M&D: Naturally, we gave our headphones a specific sound profile. We gathered tons of amps and headphones and loaded up our favourite music. Our first job was to pinpoint the sound we wanted. Then we could define what we didn’t want. Like, we didn’t want a sound that was too close like your ears were being smothered. When those two things were done, we went out to create the sound we wanted.
We spent hours upon hours upon hours tweaking this, and modifying that; we don’t want our headphones to be defined as genre headphones. What we do want is a warm rich sound that makes music feel live and alive. I think we achieved that.
HFN: What other unique things have you brought to the market?
M&D: We are obsessed the interaction between sound and creativity. We want to help people be creative. No one else positions themselves this way. We focus on timelessness and the interaction between the human and the hardware he or she is hooked up to. Our headphones help create a creative space and that, in turn, helps people to unleash creativity.
I guess you could say that we want to aid the connection people feel between their music and what they do and make. That is one of the reasons our headphones isolate well. People need to be able to tune out the sound around them out so they can do the best work possible.
HFN: How many Bothans died in the procuring of the strange three-pronged screw heads under the leather ear pads?
M&D: 8 Bothans died- a number which gets no such pleasure from us. But on a ratio per headset, we feel it was worth the sacrifice.
HFN: Okay, this is a question directed at each of you. What is the most important thing in a headphone for you?
Scott: Definitely how a headphone feels when they first go on.
Drew: Holistic design. A lot of stuff out there focuses on one thing and one thing only. Very technical but no flare, no time spent on detail. I think a headphone should punch all the necessary buttons.
Matt: Definitely how they sound? Music is such a huge part of my life. I listen to it all the time: on the subway, when walking, studying, and working, I’m always listening to it. I’m one of those vinyl guys. I track various parts of my life to the music I was listening at the time. Music really moves me.
HFN: I just thought of this: if you had to listen to one album forever, until you died, what would it be?
Scott: LCD Soundsystem “This Is Happening”
Drew: Andrew Byrd “Break It Yourself”
Matt: B.B. King & Kings of Electric Blues “Live at the Regal”
HFN: Do you think MH40/30 should meet the standards of the most finicky heads out there?
M&D: We are shortening the headband so that the MH40 should fit even the smallest heads comfortably. That done, our headphones will be really comfortable on any head out there.
HFN: Why are you so concentrated on creatives?
M&D: As we move into a society where work spaces open up, we think that creative people will most enjoy our stuff. Our headphones help them tune out sundry conversations in collaborative work spaces around them and tune into their work. We designed our headphones to meet our needs. We are creating something for people like us. We are our demographic. And we think that everyone wants to be creative. And we want our phones to be part of the toolset that enables their creativity.
The other thing is that focus is paramount. If you start with intent, you can focus. By targeting a demographic, we were able to storyboard what we want, and sift out the stuff that we didn’t. We could really hone in on the problems we wanted to solve. And we want to make stuff that really connects to our customers. We want customers to return. It is kind of a Leica approach, where relationship and focusing on the long-term trumps a lot of other stuff.
After thanking the lads, I signed off, poured myself a vodka, and tuned into some of my favourite tunes. Indeed, the MH40 do give off a warm, live sound; it is nuanced, smooth, and punchy where needed. Stay tuned for HFN’s full review.