Master & Dynamic Headphones

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Not so long ago we got acquainted with the brand new for Russia, American company Master & Dynamic and its full-size models MH40 and MH30 . It was noticed that the manufacturer cares not only about the design and high quality of finishing, but also about the decent sounding of their headphones. I wanted to continue and deepen my acquaintance, this time with in-channel models. Did the companies make them as attractive in all respects? We’ll find out.

Specifications

Model ME01 ME03 ME05
A type Intra-channel closed
Drivers With a diaphragm of 8 mm made of titanium
Materials Anodized aluminum, polyurethane, silicone Brass, polyurethane, silicone
Frequency range, Hz No data
Impedance, Ohm 16
Sensitivity (± 2 dB) No data
Cable Fixed and flat, resistant to entanglement, 1.2 m with microphone and remote control under iOS
Connector 3,5 mm
Weight, g 16 21
Design options Black metal, gun steel / black polyurethane Black metal, gun steel / black polyurethane Brass, palladium, black chrome / black polyurethane

 

Packing and equipment

Packing for all three models is the same: a small rectangular pallet of black cardboard is covered with a white sleeve made of thick paper (or thin cardboard – as you like). On the back side there is a small window through which headphone cases are recessed, drowned in a box of dense matte material.

After opening the package, we find out that in fact the headphones are on the round coil on which the cable is wound, it lies in a round case made of genuine leather (like the models MH40 and MH30 ), and under it is a round form of porous polyurethane of the same color, with silicone nozzles. A similar material is made and the base, in the recess in which a leather case is fixed. It also has a clothes clip to fix the cable to the clothes, and the older model also has a soft cloth for polishing. Below is a box with documentation and a soft cloth cover.

Appearance and construction

All three models are built on high-quality drivers with a diaphragm 8 mm in diameter made of titanium. As you know, this metal combines high strength, elasticity and a small mass – this is the same as that required for emitters. Typically, manufacturers boast of a large diameter of the diaphragm, because it is able to move in a single pass a larger volume of air, respectively, increasing returns at low frequencies. And the increase in the mobile mass reduces the resonance frequency of the driver and reduces the lower limit of the reproduced range. The downside of these advantages is the drop in sensitivity due to the increase in the mass of the mobile system and the volume of air being transported, as well as the growth of distortions due to uneven deformations of the diaphragm.

If we reduce the diameter and mass of the radiator, the speed of the system’s response to rapid changes in the signal increases, this is manifested in better articulation of low frequencies and an increase in the resolution at high, fronts of signals is transmitted more clearly, the level of distortion is reduced, since the smaller the diaphragm, the harder it is at the same thickness of the material. In this case, it is possible to obtain sufficiently low and abundant basses if the internal volume of air to which the radiator is loaded is reduced. Therefore, the headphones should have the smallest possible dimensions (accordingly they become lighter, which is also good).

All this is well known to the creators of headphones, but in practice this is realized by only a few. First, because miniaturization requires high-precision equipment and production culture – on the knee in the basement such headphones can not be made. Secondly, the consumer should understand that “more” does not always mean “better”. Even more important is the trust in the brand: we have to believe that the manufacturer knows exactly how to do the technique properly, that he cares about our good, and not about hapnut money faster and get out. To win this trust, it takes many years, but Master & Dynamic did it faster than others: the company was created quite recently, in 2013, but already managed to earn a steady reputation in the US and Western Europe.

The design and shape of the cases for different models are not the same. At ME01 and ME03 cylindrical shells are made of aluminum, but ME03 has an external “apron” of black color – perhaps it was made not only for the sake of decoration, but also because it changes the resonant properties of the case.

Sound

The listening conditions were almost the same as when testing full-size models MH40 and MH30 . Sources: DAC MkII PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII and Schiit Valhalla 2 headphone amplifier, LG V10 smartphone (ESS Saber32 ES9018KM2 Hi-Fi DAC and Saber 9602 headphone amplifier), COWON PLENUE M Hi-Fi player .

The music program is a permanent set of records of different genres (jazz, rock, classical) in standard (16 bit / 44.1 kHz) and high (up to 24 bit / 192 kHz) resolution, in FLAC and DSD. From time to time we add some new items, this time – a fresh album of Alice Cooper “Paranormal” in FLAC 16 bit / 44.1 kHz.

Before the listening we had a warm-up process, but if we usually leave the headphones for a day or more, the Master & Dynamic miniature headphones lasted 3-4 hours: the “sand” on the tops disappeared, the music flow became smooth, and the basses became denser and clearer.

But before that I had to select silicone inserts. We always do this on Billy Wyman’s “Back to Basics” album, which emphasizes the bass (if you remember, Bill is a bass player, so it’s forgivable for him). Alas, none of the calibers of standard nozzles went to the author of this review: because of the shortened waveguides, the headphones did not want to sit tight and constantly fell out. And it happened even with the big nozzles themselves. Because of this, the frequency balance was shifted upwards, and the basses were sorely lacking. I had to look into the “bins of the Motherland” and look for more dense “penki” there. With them, the headphones sat tightly in the auditory canal and held steady, and the frequency returned to normal. Such is the payment for grace and diminutiveness. It seems that owners of compact ears do not threaten all these troubles.

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