Manufacturers don’t really like to experiment much when it’s about the design of the headphones. Circular shape for ear-cups with leathery padding and a foldable frame have now become the prescribed formula for most headphone companies regardless of whether it is an on-ear or over-ear model. However, then there is Master & Dynamic. There are chances that you might not have heard about this name before. In fact, nobody did, until a few months ago when the company was launched. They’ve finally launched their $399 MH40 over-ear headphones that look extremely stunning. But have they got more than just style? Let’s check out.
Design and Build
On seeing the MH40 for the first time, one thing that’s easily noticeable is the authenticity of the materials used in the MH40 and that’s because they actually are. The headband sits elegantly wrapped with heavy-grain leather along with a lambskin underneath so that it is comfortable on your. Apart from that, some amount of visible stitching done on the headband also tends to add a great overall touch to it.
The components which help in sizing adjustment and are present at the headband’s base are carved out of stainless steel. This not only makes them look and feel better, but they also tend to stay pretty durable too. Apart from that, their rod-like construction looks attractive and easy to use. One can also find some sort of guidelines for adjusting them more precisely without just having to guess as how it will function.
Lambskin makes yet another appearance on the inner side of the pad once you move towards the earcups. According to Master & Dynamic, the material they’ve used on the memory foam cushions will be able to provide better breathability and comfort. If you tend to wear your headphones for long hours, you would know that it can get a bit hot around the earcups in not time. That, however, isn’t the case with the MH40. Pads are removable and the earcups are made of aluminum at the outside. Their shape too is an elliptical one which is in contrast with the regular circular headphones. Overall, the built quality of this headphone speaks quality.
The right earcup of the headphone has an extremely handy mute button which is probably the only on-board control that one can find. That button can prove to be extremely useful especially when your keyboard is out of your reach or if you are listening to music using your phone. The earcups have another interesting feature of attaching themselves to the headband that has another rod-like mechanism so as to allow the earcups to become flexible for a better and comfy fit. Apart from that, the unusual grille present on the earcups comprise of both – the speaker and the microphone.
The use of all these premium materials for the construction of the headphones can make you wonder if these headphones weigh more than average, however that’s not the case. Despite the choices made by Master & Dynamic regarding the materials and the design of these headphones, the company has still managed to keep the weight much down which is a big feat for a debutant manufacturer. Surely, they have a little added heft, but these over-ear headphones will never feel overbearing or bulky thus making you used to them rather quickly.
Performance and Sound Quality
They definitely are unique in their design and in terms of build quality, however, we mustn’t forget that their sole purpose is to provide audio and so that’s exactly what matters at the end – their sound quality. While the MH40 didn’t disappoint in terms of looks and feel, they surely didn’t disappoint in their audio quality as well. They sound fantastic, although they might not be the best in the industry, but they are no less too. The different range of volumes provided on these headphones is great and the sound they provide is pretty clear which is void of any kind of noise. They can offer a better low end than most other headphones which means that the depth in the sound offered by them is much better. They can easily handle all kinds of genres extremely well no matter what your preference is.
Master & Dynamic has also designed and launched a few accessories that’ll be compatible with their MH40. They obviously don’t come free with the headphone, but they don’t cost a bomb too. For instance, they have a $129 unidirectional aluminum boom mic which can easily handle your calls and video chats. The mic will simply plug itself into the 3.5mm jack that’s present on the earcup in a port that’s just opposite to the regular cable. It can help to keep your voice absolutely clear irrespective of the amount of your in-office noise which will ultimately make it easier for the person on the other end to hear you properly.
The company is also selling a $59 metal stand which can help you proudly display your headphones on your desk when you aren’t using them. They are simple, straightforward and can make your headphones look exceptionally well while they are put to rest.
At a price of $399, Master & Dynamic’s MH40 headphones are definitely priced in order to compete with the current premium audio accessories. Although, the lack of wireless connectivity option can be a turnoff for some people, especially at this price, however, the unique design and stupendous audio quality can surely make the price worth it.
As is generally the case with audio gears, at the end it all comes down to you as how you prefer to listen music and whether the quality provided by them suits your personal preferences or not. If you’re in content with your $10 earbuds, it’s great. However, if you do have an appetite for excellent sound quality, something that looks and feels great and is affordable too, the MH40 are worth the try.