Master & Dynamic made a lot of noise within the in-ear headphone world with the debut of their MW07 earbuds in 2020. At the time, we wrote that they were “wireless earbuds for true audio consumers”. Made from top-shelf materials and relying on compact engineering to squeeze maximum sound out of a small space, the wirelesss earbuds came in two versions, the Plus and the less expensive MW07 Go. Now, 2021 brings us the next step up in Master & Dynamic premium earbud designs — the MW08.
The (deep breath) MW08 Active Noise-Cancelling True Wireless Earphones improve on multiple elements of last year’s models, which were already deeply impressive. (We’ll save time and just refer to them as the MW08 earbuds from here).
The Bottom Line: These new Master & Dynamic earbuds offer longer battery life, better Bluetooth functions and improved active noise cancellation.
What We Liked About the MW08 Wireless Earbuds
Master & Dynamic is known for making premium audio equipment for true audiophiles, and these are not your average cheap wireless earbuds. The real joy of trying on a pair of high-end headphones or earbuds is hearing your own music in a way you haven’t before. The MW08 earphones provide that adventure with onboard 11 mm Beryllium Drivers, larger components than the MW07 gear carried.
Meanwhile, the Master & Dynamic MW08 design keeps the interference away from your music with two modes of Active Noise-Cancellation and two Ambient Listening transparency modes to keep the outside world where it belongs, neutralizing unwanted tumult without cutting the volume or purity of your playback.
Best Feature: Six(!) Microphones
So much of the buzz surrounding the release of the MW08s comes from the superior sound quality, and rightly so. The improved noise cancelling and blend of materials (the charging case is crafted from stainless steel and the earbuds combine ceramic, aluminium and beryllium components) guarantees an elevated listening experience unlike any you could enjoy with more inexpensive and less ambitious earbuds. Still, it’s the improved phone functions that might surprise you the most.
Like many wireless headphones or noise-cancelling earbuds on the market, the MW08s will serve as a wireless headset for your phone calls and video conferences. While your ears enjoy high clarity with the voice coming in your ear, the folks calling you will experience less external noise and reduced wind interference due to a six microphone array angled to focus on your voice and not the surrounding environment.
What We Didn’t Like about MW08 True Wireless Earphones
Undoubtedly, you need to be very serious about your music to spend up to $300 on earbuds. That’s the reality of going in on any class of Master & Dynamic audio products. While the company isn’t the most expensive manufacturer on the market by a wide margin, it’s still in the luxury electronics class. These premiere wireless earphones aren’t going to leave behind their pricey cousins in the Master & Dynamic line.
The only other quibble would be the hype over the MW08’s reduction in size. It’s a fairly negligible difference from the MW07 versions and not a major selling point. These are still large earbuds, although they are slightly smaller than the previous generation. If you spend your money on these new wireless earbuds in 2021, it’s because you want that best-in-class sound quality, not because they might fit your ear canal more accurately.
The Verdict: Great Gets Even Better
The MW07 Plus and the MW07 Go were both great earphone-style audio devices, each targeted for their own type of customer. The MW08 earbuds up the ante and surpasses them both. With premium materials, excellent sound quality, improved noise cancellation, longer battery life and stronger Bluetooth connectivity, the MW08 earbuds are an undisputed improvement on their predecessors and the clear frontrunner for the best wireless earbuds of 2021, full stop.