Review: Master & Dynamic’s MW08 Sport Earbuds Attempt to Solve Two Big Problems
They’ve added wireless charging. But can this update to our favorite earbuds excel in a more active setting?
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It was only back in April when I raved about Master & Dynamic’s MW08 earbuds, which I claimed were good enough to justify the $300 expense.
My only concerns, besides price? The lack of a wireless charging case and a fear that the earbuds weren’t ideal for workouts — it didn’t stop me from using them during gym time, but I constantly worried about damaging or losing the buds.
Lo and behold, less than six months later Master & Dynamic has attempted to solve both concerns with the release of the MW08 Sport True Wireless Earphones.
The big difference here? Instead of ceramic and stainless steel, the Sport versions are built from shatter-resistant sapphire glass, and the case is a Kevlar fiber. Plus, the brand is now offering foam ear tips for a better fit, and you can charge the earbuds case wirelessly.
We spent a week with the MW08 Sport earbuds, wearing them both in everyday settings (like commuting) and during our morning attempts at fitness, which involved cardio, HIIT and strength workouts in our building’s gym.
Setting up the MW08 Sport
Like the past few MW08 releases, setup was ridiculously fast. I placed the earbuds on the brand’s new MC100 Wireless Charge Pad — more on that below — and left them overnight to charge.
In the morning, I took the earbuds out of the case and immediately heard a sound (like radar) and connected them with one tap to my iPhone. Then my M&D app found the earbuds and I was ready to rock (and sweat and move) in under a minute.
- Case: 64.8mm x 48.1mm x 26.8mm
- Earphone: 21.19mm x 20.22mm x 25.08mm
- 11mm Beryllium Drivers
- Earbuds 8.6g each, charging case 56g
- Sapphire glass sport earbuds /Kevlar® fiber case
- 12 hour listening time (10 with ANC/ambient listening), additional 30 hours with case
- 50% charge in 15 minutes, 100% charge in 45 mins.
- Six microphones
- IPX5 water resistance (earbuds), IPX4 (case)
- Two active noise-cancelling options and ambient listening modes
- Bluetooth 5.2
- 100 ft connectivity distance
- Comes with five silicone ear tip sizes, two memory foam ear tip sizes, and USB-A adapter and a USB-C charging cable
- After the initial charge, I purposely didn’t recharge my earbuds. They were close to fully powered a week later, even with ANC on and constant daily use.
- The earbuds themselves are slightly lighter. The Kevlar case, however, feels significantly more lightweight than the regular MW08 case, and is built so you’ll never really notice any wear and tear (which I had started to see on my non-Sport, metallic case after a few months).
What kind of works:
- That new MC100 Wireless Charge Pad is fantastic — I used it to charge all my wireless devices (iPhone 11, Sonos Roam speaker, etc.), not just the M&D earbuds. But it’s not included; the case is an extra $69.
- I couldn’t tell any sonic difference in sound between the MW08 and MW08 Sport. If you like the MW08, you’ll be perfectly happy with the Sport edition. Basically, anything I liked (or didn’t) soundwise about the earbuds before still holds true.
What needs work:
- Sadly, I didn’t find MW08 Sport earbuds to “fit” any better or more snugly than the regular Master & Dynamic MW08 ‘buds. I tried five different fits, including both silicone and the new foam tips; on all of them, my left earbud always felt like it was about to fall out during workouts (it was fine in day-to-day situations). Oddly, it was the right earbud that did fall out once, and that was while I was just breaking down a box in our building’s (admittedly very warm) recycling room.
What others are saying:
4.5/5. The MW08 Sport has a precision quality with some of the best materials around. The buds offer outstanding audio that easily beats the likes of AirPods Pro. With the addition of wireless charging, not to mention the sapphire glass and Kevlar, these are even more of a recommendation than before. — Apple Insider
4/5. 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. — BGR
3.5/5. Made of high-quality materials and offering strong and lasting sounds, the MW08 Sport is still a head-scratcher in many respects, given the less expensive (and impressive) MW08 option. — iMore
What we’re saying
Choosing between the MW08 and the Sport version is pretty much going to come down to money. Are the Sport’s benefits — the lightweight case, improved earbud durability, wireless charging — worth the extra money, which could be up to $120 more if you buy the M&D charge pad?
Some people have better luck with how their earbuds fit than others, so I couldn’t tell you if the ok fit (which didn’t seem any better or worse than other sport or non-sport earbuds) should be a deciding factor; I may just have strangely-shaped ear canals, or it may take longer for the foam tips to fully adjust.
Overall, I’d say you’d be fine with either one, but maybe consider going with something like Jaybird if you’re deciding purely on how well the earbuds react during workouts.
Where to buy ‘em: Available in four colors, Master & Dynamic’s MW08 Sport Active Noise-Cancelling True Wireless Earphones are available now for $349. The MC100 Wireless Charge Pad is available in two colors for $69.
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