In our latest feature, we decided to pick the brain of the NYC-based, audio visionary, Jonathan Levine. In just 3 years, he has made his sleek headphone brand, Master & Dynamic, one of the most coveted, technically-advanced and lifestyle-savvy sonic accessories in the game. It’s still early days, and with collabs already under their belt with respected names like Leica and Proenza Schouler, there is a lot more excitement and innovation to come. Read the feature below:
What sets Master & Dynamic apart from other audio brands currently on the market?
We’re here to prove, among other things, that headphones can both look and soundincredible. From wireless headphones made of premium grain leathers and metals to brass earphones to our wireless speaker and collaborations with numerous industry-leading brands, our mission is to innovate in and elevate this category in a way that feels more luxury than audio.
Where are your headphones manufactured and briefly tell us about the design andtesting process for your products?
We pride ourselves on being a New York City-based company. All of our products are designed, developed and tested here, and you can see that in both our choice of colorways and our homage to our hometown – the GPS coordinates of Grand Central Station – found under the left ear cup.
The first thing someone notices about M & D headphones is their sleek and luxurious design – was it always intended for your goods to be seen as luxury products?
Quite simply, yes. At Master & Dynamic, luxury has been a focus from the start, as it goes hand-in-hand with our mission to provide wearers with an unmatched listening experience. Our sound tools are made for the creative journey, and both durability and style are an important part of that. To that end, our MA770 Wireless Speaker is a great example, as the proprietary concrete composite we created gives the product a sense of heft and permanence while also improving the speaker’s sonic qualities.
The company launched in 2014 – only 3 years ago – what would you say has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
This is a tough question, as I’m proud of so many things we’ve done. I would have to say launching our MA770 Wireless Speaker which we co-designed with Sir David Adjaye. It was a dream come true to be able to collaborate with David. We invented a new concrete composite which we cast in a new geometric form. We were told it couldn’t be done, but we did it anyway.
You seem to be very selective with the brands you collaborate with — can you tell us about any collabs you’ve done to date? Also are there any collabs coming in the future you can tell us about?
We’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with so many great brands – and people for that matter – from The Rolling Stones and Leica Camera to Bamford Watch Department, Proenza Schouler and more. Each collab has given us a chance to reexamine our products and to continue to innovate within the audio, design and luxury space. You’ll be seeing even more of this in the near future starting with our collaboration with Italian designer Ermenegildo Zegna.
What would you say is the strongest marketing tool that has helped M & Dbecome the success it is today?
Building a world class brand has been important to us since day one. While we have taken every opportunity to fully control and execute our vision, I would say that word of mouth has been the most powerful marketing tool. We’ve gained fans in diverse communities from the fashion world to audiophiles and thoseworking on Wall Street, and we value the way in which creatives of all types help push the brand forward.
If you could choose any public personality (dead or alive) to be a brand ambassador for your audio tools, who would it be?
As a fan of many musical genres, I’ve come to admire a great deal of artists over the years. Still, few top the legendary Andre 3000, whose creativity and risk-taking inspires us to think bigger and bolder every day. Andre, if you’re reading this, call me!
What surprises/new products can we expect from Master & Dynamic for the Fall/Winter and Holiday seasons?
This Holiday you’ll see some fresh new looks from us and some plays on the classics that Master & Dynamic lovers will see as the new must-haves. You’ll have to stay tuned for our latest launch!
Lastly, what do you see as the overarching evolution of your brand in the next 5-10 years?
Our recent launch into the home audio space was a big step, and going forward you’ll see Master & Dynamic continue to expand and grow our product line, whether it’s tweaking our core products or further branching out. It’s been an exciting three years and we can’t wait to show the world what’s next!
For more on Master & Dynamic, visit their site here.
(Photo Credit of Jonathan Levine: Christopher Struman)