REVIEW: Master & Dynamic MW08 True Wireless Earphones
As each year passes, competition in the wireless earphone market grows bigger and stronger, especially as more and more brands refine their premium offerings even more with the inclusion of much sought after features such as active noise cancelling (ANC). With their latest release, Master & Dynamic’s MW08 True Wireless Earphones come with advanced ANC along with some other impressive features to position themselves at the top of the pack. Can they achieve this lofty goal? Read on to find out.
Design & Build Quality
Right from the off, you know you’re in for a treat when you first take the stainless steel charging case out of the packaging. This is becoming M&D’s staple design choice and it stands out from the matte black plastic offering from many of the other manufacturers. In the retail packaging, you also get a USB Type C charging cable, a USB-C to USB-A adaptor and various sized silicon ear tips, to help ensure you get the right fit. You’ll also get a handle fabric carry pouch, if you’re looking to protect your charging case from scratches and scuffs.
Looking at the earbuds in particular, they’re extremely well built and feel respectably hefty but not too heavy when in your ears. The pair I reviewed where the White Ceramic model and they definitely look the part. Shaped with M&D’s signature D-shape, it ergonomically sits in each ear whilst not sticking out too far either thanks to the angling of the eartip on each earbud. The physical buttons are also logically place on the top of each earbud so you can easily pinch them to press each one without worrying about them falling out.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of the physical buttons as opposed to touch-sensitive areas.
Any set of earbuds can be the best designed product you’ve ever seen but it’s all for naught if they can’t delivery impressive sound quality. The MW08’s definitely delivery on that front. M&D are well known for their expertise in the audio department with the MW08’s offering incredibly refined yet punchy audio across a wide variety of music genres. Highs and lows are both handles extremely well with mids not getting washed out in all the excitement. Everything from rap to classical, each track offered impressive depth whilst still appearing lively and well-rounded.
What I was impressed with the most is that everything is all very well balanced and not overdone. Bass isn’t aggressively heavy and treble is restrained yet clear. These are also great for watching movies on any portable device and almost give a cinematic experience.
When it comes to active noise cancelling, M&D have definitely up their game from their previous gen’s MW07 Plus offering. The MW08’s do a fantastic job and, for me, are on a par with the likes of what Sennheiser has to offer. The ANC settings on the earbuds can also be tweaked via the new dedicated app.
The new M&D Connect App
If you do decide to pick up the new M&D MW08 earbuds, you’ll also need to grab yourself the brand new M&D Connect app which will allow you to tweak and update your new earbuds once they arrive. In terms of functionality, it’s definitely more refined than some of the competition but gets the basics right. Below you’ll see the various options available to you when you open the app.
You’ll see there are 3 different ‘World Volume’ options that allow you to switch between ANC, Ambient and OFF with ANC giving you a further two options, Max or All Day with the former giving the highest level of ANC performance the earbuds are capable, more suited for extremely load environments with the latter given a more subdued yet impressive level of ANC for more day to day use. Each sounded great when tested in varying environments with the Max setting definitely offering better ANC functionality in noisy locations at the expense of overall battery life. More on this below.
Then there’s the Ambient option which offers “Voice” and “Awareness” options. The voice option is very handy if you happen to be working in an office (when we leave lockdown here in Ireland) and you don’t want to be completely out of the loop from what your co-workers are chatting about with Awareness more so for when you want to be fully aware of what’s going on around you, great for jogging and want to hear traffic coming by.
Finally, the last few options that the app provides include an Auto-Off Timer that will turn off the earphones when nothing is being played, as well as an in-ear detection options. There is no equalizer to be found within the app, but the sound the MW08s provide shouldn’t be messed with, to be quite honest.
One feature I was surprised to see excluded whilst carrying out my review of the MW08 earbuds was the lack of Bluetooth Multi-point functionality, meaning I was unable to connect the new earbuds to two devices simultaneously. I reached out to Master & Dynamic directly to learn more about this and they informed me that they are waiting for Qualcomm to enable this particular capability on the earbuds and it should be arriving in a future software update.
The battery life on the MW08’s is some of the best you can get from any earbuds available on the market right now. Coming in at an extremely impressive 12 hours of playtime (less with ANC switched on, around 9-10hours from my testing) these earbuds are fantastic for users who need all-day battery life without worrying if they’ll make it to the end of a call on a busy work day.
The case itself also provides some impressive top ups, up to 30 hours, so you’re getting 42 hours of playtime when both are fully charged. This is great to see and we really hope more earbud manufacturers up their battery life game to compete with these sort of results. Unfortunately, one omission we must flag is that, unlike other premium earbud cases, the M&D MW08 charging case doesn’t support wireless charging but does support quick charging tech for both charging the earbuds and the case, which is nice.
Master & Dynamic really have created their best earbuds to date with the new MW08s. From their design to the sound quality, I can say that these are easily my favorite earphones on the market right now. If you’re shopping around for a new set of premium earphones, these definitely deserve your attention.
Pricing & Availability
The new MW08 ANC earbuds have an RRP of €299 and are available in 4 colour options from masteranddynamic.com:
- Black Ceramic/Matte Black Stainless Steel
- White Ceramic/Stainless Steel
- Brown Ceramic/Stainless Steel
- Blue Ceramic/Graphite Grey Stainless Steel