Montblanc may be best known for its luxury pens and watches, but the company has slowly edged into tech via high-end smartwatches, and is now taking that one step further with the MB 01 headphones.
Announced alongside the Summit 2+ smartwatch, the MB 01 headset offers an over-ear design and active noise cancellation that’s clearly intended to rival the likes of the Bose Headphones 700 or Sony WH-1000XM3.
On paper the specs are similar – Bluetooth 5.0, aptX Adaptive codec support, Google Assistant integration, and 20-hour battery life (with USB-C charging). The sound profile has been designed with the support of Audeze co-founder Alex Rosson, so sound should be solid, especially with the ANC factored in. Of course, the big question is whether Montblanc’s noise cancellation can match Bose or Sony’s, each of which has the benefit of years spent refining the tech.
Of course, this wouldn’t be Montblanc without a luxury twist. That comes in the MB 01’s build quality, combining genuine sheep leather on the earcups and headband with real metal to finish. That makes for some seriously comfy cans – they sit tightly around the ears (which should help that noise cancellation along) but still feel light, and the metal frame feels like it should be able to take a beating.
Of course, all that comes at a price, and it shouldn’t surprise you to know that the MB 01 headphones won’t be cheap. Montblanc told us they’ll cost $595 – almost double anything in our best headphones ranking – so these will really only be for those willing to pay extra for luxury touches, as Montblanc moves to position itself as a lifestyle brand for high-end travellers who aren’t looking for the luxury pick.
The MB 01 should be available later this month, in a choice of three finishes: black/silver, cream/silver, and brown/gold.