We’ve reviewed earbuds and headphones of all shapes and sizes here on Techaeris. Music is such a personal experience for most people and most want to hear their music in the best possible manner. For fans of earbuds, you probably don’t need to look too much farther. In this Master & Dynamic ME05 review, I’ll explain why these earphones easily earn a Techaeris Top Pick for 2016.
The Master & Dynamic ME05 Earphones have the following features and specifications:
- Dimensions: 21.5mm X 11.8mm
- Drivers: 8mm Neodymium
- Impedance: 16 ohms
- Weight: 21g
- Materials: Brass, rubber, silicone
- Cable: 1.20m
- Headphone Connection: 3.5mm standard plug
- Ear Coupling: In-ear monitor
- Microphone Type: Omni-directional
What’s in the Box
- 1 x ME05 Earphones
- 1 x Leather Storage Box
- 1 x Canvas Earphone Case
- 4 x Silicone Ear Tip Pairs
- 2 x Replacement Acoustic Filters
- 1 x Polishing Cloth
- 1 x Cable Clip
- 1 x User Guide
The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up the box for the ME05 Earphones is its weight. You wouldn’t normally figure that a box containing earbuds would be all that heavy but Master & Dynamic have included quite a bit in this box. While it’s all listed above in the “What’s in the Box” section, there really is quite a lot included with the ME05 earbuds. Extra ear tips are pretty standard by this point, but Master & Dynamic go the extra mile with an extra pair of acoustic filters. The earphones come in a leather storage case, which also holds the additional ear tips and acoustic filters, but you’ll also get a canvas case that works really well for everyday storage. The case features a spring loaded opening that snaps shut tight to keep your earphones inside. The remaining heft from the box is mostly due to the rather large instruction booklet (it includes multiple languages, there really aren’t that many individual instructions). Master & Dynamic has even included a polishing cloth because these are really some sharp looking earbuds and you’ll want to keep them looking their best.
The earbuds themselves are really pretty small. They differentiate themselves in the design department by being machined out of solid brass. That decision was made based on the natural acoustic qualities of brass. Think about it, plenty of musical instruments are made out of brass, it stands to reason that earphones made of the same material would have agreeable musical characteristics. I’ll talk quite a lot more about this in the sound section below, and I don’t know if it’s entirely the brass construction, but the ME05’s are definitely doing something right when it comes to sound.
The brass body of the earphone is somewhat bulbous, with a short concave extension off of the back where a black rubber section attaches the earbud to the cord. The earbud body comes in two parts: the back, which is a circular bowl shape that points straight out and a second angled section that includes the acoustic filters where the Silicone ear tips attach. The ear tips and acoustic filters can be removed, allowing for cleaning. As mentioned above an extra pair of acoustic filters is included in the box so you don’t have to stop listening too long when one pair is out getting cleaned.
The black rubber section has a small metal ring around the bottom which features the Master & Dynamic logo on the outside and the R/L indicator on the inside. The right flat tangle-resistant cord includes the in-line mic approximately six inches from the earbud. It is placed almost perfectly to line up with your mouth. A few inches farther down the cord where the left and right cords meet is the in-line remote control. The mic was separated from the remote buttons in order to increase vocal clarity and reduce noise.
The flat cord ends at the 3.5mm plug. The plug features “M&D” branding, and this may actually be the only negative thing I say about these earphones — the plug could really use just a bit more material, as it’s very small and feels just a little bit too delicate. Granted, you shouldn’t be yanking these — or really any — earbuds out by the cord, but a slightly stronger connection between the cord and the 3.5mm jack would ease my mind.
As they are made out of brass, these are just slightly heavier than your normal earbud. It’s really not noticeable once you’re wearing them though. They fit very comfortably in your ear, and do a pretty good job of staying put. You can wear these comfortably for hours at a time without issue.
The ME05 Earphones are available in the standard Brass with black rubber accents, as well as Palladium coated, and black chrome PVD coated. I’m reviewing the Palladium coated model, and the design really is stunning. You’re getting almost a mirror finish on the earbuds and they look very nice.
I’m going to start this section with a short story. Upon first listening to music while wearing the Master & Dynamic ME05 Earphones, I was sure that there must have been some sort of witchcraft, or other unexplainable phenomenon going on. In fact, my first comment in the Techaeris editors chat after listening to a few tunes was “holy balls these freaking M&D earbuds.” Earbuds just aren’t supposed to sound this good. Through some combination of the custom 8mm Neodymium High-Performance Drivers, the brass construction, and I’m just going to say it — magic — you are left with a truly amazing sound. These are the best earbuds I have ever put into my ears. I’ve used over-ear headphones that don’t sound this good.
Master & Dynamic prides themselves on their warm, detailed sound profile and it is on full display with these earbuds. The audio mix is really just spot on. Bass is strong, but not overpowering. Mids and highs are crystal clear, and everything just comes together in a very cohesive sound.
Some companies like to over-emphasize the bass output. Sure, there’s a time and a place for that sort of thing, but when you find a really good mix of all tonal areas you’re going to have a much better time, believe me. Bass on these earphones is strong. Dubstep, rap, and other bass-heavy genres all have plenty of bass, but having the clarity on the mids and highs really accentuates the entire song no matter what you’re listening to. Everything I played on these earphones — rock, metal, pop, electronica, jazz, and everything else — sounded fantastic. Even at louder volumes your music is going to come through clearly.
I’m going to say it again, earbuds just aren’t supposed to sound this good.
Earbuds make a bit more sense for making phone calls than larger on-ear or over-ear headphones. I do sometimes use whatever earbuds I’m wearing to answer calls, so I can say without any hesitation that the ME05’s are going to handle your phone conversations flawlessly. I could hear callers very clearly, and callers could hear me without issue. When I was talking, callers could hear just a little bit of background noise — I generally have a fan going on my desk at all times — but it wasn’t enough to prevent them from hearing me clearly.
I’ll just come right out and say it, these are not cheap. Many will probably scoff at the idea of spending $200 on a pair of earbuds. With that said, these are absolutely worth every penny. You’re getting an exceptional pair of earbuds that are built to last. The extra acoustic filters and the ability to clean out areas that might get clogged up or dirty is a real bonus. You can put these earbuds head-to-head with over-ear headphones in the $200 range, and these earbuds might still win. If you listen to a lot of music with earbuds, or just prefer the earbud form factor over on-ear or over-ear styles, you will find tremendous value with the Master & Dynamic ME05 Earphones.
I get it, $200 is a lot to spend on a pair of earbuds, but in this instance they’re totally worth it. Master & Dynamic have created a pair of earphones that look great, sound completely amazing, and are built to provide you with an incredible experience for years to come. It should be easy to see why the Master & Dynamic ME05 have received a Techaeris Top Pick for 2016.