Master & Dynamic’s MW50 on-ear headphones are comfy but costly

The MW50 are on-ear headphones that perform like a pair of over-ears. They’re nice to look at, comfortable and, at $449, pretty pricey. The headphones are lightweight, but are ultimately acoustically inferior to their over-ear counterparts. If you’re looking for a pair of those, Master & Dynamic also offers the MW60.

The design is similar to older M&D models: mesh grilles on the exterior, with great attention to detail in the cushioning, hinges and headband. The new headphones also sport USB-C for charging and firmware updates. On the other driver exists a 3.5mm audio jack, your only wired alternative to Bluetooth connectivity.

I tend to steer clear of on-ear headphones. No matter the brand, headphones like these are often restricted by form factor: With less material to encapsulate the ear, music doesn’t sound as warm.


Thankfully, that’s not case here: The MW50 does a solid job of pairing the Beryllium drivers with memory foam and lambskin. The feeling of plush memory foam against the ear is really comfortable. The sound profile is nearly as good as the company’s flagship MW60 headphones.

Battery life is rated at a solid 16 hours and I can say I’ve nearly gotten that much. This isn’t a pair of wireless headphones that you’ll need to charge every time you use them after a commute, work or generally just for leisure; an international flight seems more likely.


Your buying decision really boils down to what materials you’re willing to pay for, along with having Bluetooth functionality. Master & Dynamic has a solid pair of headphones here — even if they cost about as much as a round-trip plane ticket.