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Master & Dynamic's New Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds Stun and Impress

Master & Dynamic just announced the MW08, its most advanced pair of wireless earbuds ever. We took them for a test ride.

Tucker Bowe

All the way back in 2018, Master & Dynamic released its original MW07, which were gorgeous (made of stainless steel and acetate) yet fairly basic wireless earbuds. Since then, it's followed up with two variations— the MW07 Go for sports and the MW07 Plus with active noise-cancellation tech. But now, the real successor has arrived in the MW08, its newest pair of flagship wireless earbuds.

I've been testing these new M&D headphones for the last week, and they definitely feel like the culmination of all the company's wireless earbuds to date. If you like their look and are willing to pay nearly $300 for high-end sound — and you don't need the quick pairing and smartphone-specific features that AirPods Pro or Samsung's Galaxy Buds Pro are able to deliver — the MW08 should be at the top of your noise-canceling wireless earbuds list.

The MW08 goes down on size but pumps up the sound

If you're familiar with previous M&D's wireless earbuds, the MW08 will definitely feel small. They're about 15 percent smaller than the MW07 Plus and similar in size to the MW07 Go, but Master & Dynamic gave the MW08 larger drivers — 11mm Beryllium ones, versus the MW07 Plus's 10mm Beryllium drivers — so they deliver a slightly more vibrant and punchy sound. And they're the company's first (and so far, only) pair of wireless earbuds that work with a companion app (called M&D Connect), which lets you toggle between various noise-cancellation and transparency modes.

Tucker Bowe

The MW08 actually offers two noise-canceling modes and two transparency modes, which you can swap between as desired. For noise-canceling, there's ANC Max and All Day ANC, the latter mode being less intense (and providing better sound quality); for transparency modes, there's Voice and Awareness, the latter more nuanced to allow in more ambient sounds. This level of customization is actually lacking from a lot of other noise-canceling wireless earbuds, including Apple's AirPods Pro.

These headphones stand (to charge) and deliver

The MW08s are different from their predecessors in a few other ways, too. They have a totally redesigned charging case that stands up vertically and has magnetic connectors that lock the MW08 in place while charging (similar to AirPods). The case, which is still made of stainless steel, feels more compact and pocketable, too. And, despite looking very similar (despite the size) to MW07 Plus, the MW08's shell are made of ceramic rather than acetate; this doesn't change a whole lot in my opinion, however, as both make the wireless earbuds look really polished and premium.

Master & Dynamic left a little room for improvement

That said, there are a few areas where the MW08s could still be improved. The charging case doesn't support wireless charging (it does have a USB-C fast charging port, however). The companion app also doesn't allow you to adjust the EQ settings, which might be frustrating for some.

And, most notably for me, M&D doesn't include its silicone ear wing tips anymore, which it previously had with its MW07 Plus and original MW07 (likely due to the redesigned case). If you used the ear wing tips found with M&D's previous wireless earbuds, the MW08 likely won't fit the same in your ears. It still ships with a number of different-sized silicone earbuds, however, like most other wireless earbuds.

The MW08 cost $299, which is the same as the previous price of the MW07 Plus (which has since dropped to $249). They come in four finishes: black, white, blue and brown.

Price: $299


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