Generally, audio quality and fashion are polar opposites in the headphone world. I won’t name names, but many of the hip and expensive brands simply can’t produce audio that’s representative of their price. So what can these golden headphones do?
Drivers: 8mm titanium
Impedance: 16 ohms
Where to buy: Master & Dynamic
These earphones are made out of solid brass with silicone ear tips. As you can imagine, these will attract dirt. Master & Dynamic includes a polishing cloth to keep the brass looking like a mirror.
Out of the earphones extends a tangle free flat cable. They have a remote and mic, but not in the same unit as on earphones. The mic is a separate piece closer to the mouth for better audio quality, and the remote is below at the junction of the two cables. The remote is a sexy metal cylinder with three rubber buttons inside. The mic housing and the 3.5mm plug are also metal.
Much like Master & Dynamic’s other products, these earphones are built to an impeccable standard. The materials used are fantastic. The brass bodies shine like a mirror and are beautifully designed. The cables are smooth rubber and are of high quality and feel rugged. The metal bodies used for the plug, remote, and mic feel absolutely fantastic.
It should be noted that the remote is, as customary for most earphones, made for Apple devices. The mic and center button will work fine with Android devices but the volume buttons won’t work. I wish they offered an Android version, but no luck.
The earphones come in a round leather box. The top layer has the earphones displayed in foam, though I could never wrap them the same way again. Underneath is three extra sizes of ear tips for a total of four sizes, along with an extra set of filters. Also included is the aforementioned polishing cloth, a cable clip, and a canvas carrying bag.
The ME05s are very comfortable, especially considering their weight. A testament to the quality of design is the weight of the brass bodies. They’re heavy, which should make them uncomfortable in the ear. However, they’re balanced in a way that causes them to rest in the ear comfortably.
I’ve mentioned before that I have strange ears and most earphones don’t create a proper seal. But thanks to the four sizes of ear tips (and me having to use two different sizes), I was able to get a good seal and for the earphones to stay in. To my surprise, the brass bodies and metal remote did not cause any pulling or discomfort.
This is where the earphones will either impress or fall short, depending on the person. For regular consumers, they’re likely to shine. But those into good audio likely won’t be too impressed.
The sound quality is excellent, with no distortion until you’re hitting really high volumes. The highs are clear and the bass is impressive and sharp. The amount of bass is quite good for their size, and it packs a good punch.
However, they’re extremely colored. The bass is prominent and the highs are overboosted and borderline shrill. For some, this becomes unpleasant at high volumes. For others, this will create the feeling of detail and depth to music. I think they’re simply far too bright out of the box.
With a little EQ work, you can make them sound far more balanced (and can add a good bit more bass). There’s only so much you can do, but even folks into high end audio can appreciate these earphones when properly set up. The difference is quite big!
It all depends on what you enjoy. Do you love reference audio? These may not be for you (although even audiophiles often own “fun” headphones). Are you just a music lover looking for a great sounding pair of earphones? These very well may be for you.
Master & Dynamic really makes products that are special. They’re masterfully built and both look and feel great. The golden mirror shine is simply beautiful, and grabbing that metal remote is a pleasure.
The audio quality may not be for everyone (especially with the $199 price point that many audio enthusiasts aim for), but they definitely do sound great and very clean. They’re worth the price tag if just for the build quality, but they won’t disappoint once in your ears. If you do buy them though, fire up an equalizer. They’ll impress even more when tuned right.