Best-Sounding Wireless Earbuds in 2023: Get Top Sound Quality – CNET

Master & Dynamic’s earlier MW07 and MW07 Plus delivered top-notch sound for true wireless, but they were a little lacking in the features department and weren’t so great for making calls. The MW08 offer some significant improvements, including the addition of solid noise canceling and call quality, that make them one of the top models for 2023. Alas, they’re expensive at $299 (the more durable MW08 Sport, which sounds the same, is $349).

Battery life has improved a bit (up to around 12 hours of battery life at 50% volume versus 10 hours for the MW07 Plus), and the earbuds are equipped with Bluetooth 5.2, active noise cancellation with three microphones on each earbud (noise reduction during calls isn’t up to the level of the AirPods Pro, but overall call quality has improved). The noise canceling on the MW07 Plus was pretty weak; the MW08’s is much more effective.

You can opt for two levels of noise cancellation in the new M&D Connect app for iOS and Android, as well as two levels of transparency that lets you hear the outside world. The app currently has no way to tweak the sound profile (I’m OK with that because the sound profile is just fine for my tastes), and the earbuds have a physical button on each bud to control playback, not touch controls.

The earbuds may not fit everyone’s ear equally well, but they certainly have a distinct look, as well as excellent sound and a great listening experience if you can get a tight seal. (I was able to get a secure fit with the largest tip.) They deliver more of an audiophile sound profile, with smooth, well-balanced sound and well-defined bass. This model has new 11mm drivers, which add a bit of punch to the bass and a touch better clarity. The MW08 works well with all genres of music.

Available in a variety of color options for $300, like their predecessors, the MW08 includes a swanky stainless-steel charging case (it charges via USB-C) that’s compact but carries more weight than your typical buds cases. I prefer the matte finishes of the cases that come with the black and blue versions, and you also get a secondary pouch for safekeeping. (Yes, the charging case can get scratched up if you leave it in a bag.)

The MW08s now support both the aptX and AAC audio codecs, with an extended range of more than 20 meters, according to Master & Dynamic. They have an IPX5 rating (splash-proof), and multipoint Bluetooth pairing, so you can simultaneously pair them with two devices.