Minor changes with a higher price – Phandroid

It’s not that often that we see an updated accessory just a few months after the first release. But that’s exactly what we have with the Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport, which is a slightly different take on the MW08 headphones we’ve reviewed before.

In our initial review, I gave the M&D MW08 a rating of 4.75 out of 5 because the battery life was amazing, the headphones were comfortable to use, and the design was sleek and unique. But there are several reasons why the original MW08s did not score a perfect 5 out of 5. One of these issues was fixed with the new MW08 Sport, but Master & Dynamic did does enough to increase the score?

Sports specifications Master & Dynamic MW08

  • Weight: 9 grams per earphone
  • Conductors: 11mm Beryllium
  • Bluetooth: 5.2 with aptX, AAC and SBC
  • Active noise cancellation: Yes
  • Ports: USB-C (charging port)
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 hours without ANC / 10 hours with ANC
    • 50% charge in 15 minutes, 100% charge in 45 minutes
    • 42 hours total with charging case included
  • Controls: Buttons
  • Digital assistant: Integration of Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri
  • Wear detection sensor: Yes
  • Connection to two devices: No
  • Water resistance: IPX5
  • Colors: White Ceramic, Black Ceramic, Brown Ceramic, Blue Ceramic
  • Price: $ 349 (see the latest prices on Amazon)

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport Review: Design

It’s going to look like a comparison to the original MW08, but that’s exactly what happens when new products are released so close to each other. It’s also evident that Master & Dynamic saw some things that needed improvement, and that’s how we ended up with the MW08 Sport.

Looking at the headphones and cases side by side, the differences are pretty minimal. The graphite-looking case has been replaced with a Kevlar case, but we still have the same glossy finish on the ear cups, as well as the hardware button controls on the top.

However, this is also where the biggest differences between the two sets of headphones lie. Switching to a Kevlar case opens the door to wireless charging compatibility. It also explains why and how M&D was able to launch its new MC100 wireless charger.

With the MW08 Sport, Master & Dynamic also chose to use a different material for the shiny outer part of the earpiece. Instead of the ceramic exterior of its predecessor, the MW08 Sport now uses sapphire crystal. This results in slightly different colors, as the black colourway actually looks black and less like gunmetal or dark gray.

The switch to sapphire crystal over ceramic for the exterior also brings a surprising advantage. The weight of the headphones themselves has been reduced to 8.6 grams from the 9 grams previously offered. It might not seem like much, but if you train, any extra weight to be removed, especially in your ears, can really provide a more comfortable fit.

And speaking of fit, the MW08 Sport includes a total of seven different ear tip options. There are five silicone tips, which are the same as those included with the MW08. However, there are also two different sizes of memory foam tips. Not only does this help provide a better seal for the ANC, but it also helps keep the headphones actually in our ears for long periods of time.

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport review: Audio quality and battery life

Looking at the spec sheet, there is hardly any difference between the MW08 Sport and the MW08. Both use 11mm beryllium drivers, along with the ANC and a total of six microphones spread between the two headphones. We couldn’t discern any difference between these models, so it’s pretty obvious that Master & Dynamic feels confident in the sound profile of the MW08 range.

Battery life was the same as well, as the company rates the MW08 Sport for up to 12 hours on a single charge. This drops to 10 hours when using ANC or ambient listening and we didn’t find anything to the contrary in our testing.

With the addition of wireless charging via the Kevlar case, the company also showcased its MC100 wireless charger. The charger delivers up to 10W of juice, which provides enough power to recharge you to 50% in 30 minutes. M&D also states that you will be able to use this charger with the MW08 Sport to reach 100% in 100 minutes.

Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport Review: Verdict

If you went out and picked up the original Master & Dynamic MW08, you don’t need to run to pick up the MW08 Sport. Even with the shift from ceramic to sapphire crystal, the weight difference is negligible for many. But we have to admit we’re extremely happy to see the added wireless charging, as well as the new Kevlar casing.

The biggest problem we have is that in order to accommodate the changes to the case, the addition of the IP rating and the addition of wireless charging, it forced Master & Dynamic to increase the price. The MW08s were already expensive as they were, at $ 299. And the MW08 Sport is even higher, with a price tag of $ 349.

While we still love the MW08 Sport, the company just hasn’t done enough to “wow” us this time around. The changes are great and for the better, but an extra $ 50 could be a tough pill to swallow. Even still, unless you already own the MW08, you won’t be disappointed with the MW08 Sport.


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