I’m a bit of an audio snob. What can I say… music is a big part of my life and I like it to sound amazing when I listen to it. That’s why connected to my Retina MacBook Pro are a pair of Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 speakers and often times plugged into the speakers are my Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones. Recently I was contacted by a company called Master & Dynamic, you may have heard of them, their brand has been getting more recognition lately in the “prosumer” audio space–anyway, the company, which is headquartered in New York City, recently released a couple of new pairs of mid-range earphones: the ME01’s and the ME03’s and they wanted me to take them for a spin.
I received a pair of the ME03 earphones in the Gunmetal finish option (they also have a Black metal finish). My initial impressions were positive, the ME03’s feel fairly well built in your hand and in your ears, and they are really lightweight. The earphones come with a nice carrying case as well.
What is in the box?
So you get the following:
- A pair of the ME03 earphones (obviously)
- A canvas carrying case (seen above)
- A leather storage box (seen above)
- 4 different silicone ear tips
- And lastly, a cable clip (seen above)
Before you do anything else, the first thing you need to do is figure out which ear tips are right for your ears. This is important as the wrong ear tips can ruin your entire experience with the product. Master & Dynamic recommends using the set of ear tips that is the size above what feels comfortable in your ear. So for example, if you feel the small size ear tips feel comfortable in your ear–use the medium size ones. This is to ensure they fit snug in your ear so they don’t easily fall out as well as to ensure you get the best sound flowing into your ear drums. I have big ears so I ended up using the large tips.
The Master & Dynamic ME03 earphones provide good overall sound for what they are–which is, solid mid-range earphones. I felt they lacked a little in the bass department, but that’s me, as clearly when dealing with sound it can be a very subjective thing. That being said, the ME03’s provide a very enjoyable listening experience. The earphones have been tuned to sound good across a wide range of genres, including my favorites, punk rock/pop/classic rock. Treble is clear and crisp and the overall sound detail and sound stage is fairly good, but not amazing.
That being said, despite the lack of deep bass, I was still impressed with the ME03’s ability to pump out quality sound with a mid-centric signature that those who prefer a smooth and clear sound will be very happy with.
Design and comfort
I wore these things for hours on end in my tests, they definitely withstood the test of time in my ears. The ME03’s are comfortable and well designed. The build quality is high as well. Additionally, as I previously mentioned, the ME03’s are extremely lightweight. You really don’t even feel like you have anything in your ears.
One area I felt could use some improvement is the tangle-free cable, which while remained tangle-free in my tests, was a bit stiff and annoying at times. For example, I would push it aside at my desk and it would just pop right back to the place I was trying to move it away from. Certainly not a deal breaker, but slightly annoying.
The ME03’s offer a built-in controller attached to the cable, this controller only works on iOS devices. Which brings me to my next minor issue: I’d really love to see a Lightning version of these earphones, especially now that Apple has moved away from the headphone jack with the iPhone 7/7 Plus. In some of my testing of these earphones, I had to use the Lighting to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter provided by Apple–I’d really love to be able to bypass the need for an adapter. But again, not a deal breaker.
For a solid pair of mid-range earphones that are extremely portable, sound very good, look sleek, and are well-built–the Master & Dynamic ME03 earphones are an excellent choice. You can pick up a pair for yourself on Amazon for $159.