High-end headphone manufacturers Master & Dynamic have introduced a new, networked, wireless speaker system that uses Chromecast—the MA770 ($1800). Its innovative for at least two reasons: Each speaker is made out of concrete and weighs 35 pounds, and it’s the first Chromecast speaker that offers the option of stereo pairing—a huge leap forward for the platform!
It’s fitting that a speaker made of concrete would be designed by an architect, in this case Sir David Adjaye who created the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Thanks to its resistance to resonance, concrete is an excellent choice for a speaker enclosure, as long as you don’t mind the weight.
Master & Dynamic notes that the MA770’s enclosure is so effective at damping vibration, it does not transfer acoustical energy to the surface it is placed upon.
Rear view of the MA770.
Dual 4″ Kevlar woofers and a 1.5″ titanium dome tweeter create the sound and get power from a 100-watt class-D amp. According to the speaker description on the Master & Dynamic website, the amp provides three discrete channels of output—one per driver. This speaker comes with a magnetically attached steel grill that complements its aesthetics.
The MA770 features a removable, magnetically attached grill.
The MA770 offers two physical input options, 3.5mm stereo analog and TosLink optical-digital. This is a Chromecast speaker, so it includes dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. When streaming with Google Cast, you can choose to have the speaker operate on its own, as part of a multiroom network, or—in a first for the platform—as a stereo pair.
While it’s certainly interesting to see Google Cast chosen as the multi-room streaming platform for such a premium product, $3600 for a pair of Chromecast speakers is bound to come across as a bit steep. But, take one look at the MA770 and it’s obvious the design is unique, and you clearly pay a premium for that.
I’d love to put a pair of Master & Dynamic MA770 speakers on speaker stands and treat ’em like audiophile bookshelf speakers and give ’em the critical-listening treatment. Barring that, I’ll keep my eyes and ears open and catch a demo when I can. Value judgment aside, I love the ideas embodied by this avant-garde speaker system.