Master & Dynamic ME-05

Custom-tuned and acoustically lively in-ear brass headphones

Image: Hugh Threlfall

When I mentioned to an audio engineer that these in-ear headphones from Master & Dynamic are made of brass, he pulled an exaggeratedly baffled face. “That’s what bells are made of. Don’t they just clang?” It’s a fair question. Speakers and headphones are usually made of sonically dull materials so they don’t create any unwanted sound courtesy of their own clanginess. That’s why plastic works well.


But brass the M&D ME-05s are – and bold to boot. They are quite lively acoustically, but not in a hyper-resonant, bell-like way. And while I normally prefer something more sonically neutral, I found these in-ears, with their custom-tuned 8mm titanium-coated drivers, highly enjoyable. They are also quite beautiful, being extremely well crafted and finished. At first I thought the ME-05s, with all their weighty hand-polished brass, might be the kind of in-ear phones that would fall straight out of my somewhat dainty ears. But no. Although they are an odd shape, they stay in well.

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