After having recently reviewed a pair of Master & Dynamic earphones, the company asked if I would like to take a pair of their high-end on ear headphones for a spin. I obliged and here we are, a review of the Master & Dynamic MH30 headphones. Before I start, let me clear, I’m not usually a fan of on ear headphones, but they do offer some benefits such as their small form factor and portability. However, most are uncomfortable to wear, are lacking when it comes to sound quality, and tend to be poorly built. Nonetheless, the negativity didn’t stop Master & Dynamic from setting out to change the perception with the MH30’s.

Master & Dynamic is a new headphone company from New York City. The MH30 is their premium on-ear model and is priced at $329. Master & Dynamic believes that music fuels creativity (to which, I agree. I always work listening to music) and designed the MH30 to be the “Mobile Thinking Cap,” that is, a headphone that looks great, sounds great, and that can help you be more productive and creative at work, at home, or on-the-go.

Design & Build

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I was sent a pair of the Gunmetal MH30 headphones. They also come in Brown, White, and Black. The first thing you will notice when you take them out of the box is the heft–I mean–they aren’t going to weigh you down, but they you can tell immediately that they are well built. The first word that came to mind when I was thinking of how to describe them was: industrial.

In the MH30 box along with the headphones you will find two sets of cables and a 3/4 inch jack adapter. Both cables also display excellent build quality and don’t tangle easily. Why two cables? Well, one cable is the straight through 3.5mm to 3.5mm (male to male) jack adapter that goes straight from your DAP (Digital Audio Player) and into either the left or right ear-cup (I thought this “feature” is probably underrated, I like how you can plug your headphone cable into either headphone–from a design perspective it makes sense depending on your setup).  The other cable has an in-line remote built-in for use with tablets and smartphones making it the preferred option for those who use the MH30 headphones on-the-go.

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My biggest issue with the MH30 design is the fact they didn’t sit comfortably on my head. I felt like they didn’t extend far enough down onto my ears, which made using them for extended periods of time a real issue. I’d love to see Master & Dynamic take people with bigger heads (I blame my ego) into account when designing the next iteration of these headphones.

The Sound

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The Master & Dynamic MH30 headphones have a unique sound signature that could be described as smooth and airy. They really shine when it comes to their excellent midrange that is natural and warm, making both male and female vocalists sound clear and on point. Additionally, the soundstage is extraordinarily impressive for a pair of closed-back on-ear headphones–it never felt cramped or congested; in fact, it is fairly wide and deep, extending beyond the headphones small cups.

That being said, there are some things I noticed that were somewhat disappointing, mostly with regard to bass. The lows are most punchy in the upper and mid bass regions, which is fine for many genres including classic rock (which I love), but it’s not the sort of low-end reproduction that brings out really low vibrations. Just something worth noting.

Overall, I think one of the best things about the MH30 headphones that I noticed is that the sound is generally well suited for many genres of music, though I found them to really excel with rock, which is great because that’s mostly what I listen to. Nonetheless, these headphones are absolutely on par with more expensive headphones, making me comfortable enough to recommend them to not only people looking for good headphones but audiophiles as well.

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You can buy the Master & Dynamic MH30 headphones on their website.


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