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These new noise-canceling headphones rival Sony WH-1000XM5 — and they're totally retro

Master & Dynamic press shot showing three color options for MW75 headphones
(Image credit: Master & Dynamic)

Master & Dynamic has unveiled the new MW75 over-ear headphones, which are set to arrive later this month and boast a series of improvements, including better battery life for longer playback times and enhanced active noise cancellation (ANC).

Then there’s the eye-catching retro style, which looks like a throwback to a design worn by radio operators in the 1950s. But as we found with the MW65 ($499), the MW75 looks to embody the same company mantra for designing and building beautifully crafted and technically sophisticated headphones. 

With record inflation rates and a cost of living crisis on the horizon, probably the most eye-catching thing about the new MW75 over-ear headphones from the New York-based audio specialists is the MRSP, which at $599 / £549 / AU$599 could seem a bit out of step with many ANC competitors like the Bose 700, and even make the Apple AirPods Max look like more of bargain. 

Plus, with the recently introduced Sony WH-1000XM5 ($399 / £379 / AU$649) over-ear headphones taking top spots in our best noise-cancelling headphones and best wireless headphones overall buying guides, there’s plenty of more affordable competition in the over-ear wireless headphones sector right now.

The audio specialist is confident, of course, and company founder and CEO, Jonathan Levine, says: “As with all our ANC products, we set out to create a headphone with polished, intentional design and active noise cancellation that does not detract from the overall sound experience but enhances it. With the MW75, you can go anywhere and hear your music as it was intended to sound.” 

Master & Dynamic MW75: Better battery life and ANC

Master & Dynamic MW75 headphones in black with gray carry case

(Image credit: Master & Dynamic)

We're told that the new adaptive noise cancelling tech employs four mics, and that the earcups are fitted with optimally angled 40mm Beryllium drivers. Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity is supported, but there's no mention of the wireless codecs being supported at this time. A 4-microphone beamforming array is said to take care of call handling.

Master & Dynamic promises up to 28 hours of battery life with ANC for the new MW75 (the still available MW65 claimed 24 hours), which is close to the Sony WH-1000XM5 rated at 30 hours with ANC. Overall battery life for the MW75 is rated at 32 hours — around half that of the epic 60 hours battery life claimed by the forthcoming Sennheiser Momentum 4

A quick 15-minute charge powers the headphones for up to 6 hours, and on-head detection auto-pauses your music when you’ve stopped listening to conserve battery life. Accessories include a USB-C to 3.5mm cable, ¼-inch adapter, a twin-plug airline adapter for in-flight entertainment systems, and a hard-shell travel case wrapped in felt (pictured above). 

We've generally loved the overall sound-quality performance of previous Master & Dynamic headphones, and our main criticisms have been over buggy connectivity issues and unreliable AI support. These areas haven't been mentioned in the press release for the new MW75, so it remains to be seen whether it brings better reliability to these areas. Fingers crossed. 

I dare say that there won't be too many of us looking to splurge on a pair of $600 headphones right now, but if you're fortunate enough to have deep pockets they go on sale via the Master & Dynamic website (opens in new tab) from June 28. They will be available in four finishes, including gunmetal with black leather, silver with gray leather, silver with brown leather, and black with black leather.

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.