Longtime BGR readers will know that I fancy myself something of an audiophile. I am absolutely not a sound snob who scoffs at affordable personal audio products and belittles people for having tastes that differ from my own. In fact, I have likely recommended twice as many affordable options over the years as I have high-end audio products. But when it comes to choosing the headphones and speakers that I use myself, I have always been very picky.
Yes, I absolutely have a pair of AirPods that I love because of how well they integrate with my iPhone and MacBook Pro. That said, I really only use them for phone calls and watching quick YouTube videos for work. When it comes to headphones and earphones that I use when I listen to music, I’m much more selective. I’ve probably tried every pair of popular headphones you can think of at one point or another, and I’m not loyal to any brand. I’m loyal only to sound quality, and Master & Dynamic’s new MW08 true wireless earphones just raised the bar to impressive new heights.
It’s true that I’m not loyal to any one personal audio brand, but there are some companies that consistently create products I prefer. New York-based Master & Dynamic is among them, and I have reviewed several different pairs of M&D headphones in the past. Beyond just reviewing them, I have also used several different pairs of Master & Dynamic headphones in my personal life as my go-to headphones.
When it comes to over-ear headphones, the Master & Dynamic MW65 was my preference for a long time. In fact, it wasn’t until Sony came out with its latest WH1000XM4 headphones in late 2020 that I finally retired my pair of MW65 noise cancelling headphones. As far as in-ear headphones go, I turn to the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus quite often and had yet to find anything that might replace them… until now.
Unveiled on Tuesday morning, the new Master & Dynamic MW08 true wireless earphones take everything I love about the MW07 Plus and make it even better. From sound quality and ANC performance to overall design and materials, they’re better in every meaningful way.
Despite the similar design and identical weight of 9 grams per earbud, the new MW08 earphones use upgraded 11mm Beryllium drivers that help improve sound quality as well as clarity. MW07 Plus excelled in both areas already, so it’s pretty impressive that M&D managed to make its new earphones even better. That said, the difference in this area is somewhat minimal since the previous-gen model was already so good. It’s the active noise cancellation improvements and connectivity upgrades that have me even more impressed.
Master & Dynamic’s new MW08 earphones feature two different active noise cancelling modes and a total of six different microphones, three on each earbud. “All Day” noise cancellation is comparable to a standard ANC setting on other headphones, while “ANC Max” cranks things up a bit more. M&D’s wind noise reduction on phone calls is particularly impressive, and there are also two ambient listening modes — one that’s basically a sound passthrough, and a second mode that helps isolate voices. These settings and more are all configurable in the new M&D Connect app that can be downloaded for free from Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. Firmware updates will also be accessible through the new app, which is something that was sorely missing from earlier M&D earphones.
Bluetooth 5.2 support and a new external antenna design that’s reminiscent of a smartphone help improve connectivity. My one and only real complaint about the MW07 earphones was that the audio stream would sometimes drop for a brief instant, but I haven’t experienced that at all on the new MW08 model. Also worth noting, the MW08 earphones are Master & Dynamic’s first to feature ceramic and aluminum construction instead of acetate. I like both designs, but there’s no question that the new one feels more premium.
“Our MW08 True Wireless Earphones continue our obsession with design, materials, and technical sophistication,” said M&D founder and CEO Jonathan Levine. “We were able to integrate significant improvements in this product, including 11mm custom drivers and six microphones while reducing the overall size of both the earphones and case. The combination of ceramic, stainless steel, and anodized aluminum provide a sleek yet tactile form factor, packing a punch both visually and acoustically.”
To be perfectly frank, I knew I was going to love the new Master & Dynamic MW08 true wireless earphones even before I put them in my ears for the first time. M&D has yet to disappoint with any of its updates, and the MW08 earphones deliver key improvements just like previous upgrades have in the past. You get the same signature design and the same impressive 12 hours of battery life per charge, but active noise cancellation, sound quality, and construction are all improved.
M&D’s new MW08 true wireless earphones will be available on the company’s website beginning March 30th, and they’ll come in four different colorways: Black Ceramic/Matte Black Stainless Steel, White Ceramic/Stainless Steel, Brown Ceramic/Stainless Steel, and Blue Ceramic/Graphite Grey Stainless Steel. The new model is priced at $299 just like its predecessor, while the previous-generation MW07 Plus earphones will remain in M&D’s lineup at the new $249 price point.