We’ve all seen products that fall into the “for the person who has it all” category. They’re usually far more expensive than other choices, yet they still manage to become objects of desire through sheer design and quality of materials.
This is the only way you can even begin to justify the $119 that Master & Dynamic (M&D) asks for its MC300 headphone stand.
Yep, it’s a headphone stand. From a purely functional point of view, if you just need a way to keep your cans handy yet neatly organized, the MC300 is complete and total overkill. There are dozens of headphone stands on Amazon for under $20 that will let you hang your headphones — especially if your cans are wired. But, if you’re a wireless audio fan, you don’t just need a place to hang your headphones, you need to be able to charge them, too. And if your headphone stand can also wirelessly charge your earbuds and your phone? That’s beginning to sound like a pretty good solution.
The MC300 — which comes in your choice of polished silver or black aluminum — does all of these things, and its ultra-minimalist design is destined to appeal to fans of modernist architecture who value simplicity and an almost total absence of adornment. In fact, the MC300’s simplicity was what drew me to it in the first place. I wanted a stand that would disappear when taking headphone review photos. My previous choice, the Avantree Universal Headphone Stand, which you can see in this review of the M&D MH40 Wireless Headphones, felt too distracting.
The one-piece stainless steel stand arm plugs into the thin base by pressing down on the knurled collar, after which it can freely rotate 360 degrees. Just don’t go crazy — the stand is perfectly suited to hanging even very heavy headphones without tipping, but only when the arm hangs the cans directly over the base. The farther away it swings, the less stable it gets.
The top of the tubular stand arm has a flat cutout, which is wide enough to accommodate even a pair of Apple AirPods Max , which has one of the widest bands in the wireless headphones world. I imagine there’s some debate about whether a narrow steel rod is going to deform your headphone band’s cushion over time (versus a wider, curved holder), and maybe there’s some merit to that. But I seriously doubt you’d be able to feel such a change, given how small the area is.
The base of the stand doubles as a Qi-compatible wireless charger with an invisible Apple MagSafe-compatible magnetic connection. If you’re a MagSafe maven, this one feature might be enough to woo you — after considerable searching, the only other MagSafe headphone stand I could find is this $80 Satechi 2-in-1 Headphone Stand. A tiny LED on the front tells you the charging status: solid white for charged or idle, pulsing white for charging, and red when you’ve placed a non-Qi product (or misaligned a Qi product) on the base.
M&D has given it a heat sink-like design on the bottom to help it dissipate heat more efficiently. There’s a USB-C input to connect the base to a wall adapter and a USB-C output for charging wired devices. The intent is to use the output for your wireless headphones — a short USB-C cable is provided for doing so — but you could use it for a phone or any other device that needs power. A convenient magnetic cable clamp keeps it affixed to the stand arm when not in use. A longer, 1-meter (about 40 inches) USB-C cable is also included to plug the stand into a power source.
Speaking of power sources, this brings me to my one and only real critique of the MC300. For $119, this thing should absolutely come with a top-notch USB-C power adapter. Not only because of the price, but also because it takes the right kind of adapter to get the most out of the headphone stand.
Both the UBS-C output and the charging pad have different levels of power depending on the wall adapter you use. With a 5 volt/3 amp or 9 volt/2 amp adapter, the charging pad runs at 5 watts and the USB-C output runs at 10 watts. That’s OK, but not great. You need a 9 volt/3 amp adapter to get these connections to run at their maximum power: 10 watts for the pad and 15 watts for the wired output — and even that is still shy of the best wireless and wired charging levels (15 watts/40 watts respectively). The trouble is, 9V/3A USB power supplies aren’t all that common.
Is the M&D MC300 headphone stand and wireless charger worth $119? On the one hand, it’s hard to argue that it is, especially when you look at similar products on the market like that Satechi 2-in-1 above. On the other hand, when you take into account the MC300’s undeniably sleek, minimalist design, its top-notch materials, its MagSafe-compatible wireless charger, and its ability to charge two devices at up to 10 watts/15 watts each, it might just be the only headphone stand in its class — at any price.
And hey, if you can justify dropping $599 on M&D’s awesome MW75 wireless headphones, and a further $349 on the equally excellent M&D MW08 Sport wireless earbuds, the MC300 is really just a 12% add-on. Yup, I don’t just write about audio products, I’m also a master rationalizer when it comes to buying them.