Master & Dynamic MH40 Wireless V2 vs. V1: A Concise Comparison!

Monday, July 31, 2023

Merging classic craftsmanship with cutting-edge innovations, the brand new MH40 Wireless V2 preserves the iconic Master & Dynamic signature features of the original MH40 Wireless V1 (1st Generation) over-ear headphones, including the elegant aluminum body, luxurious lambskin leather trims, distinctive microphone grille earcup styling, and coated canvas material. 
Furthermore, the MH40 Wireless V2 adopts the swivel bar mechanism for headband adjustment, which was originally introduced on the MW65 headphones. Regarding the headband, the MH40 Wireless V2 retains the same robust metal headband (3.5cm wide) design as the V1. The underside is lightly foam padded and covered with soft leather. The top side is covered with thick stitched canvas material. 

The limited head padding might pose an inconvenience during extended listening sessions; however, weighing only 280 grams (same as V1), these headphones are relatively lightweight, minimizing pressure on the head and reducing the likelihood of developing discomfort in specific areas.

Similarly, the MH40 Wireless V2 is equipped with the detachable magnetized earpads and spring-loaded tilting mechanism, enabling the earcups to tilt up and down with precision. Thanks to the spring mechanism, the earcups recoil naturally and maintain their tilting angle on the head, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit over the ears. The earcups can also be rotated flat.The MH40 Wireless earpads excel in performance, offering excellent breathability, surpassing that of sealed PU earpads, while also providing a plump and comfortable padding sensation.
The earpads are lined with breathable fabric on the bottom and side of the inner hole. Their dimensions are identical to the V1, with the inner hole measuring 5.5cm high x 3.5cm wide x 2cm deep, and the outer ring measuring 9.5cm high x 6.5cm wide. Each earpad weighs 21 grams, contributing to the total weight of the MH40 Wireless and earpads, which is 280 grams.

Both the MH40 Wireless V1 and V2 feature user control buttons positioned on the right earcup, ensuring convenient access to different functions. These buttons are designed with three small rubber buttons that offer a satisfying clicky tactile actuation when pressed. The MH40 Wireless V2 maintains the same button layout as the V1, with the center button handling multiple functionalities, including play/pause, voice assistant activation, call management (answer/end/reject/mute), and track skipping. That said, it would have been probably better if the track skipping function were integrated into the volume controls, as is the case with most headphones so, it's the layout most people are familiar with.

Connectivity-wise, the MH40 Wireless V2 offers Bluetooth 5.2 with quick-pairing technology, absolute bluetooth volume and reliable connection. Additionally, the V2 supports AAC, SBC, and aptX Adaptive, providing lower latency and higher resolution audio. The V1 only supports SBC and aptX. 
Regarding wired audio, the MH40 Wireless V2 offers a USB-C port that serves a dual purpose for charging and audio, similar to the V1. This port supports a 3.5mm audio connection, allowing you to connect the headphones to a phone. However, having a dedicated standalone 3.5mm port in the V2 would have been a cleaner solution. Another notable feature is the Bluetooth status light, which remains illuminated even after establishing a connection.

Both versions offer good battery life. The V2 boasts up to 30 hours of playtime, while the V1 provides up to 16 hours of playtime on 50% volume. The V2, however, has an advantage in charging speed, taking just 1 hour 20 minutes for a full charge and 30 minutes for 50% charge. While charging, you can enjoy Bluetooth audio playback. Moreover, the headphones automatically power off when disconnecting the charging cable. However, in wired mode, it's not feasible to charge the headphones due to the design of the combined charging/audio port.

Regarding sound quality, both the MH40 Wireless V2 and V1 feature 40mm drivers, providing ample bass with well-defined vocal midrange and treble. The V2, however, delivers a more enhanced sound profile, offering more distinct and crisp high frequencies, as well as deeper and more robust low frequencies. The vocals and instruments remain distinct over the bass without any muddiness. 
Mobile app support is provided via the M&D Connect app, which provides sound customization through built-in EQ presets, enabling you to fine-tune the default sound profile according to your preferences. Its user-friendly interface simplifies navigation and offers diverse functionalities, including checking battery levels, adjusting the auto sleep timer, and enabling sidetone for calls. However, it's important to mention that the app does not offer button remapping or EQ band sliders.

In conclusion, the MH40 Wireless V2 (2nd Generation) improves upon the MH40 Wireless V1 (1st Generation), while retaining the same asthetic design and premium materials. The V2's notable enhancements include custom titanium drivers, Bluetooth 5.2, mobile app support, hi-res audio and faster charging speed. Unlike the majority of headphones on the market that are made of plastic, the MH40 Wireless V2 sets itself apart with its elegant and refined appearance, complemented by the use of premium materials such as genuine leather, stainless steel, and aluminum. This choice of materials enhances the overall appeal of the headphones, exuding a sense of luxury and ensuring long-lasting durability.

 V2 selling points
  • Exciting and impactful listening experience
  • More reliable and stable Bluetooth 5.2 connection compared to the V1's Bluetooth 5.0
  • Mobile app support, unlike the V1
  • Faster to charge than V1
  • Longer battery life than V1
  • Detachable magnetic earpads (same as V1)
  • On-earcup button controls (same as V1)
  • Higher res audio and lower latency than V1
  • USB-C Wired/Wireless connectivity (same as V1)
  • Enhanced call mic, surpassing V1 model.
  • Passthrough audio whilst charging
  • Available in multiple colorways 
  • Compatible with V1 earpads

V2 potential deal breakers
  • More expensive than V1
  • No hardshell travel case included (same as V1)
  • Unintuitive button functionality (same as V1)
  • No 3.5mm jack on-earcup (same as V1)
  • No ANC/transparency mode (same as V1)
  • Basic limited mobile app functionality
  • Not compatible with MW50+ and MW60 earpads

The packaging box contains various accessories, including a plane headphone adapter, USB-A to USB-C adapter, and audio cables (USB-C to USB-C and 3.5mm to USB-C). Additionally, there's a canvas pinch pouch with an external zip pocket. The thick canvas fabric is lined with soft material internally, and both the external zipper pull tab and pouch pull tabs are made of genuine leather. The branded cables are around 1.1 meters long, made of medium stiff fabric, and equipped with metal connection plugs.You can buy the MH40 Wireless V2 from MasterDynamic website and amazon when it becomes available.

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