AUDIO BY DESIGN
JONATHAN LEVINE OF MASTER & DYNAMIC
Established in 2014, Master & Dynamic rocked the loudspeaker market with leading and innovative approaches to personal sonic devices. Its founder, seasoned entrepreneur Jonathan Levine, sought to produce headphones with superior craftsmanship and materials, as well as offer unmatched sound quality. We sit down with Levine to decipher why he decided to enter the realm of personal listening devices and how he employs his personal convictions into these luxury products.
WHEN YOU'RE TEST DRIVING NEW PRODUCTS, IS THERE A PARTICULAR RECORD OR PIECE OF MUSIC YOU LIKE TO HEAR?
This is something I haven't thought about in a while, and it's always good to remember it. I remember my son Robert and I created a master playlist — which I'd have to dig out now — but we used this playlist to tune our headphones. This was back in 2013. But we had lots of hip-hop on there, with some Philip Glass, and I of course had lots of classics like Van Morrison and Muddy Waters. So it was that stuff, mixed with Outkast. It went from blues to jazz to classic rock to hip hop; the music we loved. After we created this playlist of different genres to tune against, the reviews came out for our first product being genre neutral. Some headphones are bass heavy, for example, but we created a product where any genre of music you want to listen to sounds great. That was a happy outcome.
WHY WAS THE HARLEM VILLAGE ACADEMIES THE COMMUNITY THAT MASTER & DYNAMIC DECIDED TO BACK FINANCIALLY?
Education has always been important in my life, my children's lives and my business partner's. A lot of companies, when they start out, they want to have a charity aspect with it. A lot of them will take on big companies, almost global and that's great. But for us, we really wanted to act locally, where we can have some impact. Harlem, also historically, has a deep connection to music, and so it just became the right partner for us. Like anything else we do, we learn a lot from meeting new people and helping others out. There's a lot of satisfaction there.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR MASTER & DYNAMIC GOING FORWARD?
I'd like to tell you that we do a lot of strategic planning. But I think, at the end of the day, the magic of Master & Dynamic is that we sort of try and create every day. I think the future looks bright for us. We don't have plans to take over the world. We're very happy with the place we're in, and for us, in the end, it's all about making great product.