Master & Dynamic MH40 review: Beautifully crafted, rock-solid headphones that also sound excellent

It's also worth mentioning that warranty coverage is 2 years, or double what most headphone brands offer. And finally, if you order directly through Master and Dynamic's website, you can return the headphones within 30 days and get your money back if you don't like them.

What you get in the box (the second headphone cord is in the cylindrical case). Sarah Tew/CNET

Performance

The MH40's sound is highly detailed, yet never harsh, and the bass is deep, without any boom or bloat. It's not quite as strong in the midrange -- vocals could be a little richer -- but overall this is an excellent sounding headphone that stacks up well against other audiophile headphones in the $300-$400 price range.

NAD's Viso HP50 quickly established itself as the $300 audiophile headphone to beat, and it didn't take long for the MH40 to prove itself a worthy adversary. While the HP50 sounded a touch richer on vocals and made more bass, the MH40 was more transparent and spacious. Really deep bass coursing through the "Gravity" soundtrack was taut and precise on the MH40. Both headphones have beautifully detailed treble, but the M40 is a little clearer. There's no definitive winner here; they're both excellent headphones.

We've seen some complaints about the headphone leaking some sound, but it seemed about on par with other closed-back headphones and didn't disturb our coworkers in an open office environment.

Conclusion

Clearly a lot of thought and talented engineering and design went into the MH40. From a fledgling headphone like Master and Dynamic, this is an impressive debut effort. While the headphone is a little heavy, it's very sturdily built and sounds excellent. Yes, it's somewhat pricey at $400, but at least it looks and feels like a $400 headphone should.