Master & Dynamic MW07 Review: Beats AirPods on Design and Sound (But Not Price)

When it comes to truly wireless earbuds, there are two options: the AirPods, and everything else. If you really care about aesthetics and sound quality, Master & Dynamic might have the answer in the MW07.

What makes this handsome pair of earbuds so intriguing? Let’s start with the handcrafted acetate design, bountiful audio performance and serviceable controls. Oh yeah, don’t forget the $300 price. But don’t let the price tag stop you; trust me when I say that these earbuds prove their worth in audio fidelity and style.

Design

The MW07 resemble the handsome and luxe appearance of what’s shown on the M&D website. The fun begins the moment you place these beauties in your ears.

The earphones are constructed from acetate and stainless steel, giving them  a premium, polished look that reflects its luxury value. Sporting them in the sun produces a nice shine factor that’s sure to draw attention. The company site claims that the earbuds come IPX4-certified, which makes them resistant to splashes and sweat. However, you’d be foolish to put these at risk of any water damage. Keep them away from the pool and toilet.

The MW07 are  constructed from acetate and stainless steel, giving the earbuds a premium, polished look that reflects its luxury value.

Adding to their sleek appearance is a stainless-steel charging case that powers and stores the earbuds when not in use. The case is solidly built, with a strong frame  to keep them locked in and secured. Unfortunately, it isn’t resilient enough to withstand scuffs and smudges, and the glossy exterior shows fingerprints like crazy. Knowing this, the company tossed in an extra carry pouch to protect the case from unwanted marks.

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The earbuds are available in four bold colors: Grey Terrazzo, Matter Black, Steel Blue and Tortoiseshell. I got my hands on the latter color and appreciated thedetailing right out of the box. Other bundled accessories include two fit wings, five ear tip sizes and a USB Type-C charging cable.

Comfort and Fit

The MW07 earphones might look hefty and relatively large when worn, but that’s only half true. Despite their ample and solid form, they are are light enough to wear for long periods and won’t weigh down your ears;they’re just not as light or slender as other models.

At 0.32 ounces each, the MW07 buds are heavier than the AirPods (0.14 ounces each) and Jabra Elite 65t (0.23 ounces). The charging case adds another 2.7 ounces s to the equation; the AirPods and Elite 65t’s cases weigh 1.3 ounces and 2.7 ounces, respectively. Is that a deal-breaker? Absolutely not, especially when considering how feather-light 0.32 ounces feels.

Despite their ample and solid form factor, the earbuds won't weigh down your ears.

All the numbers mean nothing when you’re actually experiencing the supreme comfort of these earbuds. M&D included its proprietary “fit wings,” which have silicone ridges that mold to your ear shape, keeping the earbuds steady and forming a tight seal for noise isolation. They rest gently on the concha without piercing it, unlike some budget-friendly Airpods alternatives. Also included is a tutorial leaflet to help fit them properly.

Controls and Setup

You don’t see many truly wireless earbuds with actual buttons; most either operate on tap gestures or feature one button on the side that ruins wearability by pressing the buds directly into your ear. M&D chose to literally work around the design, by placing buttons at the top while integrating a cool motion-gesture feature to manage playback.

On the left, volume rockers increase and decrease sound levels. On the right is one multi-functional button programmed to do everything else. Pressing it once will answer/end calls or play/pause music. Hitting it twice skips a song forward, whereas three taps skip it backwards. Yes, the buttons are tiny, but provide great tactility to instantly activate commands.

More impressive is the MW07’s ability to automatically stop music when removing the earbuds from your ears. Inside are optical sensors that can detect such movement, a unique trick that spares you from the extra step of pressing the multi-function button, but more so, is highly instinctive and works well.

M&D has made the initial setup for the MW07 practical and simple. Once you remove the earbuds from the case, they automatically enter pairing mode, which is indicated by the pulsing light on the bottom right earbud. Enable Bluetooth on your preferred device, search for MW07 on the available devices list and select it.

Audio Performance

Crisp, detailed and expansive – the MW07 boasts some of the best sound quality on a truly wireless model. All kudos can be attributed to the 10-millimeter beryllium drivers, which are more powerful than the drivers found in Apple and Jabra’s models, and increase performance for a dynamic and spacious listening experience.

The MW07 boasts some of the best sound quality of any truly wireless earbuds.

One thing I love about these earbuds is that they’re genre-neutral. I tapped into many music categories – hip-hop remaining the headliner – and enjoyed clean, immersive audio that AirPods can’t match. Twista’s “Slow Jamz” showcased the earbuds’ audio prowess, astutely reproducing the song’s infectious drum and percussion effects while adding clarity to the rapper’s vocals. Articulating his tongue-twisting rhyme scheme was much easier with these in my ears.

The MW07 profile does favor lows, but surprisingly balances mids and highs well to bring forth stabilized sound. The swampy bassline on The Beatles “Come Together” had extra oomph, while clearing up Paul McCartney’s background vocals to give them distinction when sharing mic duties with a distorted-sounding John Lennon. I was also captivated by the rhythmic drums and synths on Lady Gaga’s “LoveGame,” along with the singer’s vibrant voice.

Highs are another sonic hallmark that took me by surprise. The flutes on 50 Cent’s “Just Lil Bit” were bright and provided a lightness over the rapper’s braggadocious lyrics. Taking the earbuds into British rock-pop territory, the violin riffs on The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” carried remarkable definition that complemented the lead vocalist’s dreary delivery.  

When compared to the AirPods and Elite 65t, the MW07 delivered clearer, more vivid sound. Instrument separation was more noticeable on these earbuds, particularly on live music recordings. Neither the MW07 nor Elite 65t are slouches on the bass, though the former has more depth and manages percussion better.

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Noise Isolation

Noise isolation can make all the difference in how you hear music in distracting environments. The MW07 does this fairly well, especially when adjusting the ear tips and wings to a proper fit. I sported these on the train and was never pulled away from my music;, the earbuds blocked much, if not all, the ambient noise in my car. Above ground, I occasionally heard an ambulance siren screeching its way through traffic, yet I wasn’t fazed by it. The earphones also come in handy when wanting to block out noise in close quarters such as your cubicle or living room.

Digital Assistant Support

Another cool feature hidden within the MW07 is access to Google Assistant and Siri-holding down the multifunctional button triggers your phone’s assistant. Being an Android guy, I utilized Google’s AI bot to perform common tasks such as checking the weather and reading my weekly events, hands-free. I tested the omnidirectional microphone’s range by whispering commands into it and was impressed by how well it picked up my voice. Using the feature outside wasn’t so favorable, as drafty conditions and loud pedestrians interfered with commands.  

Battery Life

M&D bills the MW07 at 3.5 hours of playtime on a full charge. That’s mediocre for most sub-luxury options in the category. The AirPods and Elite 65t provide 5 hours each.

As someone who relies heavily on music to get through the day, it became irksome having to toss these in the charging case once, sometimes twice a day. Increasing the volume and taking wireless calls affected the battery as well.

As disappointing as this sounds, battery performance isn’t all bad on the MW07. The charging case does get you 14 hours of total listening time. Although, the unsung feature on these earbuds is USB-C charging, which increases charging times and powers up the case at 50 percent in 15 minutes, 100 percent at around 45 minutes. They also go into sleep mode to preserve battery life when inactive.

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Call Quality and Connectivity

The MW07’s great audio qualities don’t carry over into call quality. Talking to my girlfriend in quiet environments delivered so-so results. We did manage to hear each other clearly without having to raise the volume. Walking through crowded areas presented issues, as she reported hearing much of the background noise around me, which forced me to speak louder into the mic.

Most current truly wireless models have Bluetooth 5.0, but not the MW07. The company settled for Bluetooth 4.2, which  provides up to a 30-foot range. That was enough for me to walk through different rooms in my house and into the hallway without interference. Removing the earbuds from the case while Bluetooth was turned on also reconnected them to my last synced device.

Bottom Line

The Master & Dynamic MW07 is arguably the sexiest, best-sounding pair of truly wireless earbuds I’ve tested so far. These earphones offer better audio fidelity than the AirPods and Elite 65t, along with a snug fit and intelligible features that broaden their functionality. Sadly, they’re also too high up in price – the one variable that factors most when investing in a pair of audio buds.

If you’re looking to save money, you’ll find the Elite 65t to be a suitable backup that promotes deep sound, longer battery life and a companion app with useful features. However, if you’re not one to compromise your taste in audio or style, give M&D all your cash.

Credit: Master & Dynamic