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Master & Dynamic MW60 wireless headphones review: A spectacularly designed but pricey wireless headphone

But if you can overlook the fact that it costs too much, the MW60 is beautifully designed wireless headphone that delivers very good performance.

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David Carnoy
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David Carnoy

Executive Editor / Reviews

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.

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In case you've never heard of Master & Dynamic, it's a new company that made a name for itself with its MH40 over-ear headphone, the wired model that the wireless MW60 reviewed here ($549, £419) is based on. It's currently not sold in Australia, but that $549 price tag would equate to about AU$735 at today's exchange rate.

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7.8

Master & Dynamic MW60 wireless headphones

The Good

The Master and Dynamic MW60 wireless Bluetooth headphone is constructed out of premium materials and has excellent build quality along with strong sound for a Bluetooth headphone. It folds up and comes with a decent carrying case and a cable for wired listening. Battery life (16 hours) was good, and the Bluetooth connectivity was impressively steady with extended range.

The Bad

The headphones are expensive, somewhat heavy and may not fit people with smaller heads. Lacks dual microphones for reducing ambient noise during calls.

The Bottom Line

If you can overlook the fact that it costs too much, the MW60 is beautifully designed wireless headphone that delivers very good performance.

Design-wise, the MW60 is a great looking headphone that's really well built with metal parts, leather trim and folding hinges. It's also comfortable, though somewhat on the heavy side, weighing in at 12.2 ounces or 345 grams.

For those with smaller heads, these 'phones may be a tad large -- they barely fit my head. But I liked the feel of the lambskin covered earcups and overall this definitely comes across as a premium headphone. It also has good battery life at around 16 hours and maintained a consistent wireless connection.

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Master & Dynamic's MW60 integrated controls are on the right earcup.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Master & Dynamic says it has four times the range of your typical Bluetooth headphone. In my tests in our CNET offices in New York, I found that it did indeed offer extended range, though just how much extended range -- beyond the typical 33 feet or 10m -- will depend on your surroundings (I got about 50-60 feet away from my phone).

Performance

We like how the wired MH40 sounds, and we like how this headphone sounds as well -- it's an excellent Bluetooth headphone that offers clean, fairly even-handed sound with plenty of bass that manages to stay pretty tight (by that I mean it's not boomy or muddy).

That all sounds pretty good, right? So what's the problem?

Well, Sennheiser's Momentum Wireless, which costs a little less ($500) and adds noise-canceling, sounds better and is a little more comfortable in the bargain. The Momentum Wireless has little bit more detailed, richer sound. Also, its sound has more immediacy to it, particularly in the vocals (midrange), there's more sparkle in the treble, and the bass is slightly tighter. The MW60 sounds slightly recessed by comparison.

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The headphones fold up into an included carrying case and come with a separate small case for the the USB and headphone cords.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I had home audio editor Ty Pendelbury and Steve Guttenberg, who writes CNET's Audiophiliac column, have a listen. Ty liked the MW60 but preferred the Momentum Wireless, while Steve thought the MW60 sounded "OK." But he doesn't like Bluetooth headphones, so consider that praise.

If you wondering how these sound as a wired headphone (yes, they come with a headphone cord), they sound good -- very similar to the MH40. But there are several wired headphones in this price range (or that cost less) that arguably sound better and offer more transparency, including Audeze's Sine headphone or Oppo's PM-3.

As a headset, the MW60 works well but doesn't have dual mics that reduce ambient noise or allow you to hear your own voice in the headphones.

There are plenty of other premium Bluetooth headphones to choose from. I like the Parrot Zik 3, B&O Beoplay H7, V-Moda Crossfade Wireless, Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II and Beats Studio Wireless, to name a few models. As far as sound goes, this MW60 measures up well against those headphones, but it also costs more.

Pricey, but good

In the end, aside from being slightly heavy, the only serious knock against this headphone is that it just costs too much. It sounds excellent for a Bluetooth headphone, but not $550 excellent. But if you can overlook the the fact that it does cost too much, it's beautifully designed and worked flawlessly for me.

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7.8

Master & Dynamic MW60 wireless headphones

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Sound 8Value 7
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