Audio | January 21, 2020 12:46 pm

Review: Master & Dynamic’s MW07 Plus Win on Looks and Powerful ANC

It’s pretty much what we loved about the previous earbuds x 10

Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus
Master & Dynamic's new MW07 Plus have up to 40 hours of playtime
Master & Dynamic

How do you improve your favorite thing?

In Master & Dynamic’s case, the audio brand has significantly upped the battery power and added noise cancellation on their MW07 earbuds, which we’ve raved about more than a few times.

On the surface, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the new MW07 Plus and the original MW07s we know and love (reminder, the originals won a Red Dot Award for Product Design). 

So we took the new model out for a few days of testing, to see if the inner workings were worth the (modest) price upgrade.

The setup:

The MW07 Plus arrives in a small box with a canvas pouch, three fit-wings and five different ear tip sizes, a USB-C charging cable, USB adaptor and a charging case that looks, weighs and feels pretty much exactly like the original MW07s. I plugged them in over the weekend to charge, realized on the following Monday that there was a tiny piece of plastic on each earbud that prevented the ‘buds from getting power, took those off and tried again. I’m an idiot.

For the record, the earbuds are supposed to hit the full 10 hours of initial playtime after a mere 40 minutes of charging — the prior model’s numbers were a full 3.5 hour charge after 90 minutes. From my tests, I can’t dispute each figure.

Setup was a snap, and reading and understanding the directions for all the features took maybe a minute. 

The specs:

  • 10mm Beryllium drivers
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 100 ft of connectivity
  • IPX5 water resistance
  • Weight: 84g (case), 9g (each earphone)
  • Built from handcrafted acetate and stainless steel
  • Two beamforming mic arrays
  • Three listening modes

What works:

  • The new Active Noise-Cancelling Feature completely shut out the outside world, unlike other earbuds I’ve tried that made the same promise. Given that the earbuds were already pretty good at keeping your surrounding environment at bay, this isn’t a surprise. (Side note: I have no idea if the ANC feature drains battery at a signficant rate … I found I didn’t need to use it much).
  • These still look good and feel light. No changes there.
  • Pairing with my phone was instaneous. 
  • I used the earbuds for several days and only charged via the case, which I had plugged in once. I never saw the power levels go down, which I certainly can’t say about prior MW07s.  

What kind of works:

  • The other new feature, Ambient Listening Mode, let in a lot of outside noise, particularly wind and cars. I didn’t really ever feel the need to use this, but you may find it preferable if you have to stay vigilant (or hear your boss walking down the hall).
  • There are more earbud fits on the Plus model, and yet I didn’t find one that fit as perfectly as the prior model. This will entirely depend on your ears, but with five size options, you’re likely to fit a comfort level of your liking. 

What needs work:

  • The older MW07s seemed to have more “oomph” (apologies for getting technical). I had to turn up the volume on the Plus model quite a bit to reach the same listening experience as what I was hearing with the original MW07s. Overall, it was still a clear and crisp audio experience, but I worry that offering three modes and all the extra battery power may have diluted some of the dynamics I’m used to. 
  • How about a wireless charging case option, much like the new Beoplay E8 3rd Gen is offering?

Quick note:

There’s also a sportier version of the MW07s called the MW07 Go, which are on sale right now at Bloomingdale’s. Not quite as handsome, but still colorful and a good audio experience (and better for using while you exercise or in inclement weather).

What others are saying:

8.3/10. Build quality doesn’t get better than this, but ANC could use a boost. — SoundGuys

4.5/5. While other headphones may ultimately sound better or have better ANC, the MW07 Plus provide balanced package of form, function, and sound. — TechRadar

86/100. Some of the best-sounding earbuds you’ll find right now. — Engadget

What we’re saying: 

The MW07 Plus is a game-changer purely for its battery, which offers ten times the power as the previous model. You can go a few days without worrying about a charge. 

The Plus also keeps the good looks and user-friendly controls of the previous model and adds two new sound modes that aren’t 100% necessary but can certainly improve your audio experience. 

My only hesitation here comes with slightly unusual fit — which, again, might simply be me getting used to different sizing on the ear tips — and more importantly, the sound. It’s good and well-rounded, but I shouldn’t have to up the volume to a maximum just to get a sound level on par with the previous earbuds.