Pros - I find these very comfortable, and with the longer cord they are right at home when I am in my recliner of a very similar brown hued leather.
Cons - none noted
I am not an obsessed audiophile, but have enjoyed headphones and music in general, for a very long time. Only recently, in the last 3 or 4 years, have I had been buying high quality headphones. I prefer closed over the ear, but since I enjoy them mostly at home, by myself, open are fine also.
I listen to a lot of jazz, both old and new school, and also blues of all types.
I do not travel with headphones very often, and never use them for commuting, since I am retired.
I have been using these for a couple of months now, and have used them amped with a couple of different pieces of gear, as well as straight from a music player, and straight from a CD player, without an amplifier.
What ever I have listened to I have been very pleased with these, perhaps as much or more as with my planar heaphones, which are my standard for great sound.
It is obvious that a LOT of time went into the design and aesthetics of these. Also a significant amount of time was spent getting the sound just right. I agree with others who have talked about the amazing design, which is unequaled in my experience. I find nothing to criticize about these.
Pros - Made From the Finest Materials, Over the Top Design, Comfortable, Multiple Detachable Cables, Warm Fun Sound Signature
Cons - Headphones can be a little Noisy when moving them around, Not the Cleanliest Audiophile Sound, Pricy
The first time I laid eyes on the Master & Dynamic MH40, I could not believe what I was seeing. The design is the classiest, premium looking headphone I had ever seen. I had to know more about them. Below you will find my full review.
(All photos taken by me).
Let's start with the basics first:
From the minute you start unboxing, the MH40 oozes high class. Layer after layer of well thought out, precisely made packaging. Master & Dynamic spared no cost protecting these VERY high end headphones. They sit so wonderfully still and comfortable in the laser cut padding.
Includes the following:
- 3.5/6.3mm Gold-Plated Adapter
- 1.25m Cable with Remote & Mic (iPod, iPad, & iPhone)
- 2.00m Standard Cable
- Canvas Headphone Case
- Leather Cable Box
As with the packaging, all accessories are designed professionally and are very well built. Both cables are tough, yet flexible. One standard cable for home use and a portable cable with a Remote and Mic are great for on the go. The Canvas Headphone bag is surprisingly sturdy and has cool little magnetic clasps to keep things together. The little Leather Cable Box is quite fancy and fun. All accessories are premium products to mirror the beautiful MH40 Headphones.
The MH40 is an over the ear headphone. The ear cups ever so gently caress your ears as you put them on. For me, the fit was perfect, leading to a high level of comfort. The pads themselves are made out of plush, soft lambskin that is like a pillow surrounding your ear. I found wearing these for extended periods can lead to a slight warming around the ears, but never became hot or uncomfortable.
Master & Dynamic went all out with the MH40. Materials used are of the highest quality and are put together flawlessly. You know these are top of the range headphones from just the feel. There is a weight to them that just screams high quality. The forged aluminum body is machined to perfection, with no imperfections in sight. I also thought these were opened back headphones when I first saw pictures. The aluminum mess on the outside of the earcup is sealed underneath. These headphones are fully closed. The only slight issue is that the Aluminum can make some metallic noises when you adjust the headphones, a side effect of using the highest of materials.
“45mm Neodymium High-Performance Drivers”, or a fancy way of saying, these sound fantastic. Master & Dynamic did a wonderful job tuning these headphones and below you will find more details.
Let’s break down the sound:
Bass – Big, Deep and controlled. Bassheads would be pleased with the MH40, though these would not be categorized as such. While the bass is substantial, it never bleeds into the mids. It stays down low where it belongs, kind of like a subwoofer in your basement. If you want a bass kick right to the ears, then these are right pair for you.
Mids – The middle frequencies are warm and rich. Vocals are smooth for both female/male voices, while still saying clear and precise. Being closed back, I do wish they were a little more airy, but they are far from congested.
Highs – The upper range is rolled off a little early. Giving the MH40 that continued warm sound as mentioned before. These smooth highs help to keep the music easy on the ears, thus one would be able to use these for extended periods without fatigue.
Soundstage – This is usually a troubled area for headphones that are closed back. Though Master & Dynamic did manage to add more depth than would be expected. I also found this to help out the instrument separation which stays quick and apart.
Isolation – Lambskin is not only super comfortable, but help to create quite a nice seal, thus keeping the music in and outside noise out.
Master & Dynamic hit a homerun with the MH40. From top to bottom this thing looks spectacular. Though, it is not just a pretty face, it also has quite the musical bite. Tuning throughout the range is spot on, leaving a warm, fun sound signature.
The MH40 is a premium headphone with premium sound.
Pros - Very comfortable headphone, fashionably stunning looks, tonally decent
Cons - Congested sound with a small soundstage
With big thanks to @shigzeo who's patiently loaned this to me since early this year and I've still hung on to it till now.
I've not heard of Master & Dynamic until @shigzeo asked if I was interested in giving it a listen. I have to say that I fell in love with its looks when I first googled it up. Aesthetically it's extremely fashionable and would really fit into the fancy shopping districts in Tokyo. But let's get into the product more. The MH40 uses 45mm Neodymium drivers, with lambskin earpads and cowhide-covered headband. Metal components are made from aluminium.
There are 2x 3.5mm ports leaving the listener to choose plugging into the left or right earcup, whichever he/she feels more comfortable with. It comes with a 2m long detachable cable or with a 1.25mm mic/remote. It comes with a portable durable clothed case.
The earcups are circum-aural with an inner diameter of 65mm x 35mm and a depth of 25mm. The cups swivel out so that the headphone can be laid flat.
Comfort Wear & Aesthetics Design
These are probably the strongest traits of the headphone from my personal perspective. I find the headphones very comfortable to wear. Despite being circum-aural, they still do rest on my ears. The lambskin earpads are very supple and the depth from the drivers provide sufficient space that my ears don't feel too warm. Overall they're also decently light on my head at 360g.
I think it does a decent job in isolation however I think to the colleagues (or strangers surrounding), the headphone does leak.
The design though of the MH40 is probably the most attractive point in my eyes. There was a "alternate" design styling to it that make sit perfect for some of the fashionable districts in Tokyo. In fact whilst googling up the MH40's, I was rather bummed the limited edition Proenza Schouler MH40-PS white leather with black earpads ones were sold out - I found out about the Master & Dynamic too late!
I have to admit, when I saw it I was yearning for it to sound good too. Overall I feel the tonal balance of the MH40 to be mostly neutral but with a slight added bass boost. There is no doubt these headphones have a strong bass but all the way to the midrange and trebles it's pretty neutral to my ears. I'll start with the trebles, that they are pretty well extended with a decent sparkle. The midrange is also full extending down to the midbass which starts to bloom into the subbass level. Overall tonal signature is quite decent and palatable to the ears.
Unfortunately it didn't have the clarity across the frequency response I was hoping for. The sub & mid bass to me were a little too flabby for my tastes whist the midrange although full didn't have the detail I wished for. Similarly, whilst the trebles were extended and sparkly, it seemed to have lacked the air and finesse I had hoped for. The soundstage was somewhat small and has an overall congested presentation that if I listened to a reasonably fast track with lots of instruments and vocals, it all sounds rather "cramped in" that it starts to sound noisy.
I'm not a headphone designer but I can't help feel if cups are too small for the 45mm drivers it houses. I had high hopes for this aesthetically beautiful headphone to exhibit a premium sound too. Unfortunately, there are other headphones which are a little cheaper that produce a somewhat (what I define to be at least) premium sound.
Overall these headphones are pretty decent. Although they may not provide the premium sound the audio enthusiast seeks, they are tonally palatable to the ears and for the average listener they suffice. Aesthetically they're visually stunning to my tastes - extremely fashionable and for those who have in mind a an overall artsy presentation, these headphones fit right in. If Master & Dynamic ever consider revamping these, personally I do hope they don't change the style so much but tweak and improve the sound instead.