Master & Dynamic MW09 review: ANC earbuds with live performance-like audio

Want to buy the new MW09 ANC earbuds? Then don't miss my hands-on product review. I show you this products' ins and outs as I experienced them.

Master & Dynamic MW09 review: ANC earbuds with live performance-like audio
Master and Dynamic MW09 hands-on review

Like most people these days, I’m on the go a lot. So a good pair of wireless earphones is a must for me. And that’s why I was happy to try these premium earbuds for a few days. They boast ANC, superior sound, and a beautiful design. Check out my Master & Dynamic MW09 hands-on review below.

The Master & Dynamic MW09 are premium active noise-canceling earbuds. They can adapt their noise cancellation to match your surroundings. And, with large beryllium drivers, the sound is rich, warm, and detailed. That’s what the brand says, at least.

I tested these earbuds in various listening situations to give you an idea about their design, functionality, and durability. While I received this product as a sample, I give my honest opinion of the Master & Dynamic MW09 in the review below.

Master & Dynamic MW09 intro video

Unboxing the Master & Dynamic MW09

I was happy that these ANC earbuds arrived in compact, eco-friendly packaging. The sleeve, main box, and inner boxes are cardboard, easily fitting local recycling requirements.

Inside the box were the fully charged earbuds in their charging case. The green battery indicator light lit up a few seconds after I opened the case.

Also included were extra foam and silicone earbud tips in XS, S, L, and XL sizes. And there was a USB-C to USB-C charging cable.

Hands-on review of the Master & Dynamic MW09 design and build

One of my favorite features of the Master & Dynamic MW09 earbuds is the design quality. I love the smooth exterior of the charging case and how easily it opens and closes. The case uses Kevlar fiber, so it’s lightweight and durable.

The earbuds, on the other hand, had a nice, weighty feel. These aren’t the kind of earbuds that break easily, or that fall out of your ears due to cheap plastic. Nope, they use high-quality aluminum and sapphire glass.

Another build feature I appreciate is how the earbuds snap magnetically into their case. This helped me know that they were charging properly. The magnetic fit also gave me peace of mind on the go, since I knew the earbuds would stay put, even in my crowded backpack.

I chose to have the earbuds in the Gunmetal/Kevlar Fiber color, but the Blue, Black, Green, Gold, and Silver colors also look gorgeous from the images I’ve seen online.

Master & Dynamic MW09 in their charging case

The Master & Dynamic MW09’s detailed sound

I wouldn’t call myself an audio expert, but I enjoy good music. And I believe the MW09 earbuds gave me an outstanding performance. As the brand promised, the audio was rich, warm, and detailed. It was almost like I was in the room with my favorite artists.

Master & Dynamic says that the 11 mm beryllium drivers that deliver lossless audio and the M&D signature sound are responsible for the effect. They offer the acoustics of a live performance, and I’d agree.

Master & Dynamic MW09 in packaging

ANC and the MW09

I’ve read other reviews knocking the Master & Dynamics MW09’s ANC, so I was curious about my experience. Wearing them for the first time, I found the seal decent (after I replaced the ear tip to a smaller size), which blocked out immediate sound. Afterward, I could barely hear myself typing or someone talking on the other side of the room.

However, I was less impressed when it came to louder background noise. I heard a vacuum cleaner in another part of the house and the banging of pots and pans in the kitchen a few rooms away.

With a price tag of $399, I expected noise cancellation to have more of a wow factor.

In-ear comfort

Finding comfortable earbuds can be a challenge. I always seem to be pushing them back inside my ear. Then, I can wear them for a short time before my ears begin to hurt.

I found my wear experience with this Master & Dynamic MW09 review more comfortable than expected, especially when I switched to a different-size ear tip. Once I had the correct size, I kept them in my ears throughout the workday without any problems.

Meanwhile, the in-ear seal test helped me see whether the ear seal was correct.

Clear calls with these premium earbuds

Clear, reliable calls are an essential feature for me when I buy earbuds. I have to be able to hear my kids and anyone else calling for errands, playdates, and deliveries. Otherwise, they’re a no go. With the MW09’s AI-enhanced call feature, I was again pleased.

I wore these earbuds while making typical—for me—calls. So that amounted to ringing my husband while he was at work and a couple of online calls to my kids’ teachers. I also made some long-distance calls to family members in other parts of the world.

In all cases, the sound was clear and natural. And, in truth, these earbuds have a 6-microphone array, wind-reduction, and AI-enhanced talk. All features were very evident as I used the earbuds.

Whether at home or walking on a busy street, I could hear my conversation clearly, which hadn’t been typical with my previous headphones and earbuds.

Playtime and charging

So, how’s the Master & Dynamic MW09’s battery life? The brand says users can get up to 16 hours of playtime on a single charge and an extra 32 hours from the charging case.

I found this to be pretty accurate. I could wear the earbuds for 2 full working days before I needed a top-up. So you don’t have to think about these earbuds that much, and they can be ready for you when you need them.

Also, there is a quick charge feature. It provides up to 2 hours of additional use with a 5-minute charge time.

Connectivity and app use

I also found the connectivity to be good. I was able to move freely around my home without losing the connection. Master & Dynamic says you can connect to 2 devices simultaneously for seamless laptop/phone switching, but I didn’t test that feature.

There’s also a companion app that offers updates and helps users get more out of their audio. I especially like the seal monitoring feature I mentioned earlier.

I found the other app features rather complicated, however. There’s a World Volume section for the off, ANC, and Ambient features. Then, there’s a choice for Max ANC, All Day ANC, or Adaptive ANC.

However, activating the ANC was a challenge to figure out at first. I kept pressing the ANC choice, but it would automatically go back to off. I was hoping activating the ANC modes would be easier because if I’m in a rush (which is always), I won’t use them.

My overall opinion of the Master & Dynamic MW09

Overall, I enjoyed my audio with the Master & Dynamic MW09. These ANC earbuds have a beautiful build, so there was a definite cool factor while wearing them. I also appreciated the convenient features like the battery light indicator, magnetic case, and touch controls.

For the main tech features, I found the audio to be rich and nuanced. It was like I was in the middle of an acoustic performance, no matter my music’s genre. My calls were also clear and reliable.

That said, I think the ANC could be better for the price. Even after refitting and readjusting the seal, I could hear background noise, which became distracting while I worked. I also found the app settings complicated and would have liked more explanation about them before use.

The Master & Dynamic MW09 ANC earbuds are a good buy if you’re looking for stylish, premium earbuds. They take playlists and calls to the max.

The Master & Dynamic MW09 ANC earbuds cost $399 on the official website.

Lauren has been writing and editing since 2008. She loves working with text and helping writers find their voice. When she's not typing away at her computer, she cooks and travels with her husband and two daughters.
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