Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus and MW07 Go review

Master & Dynamic recently rolled out a follow-up to its MW07 wireless earbuds. But rather than just one model, it opted for two models for 2019.

The MW07 Plus are the spiritual successor and carry a $299 price tag while the MW07 Go tick many of the same boxes yet cost quite a bit less at $199.

If there’s one thing that catches our eye when looking at Master & Dynamic, it’s the cost. No matter the product, we ultimately base our purchasing decisions on price. If it’s too high, we have to walk away or wait for a price drop. Our gut reaction with Master & Dynamic is almost always along the lines of “ouch, that’s pricey.”

Were we not privileged enough to test its products out ahead of time we would probably not give them much consideration. It’s after we get to use them that we realize how good its audio experience can be and we “get it”.

As we get older we start to view purchases like these as investments. We’ve moved beyond the notion of buying something that’s just good enough and replacing it every year or so. If you’re gonna do something, do it right the first time. Right?

Master & Dynamic products routinely impress us with not just its audio experience but in its build quality, too. It’s easy to see the attention to detail, quality craftsmanship, and focus when looking at wired and wireless headphones. And while we didn’t get a chance to see it in the MW07, we do in the 2019 models.

Our team was provided review samples of both products; we spent the better part of a month splitting time between the two sets. Here are our thoughts on the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus and MW07 Go.

Design

The two models look similar and have the same overall design, but there’s just a smidge different in the build. The MW07 Plus are technically heavier but it’s negligible. Both feel the same in a blind test.

The MW07 Go have a composite body and have a solid color while the MW07 Plus are made with an acetate and feature a marbleized finish. Opt for the premium design and you’ll find that no two pair look the exact same.

Each set comes with a number of silicone fit wings and ear tip sizes. We went with the standard out-of-the-box setup and didn’t have any trouble. Your mileage will vary, of course, as every ear is different. We noticed that there was a discernible difference between the different sizes and feel confident you can mix and match to the perfect fit.

Staying on the topic of design for a moment, we didn’t exactly love the outward appearance of the earphones. They’re not ugly or oddly shaped, but they don’t look as sophisticated as we might expect.

These somewhat resemble in-ear monitors that you might find a musician using on stage. They’re flat and look heavier than they are and somewhat remind us of big clip-on or toy-like earrings for children.

Sound

Put either pair on, though, and you quickly forget about the appearance. They’re light and comfortable and pack a decent all-around punch.

Whereas these sound amazing, and the Plus model has a few audio tricks to play with, we wish they could have gotten louder. Another 25% at the top would have worked wonders.

Master & Dynamic doesn’t go for heavy bass, or rich warm sounds in either of these earphones. Where it appears to focus is on the initial punch or the way music attacks your ears. Things flow nicely in orchestral or classical but really shine when there’s drum, staccato notes, or “interesting” things happening in the music.

Both models support Qualcomm’s aptX codec and SBC codec, leading to low-latency and a consistent sound with a wide range. It’s really good stuff that you notice once it’s taken away from you.

General Performance

Thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, the earphones pair easily and display their remaining battery life in your phone’s setting. Moreover, you can get up to 100 feet away from the music source.

We tested the distance a few times and found it to be markedly better than older headphones and earphones. While we didn’t get to 100 feet every time, they do stay connected through walls and floors better than others.

MW07 Plus

Available in four colors, these wireless earbuds connect via Bluetooth 5.0 and provide up to 40 hours of playtime per charge. That’s counting the charge that comes with the carrying case, of course. Otherwise, you’re looking at around ten hours at a time.

The MW07 Plus have active noise cancellation and an “Ambient Listening Mode”, each of which can be easily toggled. Depending on your environment you might wish to hear a little bit of the background noise or completely immerse yourself into a playlist.

MW07 Plus

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In our testing of the MW07 Plus enabling and disabling these features did not affect the audio experience. It’s nice to drown out the clickety clack of keyboards in the library or the white noise of a daily train ride.

There are four microphones at work here, giving the noise cancellation a bit of a boost. This is twice what’s available in the predecessor and the MW07 Go.

If you’re the kind who likes to have just one earbud in so that you’re always available for in-person conversations, you’ll appreciate the MW07 Plus. Indeed, you can use either the left or the right model as a standalone audio experience.

The earbuds have an IPX5 water resistance which means they’ll take a little bit of a splash or light sprinkle. They’ll be alright if it starts to rain before you have a chance to put them away. And truth be told, they can handle a bit of a sweat so take ’em to the gym.

When not in use, the earphones tuck away nicely in a stainless steel case. It looks really sharp and catches the eye, but we do wonder how long it’s going to be scratch-free. Master & Dynamic does include a soft pouch for carrying the case around if that’s your thing. Otherwise, they’ll fit into a pocket or purse without much bulk.

The case charges via USB Type-C and features colored LED lights so that you can quickly understand how much juice is left in the case. We’d have loved it if the case had wireless charging, especially at the price point. It’s a feature that’s showing up in increasing numbers and at lower costs.

MW07 Go

Although they’re priced one-third of the Plus models, we think we like the Go version better. As a total package it’s almost indistinguishable for a lot of people and who doesn’t like keeping extra money in their pocket?

The MW07 Go offer up to ten hours of playback on a charge with the carrying case holding another 12 hours. Sure, it’s just over half of what the other model provides, but you’re probably only charging your case twice a week anyhow.

Present here is the same USB Type-C charging which promises five hours playtime on a 15 minute charge. The case isn’t nearly as fancy or heavy, but it’s just as modern looking. The “technical knit” fabric calls to mind the case that came with the first generation of Google Pixel Buds or something you might expect on a Nest Home Mini.

The MW07 Go are a smidge better at protecting against water, something we’re sure you’ll appreciate when getting a pump on or a few miles on the treadmill.

There are only two microphones at play so you don’t get the noise cancellation or ambient listening. With that said, we had no issues blocking out most environmental sound. And, because they don’t get super loud, it’s like having a built-in ability to tap into ambient noises.

Also worth pointing out, you can only use the right earbud if you plan to listen to music in just one ear.

Conclusion

We’ve really loved getting to know Master & Dynamic over the last few years. It does a great job of producing quality products, consistently. It’s not always cheap, but you largely get what you pay for.

Ask someone who has a quality pair of headphones how much they spent on them and you might be surprised. Then, ask an audiophile and see what they say. How is it that people are able to justify high prices? Simple – they only have to do it once.

While we might go through a new phone every year or generational cycle, we hold onto the speakers and headphones we love. With that in mind, we recognize that some of our favorite headphones are already a couple of years old.

We would have loved to see a louder overall experience from the MW07 Plus and MW07 Go. Further, it would have been great to see the Plus model offer wireless charging to the case. Other than that, we don’t have any real issues with either model.

Given that they’re so similar, we feel very confident recommending the MW07 Go to anyone interested in quality, true wireless earphones.

At $100 more there’s certainly something else for your money. As a recap that includes left and right independent single earbud listening, double the microphones for ambient listening, noise-cancellation, almost twice the battery life, and a fancier aesthetic.

If this is your first foray into wireless earbuds, you might be reluctant to spend that much money. We get it. But, if or when the day comes that you do think it’s worth exploring something at the high end, make sure that Master & Dynamic is a part of that conversation.

Availability

You can learn more about the MW07 Plus and MW07 Go at the Master & Dynamic website where you can also purchase them. You can also shop for various Master & Dynamic products at Amazon.

  • The MW07 Plus are offered in Black Quartz, Steel Blue, White Marble, and Tortoiseshell and cost $299.
  • The MW07 Go are offered in Jet Black, Electric Blue, Flame Red, and Stone Grey and cost $199.
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