When Japanese design house A Bathing Ape (or BAPE, as creator Nigo’s 1993 streetwear business is commonly known) teamed up with American audio powerhouse Master & Dynamic, it was one of the most anticipated musical collaborations of 2022.
Why? To start, there was nothing bad about the things themselves. Two of the best headphones we’ve tested recently were from M&D: the MG20 wireless gaming headset, which we praised as “where hi-fi meets gaming in a high-end headset,” and the MW08 truly wireless earbuds, which we dubbed “a luxury wireless experience” after extensive evaluation.
The second is that the signature BAPE aesthetic is there and recognizable. In-ear monitors are more comfortable for me, although that could be because I’m a complete gaming noob. I appreciate the generally powerful and unrepentant aesthetic.
Costly, but not dramatically more so than it was before BAPE
The Master & Dynamic x BAPE ‘ABC CAMO’ collection in blue and pink will be available for purchase at Master & Dynamic and in BAPE stores beginning on Saturday, October 29.
The MG20 Gaming Headset and MW08 Active Noise-Cancelling True Wireless Earphones will cost you $499 (or £479 or €539; around AU$770 and AU$539.) and $349 (or £329 or €349), respectively.
It’s true that they’re not cheap, but considering that the MG20 gaming headset usually sells for $449 (£429, approximately AU$625), the price seems reasonable in exchange for BAPE’s formidable look.
Although that’s a ridiculously high price for a gaming headset, Master & Dynamic is a household name in the high-fidelity audio industry, where it’s standard fare.
Take, for example, Master & Dynamic’s MW75 premium over-ears, which were released in June and retail for $599 / £549 / €599, which is extremely pricey no matter how you slice it and is comparable to the asking price of Apple’s AirPods Max, which debuted in December 2020 at $549 / £549 / AU$899.
The MW08 stands out to me due to the intricate design etched onto the silver case. Plus, with 4.5 reviews, you know they are excellent headphones. Incredibly, the earphones can play for up to 12 hours straight on a single charge (with ANC enabled), and the carrying case can charge them an extra three times.
What about the sound? It has a pleasant, toasty quality without being overly syrupy. With these headphones, you won’t experience any fatigue, and the music will have more depth and energy. If you are not sure which songs you should play to test these headphones here you have a list with 21 Best Songs To Test Headphones.
With the new coating, these earbuds are among the best noise-canceling models I’ve encountered this year. As we mentioned before, using the ANC (or ambient) setting has no discernible impact on the sound quality.
The game headset is still a good-looking option, but when it comes to M&D over-ear collaborations, I like the Mercedes-Benz MW65 because they make you look like you belong in an F1 pit crew.
A possible gift idea for the holidays? And maybe (hush) this new BAPE release will inspire some originals to participate in Black Friday sales. In that case, you will be informed immediately.