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Master & Dynamic MW08 earbuds feature exotic materials and hybrid ANC for $299

Master & Dynamic MW08
Master & Dynamic

Master & Dynamic (M&D) has released its latest set of true wireless earbuds, the $299 MW08. They look just like the company’s previous two true wireless models — the MW07 and MW07 Plus — but the MW08 boast highly polished ceramics and stainless steel, which makes them much more durable, according to M&D.

They’re also the company’s first true wireless earbuds with hybrid active noise cancellation (ANC), a system that uses an internal and an external microphone to help cancel out sounds. They’re available starting March 30, in four colors: Black ceramic/matte black stainless steel, white ceramic/stainless steel, brown ceramic/stainless steel, and blue ceramic/graphite gray stainless steel.

We’ve been super-impressed with M&D’s earbuds in the past — in 2019, the company’s MW07 Plus wowed us with their pristine sound quality, design, and battery life. With the MW08, the approach appears to be a doubling-down on what worked with the MW07 Plus. Battery life, which was excellent at 10 hours on the MW07 Plus, is even longer now, with a huge 12 hours between charges for the earbuds and another 30 hours in the charging case, for a total of 42 hours.

M&D has also refined the size and shape of the earbuds. The familiar, D-shaped outer body remains, though now it’s built using ceramic, with an aluminum retaining ring that also doubles as the wireless antenna. The physical buttons remain, too, but M&D has deleted the silicone wingtips that came with the MW07 Plus — we’ll have to see if they can provide a secure fit without them.

The biggest physical change is the charging case. Gone is the large, pillbox shape, which has been replaced with a modern and sleeker vertical loading shape, wrapped entirely in black, graphite gray, or polished stainless steel. It’s eye-catching, but it also means that wireless charging — something that is becoming more common on true wireless earbuds at various prices — remains unavailable.

The MW08 are also the first M&D true wireless earbuds that can be tweaked through a mobile app. At launch, the app (for iOS and Android) will let you update the earbuds’ firmware, see detailed battery specs, and adjust ANC modes.

From a sound-quality perspective, the MW08 should sound as good or better than the MW07 Plus thanks to slightly larger 11mm Beryllium drivers (the MW07 Plus uses 10mm drivers). We’re also expecting an improvement to ANC performance. The MW07 Plus used a feed-forward mic to detect and cancel unwanted sounds, but the MW08 has a hybrid system that incorporates a feedback mic into the mix. Hybrid systems generally perform better than their nonhybrid counterparts, something we’ve seen on Jabra’s earbuds. The Elite 85t uses a hybrid ANC system, and it’s more effective than the nonhybrid ANC on the Elite 75t and Elite Active 75t.

M&D was kind enough to send Digital Trends an advance copy of the MW08 earbuds, so check back with us over the coming days for our full review.

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