When it comes to premium wireless earbuds, one model still reigns supreme in 2021: the Apple AirPods Pro.
But as ubiquitous as the company’s white headphones may be, they’re not for everyone, especially if you think those impossible-to-miss stems look a little goofy. If this describes you, you’re in luck, because Master & Dynamic has released a new set of earbuds that aim to bring a a subtler, more elegant footprint to your high-quality audio.
Anyone familiar with the brand’s past earbuds will recognize the design of the new MW08, because they look almost identical to their predecessor, the MW07. But that’s where the similarities end. The new earbuds are smaller than their older siblings, eschewing the wing-like design. The headphones are also now made of ceramic enclosed by an aluminum band, as opposed to acetate. Not only does this give them a better build quality but it also brings their aesthetic more in line with the rest of the brand’s on-ear and over-ear headphones. As nice as the MW07 earbuds looked, especially the PLUS model, they stuck out among the rest of the brand’s lineup.
The sound quality shouldn’t disappoint, either. Master & Dynamic is a well established player in the premium audio world, and we expect the MW08’s 11mm Beryllium drivers will only bolster that position. That’s bigger than the 10mm drivers in the MW07. They also feature a hybrid active noise cancellation system that includes two ambient sound modes, for those times when you need to talk to someone while wearing them. The company has also added a microphone to each ‘bud, bringing the total to three per side. This will help ensure call quality remains crisp no matter how windy it is. The pair also features an impressive 12-hour battery life. Even better, when used in conjunction with the included charging case, you should be able to go 30 hours between charges.
The MW08 are schedule go go on sale later this month through the brand’s website. Available in black, blue, brown and white, the earbuds will cost $299 when they launch.
Of course, if the last year is any indication, both Master & Dynamic and Apple will have plenty of competition for your ears. Since last spring, a spate of wireless and stemless in-ear headphones have hit the market, including the audiophile-friendly Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and ultra-light Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. May the best pair win.