Master and Dynamic MW50: Our first take

Grasp & Dynamic’s MW50 supply beautiful sound and dashing attractiveness to create a grand expertise for the senses.

Once we first laid eyes on fledgling audio model Grasp & Dynamic’s sterling MW50 wireless on-ear headphones, we knew we needed to get our palms on them. Minimize from glittering slabs of aluminum, and layered in heaps of sentimental leather-based, the headphones look match for a limousine experience in your method to a board assembly in Decrease Manhattan. In different phrases, they’re stylish as hell.

In fact, whereas the MW50 are blessed with all of the aesthetic sensibilities of a banner pair of premium headphones, making one thing that appears and sounds good is not any small feat — particularly for an upstart. Fortunately, the MW50 completely ship, providing beautiful sound on par with their dashing attractiveness to create a grand expertise for all of your senses.

The Items

The Manhattan reference above is becoming, because the three-yr-previous audio model is headquartered in The Huge Apple, the place its engineers design the cans from scratch. Grasp & Dynamic claims its headphones are “designed for many years of use,” and at $450, they’re priced that approach too.

Whereas we clearly can’t vouch for such daring reliability claims, it’s clear proper out of the field that these headphones are as solidly constructed as another of their class. Crafted from chrome steel and aluminum, the band feels extraordinarily strong. The extending arms glide easily towards brute-pressure rigidity for measurement adjustment, whereas the earpieces rotate effortlessly on the horizontal entry for a safe match.

Premium cowhide matched by mushy lambskin oozes luxurious.

Even the on-board controls really feel properly-constructed, together with a sturdy energy/pairing change on the left earpiece and a triplet of tactile silver keys on the fitting aspect to regulate play/pause, quantity, track skip, and calling. Additionally on the proper aspect is the Class-C USB port, which permits for speedy charging when the sixteen-hour battery runs dry.

Whereas quick charging is nice, we might have appreciated to see a playback time of 20+ hours at this worth level to place the MW50 on par with flagship wi-fi cans from the likes of Sennheiser, Bose, Sony and others. On the flipside, the MW50 supply an prolonged Bluetooth vary of round one hundred ft — round triple the usual of 33 ft — because of a particular aluminum antenna.

The earpieces take design cues from different premium headphones — together with the likes of Bowers & Wilkins — with magnetically detachable pads. Pop one off and also you’ll discover a glowing chrome guard beneath harking back to a Dobro resonator, overlaying a 40mm beryllium driver.

Relating to consolation, the premium cowhide on the band oozes luxurious, matched by mushy lambskin on the earpads to make the MW50 among the many most snug on-ear cans we’ve placed on — wi-fi or in any other case. We might have used only a tad extra padding on the highest, which may put on only a bit after hours of playback, however the marshmallow-delicate pads greater than make up for it.

Equipment within the package deal embrace a pair of fabric-stitched cables for charging and plugging in to a supply immediately, in addition to a carrying pouch, and even a carrying case for the cables, although we might have beloved to see a tough case within the package deal.

The sound

The moment consolation we skilled with MW50’s match was virtually completely mirrored within the sound. The higher register is glowing and properly-detailed, echoing the glimmering sheen of the mesh screens on the earpieces’ exterior, whereas a heat and ruddy midrange lets you settle into the sound like a premium leather-based lounge chair. The balanced mix leads to a snug, nicely supported sound signature with loads of element to spare.

We beloved the MW50’s welcoming sound signature from the get-go, however it was the headphones’ remarkably expansive soundstage that constantly stunned us as we meandered by way of a large assortment of tracks — particularly spectacular for on-ear headphones, which don’t have the posh of surrounding your ears with an acoustic chamber.

Heat and detailed sound permits you to settle into the MW50 like a premium leather-based lounge chair.

Devices are stretched out in a hemispheric expanse, tossed extensively out to the edges in sparser moments as if beaming again sound from area, but glittering with accuracy and readability. Because of that supreme precision and broad spacing, we have been even tricked a number of occasions when songs slipped in samples, which sometimes sounded as if somebody (or one thing) was creeping up behind us, forcing us to rewind the monitor to make certain.

The MW50’s mixture of huge stereo spacing and eager precision additionally pays off when issues get extra complicated. A reside reduce of Bela Fleck’s Stomping Grounds is a main instance of each options, because the monitor’s austere intro is more and more compounded by the swirling sounds of Fleck’s marvel band, from Sam Bush’s wire-strutting mandolin to Victor Wooten’s impossibly nimble bass runs. The MW50 makes straightforward work of the instrumental mélange, permitting every instrument to plant its flag within the combine with type.

Bass response can also be spectacular for on-ear cans, providing thundering authority down low, and a lift of midbass that brings some actual power to hip-hop and rock tracks. That highly effective punch winds its method subtly into the wealthy center register, which itself slides into the sparkly treble to create an general mix that’s on the similar time balanced and fairly numerous. Very sometimes, the bass can get a tad boomy, however it occurred so not often we hesitate to even point out it.

Master and Dynamic MW50

Wealthy Shibley/Digital Developments

For giggles, we plugged the MW50 into our Antelope Zodiac DAC/amp to pit them towards our greatest on-ear cans, Audeze’s Sine planar magnetic headphones. We have been happy to find the MW50 held up comparatively nicely as compared, regardless that the Sine value a bit extra even with out wi-fi connection. Whereas each headphones supply balanced and accessible sound, the MW50 are a bit hotter and bassier, whereas the Sine are extra exact and detailed. The most important distinction was in instrumental separation the place, gifted as they’re, the MW50 couldn’t fairly maintain up, smearing the devices and crowding the soundstage barely as compared.

Nonetheless, we’re stunned the MW50 might stand their floor towards such a mighty challenger, securing their place as a few of the greatest-performing wi-fi cans we’ve heard.

Conclusion

Whereas Grasp & Dynamic could also be new to the sport, the corporate has already confirmed it belongs within the very aggressive premium headphone area. Whereas the worth could also be steep, the MW50 deliver fashion, high quality, consolation, and sterling sound to the wi-fi phase, including within the longest Bluetooth vary you should purchase as a bonus. Should you’re in search of a top quality wi-fi expertise on all ranges, and also you’ve obtained the money, we advocate grabbing a pair of MW50s as we speak.

Highs

  • Beautiful, nicely-constructed design
  • Heat, highly effective, and detailed sound signature
  • Expansive soundstage
  • Extraordinarily snug
  • Prolonged Bluetooth vary

Lows

  • Battery life could possibly be higher
  • Premium design begs premium pricing

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