review

Master & Dynamic MH30 Gadget Explained Review Alcantara Edition

Monday, May 18, 2020

It is not an easy task to find the perfect headphone but, it does helps knowing what you want! The MH30 Alcantara Edition are warm sounding headphones with an honest, flat frequency that will take you back to the good-old days of reel-to-reel audio tape recording!
The MH30 headphones share some similarities with the MH40 version, featuring the same quirky hydraulic-like mechanism for adjusting the headband, which is also constructed with a narrow but sturdy 2.5cm wide metal frame covered with Alcantara fabric sewn with a running stitch pattern.
The headband padding is also made of memory foam but it's very thin. Luckily, the headband doesn't cause a hot spot issue on top of the head, thanks to the light weight of the headphones which weigh just 260 grams so, they don't weigh down on the head.
The clamping force is also medium, unlike the MH40 version, which has a higher clamping force due to the weight of the MH40 headphones (360 grams). That said, depending on the shape of the your head the clamping force will feel more or less noticeable.
The MH30 headband yoke has a rather unique design never seen before. The headband yoke on most headphones has a half-circle design; whereas the MH30 headband yoke has a full-circle and a long bolt running from side to side. The circular design of the yoke compliments the circle-inner ring design of the earcup driver housing, which has a vinyl-like effect with grooved lines that go around the center.
While the full-circle yoke gives the MH30 headphones a distinctive look, the full circle design doesn't allow as much up-and-down tilting movement as the MH40 headband yoke.

anodized metal
The MH30 headband yoke is made of solid material too but, unlike the MH40 version, the MH30 headband integrates an metal hinge mechanism that allows the MH30 earcups to fold flat inwards for safe storage and/or transportation.
The MH30 earcups can also rotate outwards, up to a 90 degree angle, which allows you to wear them around the neck with the earpads resting on the chest.
Being on ear, the MH30 earcups have the characteristic small inner cup design, which has a 3.7cm inner diameter and 6.6cm outer diameter. The foam padding is soft and 1.7cm thick with Alcantara material covering the front and outer side of the earpads.
Being covered with Alcantara, the MH30 earpads are breathable, unlike PU leather; hence the MH30 earpads are able to expel moisture, which prevents heat build up. Alcantara also has microfiber-like insulation properties too so, on cold days the earpads won't feel cold to the touch and will keep the ears warm too.
The inner side and bottom of the earcups are lined with mesh fabric, which is helps with ventilation. The depth of the earcup is 0.8cm depth cup, which is shallow but, since the MH30 headphones are designed to rest on the ears, there won't be any issues with rubbing against the ears like with over-the-ear style headphones.
The earpads on the MH30 headphones are also removable, which is always a plus since earpads are one component that tends to deteriorate faster, although Alcantara material is very durable and very likely to outlast the lifespan of the MH30 headphones.
Because the MH30 earpads can be removed, you will be able to clean them properly too, which is nice. Removing the earpads also gives you access to the serial number of the headphones, as well as a specific set of coordinates, which on these headphones point to New York's Grand Central Terminal (40.7527N 73.9773W)
The MH30 removable earpads detach and attach magnetically very easily and effortlessly from the earcups, the same way as the MH40. There are currently no other headphones on the market with magnetic detachable earpads, making these headphones very special.
Another feature the MH30 headphones integrate that you won't find in the majority of headphones is dual audio functionality. The MH30 headphones integrate a second 3.5mm audio port for someone else to connect to and listen to the same audio.
flat top crown accents
Having an audio port on each headphone is also advantageous since you can listen to audio via either audio port. This means, in the event of one audio port malfunctioning, you have a back-up audio port. The perimeter of the audio ports is also rubberized, which prevents the audio cable plug connector from rubbing and potentially causing scratches.
The acoustic enclosures of the MH30 headphones, which house 40mm neodymium drivers, are made of PVD (physical vapor deposition) coated stainless steel - the same material used in the MW07 Plus Nike Edition.
Being closed-back on-ear headphones, the MH30 headphones sound almost identical to the MH40 version, which is surprising, although if you want deeper bass with more airy soundstage, you should look to the circumaural (over-ear) MH40 or MW65 headphones. The MH30 drivers produce a tight low mid response, true mid-range and great note definition.
To get the best out of the MH30 overall dynamics (volume), especially when listening on a phone, you should connect the MH30 to an external headphone DAC amp to overcome the 32 Ohm impedance rating of the MH30 speaker drivers. Once on the ears, there is very little sound leakage though.

the words "Master & Dynamic" are carved into the underside of the headband
There are two audio cables included. One of the them is a standard 2-meter long audio cable (weighs 22 grams), while the other is a Made For iPod/iPhone/iPad (MFi) 1.25 meter long audio cable (weighs 17 grams), which meets Apple performance standards and it's designed to connect specifically to an iPod, iPhone, or iPad.
The MFi cable integrates a 3-button remote that lets you control volume, skipping of tracks, answer/end calls and play/pause audio.
Most headphones integrate the remote and microphone in the same unit but, the microphone on the MH30 MFi cable is separated from the remote and located higher up the cable (about 10cm above the microphone). Being higher up the cable puts the microphone closer to the mouth, allowing it to pick up the voice more clearly.
The quality of the audio cables is superb. Both have braided sleeves, thick strain reliefs, gold-plated connectors and long anodized metal plugs, making these cables "bombproof". The bottom end of the plugs is textured, which provides excellent grip when unplugging the cable with the thumb and index finger.
Naturally, you won't be able to use the MFi cable with an iPad or iPhone that doesn't have a headphone jack. Apple started removing the headphone jack in 2016 with the iPhone 7 so, the last iPhone with a headphone jack was the iPhone 6. The latest iPad Pro models (12.9-inch and 11-inch) don't have a headphone jack either. The only iPads with a headphone jack are the iPad Air, iPad Mini, and classic iPad.
Accessories in the MH30 box include a 3.5mm female to 6.5mm male gold-plated adapter so, you can plug the MH30 headphones into an amp or musical instrument like an electronic piano. There is also a pinch pouch made with canvas fabric material and a snazzy storage box made of Alcantara for storing the audio cables and adapter.
The MH30 headphones also come with a thick, glossy owner's manual booklet. You can buy the Master & Dynamic MH30 headphones via Amazon. Also, check out the MW50 Plus on-ear version with dome ear cushions.

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