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Master & Dynamic MG20 gaming headset review: M&D comes to gaming

Master & Dynamic has been making waves for some years now. The company is known for building ultra-premium headphones with an emphasis on stunning design and excellent audio quality. Now, however, the company is bringing that experience to the world of gaming, with its first gaming headset — the Master & Dynamic MG20 gaming headset.

Master & Dynamic has the headphone experience down — that much is clear. But building great gaming headsets is different. Gaming headsets need to be ultra-comfortable for long gaming sessions. They need to have a decent battery life if they’re wireless, like the MG20. And, they need to be able to work with low latency. Does the Master & Dynamic MG20 gaming headset perform, at the high price of $449?

Master & Dynamic MG20 review: Design

Master & Dynamic has traditionally made great-looking headsets, and the Master & Dynamic MG20 is no exception to that rule. The headset keeps a similar shape to its other pairs of headphones, with the oval ear cup shape and plush ear pads. It does away with the colors schemes though, in favor of an all-black or all-white look. I’m reviewing the black model, and I really like the look of it.

Master & Dynamic MG20 Side
Master & Dynamic MG20 Side Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The left ear cup is where you’ll get the majority of the controls, with a microphone volume wheel that mutes when pressed, a button to activate or deactivate virtual 7.1 surround sound, and a Bluetooth button, which doubles as a power button. There’s also the USB-C port and an input for the microphone, which is removable. On the right ear cup, you’ll find the other controls, including the overall volume wheel and a button to control playback. There are a lot of controls to get used to, but it shouldn’t take too long to get used to them.

Like other pairs of M&D headphones, the MG20 is clearly built from premium materials. It has a metal frame, with an Alcantara and coated canvas headband. There’s plenty of nice padding in the ear pads, with a lambskin covering. It all looks and feels great, plus despite the metal, the headset is pretty lightweight.

Master & Dynamic MG20 Controls
Master & Dynamic MG20 Controls Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

In the box, apart from the headset itself, you’ll get a range of accessories. There’s a USB-C to 3.5mm cable, which allows you to game in wired mode. And, there’s a splitter for microphone and audio inputs on your PC. You’ll also get the detachable microphone, and a pop filter for that microphone, a dongle for 2.4GHz low-latency connections, a standard USB-A to USB-C cable, and a nice, premium carry bag. Yeah, it’s a lot — and pretty much everything you’ll need.

Master & Dynamic MG20 review: Features and battery

The Master & Dynamic MG20 gaming headset can connect to the M&D Connect app, which allows you to tweak its settings, update firmware, and more. Generally, the app is well-designed and easy to use, and it allows you to tweak settings for the headset that you can make use of during your gaming.

The Master & Dynamic MG20 supports connecting to up to two devices at a time, including the low-latency dongle. So, you could connect to your phone and the dongle, for use with both your PS5 and your phone. Or, you could do away with the dongle altogether, and connect to your phone and tablet. There was an early bug in the headset that resulted in a crackling sound in some Bluetooth multipoint setups, however, I did not experience this bug, and Master & Dynamic says that the issue has been fixed. I ended up pairing it with my Apple TV for private listening in the living room when I wasn’t gaming on the PS5.

Through the app, you can tweak the EQ, either using one of the presets, or by creating your own. You can also select when the headset should automatically power off. That’s really about it though — there aren’t many other settings to tweak.

Master & Dynamic rates the headset as offering 22 hours of battery. That’s not bad at all. It’s pretty much on par with many of the other premium gaming headsets out there.

Master & Dynamic MG20 review: Comfort

A great gaming headset needs to remain comfortable, and the Master & Dynamic MG20 headset isn’t bad. As mentioned, the headset offers plenty of padding in the ear cups, and a solid amount of padding under the headband. That ensures that you’ll be able to wear it for hours on end.

Master & Dynamic MG20 Comfort
Master & Dynamic MG20 Comfort Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Now, while comfortable, the headset doesn’t quite reach the heights of the most comfortable headsets. For example, SteelSeries has built an incredible headband system that remains pretty much unrivaled in the gaming headset world. Still, the headset offers a decent clamp and enough padding to remain comfortable for longer gaming sessions.

Master & Dynamic MG20 review: Sound quality

Perhaps the most important thing about the Master & Dynamic MG20 headset is how it sounds, and thankfully, it sounds great. As mentioned, if you don’t like the frequency profile out of the box, you can tweak it through the app. But, out of the box, it does sound pretty good.

For starters, the bass response is very good. You’ll get deep and powerful bass that sounds natural yet extends nice and low. Kick drums offer a solid thud, while bass guitars and synths were heavy without being muddy.

The mids are well-tuned, and also relatively flat. I appreciate the natural-sounding mids. Thankfully, there was easily enough response to make voices pretty easy to hear.

Master & Dynamic MG20 Top
Master & Dynamic MG20 Top Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Easily my favorite thing about the sound quality here was the high-end response. There’s a ton of detail and clarity to these headphones, and that makes for an exciting sound profile overall. Cymbals are nice and crisp, while guitars have a nice cut to them. In gaming, it makes for a more immersive experience, as things just sound a little more natural.

The headset supports virtualized 7.1 surround sound, and it sounds fine. It’s about on par with other virtual surround tech. I don’t often use virtual surround sound tech, but those that like the idea will appreciate the way it sounds here.

The built-in microphone is also fine. It doesn’t quite offer as much detail as some might like, and it’s probably not the microphone to rely on for things like recording podcasts or videos. But your teammates will easily be able to hear what’s going on, which is the most important thing.

Conclusions

The Master & Dynamic MG20 is a solid first gaming headset from one of the best headphone companies of the past few years. It’s really a headset that only Master & Dynamic could build. It hits all the most important points of a gaming headset. It has a relatively comfortable fit, and a sound quality that beats out most of the competition. Not all gamers will love the non-RGB-ified look, but the trade-off is that the headset doubles as an excellent daily driver for those who want a headset for more than just their gaming.

Of course, you’ll pay a hefty price for those advantages. At $449, the MG20 is ultimately still a luxury headset. Those willing to pay will appreciate the excellent audio quality. But, if you’re looking for value-for-money, you should probably keep looking.

The competition

There are a few other options in the premium gaming headset world. It’s worth also considering the SteelSeries Arctis Pro headset, though if you want something that works great for day-to-day use, the Arctis Pro probably isn’t the way to go.

Ultimately, if you want a headset for gaming and day-to-day use all in one, and are willing to pay this much cash, the Master & Dynamic MG20 is a great option.

Should I buy the Master & Dynamic MG20 gaming headset?

Maybe. The Master & Dynamic MG20 isn’t a value-for-money option — but if you want a versatile, luxury headset, it’s worth considering.

Christian de Looper has been passionate about consumer technology since childhood, but didn’t know writing about it could be a career until he started looking for online work during college. He was born in Canberra, Australia, and has lived in France, Minnesota, and now sunny Santa Cruz, California, where he test drives cars and puts every gadget he can get his hands on to the test.




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