Sound Quality – Subjective Listening
Like I said in the first page, the Master & Dynamic MH40 headphone has been with me for several months already. I’m pretty sure it has already reached its fullest potential before writing this review.
The MH40 is a very easy to drive headphone at 32 ohms. You can plug it directly to a Digital Audio Player, iPhone, Android phone, or PC without any problem. However, it would be better if you have a good DAC and/or a headphone amplifier. Personally, I prefer to pair the MH40 with a brighter sounding source, since it’s already a warm sounding headphone. A good example is pairing the MH40 with the VorzAMP Pure II+ amplifier.
Basically, the MH40 is a warm sounding headphone and I think that most consumers would prefer the sound signature that this headphone is offering. It has a well extended bass that goes deep. When called upon, it can unleash thunderous and rumbling sounds that doesn’t distort. The bass is also clear, rich, full and controlled, and is not way bloated. I think bass instruments and percussion sounds great with the MH40.
The mids are detailed and smooth. To my ears the mid section doesn’t sound veiled or laid back and is neither too forward. If you have a high resolution audio that was recorded beautifully, you can feel the voice of the singer singing to you with soul and emotion. Some may refer to it as being liquid or smooth that is never fatiguing. However, I find the treble to be somewhat rolled off or not well extended. The good news is, the MH40 is nowhere to being a sibilant headphone.
The Master & Dynamic MH40 also has a good amount of airiness and sound staging. Instruments don’t sound too close and cluttered. But don’t expect a sound staging that is similar to an open back headphone.
For comparison purpose, I would say that the sound signature of the MH40 is very close or similar to my B&W P7 headphone. The P7 is also a warm sounding headphone. But there are some differences that I noticed while comparing both headphones. The slam on the P7 has more impact compared to the MH40. The MH40 is a bit warmer, specially from the lower mid section downwards. The P7 has a tighter bass, while the MH40 is somewhat loose. I also think that the P7 has a tad better treble extension compared to the MH40. The differences I noticed are slight and sometimes unnoticeable depending on the music that you listen to.
If I were to compare the MH40 with the Audio Technica ATH M50x, to my ears the MH40 sounds fuller, richer and warmer compared to the ATH-M50x. It has a better base response and feels more natural sounding. Against the V-MODA Crossfade M-100, the MH40 is definitely better. For me, the bass on the MH40 is cleaner, tighter, more controlled, and makes the M-100’s bass feels too boomy. The mid section and treble section of the MH40 is also well defined compared to the M100.
Price and Availability
The Master & Dynamic headphone is now available in the US and UK. It has a retail price of $399 or £319.00 at the time this review was published. You can order one directly from Master & Dynamic’s online store here. If you are from the United Kingdom, you can order from Amazon UK here. Don’t worry if you don’t like the brown / silver color, like I said earlier, the MH40 is available in 5 different colors.
Master & Dynamic MH40 Review: Conclusion
The Master & Dynamic MH40 is really a thing of a beauty. It’s made out of premium materials giving you a well-built and sturdy premium headphone. Not only does it look great, it also sounds great as well. I think the company has chosen a good sound signature for their flagship headphone as it would most probably appeal to the major consumers. The sound is generally warm, smooth, fun to listen and is never fatiguing. Personally, I like to use the MH40 when I listen to Lindsey Stirling, David Guetta and similar artists or genres. I also find it great for rock music and live performances.
Generally speaking, I don’t have any complaints with the MH40, it’s built like a tank and with attention to details. The padding is also very comfortable, soft and smooth thanks to the memory foam and lambskin surface. If I had to nick pick, perhaps the weight may be an issue for some and it could use just a tad more padding underneath the headband. Price may be an issue for some, but you definitely get what you pay for.
Finally, Master & Dynamic made a superb headphone in the form of the MH40. Sound quality is great and the craftsmanship is equally fantastic. If you are in the market looking for a warm sounding pair of cans that doesn’t disappoint, plus made from premium materials that you can brag about, the MH40 should definitely be on your top list.