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Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport true wireless headphones review

July 27th, 2021 at 8:00 AM

It’s tough to find great true wireless headphones for sports. Most true wireless headphones fit fine for day-to-day use, but quickly fall out when you start actually moving. The reason I love the Beats PowerBeats Pro headphones is that they fit my ears well, and offer a hook over your ears to better stay in place. Now, however, Master & Dynamic thinks it has the solution to the problem of a lack of true wireless headphones for sports, in the Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport headphones.

Master & Dynamic has a history of building awesome headphones. The standard MW08 headphones offer excellent audio quality, a solid fit, and a nice design. But simply adding the word “sport” to the name doesn’t necessarily make them great sports headphones. Do the Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport headphones offer everything you need for your next workout? I’ve been using the headphones for a while now to find out.

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport design

If you’ve seen other Master & Dynamic true wireless headphones before, you’ll immediately recognize these. The actual buds look very similar to the MW07 headphones. They offer a kind of squared-off face, with an arm that extends out into your ears. It’s not a bad look, and it’s a little different than other true wireless headphones, which is nice to see.

On the top edge of the right earbud, you’ll find a single button, which is used to control playback. On the left earbud, there are two buttons, to control volume. Holding both volume buttons controls noise-cancellation modes, and it’s a little tricky to use. The buttons are easy to press on their own, but they’re pretty small, and close together, so it’s quite difficult to press them both at the same time.

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport SoundImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The headphones are available in a few different colors. We’re reviewing the black model, and they look great. All models come with a Kevlar fiber case, which also looks awesome.

The case offers three LED lights to indicate battery status, along with a USB-C port on the right side. Also in the box is a USB-C cable, a USB-C to USB-A adapter, and a series of ear tips. There’s an excellent selection of ear tips here, including a hefty six pairs of silicone tips, and two pairs of foam tips. Basically, there are no missing accessories here, but we would expect nothing less from Master & Dynamic.

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport features and battery

These aren’t Apple-built headphones, so they don’t have features like Spatial Audio and Automatic Switching. But we wouldn’t expect that. Apart from that, they offer more or less all the features you would want in a pair of earbuds.

Notably, the headphones connect to an accompanying app, which allows you to control most aspects of them. You can switch between noise-canceling modes, check the battery level of the headphones, and more. The app is generally well-designed, and while it’s not as feature-packed as some other options, it’s a good start.

The biggest feature missing is an EQ of some kind. Thankfully, the headphones sound pretty good out of the box, but different people have different tastes when it comes to audio. I really would have liked to be able to tweak the frequency response.

The battery life on these headphones is excellent. You’ll get a massive 12 hours of non-noise-canceling battery life out of the buds themselves, with an additional 30 hours from the charging case. As if that wasn’t good enough, the headphones also support wireless charging, and Master & Dynamic sells its own wireless charger in the MC100 charging pad. Thankfully, you can use any Qi wireless charger with these headphones.

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport comfort

Of course, perhaps the most important thing to consider on sports headphones is the fit. The headphones offer a comfortable fit, with a slate of ear tips to help. We recommend experimenting with the different ear tips to find the pair that are right for your needs.

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport ComfortImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

But do they stay in your ears well enough for sports? Well, yeah. Or at least, it depends. With really heavy movement, like running, you will likely find yourself having to adjust the buds every now and then to make sure they’re properly seated in your ears. But that’s true far less than with other true wireless headphones. And, the foam tips absolutely help.

I wouldn’t expect the perfect sports earbuds here. But in the absence of things like an ear hook, these get pretty close in terms of fit. Again, it’s worth experimenting with the ear tips. But if you can find tips that fit well, you’ll really appreciate how well these headphones fit.

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport sound

While comfort and fit will be most important for some, for others it will be how the headphones sound. Thankfully, in classic Master & Dynamic fashion, the MW08 Sport headphones sound great. In fact, they may well be the best-sounding true wireless headphones out there.

The bass response on the headphones is solid and tight. The bass isn’t over the top or too boosted, so if you do want extra bass you’ll need to look elsewhere. That said, kick drums easily hit through a mix, while bass guitars sounded smooth and heavy.

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport PortImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The mids are well-tuned too, offering a relatively warm response in the low mids. The high mids offer plenty of presence, which helps things like vocals and guitars cut through the mix. Thankfully, that high response isn’t over the top. High frequencies are generally well-defined, and while things like cymbals and other percussion instruments can sometimes feel a little tucked away, that’s truly nit-picking — generally the high-end sounds great.

Noise cancelation on the headphones is only fine. The noise cancelation on offer by the likes of the AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones is quite a bit better and can cut out more noise from your environment. There are two noise cancelation modes on offer by these headphones — “Max ANC,” and “All Day ANC.” As you might expect, Max ANC is better, but at the cost of battery life.

Conclusions

Master & Dynamic has once again built a great product in the MW08 Sport true wireless headphones. The headphones offer a solid design, excellent battery life, and they sound great.

The competition

Unfortunately, they face very stiff competition. The AirPods Pro offer features like Spatial Audio and Automatic Switching, but only for those that stick within Apple’s ecosystem. If that’s you, then the AirPods Pro are still probably the way to go. Then there are the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones, which are still our favorite pick for non-Apple true wireless headphones, thanks to the fact that they offer an EQ and better noise cancelation.

 Should I buy the Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport headphones?

Yes, but only if sound quality is your ultimate goal. Otherwise, you should go for the Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones, or AirPods Pro if you exist in Apple’s ecosystem.




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