Know Your Sound Tool: MG20 Wireless Gaming Headphones

Know Your Sound Tool: MG20 Wireless Gaming Headphones

In The 10,000’s ongoing Know Your Sound Tool series, we dive deeper into the technical design and engineering behind our audio products. To learn more about the MG20 Wireless Gaming Headphones, we spoke with our product development team about the specific features and design aspects of the gaming headset. We discussed the comfort, minimal design, low-latency audio connection, detachable boom microphone and the finely tuned soundstage unique to the MG20.

What design details and tech specifications were incorporated into the MG20 that are new to the Master & Dynamic product line? 

Gaming headphones are generally very similar to standard headphones except for the following critical differences: A low-latency audio connection for seamless gameplay, a boom microphone for unrelenting noise rejection during chat, and a finely tuned soundstage with optional 7.1 for optimal game reaction time. We consider comfort, sound quality, convenience, and connectivity for all of our products but adding the game-specific tech was a fun and unique challenge.

Physical, on-board controls are a consistent part of the company’s DNA. For the MG20, the challenge was to integrate a full range of controls in a functional and seamless way. Where we could have opted for touch sensor controls, we used aluminum scroll wheels and buttons to provide tactile feedback and instant response every time. 

Why were specific materials like Alcantara® and magnesium chosen, and what are some of the key benefits?

Alcantara® is an Italian-made vegan suede leather alternative that is often found in luxury sports cars due to it being highly durable and having a great hand-feel. We selected Alcantara® over our typical leather as we found it provided improved on-head grip while gaming, where exaggerated head movements are more common than while listening to music.

Magnesium was another unique material choice that we are excited about. We opted for magnesium over our traditional aluminum for its beneficial “Specific Strength” and “Acoustic Damping” properties. With all of the added tech in the MG20, magnesium was one of the creative ways we found to reduce weight while enhancing acoustics.

What inspired the minimalist design of the MG20? Did the Product Team draw inspiration from any unusual sources or materials?

The MG20 is defined by what we did include as much as what we did not. For this design, we took the idea of a “sound tool” literally. The MG20 is inspired by professional equipment like helicopter pilots’ headsets and military gear, objects that are highly functional and only include what’s necessary. 

One of our goals was to design a gaming headphone that one could wear anywhere - not just while gaming. The minimalist design and removable boom mic make the MG20 a perfect headphone not only for gamers, but for anyone who is looking for a sophisticated sound tool with great microphone performance. 

Comfort is key to the MG20. What specific features do the headphones include to ensure unrivaled comfort during extended gameplay? 

Headphone comfort is a balance between headphone weight, headband design, clamping force, and ear cup size. Magnesium is a perfect choice for the MG20 because it is 33% lighter than aluminum and is relatively easy to machine, allowing us to construct most of the ear cup structure from one piece of magnesium instead of separate components. 

Keeping in mind what we know about headband architecture, we applied a unique padding pattern on the underside of the MG20 headband. The “pillowed” structure distributes weight across the head and avoids pressure points.

Clamping force is the amount of inward pressure the headphones apply to your head via the ear pads. Too little force and the headphones won’t have good audio performance and will not fit correctly. Too much force and they become painful to wear. Considering the weight of the MG20, we dialed in the clamping force to balance great acoustics with comfort while ensuring the headphones remain firmly in place. 

The ear cups are also larger on MG20 than our prior headphone designs. Larger ear cups provide a better soundstage as well as distribute force over a larger area on the head, resulting in optimal acoustics and comfort.

The versatility of the MG20 is unmatched. What are the benefits of having built-in dual microphones and a detachable boom mic? 

The dual (beam forming) on-board microphones have great voice pick-up performance, however nothing rivals the boom microphone when it comes to clarity and noise reduction. We designed the MG20 to seamlessly switch from the boom to the dual built-in microphones so users can confidently wear the MG20 when traveling.

A sense of immersion is crucial to both gamers and listeners. What about the MG20’s acoustics create this immersive experience?

A key performance objective for the MG20’s acoustic design was to have a super wide and accurate soundstage. The custom 50mm beryllium driver is uniquely angled, which disperses acoustic energy more than a smaller and flat driver would. A wide soundstage equals more immersion. The right and left ear cups are also phase and level matched. This preserves the game sound designer’s intent. Lastly, the MG20 has optional surround sound that uses proprietary DSP algorithms to create a wider soundstage. Many gamers find this crucial for detecting critical movements in a game.

How is the MG20 gaming headset different from wireless headphones with a separate microphone? 

Prior to the launch of the MG20, many loyal Master & Dynamic customers who are gaming enthusiasts were using our non-gaming headphones with an external boom microphone. The problem with these DIY solutions is that they aren’t optimized for gaming and lack key features like a low-latency wireless connection and connection versatility. 

Compromising on audio quality, build quality, seamlessness, and versatility shouldn’t be necessary for a great gaming audio setup. With the MG20, we took our audio expertise and combined it with our best microphone array to date, plus on-board controls and low-latency connectivity. The result is a purpose-built gaming headphone that doesn’t compromise on audio performance.  

MG20 Wireless Gaming Headphones in Galactic White
MG20 Wireless Gaming Headphones in Galactic White
MG20 Wireless Gaming Headphones in Black Onyx
MG20 Wireless Gaming Headphones in Black Onyx
The MG20 features a detachable boom microphone and on-board microphones perfect for both gaming and listening.
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