These $300 wireless earbuds are like AirPods on steroids — here's what they're like to use

Dave Smith/Business Insider
  • New York-based audio company Master & Dynamic unveiled its first pair of wireless earbuds.
  • The MW07 true wireless earphones are similar to Apple’s AirPods, but more expensive.
  • Master & Dynamic’s wireless earbuds actually sound better than Apple’s AirPods, and offer several extra nice perks.

New York-based audio company Master & Dynamic unveiled its first pair of wireless earbuds back in September, and they give Apple’s AirPods a run for their money.

The new Master & Dynamic MW07 true wireless earphones are certainly more expensive than AirPods at $US300 – Apple’s wireless earbuds cost just $US170 – but the most noticeable difference between the two products is the audio.

I personally have no problems about how AirPods sound. I like how they sound, in fact. But the MW07 wireless earphones do indeed sound noticeably better. The MW07s can can get much louder than AirPods, and they provide a deeper and richer audio experience in general.

I’d compare the audio difference here to the gulf between Apple’s wired earbuds – the ones that come with every iPhone – and a pair of Beats headphones: Apple’s solution isn’t bad by any means, but Beats can get louder and have better overall range. To drive the Beats comparison home, the MW07 wireless earbuds are definitely more bass-heavy than AirPods.

Master & dynamic mw07 wireless earbudsDave Smith/Business InsiderThe MW07 True Wireless Earphones, in ‘grey terrazzo.’

Here’s a roundup of other things I really like about the MW07 wireless earbuds:

They come in four colours: “Tortoiseshell,” “Grey Terrazzo,” “Steel Blue,” and “Matte Black.” AirPods only come in white.

When you take one of the earbuds out of your ear, it automatically pauses your music – just like AirPods.

All of the controls involve small physical buttons on the earbuds, which are easy to find, and to remember what they’re for: A button above the right earbud can play or pause your music, skip to the next song, go back to the previous song, or activate a voice assistant. And the left earbud has a volume rocker. AirPods have all of these functions, but you can’t control all of them at once; you have to choose, in your settings ahead of time, which commands you want to attach to certain touch functions.

The case charges your earbuds quickly. The case can charge 50% of its capacity in just 15 minutes, and you can reach 100% in 40 minutes. That’s about in line with Apple’s AirPods, which charge similarly quickly.

The earbuds come with five different-sized eartips – from extra small to extra large – and two optional fit wings to form a seal with your ear canal for a better audio experience. I’ve tried plenty of other headphones and earbuds that offer tips and wings, but these are by far the most comfortable I’ve used. I didn’t even have to change the default wings and tips that came on the earbuds out of the box!

Music sounds really great. There’s definitely an emphasis on bass, which isn’t easy for small earbuds to produce, but everything sounds crisp and clear. I immediately noticed a big difference when I put in these earbuds after listening with my AirPods.

Master & dynamic mw07 wireless earbudsDave Smith/Business Insider

To be fair, there are some aspects of the MW07 wireless earphones that I don’t like as much:

The earbuds are relatively large. They’re not uncomfortable to wear, and they also look good (in my opinion), but they almost look like small Bluetooth headsets.

The metal case is lovely, but easily shows smudges. Apple’s AirPods case is mostly white plastic, so marks and fingerprints don’t show up easily. But Master & Dynamic’s case for the MW07 earbuds is a fingerprint magnet.

These earbuds aren’t perfect, but if you’re considering an alternative to AirPods, Master & Dynamic has built a sturdy solution that’s worth your consideration.

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