Master & Dynamic is a confident company based out of New York, and the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus boasts a feature set ready to takedown Sony and Apple’s noise cancelling earbuds. Build quality doesn’t get better than this, but ANC could use a boost. Let’s dive in and see if these truly wireless earbuds are worth the money, or if you’re better off with something else.
Editor’s note: this Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus review was updated on July 1, 2020, to address how the headset compares to the Panasonic RZ-S500W.
Who should get the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus?
- Commuters will benefit from the earbuds’ noise cancelling as it attenuates outside noise, making your train ride a bit more bearable. Active noise cancelling performance isn’t the best, even among true wireless earbuds, but it does the trick for shorter rides.
- Listeners who put a premium on build quality should look no further than Master & Dynamic’s product lineup. Whether you’re in search of in-ears, on-ears, or over-ears, the New York company has it all. These earbuds are durable and eye-catching.
- Affluent athletes looking for versatile workout earbuds should gather their couch cushion pennies for the MW07 Plus, because these IPX5 earbuds can take a sweat. While they’re water-resistant, they aren’t dust-resistant, so if you rock climb keep looking: chalk-related damage may void the warranty.
What is the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus like?
Just like the original MW07 true wireless earbuds, the MW07 Plus is extremely well built. From the stainless steel charging case to the handcrafted acetate finishes, I have nothing but praise for Master & Dynamic’s attention to detail. The D-shaped earbuds are available in four colorways: Steel blue, White marble, Tortoiseshell, and Black quartz.
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No matter which pattern you select, you’re afforded a canvas carrying pouch, five pairs of silicone ear tips, and three pairs of brilliantly designed Fit Wings. These are by far my favorite solution to maintaining a secure fit with total wireless earbuds: the comb-like bristles provide flexibility with each sizing and don’t irritate the skin.
The housings taper off into angled nozzles for an ergonomic fit. Each earbud has a proximity sensor to recognize when it’s removed or inserted, facilitating automatic pause or play functionality. There were only a few times when this didn’t work properly, and it was quickly remedied by repeating the removal process. Playback and call controls are accessible via buttons on each earbud. A volume rocker sits atop the left earbud and a multifunction button occupies the right one. The latter lets you access your virtual assistant, take calls, and skip songs.
Master & Dynamic has mastered the art of silicone wing tips with its Fit Wings; these maintain a secure fit to the ear without any pain or irritation.
Instead of a textile covered charging case like the one provided with the MW07 Go model, the MW07 Plus comes with a stainless steel charging case. This is larger and accounts for the bigger build of the premium earbuds, likely to lodge all the components required for ANC. The case is plain, save for the three LEDs lining the front and USB-C input in the back. Its magnetic closing mechanism works well and didn’t accidentally open during my time with the earbuds.
Is the noise cancelling good?
Master & Dynamic’s noise cancelling isn’t the greatest, but it’s one of the best true wireless models with that feature. In the chart above, the higher the line, the more a given frequency is quieted. This means low-pitched sounds like washing machines, dryers, and plane engines will sound about ¾ as loud with ANC on. Higher pitched noises are easier for the earbuds to block out by way of destructive interference. If you do a lot of flying and want a compact noise cancelling solution, the Sony WF-1000XM3 is a better pick.
How do you connect the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus?
In order to pair the MW07 Plus earbuds to your phone, you must remove both earbuds for the case and wait for the LED indicator on each earbud to slowly fade on and off. Then, open your smartphone’s Bluetooth settings and select either the left or right earbud.
Our review unit had trouble initially pairing. If you run into the same issue, reset the earbuds by holding the volume down (left earbud) and multifunction (right earbud) buttons until the LEDs begin fading. You can enter mono listening by keeping one earbud in the case, which automatically deactivates noise cancelling and transparent audio since neither can function without both earbuds.
Master & Dynamic states an extended 30-meter range for these earbuds, identical to that of the MW07 Go, but this is significantly shortened when walls separate the earbuds and source device. I was able to wander my entire gym, which has an open floor plan to accommodate the rock walls but am unable to walk more than ~15 meters in my apartment sans-connection hiccups. This isn’t a huge deal if you’re one to always have your phone with you but is annoying nonetheless.
The earbuds have a 30-meter wireless range, which is hampered by large impediments like walls.
The Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds support aptX for high-quality streaming over Android devices. Unfortunately for iOS users, you’re booted down to SBC streaming. While it’s not ideal, the basic Bluetooth codec has made great improvements since the first version and oftentimes the layperson is unable to register a difference between codecs. Something you probably will notice as an iPhone user, though, is audio-visual lag. In order to avoid this, you should look at either the Apple AirPods Pro or some AirPods alternatives with AAC support.
How is the battery life?
The MW07 Plus has top-notch battery life for noise cancelling headphones, outperforming both the Apple AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM3. We recorded a standalone playtime of 8 hours, 58 minutes with noise cancelling on. It gets better though: the unit supports quick charging, too. You get five hours of listening from 15 minutes in the case and a full charge cycle takes just 40 minutes. The stainless steel case supplies you with an additional three charges to the earbuds, granting you more than 35 hours of playback altogether.
When you do need to charge up, just use the provided USB-C to USB-C cable. Master & Dynamic also provides a USB-C to USB-A adapter for those without USB-C charging bricks.
How good do the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus sound?
The earbuds feature a similar frequency response to the MW07 Go, which means audio reproduction is fairly neutral until reaching 3kHz. Treble frequencies receive a major boost relative to the rest of the sound signature, but even this exaggeration is tame and is unlikely to cause auditory masking, except for extreme instances. Due to the neutral-leaning sound signature through the most perceptible frequency range, the MW07 Plus wireless earphones are great for any genre of music. I enjoy listening to acoustic-oriented music with these earbuds because the boosted treble response makes harmonic resonances sound more detailed, albeit artificially so.
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Passive isolation is fine, but to get the most out of the earbuds, make sure to turn noise cancelling on. If you feel like you can’t hear a difference when toggling noise cancelling, try a different combination of ear and wing tips sizes. If they’re misfit to your ear, external noise will still hinder audio clarity.
Lows, mids, and highs
In Kyle Thornton & The Company’s song Fall In Love, the opening piano chords ring clearly but there is some masking once Thornton begins the first verse just 16 seconds in. A predictable tambourine pattern manages to remain clear throughout the verse, again a benefit of the emphasized treble reproduction. Cymbal hits during the chorus (1:04) are too emphasized, though, which can be aggravating to listeners with particularly sensitive ears.
I’m picking on the MW07 to demonstrate their weaknesses. These earbuds produce excellent audio quality across the spectrum and are a pleasure to listen with. I only notice their shortcomings when critically listening but never once thought about it when out and about.
Can the microphone be used for phone calls?
The integrated microphones sound fine and make for a convenient alternative to using your smartphone’s mic. There are two beam-forming mic arrays, one for each earbud, which works well if you often listen in mono mode. Some deviation is apparent throughout the human voice’s frequency range, but it’s not so extreme that one vocal range will sound vastly inaccurate compared to another. Instead, friends may describe your voice as “muffled” due to some slight attenuation from the 150-400Hz range.
Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus microphone demo:
Apple’s AirPods Pro microphone system does a better job at negating ambient noise especially while walking, but the MW07 Plus is perfectly fine for casual and seated business calls.
How do the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus compare to other true wireless earbuds?
Master & Dynamic takes pride in its products, and rightfully so: the company knows how to make gorgeous headphones. The fact remains, though, that the $300 asking price is steep even for true wireless earbuds. The MW07 Plus becomes even more difficult to justify after taking into account how Sony’s WF-1000XM3 is occasionally on promotion for ~$200, and those earbuds have significantly better noise cancelling than the MW07 Plus.
Granted, most people are probably considering Master & Dynamic products for their style and build quality above all else. If that happens to be you, then the Master & Dynamic MW07 is the best noise cancelling true wireless option when it comes to design. Just temper your expectations regarding ANC performance because, again, it’s fine but it’s not as good as other earbuds, including the Apple AirPods Pro.
Save money with the Panasonic RZ-S500W
The Panasonic RZ-S500W uses hybrid noise cancelling, a combination of feedforward and feedback technology, to scale through 50 levels of ANC intensity according to your environment. It’s extremely effective; in fact, it’s so effective that I found the highest setting to be disoriented and had to reduce it via the Panasonic app.
Unlike the MW07 Plus, the Panasonic RZ-S500W uses touch controls and features Amazon Alexa integration. Sound quality is very good, and microphone quality rivals that of the Apple AirPods Pro. It costs half of what you’ll pay for Master & Dynamic’s true wireless buds, the Panasonic headset an absolute steal.
Should you buy the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus?
For those who value fashion and audio quality, yes, the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus is worth the expense. The acetate coverings look and feel fantastic while the Fit Wing design remains one of my favorite things about the MW07 Plus.
If, however, you like nearly everything about the earbuds but don’t feel it’s worth shelling out for noise cancelling, the MW07 Go may be the more appropriate headset for you. The earbuds and charging case are smaller, battery life is a smidge better, and they’re IPX6-rated. The biggest sacrifice you make with the downgrade, aside from giving up ANC, is microphone quality. Otherwise, the TR90 composite earbud covers look and sound great.