Master and Dynamic MW07 Plus Review: Best wireless sound
“The MW07 Plus are the unequivocal choice for audiophiles on the go.”
- Class-leading sound
- Competition-smashing battery life
- Stylish design
- Intuitive controls
- Workout ready
- Charging case still a pain
- Noise cancellation is so-so
- Connection hiccups with older phones
It seems like eons ago that Master and Dynamic’s first fully wireless earbuds, the MW07, made their debut. Sleek and stylish, smartly designed, and packing sound that bested almost every other entry on the market, the MW07 were a hit. In fact, apart from their price, there was only one drawback: A paltry 3.5 hours of battery life per charge.
Cut to just over a year later, and a flood of new entries with ramped-up features and increasingly competitive battery life have made the true wireless headphones space a lot more compelling. So, the obvious question foris whether the “Plus” could do enough to even keep them in the conversation.
The answer is simple. Yes! M&D’s latest buds pile on a truckload of upgrades, from noise-cancellation to triple the battery life, making the reborn MW07 a sweet pair of earbuds.
Same sweet style
While there’s plenty new under the hood, nothing has changed when it comes to the MW07’s design, and that’s (mostly) a good thing. The earbuds’ housings are made from the same translucent “handcrafted acetate” as before, available in four distinctive colors. You can pick up removable skins to change up your style and coordinate your look.
On the buds’ interior you’ll find familiar sensors that pause sound when they’re pulled free from your ears, while the tops bear the same three-button control system that ranks among my favorite in the genre. A multi-function button on the right earbud controls play/pause/and song skip (with a hold for voice assistance), while volume keys on the left double as controls for the new noise cancellation and ambient sound modes. They’re easy to use and there’s no learning curve.
That’s important, since Master and Dynamic’s buds don’t offer fine-tuning through an app like most well-equipped competitors. (In fact, the buds don’t have any app at all).
In the box there’s a ton of eartips and wings to personalize the buds for a tight and comfy fit. Some users may find the inserts bulky at first, but if you’re willing to mix and match, there should be a combo for every ear.
The stainless steel case is also the same, for better and for worse. I love the look of the case, but it’s a fingerprint magnet and can scratch easily. More frustrating, seating the buds is always a wrestling match. Whereas most other buds magnetically snap to attention on their magnetic charge stands, the MW07 flounder precariously, and the lid almost never sits down right the first time.
Otherwise, while the case isn’t AirPods small, it’s quite pocket-friendly, and the sparkling LEDs up front make it easy to see charge status.
What’s more, the earbuds come with a pouch so you can leave the case behind. And thanks to a serious battery upgrade, that’s now a perfectly good option.
As mentioned, there are a lot of new features in the MW07 Plus. Some are game-changers, others are just handy inclusions. But battery life has to be the star of the show.
With up to 10 hours per charge and three charges in the case, the new MW07 offer up to 40 hours of worry-free, forget-the-case freedom. While it’s difficult to test due to the sensors that pause sound, the 10-hour mark seemed to check out, with the buds lasting longer than the Powerbeats Pro (boasting 9 hours per charge). Put it this way: In a week of heavy testing, I rarely saw the buds drop below full, and I have yet to charge the case weeks later.
Battery life has to be the star of the show.
The MW07 Plus also add Ambient Sound and noise-canceling, important marks to hit for any $200+ earbuds following breakout entries like Apple’s AirPods Pro and Sony’s WF-1000xM3. Heck, even Amazon’s $130 Echo Buds offer active noise reduction.
The MW07’s noise cancellation is on par or better than Amazon’s cheaper buds, but behind Apple or Sony’s models. It offers modest cancellation of drone sounds on top of already solid passive noise isolation. You shouldn’t hear much disturbance outside of extremely loud noises, but you may not want to trade in your Bose cans for long flights.
The Ambient Listening Mode is a nice addition, and while it struggles in the wind compared to Apple’s latest, it works well in most environments. That, combined with the MW07 Plus’s IPX5 water resistance rating, makes them just as handy at the gym or on a jog as they are for the office or your commute. Who says you have to choose between form and function?
A word on connection
Wireless buds have, in general, greatly improved connection consistency over the last two years. While nearly all models dealt with shaky connection early on, most top models have cracked that nut (Apple’s original AirPods being among the first). And yet, not all Bluetooth devices are created equal.
The MW07 Plus work swimmingly with my LG G8, with only a single hiccup over several days, and the same went for my colleague’s newer Samsung Galaxy. Oddly enough, they had some trouble when paired to an aging iPhone 6 and LG V30. Now, the V30 has a history of less-than-stellar connection, but even older iPhones are generally solid.
My sample size is small, but the MW07 Plus seem to have connection issues with at least some aging phones. Keep that in mind if you’re pairing them with a phone that’s seen a few seasons.
The song remains the same
Bearing the same 10mm Beryllium drivers, the clean, vibrant, powerful sound we loved in the MW07 has returned in the latest pair, and I couldn’t be happier. Like other M&D headphones, there’s a zip in transients that adds a metallic gleam to some instruments, especially acoustic guitar and horns. There’s also plenty of power down low when called on, making for a lovely blend across the spectrum.
The only notable change is added definition, given that the palette on which these earbuds paint is a shade cleaner through the lens of noise cancellation. (As a heads up, I did notice I had to turn cancellation on when first pulling the buds out of the case.)
Plenty of true wireless headphones offer solid sound these days thanks to clearer connection. But what the MW07 Plus add are those gentle blushes of detail that bring you closer to the music, and take you out of the world around you. You don’t just hear the piano in the corner of the mix, you hear the bouncing click of the keys, and the resonant echo of the room mic adding space and depth to each keystroke. What was a melody is now a well-sketched instrument, creating a vibrant piece of a greater whole.
The earbuds also do a great job balancing what can be, if left to its own devices, raucous bass. That’s clear whenever you receive a phone call, as the oddly primal ringtone bounces what has to be the most unleashed example of lower frequencies you can experience with the MW07 Plus. It’s honestly one of my least favorite traits of these buds, but some may find it fun.
Speaking of calls, quality is solid if not amazing. I rarely enjoy speaking over true wireless earbuds, frankly, but calls are perfectly clear on both ends, with no major issues to report.
The MW07 Plus come with a two-year limited warranty, which is longer than many competitors. You can find out more on the company website.
Master and Dynamic knew the forces mounting against it, and made sure the MW07 Plus were well equipped for battle. With improvements across the board, and the same fantastic sound, there’s no question that the latest premium buds from M&D are a major upgrade, standing as the clear choice for audiophiles on the go.
Is there a better alternative?
Until recently there was only one real competitor to the MW07 for sound quality, Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless. But, while I still prefer the richer touch to the Sennheiser sound, with four hours of battery life and way fewer features, it’s no longer a real contender.
Instead, I’d look to Sony’s WF-1000xM3, which offer similarly impressive sound, better noise canceling, and solid battery life (though no water resistance). If you’re all about convenience, Apple’s AirPods Pro have great sound and impressive noise-canceling, along with wireless charging, and simple setup. However, battery life is much lower at just 4.5 hours per charge (24 hours total).
How long will it last?
With great build quality and class-leading battery life, the MW07 Plus should last for many years to come.
Should you buy it?
Yes. If you’re looking for the best sound for your money in a durable, feature-packed pair of buds, the MW07 Plus are well worth buying even at their premium price.
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