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Master and Dynamic MW07 Review – True Win Stereo

Pros –

Reliable wireless connection, Excellent build quality and fit, Bold, exciting yet tight sound

Cons –

Very sculpted midrange, Below average noise isolation, Mediocre call quality

Verdict –

In a market bustling with futuristic, almost over-designed products, the MW07 delivers a simple yet focussed approach that ends up being just as usable and ever more practical.


Introduction –

Master and Dynamic are a younger audio company that nonetheless carry themselves with experience and expertise. This has been repeatedly demonstrated with their quality headphone offerings and, more recently, in-ears and Bluetooth speakers. They have also demonstrated their adaptability with the launch of some innovative models such as the MW50 that can function as both an on and over-ear headphone.

In this vein, the MW07 also represents innovation as one of the first audio-focussed true wireless in-ear earphones on the market. It is priced at $299 placing it alongside other premium offerings from Sennheiser and Bang & Olufsen. M&D’s model offers their signature rock-solid build quality in addition to eye-pleasing design and what I would consider to be one of their best sounds yet. You can read more about the MW07 here and treat yourself to one here.

 

Disclaimer –

I would like to thank Andrew from Master & Dynamic very much for his quick communication and for providing me with the MW07 for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.

 

Unboxing –

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The MW07 has a premium unboxing that reinforces its premium status. Inside a cleanly designed sleeve is a hard box containing the earphones and gorgeous stainless steel charging case. Also included are 3 pairs of silicone ear tips in addition to two sizes of wing fit stabilisers. Master and Dynamic provide a nice fabric sheathed USB-C charging cable in addition to a canvas pouch for the charging case to prevent scratches during transit. The ear tips are quite unique with a funnel bore and thick stem that grant them a rather unique sound as opposed to other silicone tips. As such, I found the stock tips to pair best with the MW07 in terms of sound.

 

Design –

The MW07 honours Master & Dynamic’s legacy with the same solid build quality and striking design as their past products. Like other TWS designs, the earpieces are light though M&D’s BOM creates a substantially sturdier feel than competing models, even premium offerings from B&O and Sennheiser. This can be attributed to their hand finished acetate faceplates and use of dense, textured plastics in addition to a high level of finish with smoothly formed edges and clean joins.

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Another interesting attribute of these earphones is their fit. The entire inner housing is surrounded by a silicone cover with small fins that lock into the anti-helix. This provides additional grip and stability in the ear in addition to enhancing comfort by providing a softer feel in the ear. For my ears, the fins did create a mild hotspot at the back of my ear, however, they were more comfortable to me than the larger Momentum TWS and E8. Also, take into account that they do remain comfortable for the 3.5hrs of battery life that the earpieces offer.

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It should also be noted that the MW07’s have IPX4 water resistance meaning they are protected from splashing water from any direction. This makes them suitable for gym and commute on hotter days. Unfortunately, the earphones have one issue that compromises their versatility to an extent which is their below average noise isolation. This is somewhat counteracted by their stronger bass that remains punchy even in noisy environments, however, I did find myself listening at higher volumes and missing details that more isolating competitors provided when out and about.

 

Usability –

The earphones function quite typically for a TWS product. The case is integral, functioning to power on the earpieces upon removal and charge/power off when stored. Three LEDs on the front of the case indicate remaining power of each earpiece and the case itself. The case provides an additional 3 charges providing a total 14hrs of runtime. The earbuds themselves are quoted to last for 3.5hrs, a figure that was reliably achieved during my testing and a fairly average figure for a TWS set. The earpieces slot into the case and are held down by a magnetic lid with satisfying action.

Pairing is simply and easily achieved by holding down the MFB on the right earpiece once they have been turned on. Once paired, they quickly auto-connect to the last paired device when removed from the case. Audio cues are provided to denote connection and power status in addition to remaining battery. The earbuds are intuitive with volume buttons on the left earpiece and a MFB on the right. They have no additional features nor is there an accompanying smartphone app.

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During daily use, I didn’t find myself missing additional features and did find the button-based controls more reliable than and just as intuitive as the touch-based controls found on most TWS earphones. The MW07’s support Bluetooth 4.2 including Apt-X. Connection quality was rock solid and I experienced zero dropouts between the two earpieces during my months of testing. The earpieces also maintained a very reliable connection to my Pixel 3, experiencing no dropouts or pauses though very rarely some stuttering did occur in high interference environments. Each earpiece contains a MEM omni-directional microphone. The MW07 had the best call quality of all of my TWS in-ears in addition to good wind noise suppression. However, callers reported a slightly more distant sound than Apple’s Earpods.

Range is also excellent, significantly better than my B&O E8’s which no doubt aids their reliability. Removing either earpiece automatically pauses the music. As the left earbuds acts as a slave to the right unit, some latency can be observed when watching video content, it isn’t unusable but is not ideal either. Still, this is an issue that affects the vast majority of TWS earphones besides a select few. In addition, this means that only the right earpiece can be used by itself as the left earpiece cannot be paired to a source. Though some may want for more features, it is refreshing to see Master and Dynamic provide such a simple, audio focussed experience free of gimmicks and superfluous features that can compromise usability.

 

Sound –

Tonality –

The MW07 has an exciting V-shaped sound with prominent sub and mid-bass and lower-treble that grants it a punchy bass presentation and copious detail presence. In turn, it implements a bump in the centre midrange that ensures vocals don’t become overshadowed amidst engaging lows and highs. Nonetheless, though there is adequate balance between the three core frequency bands, this earphone’s sound is quite sculpted to provide engagement over accuracy. Nonetheless, it remains a noticeably more controlled and nuanced listen than one might expect from a TWS product.

 

Bass –

Bass extends very well, delivering copious sub-bass slam and visceral rumble. Bass overall has large emphasis, mostly within the sub-bass before sloping downwards through the mid and upper-bass. Accordingly, bass emphasis and fullness aren’t overwhelming, in fact, both are quite reasonable compared to even the Sennheiser Momentum TWS, especially as the higher frequencies are also emphasized to provide the impression of greater balance. Upper-bass begins a fairly steep decline into the lower-midrange which ensures the earphones don’t sound overly warm or muffled.

As such, the MW07 sounds very punchy and has large, bold bass notes yet its low-end is only modestly warm and its midrange impressively tonally transparent. What’s also impressive on the MW07 is its driver control. Bass is well-defined and decay is on the shorter side for a dynamic driver. This contributes towards heightened separation and a high level of bass detail despite notable mid-bass emphasis. This earphone has big bass though it delightfully tickles rather than bothering the ear with its tight impact and strong dynamics. Though not balanced, the MW07 has a strong yet well-controlled low-end that will delight consumers and bass-loving enthusiasts.

 

Mids –

The MW07’s midrange sits behind by comparison to the highs and lows and its quality may polarise some audiences. In order to separate the midrange from the earphone’s strong low-end, M&D implement a sharp lower-midrange dip which saps body and warmth from the vocal range. This works mostly to the earphone’s favour as, despite considerable bass emphasis, vocals are clear, present and tonally transparent, resulting in high vocal intelligibility. Furthermore, these traits are aided by an equally steep climb to a 3KHz peak followed by an emphasized upper-midrange, resulting in well-extended mids with great clarity.

On the flipside, it remains that the earphones aren’t very linear in their tuning and timbre suffers as a result. Vocals lack body and density hasn’t been increased to compensate either. Male vocals can sound a touch metallic while female vocals are often raspy. Fans of rich, powerful vocals may find issue, though it can be argued that this tuning was necessary to compensate for bass emphasis. Resultantly, this earphone best suits genres of music such as pop where timbre and linearity are less important. An app to adjust the midrange for greater linearity would have been ideal as vocals do sound thin and off-timbre even if they do impress with their presence and clarity.

 

Treble –

Highs are crisp and energetic, invigorating tracks with ample lower-treble attack, specifically around 5KHz. This contradicts the usual 6KHz spike, which has rather been attenuated, serving to reduce sibilance; a very strong tuning decision given the earphone’s midrange tuning. The result is a slightly warmer instrument reconstruction but that 6KHz dip can also sap a touch of sharpness from high notes and will be up to listener preference. However, as there is emphasis lower down, listeners are still rewarded with an engaging and undoubtedly high-energy treble response. Additionally, middle-treble has modest peak, producing a slightly more pristine presentation with greater air and shimmer.

Emphasis isn’t to the degree that highs become overly brittle nor is the background especially bright, but you don’t get the same background/foreground separation as earphones with a cleaner background. Upper-treble is fairly subdued and smoothly rolled-off. Extension is above average but doesn’t compare to wired models of similar price. Still, as middle and lower-treble are well-done to my ear, the earphones deliver plenty of detail and a little sparkle that is usually missing entirely on wireless products. Of course, don’t expect superb resolving power or micro-detail, what the MW07 delivers is simply a crisp and relatively clean high-frequency presentation with ample energy and without incurring fatigue over longer listening.

 

Soundstage –

The MW07 constructs a nicely expanded stage a result of its tuning in addition to its above average treble extension. Width, in particular, is quite impressive, often reaching just outside the head while depth is more intimate as a result of a forward vocal range. Imaging is mixed but convincing overall. The earphones deliver sharp directional cues, a strong centre image and instrument location is easy to discern which is aided by their higher separation. On the contrary, layering is just average as a result of middle-treble brightness and generally lower background resolution which holds them back from being outstanding in this regard. Separation is very good, however. Bass is bold but pacey and controlled so notes are defined, vocals are well delineated and treble is crisp without intruding on surrounding frequencies, delivering a nice balance between foreground crispness and atmosphere.

 

Comparisons –

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Bang and Olufsen E8 ($300): The MW07 has similarly strong build quality and both are as innocuous in the ear as TWS products go. The MW07 has noticeably stronger wireless range which also aids the reliability of their connection in busy areas. The MW07 is smaller overall and more comfortable to my ear due to their soft housings. That said, they don’t isolate or seal (though they are still stable) as well as the E8’s. The E8’S have longer battery life and smaller case but the case offers less recharges.

Sonically, the MW07 is more V-shaped while the E8 is more balanced down low but brighter up top. The MW07 has noticeably deeper sub-bass extension in addition to greater sub bass quantity and midbass punch. It has a warmer low end yet it is also more controlled with higher definition. The E8 is more balanced but also has a smoother texture that misses some details. By comparison, the midrange is more even on the E8, having a touch of lower-midrange emphasis that grants it a slight warmth. The MW07 is considerably cooler and slightly clearer. It also has almost as much vocal presence but it isn’t as accurate in terms of voicing, sounding thinner and raspier.

Lower treble is more organic on the MW07 and it has more crispness, emphasizing details more. Meanwhile, the E8 has a larger middle treble spike so it sounds more open and a little sharper but also splashier. The MW07 has a cleaner background and a wider soundstage. Both have good but not outstanding imaging. The E8 suits those looking for greater isolation and bass/midrange balance at the cost of bass depth and a somewhat unrefined high end. That said, it can be toned down using the accompanying smartphone app, a luxury not afforded by the MW07.

 

Verdict –

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The MW07 is Master and Dynamic’s cleanest sound yet, delivering big bass set to crisp treble, all the while maintaining clear vocals. They have an ergonomic form factor aided by their unorthodox silicone covered housings and some of the best build quality I’ve experienced from a true wireless earphone. This positive impression is reaffirmed by a stable fit, making them suitable for active use, and simple, reliable controls that are perfect for daily use. A more noise isolating design would enhance their versatility as would a smartphone app. However, their bassy tuning does ensure a rich audio experience even in louder environments and the earphones sound great. They connect reliably and offer ample range. In a market bustling with futuristic, almost over-designed products, the MW07 delivers a simple yet focussed approach that ends up being just as usable and ever more practical.

The Master and Dynamic MW07 is available from Amazon (International) for $299 USD at the time of writing. Please see my affiliate link for the most updated pricing, availability and configurations.

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