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Master & Dynamic Boom Mic Review

Pros – 

Excellent build quality and design, Clear sound, Great background noise suppression

Cons – 

A bit quiet, Lacking that last iota of vocal clarity

Verdict – 

Master and Dynamic’s mic attachment is solid, capable and as functional as it is svelte.


Introduction –

When I was reviewing Master & Dynamic’s luxurious MH40, I found its deep, breathable ear pads and semi-open design to make it a very competent gaming headphone. However, neither the inbuilt microphone nor my laptops integrated solution provided adequate sound quality for the task; with friends frequently complaining about echo, distortion and begging me to plug in my USB condenser mic. However, Master and Dynamic pose a solution, the Boom Mic.

Ideal for gaming and calls, the mic is fully integrated into the cable of the headphone, enabling great convenience, especially when compared to a USB or Mod mic, omitting that additional cable. This is easily one of the most practical and best-built solutions I’ve tested, and it has many uses beyond gaming, where vocal clarity and background noise suppression is key. You can read more about the Boom Mic here and order one for yourself here.

 

Accessories –

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The Boom Mic has a pleasing unboxing similar to M&D’s headphones. Sliding out the internals reveals the mic within foam in addition to some basic instruction and warranty papers. Underneath is a soft fabric pouch made of a similar material to the MH40’s included pouch.

 

Design –

The Boom Mic cable has the same terrific build quality and sleek design sense we’ve come to expect from M&D. It assumes a 3.5mm to 3.5mm format that works with most portable headphones in addition to those from Master & Dynamic. I found the cable to work perfectly with my V-Moda, B&O and Oppo portables, but did have some issues with the keyed connectors on my Denon MM-400’s and the proprietary 2.5mm solution on Bowers & Wilkin’s headphone.

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Otherwise, the cable itself is similar to that included with their wired headphones with a tough fabric sheathing and flexible rubber strain reliefs at both terminations. The cable is supple with no memory and its soft nature minimises microphonic noise. The 3.5mm plugs are aluminium with tactile knurling. They both have a small protrusion to suit headphones with recessed connectors and phones with cases. The cable has a single button remote as opposed to the 3-button unit found on the traditional M&D smartphone cable.

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The Mic lies at the end of an arm extending from a hinge near the uppermost 3.5mm plug. It has a compact cylindrical design and is more open on one side as the mic itself is unidirectional. Its symmetrical design can make it difficult to orientate at first, and if the mic is reversed, its unidirectional nature will result in a significant drop in volume and clarity.

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The hinge offers 8 levels of articulation, well maintaining its position. It rotates 240 degrees so it can be inverted to be used on both left and right side entry headphones (or the MH40 that has inputs on either side). Though thin, true to Master and Dynamic’s legacy, the arm and hinge assembly feel very sturdy with an all-metal construction.

 

Sound Quality –

Most importantly, the mic sounds good! Though small in size, it provided an immediate upgrade from my laptops integrated mic and the more muffled inline mic solutions on most cables. Its unidirectional nature effectively removes background noise while its close proximity to the mouth permits greater vocal clarity and articulation. The mic is a little quiet, likely to further reduce its sensitivity to external noise, though this is easily compensated via software; and raising the volume by a few dB created a very agreeable experience. As the mic sits slightly to the side of the mouth rather than directly in front, hiss and pop are effectively reduced though the mic also doesn’t possess the same clarity as articulating mod-mics as a result.

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When compared to a more substantial USB microphone such as the Blue Snowball or Samson Go Mic, both immensely popular entry-level mics around the same price, the Mod mic clearly doesn’t possess the same quality of sound. We witness an immediate drop in range, especially low-frequencies combined with less clarity and dynamics. It’s hardly a fair comparison considering the disparity in form factor and the Boom Mic is not as ideal for dedicated vocal or instrumental recording as these solutions are. Still, among the various lapel and mod-mics I’ve tested, the Boom Mic is easily one of the strongest overall packages.

 

Verdict –

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The Boom Mic offers a practical way to convert any single-sided 3.5mm headphone into a dedicated headset. The cable is soft and the mic itself has a terrific all-metal build that feels built to last. Though you undeniably pay a premium for that gorgeous design, the Boom Mic doesn’t disappoint when it comes to sound quality; trading a touch of vocal clarity to competing solutions in exchange for far superior background noise attenuation. Master and Dynamic’s mic attachment is as functional as it is svelte.

The Mod Mic is available from Amazon (International) for $130 USD at the time of writing. Please see my affiliate link for the most updated pricing, availability and configurations.

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