Why the CEO of Master & Dynamic is Always Trying to Do Better

Master & Dynamic, finds inspiration in the most interesting places, and in one scenario, in the elevator of Soho House.

Levine saw a pair of luxurious white, puffy, corduroy heels and asked the woman if he could take a quick photo of them.

She asked him if he was a shoe designer. He said no. She asked him if he had a fetish. He jokingly said, maybe.

Christopher Sturman

Co-Founder and CEO of Master & Dynamic, Jonathan Levine

“ I think I have what people would call a good eye. Certain things make me think, ‘That would be cool on a headphone, or that would be interesting as a speaker.’ And I’ll just take a photo and make a mental note,” says Levine.

It’s the same wherever he goes, whether at the Concourse d’Elegance car show in Pebble Beach admiring the vintage automobiles while noting the leather covered exterior of a vintage Bentley, or walking through Connelly, a luxury retail store in London, set in a townhouse, renowned for providing the highest quality finished leathers to Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Rolls Royce. He’s busy making visual notes, observing how things are styled, noting construction details, and thinking about how it could help make his products better.

It’s this restless pursuit of challenging himself and his team to do better each time, to innovate, to push further, that makes his products lauded and coveted by audiophiles, musicians, producers, designers, sound engineers, influencers, celebrities, athletes, and editors who appreciate the high performance sound and meticulous design quality of their headphones.

Levine described one of his proudest moments was when a well known producer of popular songs approached him and mentioend that his music never sounded so good than on a pair of Master & Dynamic headsets. He also informed Levine that other well known professional musicians, sound engineers, and music producers had started replacing their own recording studio headsets with Master & Dynamic’s designs.

“I’m not in the sound production business, but rather in the sound reproduction business,” says Levine. “ I want to make sure the sound is as close to what the artist wanted it to be.”

The idea of launching a premium audio brand came from Levine’s own ­­­sons, who are avid music fans. Noticing their less-than-impressive audio equipment, Levine set out to design a premium headphone that would be engineered for peak performance, constructed with the finest and durable materials, and designed with the highest aesthetics.

Launched in 2014 with co-founder, Vicki Gross, Master & Dynamic opened its headquarters in New York City where the designers and engineering teams experiment with new products and innovations at their in house lab. There was an in house recording studio as well.

The premium audio company is a new foray for Levine, the entrepreneur, whose background hails from a stint at Wall Street, and then built a career in the mass production of consumer goods nationwide. As a novice in the audio and luxury world, Levine brought the know how of building the back office support system including building a sales team, working with logistic companies and manufacturers and applied it to his new business model of creating an international brand.

In the three years since the company’s launch, Master & Dynamic’s recognition has been global and widespread being carried in 500 stores such Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Selfridge’s in London, and boasting celebrity fans. Levine even created a special pair for a famous vegan musician.

“We’re constantly working  to support our e-commerce and retail partners. We try to find other avenues of growth that’s on brand and brand building,” says Levine.

Recent collaborations with like-minded brands that share personal “synergies”, according to Levine, and carry the same craftsmanship and legacy to their identity have proven successful at expanding the world of Master & Dynamic beyond the scope of audio. Partnerships with Leica, the Rolling Stones, GQ, and their first wireless speaker designed by the British architect, Sir David Adjaye, have illustrated Levine’s push to grow his company beyond music and audio. He believes Master & Dynamic is more than just a headphone company and sees them as an intrinsic part of an ecosystem within the travel category as well.

“If we’re only a headphone company, we’d get pigeon holed to be just about music. We’re also about listening: podcasts, books, meditation, and the spoken voice.”

As Levine implements more partnership ideas and collects global inspirations, Master & Dynamic’s team is focused on their core business of generating new collections and experiences.

The brand’s next iteration is its Green Street Collection, launching November 8, 2017. The camouflaged decorated leather pieces and the new olive color way are offered in their classic styles and constructed with the same attention to detail and high performance.

Master & Dynamic is also launching their first ever pop up store in Soho in New York City between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

According to Levine, he never set out to conquer the music or audio world. He credits his strong R & D team who asks the right questions and set out to make product that exemplifies the highest quality of materials, functionality, and experience.

"We are aggressively disciplined, we move quickly but methodically," says Levine.

Master & Dynamic

Retails price: $ 129-$ 1800

Pop up Store: 240 Mulberry Street, New York

End of November – Christmas

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Sometimes, Jonathan Levine’s picture snapping habit gets him into trouble. As a self proclaimed “visual person”, the co-founder and CEO of the luxury audio brand, Master & Dynamic, finds inspiration in the most interesting places, and in one scenario, in the elevator of Soho House.

Levine saw a pair of luxurious white, puffy, corduroy heels and asked the woman if he could take a quick photo of them.

She asked him if he was a shoe designer. He said no. She asked him if he had a fetish. He jokingly said, maybe.

Christopher Sturman

Co-Founder and CEO of Master & Dynamic, Jonathan Levine

“ I think I have what people would call a good eye. Certain things make me think, ‘That would be cool on a headphone, or that would be interesting as a speaker.’ And I’ll just take a photo and make a mental note,” says Levine.

It’s the same wherever he goes, whether at the Concourse d’Elegance car show in Pebble Beach admiring the vintage automobiles while noting the leather covered exterior of a vintage Bentley, or walking through Connelly, a luxury retail store in London, set in a townhouse, renowned for providing the highest quality finished leathers to Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Rolls Royce. He’s busy making visual notes, observing how things are styled, noting construction details, and thinking about how it could help make his products better.

It’s this restless pursuit of challenging himself and his team to do better each time, to innovate, to push further, that makes his products lauded and coveted by audiophiles, musicians, producers, designers, sound engineers, influencers, celebrities, athletes, and editors who appreciate the high performance sound and meticulous design quality of their headphones.

Levine described one of his proudest moments was when a well known producer of popular songs approached him and mentioend that his music never sounded so good than on a pair of Master & Dynamic headsets. He also informed Levine that other well known professional musicians, sound engineers, and music producers had started replacing their own recording studio headsets with Master & Dynamic’s designs.

“I’m not in the sound production business, but rather in the sound reproduction business,” says Levine. “ I want to make sure the sound is as close to what the artist wanted it to be.”

The idea of launching a premium audio brand came from Levine’s own ­­­sons, who are avid music fans. Noticing their less-than-impressive audio equipment, Levine set out to design a premium headphone that would be engineered for peak performance, constructed with the finest and durable materials, and designed with the highest aesthetics.

Launched in 2014 with co-founder, Vicki Gross, Master & Dynamic opened its headquarters in New York City where the designers and engineering teams experiment with new products and innovations at their in house lab. There was an in house recording studio as well.

The premium audio company is a new foray for Levine, the entrepreneur, whose background hails from a stint at Wall Street, and then built a career in the mass production of consumer goods nationwide. As a novice in the audio and luxury world, Levine brought the know how of building the back office support system including building a sales team, working with logistic companies and manufacturers and applied it to his new business model of creating an international brand.

In the three years since the company’s launch, Master & Dynamic’s recognition has been global and widespread being carried in 500 stores such Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Selfridge’s in London, and boasting celebrity fans. Levine even created a special pair for a famous vegan musician.

“We’re constantly working  to support our e-commerce and retail partners. We try to find other avenues of growth that’s on brand and brand building,” says Levine.

Recent collaborations with like-minded brands that share personal “synergies”, according to Levine, and carry the same craftsmanship and legacy to their identity have proven successful at expanding the world of Master & Dynamic beyond the scope of audio. Partnerships with Leica, the Rolling Stones, GQ, and their first wireless speaker designed by the British architect, Sir David Adjaye, have illustrated Levine’s push to grow his company beyond music and audio. He believes Master & Dynamic is more than just a headphone company and sees them as an intrinsic part of an ecosystem within the travel category as well.

“If we’re only a headphone company, we’d get pigeon holed to be just about music. We’re also about listening: podcasts, books, meditation, and the spoken voice.”

As Levine implements more partnership ideas and collects global inspirations, Master & Dynamic’s team is focused on their core business of generating new collections and experiences.

The brand’s next iteration is its Green Street Collection, launching November 8, 2017. The camouflaged decorated leather pieces and the new olive color way are offered in their classic styles and constructed with the same attention to detail and high performance.

Master & Dynamic is also launching their first ever pop up store in Soho in New York City between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

According to Levine, he never set out to conquer the music or audio world. He credits his strong R & D team who asks the right questions and set out to make product that exemplifies the highest quality of materials, functionality, and experience.

“We are aggressively disciplined, we move quickly but methodically,” says Levine.

Master & Dynamic

Retails price: $ 129-$ 1800

Pop up Store: 240 Mulberry Street, New York

End of November – Christmas

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