Master & Dynamic x BAPE are the best gaming earphones and headsets of 2022

Master & Dynamic have collaborated with Japanese fashion brand A Bathing Ape (or BAPE, as founder Nigo’s streetwear label is commonly called in 1993) and I think this is one of the most exciting audio partnerships of 2022.

Why? First, the products were great to start with. The M&D headphones in question include the excellent MW08 true wireless headphones, which we called “a luxury wireless experience” under extensive review, and the talented MG20 wireless gaming headset, which we believe was “where the hi -fi meets gaming in a high-end headset” after testing them rigorously.

Second, the BAPE design language is there and it is unmistakable. Personally, I prefer headphones (but then I’m a novice gamer at best). The aesthetic is generally strong and unapologetic, and I love everything about it.

Opinion: expensive, but not much more than before the BAPE

Master & Dynamic x BAPE helmet in pink and blue, on a white background

(Image credit: Master & Dynamic (BAPE))

The Master & Dynamic x BAPE collection in blue and pink ‘ABC CAMO’ will be available from Saturday October 29 to be purchased exclusively from Master & Dynamic (opens in a new tab) and in BAPE stores (opens in a new tab).

The MG20 gaming headset and MW08 True Wireless active noise canceling headphones will retail for $499 / £479 / €499 and $349 / £329 / €349 respectively (roughly AU$770 for the gaming headset and AU$539 for headphones).

OK, so they’re not cheap – but this is Master & Dynamic we’re talking about, and given that the MG20 gaming headset regularly sells for $449 (£429, around AU$625), it’s is a relatively small price to pay for BAPE’s terrific aesthetic. Yes, this price is almost unheard of for a gaming headset, but Master & Dynamic is a well-known name in hi-fi circles, where this sort of award is not uncommon.

Case in point: Master & Dynamic’s premium MW75 earbuds, June issue, which arrived at a price of $599 / £549 / €599, i.e. very expensive, but by that we mean as expensive as the Launch price of Apple’s AirPods Max (which arrived in December 2020, with an application fee of $549 / £549 / AU$899).

For me, the star here is the MW08, as I’m really drawn to that engraving on the silver case. And, at four and a half stars, they’re talented headphones. Battery life is an exceptional 12 hours of playtime for the headphones (it’s with ANC), with the case providing three additional charges, for a total operating time of 42 hours.

And the sound? It’s a bit hot but friendly rather than sickening. These buds never seem tiring and there’s a feeling of body and verve no matter what music you’re listening to.

For me, the new finish makes them some of the best noise-canceling headphones I’ve seen this year – and as we said in our review, the ANC (or ambient, for that matter) rollout has no noticeable effect on sound quality.

The gaming headset is always a looker, but for over-ear M&D collaborations, I’m always all about the Mercedes-Benz MW65, which makes you feel like part of an F1 crew.

One for the Christmas list, perhaps? And (whisper it) could the originals be involved in a few Black Friday deals because of this new version of the BAPE? If this happens, you will be the first informed.

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