CREDIT: Courtesy Master & Dynamic
One of the great things about entrepreneurs is that they solve problems many people don’t even realize exist. (As Steve Jobs said, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”)
Take Jonathan Levin, the founder and CEO of Master & Dynamic, a headphone and sound tools company. Jonathan’s goal was to fill the gap between premium headphones that focus on style (like Beats) and headphones that provide exceptional audio quality.
In classic entrepreneurial “and” fashion, he chose not to compromise. He decided to do both.
And he definitely pulled it off.
Keep in mind I have zero fashion sense. I almost always wear jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers. But I can tell when a product looks great — and Master & Dynamic’s Greene Street collection looks great. Greene Street is an olive, camo and black makeover for M & D’s line of over ear, wireless over ear, and wireless on-ear headphones.
Also keep in mind I’m not a high-end audio equipment reviewer. I don’t seek out an extra percent or two in, say, midrange performance. (I’m not sure I would know if I found it.) I don’t scour technical reports for relative noise canceling properties. I don’t quibble over the difference between forged aluminum and stainless steel (although these headphones use both.)
I just want headphones that sound great and are comfortable to wear.
And if, like me, that’s what you want… try the MW50 headphones. The MW50 is an on-ear headphone that features detachable lambskin ear pads for easy cleaning, stainless steel components, and a forged aluminum body. (In short, there’s almost no plastic.)
They have dual omni-directional microphones that work surprisingly well, especially in a noisy office environment. They look great, they stand up well to being carried in a backpack or dropped on the floor (even if you don’t keep them in the cool bag provided), and they sound great.
I wear them to listen to music and podcasts, and I also wear them when I do podcasts or radio interviews. The ear pads do a great job of canceling out external noise, and the mic does a solid job of canceling out ambient noise.
That means I can focus, and callers aren’t distracted: Win-win.
Like many entrepreneurs, Levine is also willing to put his money where his mouth is: Headphones can be returned within fourteen days of purchase if you’re not satisfied, and the two-year warranty is double the typical time period for the industry.
A few other notes. The rechargeable battery life is outstanding; I’ve gone seventeen hours between charges, which is longer than advertised. The headpiece can be shaped to fit even the lumpiest head (mine.) The lambskin ear pads are soft and comfortable and don’t result in “ear fatigue” caused by other headphones I’ve worn. If you don’t want to go wireless, an included cable turns them into passive headphones. And if you’re into cool packaging, you’ll love theirs. (I realize packaging has nothing to do with product performance, but the attention to packaging detail does inspire confidence that the products are just as thoughtfully engineered.)
And where appearance is concerned, if you prefer a trendy look, the Greene Street collection may fit the bill perfectly. (And if you appreciate a classic vibe, check out the standard versions. (After all, classy is always on-trend.)
If you like great products, and you like supporting other entrepreneurs — and if you don’t, you should — give the Master & Dynamic MW50 headphones a try. (Check out their Black Friday through Cyber Monday deals: From Friday through Monday you can get 20% off site-wide, and each day there will be an additional deal for a different product.)
Levine clearly didn’t just create a product he could sell. He spent considerable time and effort creating a product he could love.
And I think you will, too.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.