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Master & Dynamic’s MW75 sounds better than AirPods Max

Battery life is on par with other high-end noise-canceling headphones at 32 hours, and the headphones come with a USB-C cable inside a great hard-shell carrying case that allows them to plug into a computer or phone and act as their own high-quality digital-to-analog converter—pretty awesome for those who love to listen to high-end audio on the go. If you’re without a USB port, there is also a 3.5-mm converter for standard powerless listening and a quarter-inch converter for headphone amps and other higher-end sources. That’s two wired ways, and one wireless way, to listen to the MW75, which is pretty nifty.

Sound Quality

The 40-mm beryllium drivers inside the MW75 combine with Master & Dynamic’s excellent onboard digital-to-analog conversion to provide one of the most vivid and enjoyable soundstages I’ve ever heard from a pair of wireless headphones.

Although I loved the sound of AirPods Max, the MW75 has a better reproduction. The MW75 offers a rich, dynamic soundstage, so you can feel as if you are soaking in it. Particularly the bass is a standout, and the loud, punchy sounds don’t muddy the water for the tones above. If you like bass-heavy music, this acts like a clear canvas to hear it anew, with records like Kaytranada’s 99.9 percent coming through like they’ve never done for me on active noise reduction models in the past. 

Then again, Anything The headphones are great. They are great headphones for listening to jazz and folk music.

The M&D Connect app lets you adjust noise-canceling and ambient sound modes, as well as messing with EQ, but I found that these headphones sound best with noise canceling on high and the EQ set to standard, as you might expect most people to leave them out of the box. Ambient mode may be useful on flights, when you just want to talk with someone, whether it’s a friend, pet, coworker, or a couple.

Boo! Hiss

Photograph: Master & Dynamic

Excellent noise-cancelling quality. The headphones can easily pick up the sounds from my HVAC system or my mechanical keyboard. I’d say that it’s as good as I’ve heard from any of the top brands of late, though Sony and Bose might slightly outclass these when it comes to midrange sound reduction. I can still sometimes hear the 600-hz whine of my air filter through the Master & Dynamic algorithm. Similar to the Bose or Apple onboard mics, they are not quite as effective. They’re still entirely useable on calls.

Only problem is the MW75’s low noise-canceling hers that is audible only when the music is not playing. This reminds me of analog tape hiss that I used to record with. I’m a stickler for a low noise floor, and it doesn’t bother even me (literally disappearing as soon as I hear any music), but if you’re the type of person who needs no noise at all, I recommend another pair.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my time with the MW75 and firmly recommend them to high rollers and aspirational audio nerds alike. The sound is so good that I can forgive a bit of noise-canceling hiss when nothing is playing, and the fact that you can listen to them so many ways—wired or wireless, with or without an external digital-to-analog converter—is pretty awesome. They are an excellent pair for those who like to hear bells and whistles in high quality.

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