Master & Dynamic MH40 headphones review: Stellar sound…retro design

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Top Picks
MH40 headphones

We’re no strangers to Master & Dynamic around here, late last year we reviewed their amazing MW60 wireless headphones and came away impressed. Now we have the company’s older pair of MH40 headphones in house for review and these are walking away with a Techaeris Top Pick 2016 award.

MH40 Specifications

  • 45mm Neodymium drivers
  • 32 ohms impedance
  • Omni-directional mic cable
  • Premium Alcantara®, stainless steel, aluminum, detachable woven cables

What’s In The Box

  • MH40 Headphones
  • 3.5/6.3mm Gold-Plated Adapter
  • 1.25m Cable with Remote & Mic (iPod, iPad, & iPhone)
  • 2.00m Standard Cable
  • Canvas Headphone Case
  • Alcantara® Cable Box

MH40 headphones


I’ve made no bones about the fact I love the design language Master & Dynamic have chosen to take with their headphones. The MH40 headphones are no exception here. These are exquisitely styled in a retro look with super premium materials all the way around. When you hold these headphones in your hands you have zero doubt that there was superior attention to detail and craftsmanship put into these. Made from nothing but high quality aluminum, stainless steel, and leather (with maybe the wires being the only rubber or plastic on these) the MH40 headphones are heads above many other headphones in this price category.

On the bottom of both earcups you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can plug your cable on either side for maximum comfort. Both earcup pads are removable and held on magnetically which makes them super easy to replace should the leather wear out. On the right earcup you have a mute button that allows you to mute the signal coming into the MH40s in case you need to quickly listen to something happening outside your music bubble. Both earcups do swivel to lay flat, but they do not fold up like the new MW60s. That’s not a deal breaker, but it is a nice feature to have for easier storage.

The headband is wrapped in leather and is comfortable for a decent amount of time. I’ve found that prolonged use of any headphones tends to hurt my skull, so your mileage may vary. I found the MH40 headband to be better than most. A nice touch is the way Master & Dynamic threaded the headphone cable through the headband and out where it won’t get tangled when folding the headphones flat. I do wish Master & Dynamic would include a hard shell case with these instead of the canvas bag case, which is nice but not as protective. Overall, the design is retro classic looking. It might not be for everyone, but I find this style appeals to me more than bling bling chrome and colors.


Before I say that the sound quality on the Master & Dynamic MH40 headphones is stellar, let me clarify one thing. Sound is subjective and what these headphones offer may not be at all what you prefer. That being said, the sound the MH40 headphones produces is balanced and clear with nothing overpowering anything else. Some headphones are designed for a certain market in mind and certain things like bass frequencies are over driven for purposes of the style of music that market listens to. The MH40 headphones are simply not built that way and if you’re seeking bass heavy headphones, save your money and look elsewhere.

The clarity of sound the MH40s produce is amazing. The Master & Dynamic engineers really did a fantastic job of creating a sound profile that compliments most any style of music, save bass heavy styles. Pink Floyd, Tony Bennett, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The 77’s, Over The Rhine, Leonard Cohen, Brad Paisely, and Needtobreathe are just some of the artists I listened to using the headphones, and you could hear every part of the music as the artist intended. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic headphones out on the market but the MH40s produce such a clear, crisp and precise sound that I personally enjoy that these are my go to wired headphones. The Master & Dynamic MW60s are my go to wireless headphones, which are nearly identical save the Bluetooth capabilities.

The MH40 headphones also have noise isolation cups which works very well. These are not active noise cancelling, but they do a fantastic job of keeping ambient noise out of your ears, leaving you to listen to your tunes. Overall the sound is amazing. These are easily the best wired headphones you can buy at this price point if you want balanced, crisp and clear sound.



Call Quality

You can take calls with the MH40’s using the included mic cable that is compatible with iOS devices. Some of the functions may not work on Android devices but we did not test it on Android. Call quality is great and calls are crisp and clear. Be sure to position the mic in a good spot when speaking though. If it is too far away callers may not hear you as well.


Headphone pricing is subjective. It’s all about what you’re willing to pay to get the sound you want. The MH40 headphones are worth the price in my opinion. The build quality is amazing even in this price point and the sound hits balanced right on the nose.

Wrap Up

In our opinion, the Master & Dynamic MH40’s are the best wired headphones in this price range. If you’re wanting wireless then step up to the Master & Dynamic MW60’s which are also best in class in their respective price point.

Master & Dynamic MH40 Headphones
4.9 Out of 5
Nailed It
Sound, sound, sound....the balanced sound is oh so nice. Build quality. High quality materials.
Needs Work
Price point may turn some off, hard shell case would have been nice.
Bottom Line
If you can afford headphones in this price range and do not absolutely need Bluetooth, the MH40 headphones should be on your super short list.
Call Quality4.75
*We were sent a review sample of the MH40 headphones for the purposes of this review.
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