If you had to imagine what the first Apple active noise-cancellation wireless headphones would look like, the Montblanc MB01 would probably be pretty close that image. Both in terms of design and price! The famous brand of luxury products (especially pens) made its first Bluetooth headphones, the Montblanc MB01, official. Here are all the details.
These headphones with active noise cancellation are at the very top-of-the-range for a consumer model. Remember, we're not talking about studio-quality headphones for professional producers here. The Montblanc MB01 is primarily aimed at people who travel a lot (and therefore have the financial means to do so) with an aluminum design that is supposed to offer better comfort thanks to its lightness. The Montblanc MB01 are an over-ear design, so the earcups cover your ears completely. The manufacturer even brings a little touch of luxury with the integration of real sheepskin.
€600 for consumer headphones is a lot of money
The brand promises beautiful ergonomics with the Montblanc MB01, which fold easily to be transported without worry, as you would expect after spending €600 on a pair of these. But what's most interesting is that they offer active noise cancellation, more than 20 hours of battery life, Bluetooth 5.0 and support for aptX and AAC audio codecs as well as cVc (Qualcomm's technology for noise reduction).
Three physical buttons on the side allow to control playback, calls and Google Assistant. An iOS or Android application is there to help set up the headphones, but it doesn't do software updates. With the reading of the technical data sheet being finished, we can now try to digest that exorbitant price.
The design of the Montblanc MB01 is really classy and refined. It's a product of noble appearance. In short, these headphones could very well have been imagined by Jony Ive, Apple's illustrious ex-designer, and the top of the range of consumer headsets is experiencing a general price increase. We could see it with the Bose Headphones 700, sold at €400 since August 2019, while the average was €300 for this type of product previously.
But that's kind of the problem, we're talking about headphones for the general public. Montblanc is not a Hi-Fi brand, offering a sound for the most demanding audiophiles. Support for aptX and AAC codecs is pretty basic for a wireless headset, they are not HD codecs. The battery life of over 20 hours is also pretty average for headphones sold at half the price.
Of course, it's the brand and design that you pay for. And these Montblanc MB01s have the technical specifications to be a very good pair of headphones. But at €600, one could still expect something a little more exciting than a good or even average technical data sheet and a sheepskin lining (not even vegan on top of that).
We have just received our review pair in our editorial office in Berlin, so stay tuned for a full review coming soon.