I haven't seen anything mentioned about these headphones on Head-Fi, so here's a thread introducing them. It's a $400 closed-back headphone from Master & Dynamic. At first glance they look as though they'd be considered semi-open, but the grills are simply a decoration. Inside they're sporting a 45mm driver and the aluminium housing is adorned with stainless-steel components and is cloaked in premium heavy-grain leather. And M&D has chosen to go with lambskin to wrap the memory foam pads. The MH40 comes in two finishes: a stealthy black-on-black and a stunning silver-on-brown.
The headphones feature something I don't see too often, a mute button on the headphone itself, which can be seen below. From the descriptions I've found online, this is a mute for the audio, not the microphone as I first suspected. So if you need to hear what's going on around you, I guess now you can do so without, you know, simply taking off the headphones. And speaking of microphones, the MH40 comes with 2 detachable cables, one 1.2m cable with an integrated iOS mic/remote and one 2m standard 3.5mm cable. M&D also includes a canvas headphone case (really, it's more of a pouch) and a leather box to store the cables.
I managed to find a couple of news reports online, but it seems that they haven't been around long enough to really get any exposure. The links are available after the author's name below, but here's a few key quotes:
"The MH40 are tuned for folks who like pop, hip-hop, and dance. They have a distinct bass bump that is forward yet (in my testing, at least) has tonality and presence all the way down to 24Hz. They have a sense of depth to their sonic field, and the high end is crisp and clear. That said, the bass bump might extend a tad too far into the lower mids, as the mellowness of the midrange can, on occasion, verge into slightly muddy territory in sonically dense rock and orchestral music. The bass will feel especially pronounced if you are accustomed to listening to open-backed headphones or models in this price range that are styled for an 'audiophile' sound, which tend to lean heavily on the high end.
Speaking of the high end, it’s defined, delicate, and has an almost icy metallic precision to it. (As opposed to a warm, rich tonality.) This is possibly due to a bump around 9kHz, which is fantastic for detail in consonants but also adds a sharp edge to the high end which I could see being a love-it-or-hate-it situation for listeners who have spent time with headphones that gently roll off the highs after 3kHz. Overall, the choices made in the tuning are purposeful and create a signature sound worthy of the price range."
~Lauren Dragan (Sound & Vision)
"In terms of audio quality, the MH40s have a distinct sound profile that works well with the right kind of music. If you want airy, sparkling highs, look elsewhere. The MH40s are built around 45mm neodymium drivers and are tuned for the mid-range and low-end, with bass that sounds nice and punchy without distortion.
There’s a lot of presence, but the music doesn’t have that large soundstage and great separation that open-backed headphones impart. If you listen to a lot of rap, rock, and electronic music, however you should like these a lot. If you’re into classical, acoustic, tenors, sopranos, or Mariah Carey, you’ll probably want sharper highs than these headphones deliver."
~Tim Moynihan (Wired)
So, what do you guys think? I for one think that the brown is absolute staggering. The black feels like it was a missed opportunity. Using black as the accent color rather than a gunmetal or titanium finish makes the headphone look flat and it lacks the presence and impact that the brown commands.
Edited by AxelCloris - 6/17/14 at 2:45pm