review

Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus Review

Monday, October 28, 2019

The landscape of high end audio has recently become more interesting with the latest release of two updated versions, the MW07 Plus and the MW07 Go, of the original MW07 true wireless earphones released in the autumn of last year.
The new Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus retains a similar construction to the original MW07 but with massive improvements, including almost triple battery life, bluetooth 5.0 chip and magnetic charging case. The Plus version also includes new exciting features such as feedforward Active Noise-Cancelling (ANC) and Ambient Listening Mode.
With the integration of bluetooth 5.0, the MW07 Plus version is able to further improve the bluetooth stability and boost signal range from 20 meters to 30 meters (100ft), which is a huge improvement, considering the bluetooth signal range of most earphones is currently 10 meters.
The integration of Bluetooth 5.0 also enables the MW07 Plus earphones to be more efficient at consuming battery power, going from 3 hours to a massive 10 hours of battery life on 50% volume.
Like with all bluetooth 5.0 headphones, the MW07 Plus is able to achieve superb power consumption when connected to a device that also integrates a bluetooth 5.0 chip. If your smartphone, tablet or computer only integrate Bluetooth 4.2 or an older version of Bluetooth, the battery life won't be the same.
The MW07 Plus earphones can be used independently from each other but, you cannot pair the earphones individually with two different devices at the same time. The MW07 Plus and the Go version are designed in such a way that the left earphone cannot connect to a device unless it is connected first to the right earbud.
When pairing the MW07 Plus earphones to a phone, the right earbud will show up first on the phone's list of bluetooth devices. When the right earbud is connected, a bluetooth pairing request for the left earbud will come up on the phone, asking you whether you want the left earbud connected. You can decline if you only want to use the right earphone, or pair both earphones for stereo listening. Both earphones pair to each other via bluetooth 5.0 connection, instead of near-field magnetic induction (NFMI) like the original MW07 earphones do.
There is no power button on either earpiece so, the only way to power on and off the MW07 Plus earphones is by putting them and removing them from the charging case. The single button on the right earbud controls the voice assistant, as well as skipping tracks forwards and backwards.
With the MW07 Plus version, you can use the right earbud by itself while both earpieces are removed from the case. With the MW07 GO version, if you want to use the right earbud only, you must keep the left earpiece inside the charging case or it will automatically pair with the right earbud.
Some wireless earphones can be used individually and independently from each other, meaning you can pair each earpiece with different devices, which is neat being able to use both earpieces for conserving power.
Another neat feature you get with the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus, which was also a feature of the original MW07 version, it's automatic play/pause when removing the earpiece from your ear. The automatic play/pause feature works well and it's achieved via a built-in sensor that senses the orientation of the earpiece. The sensor is located next to the circular, gold-plated charging contacts, which in the original MW07 version there was only two charging contacts.
The MW07 Plus version has three charging contacts, which helps speed up fast charging of the earphones to 5 hours worth of charge from a 15 minute charge and 10 hours (full charge) in just 40 minutes. The original MW07 could only achieve 1.5 hours worth of charge after 45 minutes and, full charge after 90 minutes.
The charging cases of both the original MW07 and MW07 Plus version use USB-C charging but the charging case of the MW07 Plus version can be recharged in 15 minutes to 50% half-full whereas the charging case of the original MW07 can only be recharged 40% in 15 minutes. Recharging the charging case to full takes 40 minutes, which is the same as the charging case of the original MW07.
The MW07 Plus features two built-in microphones on each earpiece, making it a total of four microphones, two of which are also used for active noise-cancelling and ambient sound, which lets you pass through sound from outside while listening to an audio track.
The microphones used for ANC and ambient sound have a feedforward setup, instead of a feedback setup where the active noise cancellation microphone is located inside the earpiece so, you get to hear the noise before is cancelled. With feedforward active noise cancellation, the microphone is located outside so, noise is cancelled before you can hear it. The other advantage with feedforward ANC over feedback ANC is that the bass response is not filtered as with a feedback setup where the ANC algorithm also treats audio playback as noise, filtering some of the bass in the process.
As good as active noise cancellation is on wireless earbuds, it does work better with over-ear headphones. If noise cancellation is important to you, it's worth considering a pair of headphones like the MW65 that utilize hybrid noise cancellation, integrating both feedforward and feedback microphones.
The active noise cancelling mode and ambient sound mode are enabled and disabled via the volume rocker on the MW07 Plus left earpiece (there is no mobile app). The volume up button controls ambient sound mode, while volume down controls active noise cancellation. To turn on and off each feature, you have to hold down the respective volume button, which will bring up a female voice prompt indicating whether the feature is on or off. You can enable both active noise cancelling and ambient sound mode at the same time although it wouldn't make much sense since active noise cancellation is design to cancel ambient sound.
All four microphones built-in to the MW07 Plus work during phone calls too. Call quality is extremely good for the receiver mainly because two of the microphones are beamforming microphones, which do a more effective job than traditional noise cancelling omnidirectional microphones at eliminating background noise to make the call more intelligible. The call audio is also heard in both MW07 Plus earphones, providing a more immersive call experience.

The body of the MW07 Plus is made of hard plastic, including the nozzle tips, which feature a water resistant fabric mesh that helps with the IPX5 rating. The MW07 Plus does improve over the IPX4 rating of the original MW07 version but, if water resistance is important to you it's worth considering the MW07 GO version, which has an IPX6 rating.
The MW07 Plus side covers are also made of plastic but a different type of plastic that isn't mould-injected plastic, called acetate, which is nylon-based plastic made out of sheets of plastics to achieve a marble-like finish.
The MW07 Plus side covers come in four different finishes, including black quartz, brown tortoiseshell, white marble and blue steel. The MW07 Plus look similar in size to the first generation MW07 but they're actually bigger in size by a few millimeters, measuring 23mm wide (side to side), 25mm deep (front to nozzle tip) and 19mm tall.
Because of the larger size, the MW07 Plus do look bulkier in the ears but they don't fall out of the ears, thanks to the angle nozzle design and the "bear paw" ear wing. The weight of the MW07 Plus is actually the same weight as the original MW07, weighing just 9 grams (18 grams between the two).
Where the MW07 Plus has gain weight it's in the charging case, which now weighs 84 grams (16 grams increase), carrying a beefier internal battery that can store 30 hours worth of battery power. Compared to charging capacity of the original MW07 charging case (10.5 hours), the weight increase of the MW07 Plus charging case is a welcome one.
The MW07 Plus charging case is also made of the same highly reflective stainless steel mirror-finish but the Plus charging case seems to have undergone more polishing as it appears more reflective and not as easy to mark with fingerprints. The inner charging dock area of the Plus charging case is magnetized, keeping both earpieces inside the case even when shaking the case upside down with the lid open, which is also magnetic.
Even though the MW07 Plus charging case accommodates a larger internal battery, the dimensions of the charging case are smaller than the original MW07 version, measuring 64mm long, 45mm wide and 26mm tall.
Internally, the MW07 Plus feature the same beryllium coated 10mm Neodymium drivers, which appear to carry more sensitivity. The sensitivity of the MW07 Plus earphones isn't listed but max volume sounds louder, certainly above 100dB as attested by the video below.
There is support for high resolution audio via aptX, as long as the device the earphones are connected to also supports the aptX codec. SBC codec is also supported but not the AAC; hence you can expect the usual video/audio lag when connected to an iOS device.
Along with quality craftsmanship, there is also quality audio. The MW07 Plus feature balanced sound with clearly defined audio frequencies: good bass, clear vocal midrange and detailed treble. The MW07 Plus earphones deliver superb stereo separation and wide soundstage where sound feels like it's coming from behind the ears.
Accessories contained alongside the MW07 Plus include a long charging cable (USB C male to USB-C male) a computer adapter (male USB-A to female USB-C), three fitwings, five different size ear tips and a pinch pouch made of canvas material.

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