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.

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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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