Is there a place in the market for true wireless earbuds like the Master & Dynamic MW08? At a price point of $299, that’s the question, isn’t it? Without mincing words, I think the answer is a resounding yes. There will always be a place for expensive high-quality audio products because there will always be people willing to pay a high price for them.
The Master & Dynamic MW08 are definitely a high-quality audio product, and you will definitely need to pay a high price for them if you want to experience what they have to offer. What they have to offer is a lot. A lot of really great features wrapped in a stylish package.
I’ve been using the Master & Dynamic MW08 true wireless earphones as my main audio source for about a week. That is when I’m not using my gaming headset for voice chat and games. Which is most of the day. And in that time I’ve come to really appreciate the benefits of a premiere pair of earbuds like these.
Prior to testing these out, my favorite pair of earbuds were the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid. Because those too are really good. But also because they’re less expensive and they work great for mobile games as well as for my PS5. For music and video though, they’ve been replaced. And here’s why.
The Master & Dynamic MW08 help you get lost in your music
I’ve never had a pair of earbuds or headphones that have allowed me to really get lost in whatever I was listening to. Not, truly.
With the MW08, the combination of the crystal clear, rich sound and the hybrid active noise cancellation provide me with a way to tune out literally everything and just enjoy the music. Or the audio for the videos I might be watching. And I think that’s a really important benefit if you’re trying to focus on what the earbuds are playing for you.
Thanks to the 11mm beryllium drivers, you get a sound that’s almost natural. And while it’s not quite the same, the drivers are supposed to help the earbuds mimic the sound of a live performance. I can’t say that the earbuds really achieve this goal. Mostly because it’s been years since I’ve seen anything live. Sadly. Which sort of prevents me from being able to compare the two.
But, what I can say is that the audio quality definitely has a rich tone to it. The sound is as clear as day. And as of right now, I never want to use another pair of earbuds for listening to music or watching video. With the MW08 I can truly get lost in what I’m listening to. And that’s a really, really good feeling.
Now, this sort of quality won’t matter to everyone. Not everyone cares about having audio that sounds this amazing. Some users just want earbuds that sound good and won’t cost an arm and a leg. And that’s totally fine because there’s a place for those too. However, if you want something that sounds like magic to your ears, look no further.
The earbuds aren’t perfect
I know I just spent the last entire paragraph extoling the virtues of these earbuds. And I stand by what I said. But that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. On the contrary there are still some improvements that could be made.
For starters, the price is high. And while I do think that the price doesn’t need to change because people will certainly pay it, I’d personally prefer to pay less. The earbuds also lack wireless charging. Something which I have grown to see the value in.
It would just be so easy to sit the case down on a wireless charger and juice these up. Not that you’d absolutely need to with how much battery life they hold. Which is, quite honestly a lot. But, sometimes the one charger I keep plugged in is being used by my phone. And I might need to charge the earbuds too.
In this kind of a situation I’m left with choosing what to charge, or what to charge first which ultimately means more charging time in general. Or have multiple chargers strung about. A simpler solution would be to have included wireless charging so I could have less clutter due to additional cables laying around.
Lastly, there’s no EQ in the application. All you do with it is use it for updates and you can also switch between the two different ANC modes or two different ambient modes. Don’t get me wrong. The sound the way these are when they come out of the box is fantastic. But there’s nothing wrong with having the ability to custom tune the sound with an EQ. And unfortunately you won’t get that option here.
So let’s talk about that battery life
One of the most important things with true wireless earbuds, or any wireless audio products, is battery life. No one wants their earbuds, headphones, or speakers to die in the middle of using them.
With the MW08 I’ve never had that worry. Since the moment I pulled these out of the box, I’ve been using them daily. And not once have I had to plug in the case to charge things back up. Yes I do put the earbuds back in the case when I’m done with them.
But the case itself has not been plugged in yet. Simply because it doesn’t need to be. The earbuds last for up to 12 hours on a single charge. That will certainly vary depending on if you use things like the Max ANC mode and constantly switch back and forth between it and the ambient listening mode.
During my own use, I was getting around 10 or so hours on a single charge. Leaving the earbuds out of the case for the first day or two to see how long I could make them last. After that I would use them for maybe 2-5 hours a day, then place them back in the charging case.
Now, the case offers an additional 30 hours of battery life. So altogether you get up to 42 hours of battery life before needing to plug in the case with the earbuds inside. That is an astounding amount of time to use these without needing to recharge them.
Case in point, you can use these all week and never have to plug them in. That is unless you listen to them for about 10 hours a day and use them every day. But most people probably don’t. So it’s highly likely that the majority of people listening with these would get about a week or more out of them.
And having one less thing to charge every or every other day is a big win in my book.
Master & Dynamic designed the MW08 like a piece of art
A very minimalist piece of art, but still a piece of art. Some people won’t necessarily be fond of the shape and design of these earbuds. In fact I showed them to a friend of mine and that was the first thing he commented on.
And hey, to each their own. But it’s hard to deny that the MW08 have a very stylish look to them. The use of the ceramic finish definitely helps. And I think some of the colorways (out of the four available) look better than the others. In particular I don’t care for the Blue Ceramic or Brown Ceramic. The Black Ceramic are the ones I have here, and the White Ceramic look quite nice too.
Because these have a glossy finish they do catch fingerprints and smudges fairly easily. But I feel like they don’t show up as much as they would if glass was used instead of the ceramic material.
Once you get past the outward-facing flat piece, the inside part of the design, the part that fits in your ear, also appears nicely contoured. This helps to keep them snug while you wear them and I feel like it adds to the comfort.
Overall the design is clean as opposed to the more attention-grabbing designs of some other true wireless earbuds. Allowing them to stand out but with more of a simple, minimal, modern look to them.
These are even great for phone calls
I didn’t use these for phone calls very often. Perhaps once or twice. But during those calls I was both in quiet and more noisy environments. Basically just at home and outside during walks with the wind blowing and car whizzing by.
No matter the situation I seemed to come through clear and without any issues for the person on the other end. This is due to the 6-microphone array, which Master & Dynamic calls its proprietary Talk Solution technology.
The 6 mics make it easier to pick up your voice, and there’s wind reduction tech included to neutralize the sounds of wind and other noisy elements that you don’t want in your voice calls. All-in-all a good setup if you want a clear sounding voice.
Is it better than the mic on my phone? Hard to say. But I reckon it’s pretty damn close if not equal or better.
Should I buy the Master & Dynamic MW08?
They may be expensive, but they aren’t just expensive because of the name. There’s a lot of value in these earbuds. From the high-end sound quality to the neat and tidy packaging. Unboxing a pair of these and then using them is an experience.
A pleasant one. Things like the ceramic finish and aluminum of the earbuds as well as the premium stainless steel case draw you in. Then the rich, natural sound from the audio keeps you there.
Through and through Master & Dynamic has delivered something special with these earbuds. You get long-lasting battery life, an IPX5 water resistance rating, and top-notch audio. Let’s not forget the hybrid active noise cancellation and the ambient listening. Both of which have two different settings.
You even get little nifty extras in the box like the carrying pouch, extra ear tips, and a USB-A adapter just in case you need to plug the case into something that doesn’t have a USB-C port on it.
Of course, I understand that $300 true wireless earbuds are not for everyone. Whether it be due to that price being out of their budget or just more than they want to pay. But, if the price is within your budget and you’re willing to pay the cost, pick these up. You’ll be thankful you did when you realize how great they sound.