with so many of us listening or making calls on the move or in public spaces, noise cancelling can be an invaluable help for enjoying music more fully. And you won't find many better ways to do it than with the MW65s.

Price: £449 / $499

Pros: Gorgeous design and feel. Sound incredible. Wired or wireless operation. 24hr battery life, charge to 50% in 15 mins. Noise cancellation has two settings and really works. Bluetooth 4.2.

Cons: Quality does come with a price tag.

Web:  https://www.masterdynamic.co.uk/products/mw65-active-noise-cancelling-wireless-headphones

More about mixing and monitoring: https://ask.audio/academy?nleloc=new-releases

Hollin Jones was classically trained as a piano player but found the lure of blues and jazz too much to resist. Graduating from bands to composition then production, he relishes the chance to play anything with keys. A sometime lecturer in videographics, music production and photography post production, Hollin has been a freelance w... Read More

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