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The most premium noise cancelling headphones don’t come cheap

With a clean sound, a premium look and feel and some great tech inside, Master & Dynamic’s MW65 wants to be the upmarket choice when it comes to noise cancelling over-ear headphones. But high-end materials only go so far when you’re asking $850.

Offering a high-end, precision made alternative to the most popular audio products is M&D’s thing, whether it’s a brass and titanium set of corded earphones or true wireless buds encased in handcrafted acetate. For the MW65 the New York company has paired cold, beautifully textured anodised aluminium with warm lambskin over memory foam cups and band. While I’m not a big fan of leather personally, the material is certainly much nicer to the touch than the couch-cushion synthetic you find on many headphones.

The MW65 offers noise cancelling and a metal-and-leather construction.

The MW65 offers noise cancelling and a metal-and-leather construction.

The rounded shapes of the cups, joints and grille, along with the glossy linear rails, give the headphones an old-school audio vibe that helps them stand out from the pack. The cups themselves are quite small, which could be a problem for those with big ears, but I found them comfortable for listening sessions of up to a few hours.

Adding to the overall premium sense of the package, the MW65 comes with a lovely soft canvas travel bag and braided cables for 3.5mm connections and USB-C to USB-C charging. There’s also unusually solid-feeling adapters for charging using a standard USB-A port and for plugging into a two prong flight socket.

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