Since 1926 or thereabouts, Mercedes-Benz has operated under the slogan "the best or nothing" (although let's not forget, Karl Benz introduced what's widely acknowledged to be the first petrol-powered car way back in 1886), and that certainly seems to have been the firm's approach here.
Master & Dynamic is a much younger company (having been founded in 2014 in New York) and one that specializes in high-end headgear vying to become some of the best over-ear headphones we've had the pleasure of testing. But both brands operate in the luxury realm – Master & Dynamic has even collaborated with Louis Vuitton in the past.
Now, the companies are proud to announce the inaugural fruits of their new partnership: not one, not two, but five different sets of headphones as well as an inductive wireless charging pad.
The most eye-catching audiovisual delight is arguably the MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones x Mercedes-Benz (main image) in that there's a definite F1 look to these wireless headphones and you get to adorn your ears with the iconic chrome-plated 3D Mercedes-Benz hood ornament – and I love that.
Although these cans are clearly based on the Master & Dynamic MW65, which gained only three stars under intense review in 2019, it was the ANC we marked them down on. The sound? We called it "excellent".
And the MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones don't just impress with the hood emblem accents and the Mercedes-Benz lettering embossed on the headband. You also get two active noise-cancelling modes suited to different environments, handled by two ANC microphone arrays using a combination of feed-forward and feed-back hybrid technology to analyse both the ambient noise on the outside of the cone and the external noise perceived by the user – ie. on the inside.
Master & Dynamic also says the weight of the headphones has been optimised to increase wearing comfort during prolonged listening.
Want those classic accents and noise cancellation but in a true wireless earbud design? Look no further than the MW08 Active Noise-Cancelling True Wireless Earphones x Mercedes-Benz (based on the four-and-a-half star Master & Dynamic MW08).
Two 11mm beryllium drivers boast brilliant sound, shielded by a hybrid solution to actively suppress ambient noise. And the headshell of the MW08 in-ear headphones is also exceptional, says M&D, in that it is made from particularly durable ceramic, the kind usually used in high-end watches.
Here, a total of six microphones with proprietary noise cancellation should ensure crystal-clear phone calls on the go and battery life is a competitive 12 hours – which can be extended by a further 30 hours with the accompanying charging case (don't worry, this also features the emblem).
Now, the MW75 Active Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones x Mercedes-AMG. They deliver 28 hours of battery life, three active noise-cancellation modes including Adaptive ANC (which automatically adjusts to the noise level of the environments) and the sound comes from M&D's optimally angled 40 mm beryllium drivers.
Here, you get the Mercedes-AMG emblem as a chrome-plated 3D logo on the ear cups and as an embossed design on the leather headband – and the black design is enhanced with fine red details.
Gamer? Great. The MG20 Wireless Gaming Headphones x Mercedes-AMG (above) promise to set new standards in gaming – and if our four-star review of the original Master & Dynamic MG20 is anything to go on, they won't disappoint. Crafted from magnesium, fine leather and Alcantara, the luxurious MG20 headphones feature a detachable boom mic and an additional integrated microphone array for clear in-game communication.
50mm beryllium drivers and 7.1 surround-sound support promise brilliant acoustics too, meaning you should stay fully immersed in the game, and a low-latency adapter ought to make it easy to switch between console and PC gaming.
These headphones also offer 22 hours of battery life after a single charge and feature on-head detection to conserve battery power when not in use.
Finally, Sporty Mercs. The MW08 Sport True Wireless Earphones x Mercedes-AMG are billed as "shatter-resistant sapphire glass earphones" featuring a metallic, scratch-resistant finish and an "ultra-rugged carbon fibre charging case" (see our favorable Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport review for reference).
Fit is of paramount importance here: alongside five different pairs of silicone attachments, two additional pairs of foam ear tips should mean they stay in place during even the toughest workout.
Two noise cancellation modes and two ambient listening modes are also onboard, and the earphones charge wirelessly to offer up to 42 hours of battery life with the charging case.
Of course, the ideal complement is the MC100 Wireless Charge Pad x Mercedes-AMG; it is compatible with the MW08 Sport Active Noise-Cancelling True Wireless Earphones and other mobile devices, including the best Apple iPhones (from iPhone 8 onwards).
Opinion: they're not cheap, but they're certainly intriguing…
Master & Dynamic is a force to be reckoned with in the world of audiophile headphones and, while they've yet to give the likes of Apple's AirPods Max and Sony WH-1000XM5 a close run for their money, it's surely only a matter of time…
Prices? Of course, have at these. Take note: we're up into AirPods Max and Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 territory here, but Master & Dynamic's collaboration with Mercedes is not quite as aspirational as the Meze Audio Liric, say. Official asking fees for the US and Australia aren't yet known, but we've given the ball-park figures based on the UK prices.
MW65 Mercedes-Benz - £449 (around $530, AU$784)
MW08 Mercedes-Benz - £279 (around $330, AU$478)
MW75 Mercedes-AMG - £549 (around $650, AU$959)
MG20 Mercedes-AMG - £429 (around $509, AU$749)
MW08 Sport - £329 (around $390, AU$574)
MC100 Charging Pad - £49 (around $58, AU$85)
Master & Dynamic tells us that all products in the collection are available for presale now at Master & Dynamic's website, and will ship by the end of July.
Might those Mercedes-Benz over-ears become the latest addition to our best noise-cancelling headphones roundup? Time will tell – but I would absolutely love to try them and to be seen wearing them, as if I'd just jumped out from the open cockpit of my F1 automobile.
As Janis Joplin once sang, "My friends all have Porsches, I must make amends"…