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 active noise cancelling (ANC) 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 a more feature-heavy headset.
Editor’s note: this Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus review was updated on March 31, 2021, to answer an FAQ about the Master & Dynamic MW08, include a contents menu, add a reader poll, and add context to the sound quality section.
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.
- Listeners who put a premium on build quality should look no further than Master & Dynamic’s product lineup. These earbuds are durable and eye-catching.
- Affluent athletes should gather their couch cushion pennies for the MW07 Plus, because these IPX5 earbuds can take your sweat.
What’s it like to use the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus?
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, Master & Dynamic proves it has a knack for attention to detail. The D-shaped earbuds are available in four colorways: Steel blue, White marble, Tortoiseshell, and Black quartz.
Related: Best true wireless earbuds
No matter which pattern you select, you get a canvas carrying pouch, five pairs of silicone ear tips, and three pairs Fit Wings. Save for the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and Sport Earbuds StayHear Max ear tips, these are my favorite add-ons. The comb-like bristles provide flexibility with each sizing and don’t irritate the skin.
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.
The housings taper off into angled nozzles for an ergonomic fit. Each earbud has a proximity sensor, which recognizes when you remove or insert the earphones, facilitating automatic pause or play functionality. 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.
Start here: Ultimate headphone buying guide
The MW07 Plus comes with a stainless steel charging case, which is plain save for the three LEDs that line the front and USB-C input in the back. Its magnetic closing mechanism works well and rarely pops open even if you drop it.
Is the noise cancelling good?
Master & Dynamic’s noise cancelling isn’t the greatest, but it subtly hushes low-frequency background noise. This means low-pitched sounds like washing machines, dryers, and plane engines will sound about three-quarters as loud with ANC on. In the chart above, the higher the line, the more a given frequency is quieted.
What’s more impressive than the raw ANC performance is the passive isolation, a product of a well-fitted earbud. Noise cancelling technology barely affects high-frequency, incidental sounds (1kHz and above). Instead, manufacturers rely on ear tips to create a physical barrier between you and your environment. As long as you take the time to find the appropriate ear tips for you, nearby conversations and the clicks and clacks of your cubicle neighbor’s keyboard will be significantly quieted.
Do the MW07 Plus stay connected?
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.
Become an expert: Understanding Bluetooth codecs
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 wandered around my entire gym, which has an open floor plan to accommodate the rock walls but couldn’t 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.
How do you connect the earbuds?
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, you may 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.
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 do the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus sound?
The earbuds feature a rather neutral-leaning frequency response prior to the 3kHz mark. Treble frequencies receive a boost relative to the rest of the frequencies, but even this exaggeration is unlikely to cause auditory masking, except for extreme instances. Due to the accurate sound profile through the most perceptible frequency range, the MW07 Plus wireless earphones are great for any genre of music.
Related: How to read charts
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 (0:16). A predictable tambourine pattern remains 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 to. 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.
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.
How do the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus compare to other true wireless earbuds?
The MW07 Plus becomes even more difficult to justify after taking into account how Sony’s WF-1000XM3 is often on promotion for ~$200, and those earbuds have significantly better noise cancelling than the MW07 Plus. Other great premium noise cancelling earbuds include the Jabra Elite 85t and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro–the latter of which is the most affordable and feature-packed of the bunch.
If you own an iPhone and want good ANC and seamless experience across all your devices, just get 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Master & Dynamic MW08 buds house 11mm beryllium drivers, which is 1mm larger than the MW07 Plus' 10mm drivers. The headsets' charging cases are different too: the MW08 includes a vertical case, while the MW07 Plus uses a horizontal one. Master & Dynamic upgraded the Bluetooth firmware from 5.0 with the MW07 Plus to Bluetooth 5.2 in the MW08. Similar to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, the Master & Dynamic MW08 earphones feature mesh hardware over the microphones to reduce wind noise. Both sets of true wireless earbuds feature noise cancelling, though we expect the MW08 ANC to be more effective than the MW07.