If there was ever any doubt that video games are a lucrative business, the fact that Master & Dynamic — a company known for its beautifully crafted headphones that sound amazing and cost a small fortune — is introducing its first set of wireless gaming headphones is proof that everyone wants a piece of the action.
Although not a household name amongst most consumers, over the years Master & Dynamic has continually impressed us with headphones that out-class and outperform the offerings from companies like Sony, Bose, and Apple. The Master & Dynamic MW65 on-ear headphones paired excellent noise cancellation and impressive sound with luxe materials, while the Master & Dynamic MW08 wireless earbuds continue to offer a perfect balance of comfort, battery life, ANC, and sound that absolutely thumps in your ear. But they’ll cost you $US500 (A$667) and $US300 (A$400), respectively — price tags that are far from cheap.
It probably comes as no surprise that Master & Dynamic’s first wireless gaming headphones, the MG20, may also be priced well out of what most gamers are willing to pay for headphones. But M&D has packed them with excellent tech and swanky materials to help justify that $US450 (A$600) price tag. The MG20 will apparently be the company’s first headphones to use 50mm Beryllium drivers with support for 7.1 surround sound (or as well as such an experience can be reproduced using just a pair of speakers) as well as the Qualcomm aptX HD codec for listening to music, and aptX Low-Latency to ensure sounds always stay in sync with the action on screen.
An included boom mic can be removed when using the MG20 as regular headphones, while an additional onboard mic still allows users to make and take calls with the boom removed. And instead of buttons or finicky swipe gestures used to control volume, the headphones feature a metal wheel with a knurled finish for volume adjustments.
The most appealing feature of the MG20 gaming headphones is a design that doesn’t make them look like gaming headphones. There’s no glowing LEDs, no animated cat ears, and they’re compact enough in size that when worn you don’t look like you’re guiding 747s to their gate at LAX. Anodized aluminium arms connect to lightweight magnesium earcups with memory foam ear pads that are covered in lambskin. Keep those Doritos and Cheetos-covered fingers away.
Battery life in wireless mode is estimated to be around 22 hours on a single charge, with “on-head detection” used to automatically shut them down when not being worn so you don’t find them dead should you forget to turn them off after a gaming session. But you can also connect them directly to a console or PC over USB to eliminate any latency and ensure the battery never gives out in the heat of simulated battle.