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Master and Dynamic finally jumps on the noise-canceling headphones bandwagon

Master and Dynamic, the premium headphone company out of New York City, has been producing impressive headphones and earbuds since its founding in 2013, with gorgeous designs and audio performance to match. However, none of its products have featured any kind of active noise cancellation, a feature that has become fairly standard on high-end wireless headphones. That changes on Tuesday, May 7, with the launch of the company’s $499 MW65, over-the-ear active noise canceling wireless headphones that adopt the company’s distinctive styling cues, while bringing the brand up to date in terms of technology.

Fans of Master and Dynamic will instantly recognize the MW65 — design-wise, it’s a virtual clone of the MW50, the wireless, on-ear model the company launched in 2017. Subtle changes can be found, like the larger, over-the-ear earcups, and the small red ANC button lurking on the left earcup, but most of the MW50’s elements have been preserved, like the use of leather and anodized aluminum.

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The MW65 gets a claimed 24-hour battery life, and can be charged to 50% capacity in 15 minutes via the USB-C charging port. The company opted to use Bluetooth 4.2, instead of the MW50’s 4.1, which might help to explain the much-improved battery performance (the MW50 topped out at 16 hours). However, the best Bluetooth codec support remains aptX, which will keep the MW65 from receiving hi-res levels of digital audio available on some competitor products at this price.

Two levels of noise cancellation let you choose just how much sound should enter from the outside world, while the dual microphone arrays also serve as a gateway to the built-in Google Assistant, and keep call quality high. The MW65 is the company’s lightest over-the-ear model so far, weighing in at 245 grams.

The headphones pack 40mm beryllium drivers, the same spec as the MW50, and though we haven’t tested them yet (check back for our full review in the coming days), we expect sound quality will be every bit as good, if not better. At $499, the MW65 is hardly a budget-minded set of headphones, so we’re very curious to see if they earn a spot on our best noise-canceling headphones list, given that our current top pick, the Sony WH-1000xM3 is priced well below that level.

The MW65 comes in black, or brown, ships with carrying case with a zippered pouch, a flight adaptor, 3.5mm audio cable for use with the optional wired port, and both a USB-C charging cable and USB adaptor. It’s available starting May 7.

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