In this test, we’ll take a closer look at whether the wireless model of the MH40, released for Master & Dynamic’s fifth birthday, translates the strengths of its wired sister seamlessly into wireless territory.
The MH40 Wireless comes with both a USB-C charging cable and a removable cable, a Quickstart guide and a folded info sheet. The chic transport bag made of black linen fabric, securely and quickly closed by a magnetic lock; a nice touch. The bag is not only for storing the MH40 Wireless headphone as there is also room for the two cables in the zippered front compartment. Both the interchangeable cable and the charging cable are coated with durable high-performance fabric. The 3.5 mm jack plug is gold-plated to protect it from corrosion.
Design & Material
On the outside, these wireless headphones look very similar to the wired MH40. These headphones are available in three different colour schemes that mirror the wired version: gunmetal, black, and silver metal with brown coated canvas. With their retro-aviator styling, the MH40 are timeless and chic. The headband mechanism is all part of the styling. The backplates, headbands and interchangeable earpads are surrounded by durable canvas and soft lambskin, all contributing to the stylish look. The ear cups are fashioned of anodized aluminium, making them as robust as they are lightweight. Compared to the cable version, they are lighter. Weight is also helped by the redesign of the structure of the aluminium bodies, but all the hardware that is subjected to greater stress is made of stainless steel. Longevity is definitely top of the list of priorities for the features of the MH40 Wireless.
As a little extra, the geo-coordinates of a particular place can be engraved on one of the ear cups. These can be researched on the Master & Dynamic website. On the model we tested, it was the coordinates of London and on the website, we could find a corresponding travel guide related to the city’s art and culture. A nice gimmick, but with little added value as it was lacking real “secret tips”. There was no mention of Old Street Records in Shoreditch or The Moth Club in Hackney, for example.
When it comes to wireless technology, Master & Dynamic use Bluetooth 5.0 and the high-quality aptX codec, and SBC in the MH40 Wireless. They offer a very good range of 30 metres and a long playback time of 16 to 18 hours. The fixed battery is half-loaded in just 30 minutes and fully charged within 60 to 80 minutes. Clear voice sound when making a phone call is achieved with the directional built-in microphone array, which filters out external noise. If no Bluetooth is available, the headphones can also be connected to the audio source via a cable. As with the wired MH40, the wireless version plugs in on one side, not with a stereo jack plug, but via USB-C connection.
Instead of 45 mm drivers, the MH40 wireless driver is only 40 mm in size but it is driven by neodymium magnets. Surprisingly, the average impedance we measured was only 14.7 ohms, which was almost half the size stated by the manufacturer. The maximum sound pressure level of 99.34 dB(SPL) in practice delivered a whopping 5 dB greater than that of the cabled version.
The lambskin ear pads fit beautifully gently on the ears and head thanks to a memory foam surround. Due to the now even lower weight, the MH40 Wireless comes with an average contact pressure of 479.5 g. Therefore, even during long listening sessions, the fit remains pleasant. The interchangeable ear pads are easily fitted and are held in place by a magnet, and the headband is fully adjustable. Although adapting the size was a little tricky, it is retained the settings even after being taken off. The headphones are not foldable, but the ear cup can be rotated by 90°, so takes up less space in the transport bag.
Bluetooth pairing is done at the touch of a button. The connection status is indicated by a sound signal. In addition, a multi-colour LED provides information about the status of the pairing mode and the battery. Call acceptance and termination work smoothly. The call acceptance button also serves as a pause/play button as well as for skipping forward and backwards through tracks, making the headphones easy to operate.
The cable is adapted so that the MH40 Wireless can be used with mobile devices and is correspondingly only 1.20 m long. This makes it easy to layer underneath your clothes without having to accommodate excess cable length anywhere.
Sound & Application
The manufacturer promises that the Master & Dynamic MH40 Wireless will deliver the full, warm sound of the wired MH40 in its wireless edition, despite all the technical innovations.
If you are looking for Bluetooth headphones with high volume for hi-fi purposes, the MH40 Wireless a good choice. The signal always remains distortion-free even with the strong basses of club and dance tracks. This is a bonus; rich basses shape the sound of these headphones. There is pressure and thrust up to the sub-basses, which is really enjoyable. The centre is sufficiently differentiated to ensure good speech intelligibility of vocals. The highs, on the other hand, are rather softly positioned. This makes the sound of the headphones a bit subdued – in my view, they lack a little liveliness at the top of the sound spectrum, as the super high-frequency range was a little lacking for my taste.
The playback dynamics of these MH40 Wireless headphones are perfect for high-energy music: dance, pop and urban styles are as much fun to listen to as guitar-heavy genres, such as alternative and metal. The transients are especially powerful. The stereo impression, the subjective signal resolution and the depth graduation are only good due to the restrained high frequencies. The acoustic isolation to the outside is excellent compared to the playback volume of these headphones. With a moderate volume, neighbours on busy trains and planes do not hear music leaking from these headphones. External noise is also successfully attenuated, and the sound from the integral microphones transmits a present, clear voice signal. One last thing to note: these headphones are significantly quieter in cable mode than when using Bluetooth.
Master & Dynamic MH40 Wireless are hi-fi Bluetooth headphones with rich basses and a warm sound character. To put it bluntly: These headphones are in LOUD! in Bluetooth mode, and are excellent for the enjoyment of music from genres with a powerful sound, such as dance, pop, urban music, metal and alternative. Reliable Bluetooth connection, easy operation, high-quality materials and workmanship, excellent technical values, high wearing comfort and chic design make these wireless headphones a strong purchase for those looking for a solid piece of audio technology on the go – provided you like the bass-rich basic character of the MH40 Wireless are willing to compromise on high-fidelity sound.
Measurement ResultsMore measurement results
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Impedance14,7 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)99,34 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head479,5 g
- Weight with cable289 g
- Weight without cable277 g
- Cable length120 cm
What's in the box
- Mini jack cable to USB C
- USB C charging cable (to USB A)
- Canvas bag
- available in gunmetal, black and silver/brown
- BT- Codecs: SBC, aptX
- BT version: 5.0