Every time we’ve reviewed an M&D product, we’ve been in awe of its quality. Producing premium-quality audio peripherals is one of the multiple things M&D has been consistent with. The brand has a similar thread running through its product line. They’re all coated in high-quality leather and metal and are as minimal in design as possible. Sometimes, the company collaborates with celebrities and athletes to produce an exceptionally flashy device. But generally, M&D keeps it simple and classy.
What’s in the Box?
Unlike the MW60’s packaging, where M&D showed the full extent of their generosity, the MW08 comes with fairly simple accessories. Only what is required is added and the materials are also sufficiently good instead of being exceedingly fancy. There is a plain cardboard box hosting four extra eartips of varying sizes, a rubber charging cable, an adapter, an instruction manual and a carrying pouch. The instruction manual has instructions in several languages except for, unfortunately, English. The carrying pouch has a magnetic closing and a layer of padding stuffed within its fabric.
MW08 made some significant changes as compared to its predecessors. Firstly, M&D final let go of its flat carry case design and introduces a deep case, similar to what you get with Apple’s Airpods. Because of the deep socket, it’s much easier to plug the earbuds in. They plop in easily and quickly attach to the magnets and pogo pins embedded inside the case. Though the improved carry case design is appreciated, it would have been better if M&D would have listened to our complaints of its cases being covered in fingerprints within a few seconds. Stainless steel carry cases, like the one in the MW07 Plus, are aesthetically impressive but tend to get dirty way too fast.
M&D brings other significant changes to the MW08 brings in its earbud design. Bulky earbuds with acetate exteriors and wing fins were a few features that were typical to M&D earbuds. In the MW08, M&D introduces ceramic exteriors, an aluminum frame and no wing fins. The size of the earbud is also smaller in comparison, so the common complaint about M&D’s earbuds being bulky in size has been resolved in this model. Unlike previous models with marble patterns on their exterior, this one isn’t as flashy. After producing a number of similar-looking earbuds, it’s nice of M&D to finally offer some variety, in terms of both aesthetics and size.
Navigation and Ergonomics
I believe the navigation on the MW08 has a lot to do with the size of your hands. There are tiny physical buttons on the earbud that I could easily work. But anyone with hands bigger than mine would definitely have a problem toggling its switches. Personally, I detest touch-enabled controls on earbuds because of how complex navigation can get. There’s a certain pressure you have to apply and a single misstep can mess things up. With physical controls, there’s no need to learn things like tapping pressure and duration, due to which navigation gets a lot faster and simpler.
The MW08 hosts a multi-function button that’s used to play/pause, skip tracks and enable voice assistance. On the other bud, there’s a volume rocker that’s used to switch between ANC and ambient mode apart from its primary function.
M&D has never disappointed in terms of fit. Its earbuds have always been light and comfortable. But in the age of striving for polarizing design, M&D’s big chunks aren’t always appreciated. As mentioned above, the brand resolves the issue by reducing some of that bulk and making the bud considerably smaller and lighter. The absence of fins also removes some of the excess that make the buds look heavy and unmanageable. I had the MW08 on for quite a few hours and also did some yoga wearing them. Their well-designed body offered me a secure fit and stayed glued to my ears at all times.
MW08’s battery turned out to be one of its biggest USPs for me. The company advertised a total of 42 hours of battery life. And this didn’t turn out to be an exaggeration at all. On a single charge from the case, I got around 11 hours without ANC on and around nine hours with ANC on. I played games, listened to music, podcasts and took pretty long calls. And went for days without charging the carry case.
Even with ANC on, you get to choose between two modes on M&D’s companion app: All Day ANC and Max ANC. Max ANC reduces your battery life by a little. However, it still gives the MW08 a sizeable advantage in terms of battery as compared to other contemporary wireless earbuds. M&D hasn’t jumped on the wireless charging bandwagon yet, so you would have to reach for a socket and the USB-C cable to replenish carry case.
Just like the MW08 has two modes for ANC, it does for Ambient Mode as well. The Improved Awareness of Conversations mode is supposed to emphasize ambient sound, and the Awareness mode is for general, all-day use. I believe comparing the former to Max ANC and the latter to All Day ANC is a fair comparison. While it is thoughtful of the company to put effort in so many modes, I didn’t really feel a significant difference in the two ambient modes. Both of them highlighted background sounds by almost the same extent. However, as long as the negligible difference doesn’t do any harm, there is nothing worth critiquing here. If you’re not a fan of it, don’t use it.
The ANC on these buds is insanely impressive. It was almost shocking how well it muted even those elements in the background that I wasn’t expecting to be muted. For instance, I was expecting a 70-80% noise reduction in the sound of the washing machine. But what I got was a full 100%. The sound of three people conversing in the same room as me was considerably muted as well. I was expecting more from the Max ANC, but similar to the case with Ambient Sound modes, the difference was negligible.
I refused to believe I don’t have over-ear headphones on while using the MW08. That is how brilliant the bass on these in-ear earbuds are. Tweaked to just the perfect level, the bass wasn’t too overbearing as well. It had the ideal amount of intensity to it; I could feel it in my throat but it didn’t overpower all the other parts of the soundstage. Similarly, the treble is kept proportionate to other elements and isn’t overly emphasized to the extent where it starts sounding tinny.
The sound profile is tactile, so you can make out every part of the percussion and the vocals separately and clearly. All the elements have dimension and depth to them, it’s like you can assign each of them a place and size. Both earbuds are capable of being used separately, so there’s no obligation to wear both of them.
The MW08 comes with a companion app which, like most companion apps, doesn’t provide anything of much value. It has timer settings, the option to switch between modes and battery level updates. There are no EQ settings, nor any presets to enhance sound profile. I would’ve liked to see the full potential of the sound on these buds with an app that actually added value. But I’m not disappointed with the buds’ current audio.
The MW08 is definitely pricey, but this is going to be more of an investment than a purchase. If you’re into premium devices and want a long-term solution, these earbuds won’t disappoint.
Is It Hardcore?
MW08’s new and improved ergonomics, insane battery life and brilliant sound profile thoroughly impressed me. The buds offer more than they promise.