We’re not shy about saying it; we absolutely love beautiful headphones. And by beautiful, we don’t mean plastic cans splashed in colors from every corner of the rainbow. We love when our wired headphones are made from leather and metal, such as the P7 from Bowers & Wilkins and the Momentum line by Sennheiser.
After reviewing Master & Dynamic’s MW60 wireless headphones, we wanted to take a look at the MH30. First introduced in May 2014, these on-ear headphones compliment the MH40, which is designed for over the ear.
But how do they sound? It’s time to find out.
The MH30, like the MW60, are made with premium leather and steel components. The headband exterior surface and earcup insets are heavy grain cowhide while soft, breathable lambskin is used on the headband interior and removable earpads.
The custom drivers are 40mm and made of neodymium, a soft silvery metal while the body is forged aluminum. All metals are anodized or PVD coated. Not to be outdone, each MH30 ships with a removable woven cable that features oxygen-free copper. This cable may be attached to either can.
The MH30 weighs 9.2 ounces (260 grams) and are foldable.
The MH30 is available in the following color combinations: Gunmetal / Black Leather, Silver Metal / Brown Leather, Black Metal / Black Leather, Silver Metal / White Leather, and Gunmetal / Black Alcantara.
It’s been our experience that on-ear headphones aren’t always comfortable, especially when compared to over-the-ear headphones. We felt the same way about the MH30; they felt good to wear, but not great. Subjectively, it looks like the larger your ear, the less likely you’ll like on-ear headphones in general. The same should be said for folks with large heads.
What’s in the box: The MH30 comes with a 3.5/6.3mm gold-plated adapter; 1.25m cable with remote/mic for Apple devices; 2.00m standard cable; canvas headphone case; and leather cable box.
The audio performance on the MH30 headphones is powerful and rich, but you aren’t going to hear a lot of high-res detail here.
The sub-bass experience is best described as intense, with deep lows and articulate highs. At mid-range, the bass response is acceptable with boosted sound. Songs without a lot of bass sound natural and much more well-balanced.
For our tests, we listened to the following songs via Apple Music:
- “Prologue” by Alexandre Desplat, “Birth (Original Score) Soundtrack”
- “Hey Eugene” by Pink Martini, “Hey Eugene!”
- “Wall of Glass” by Don Ross, “Don Ross”
The Bottom Line
Overall, we very much enjoy the MH30 headphones. They look great and offer amazing natural sounds. They aren’t the most comfortable pair of headphones we have reviewed, but that’s what we found with on-ear headphones in general. Consider them among the best in the category on this basis.
When they were first released, a pair of MH30 headphones would have set you back $349. They are lower now, especially on Amazon. Nonetheless, they may still be too much for many.