If there’s one thing that stands out about HBO’s Succession—and to be clear, pretty much everything about that series stands out—it’s the little things. Details of what someone is using. Or what kind of car they get in. Status symbols that mean a lot to a bunch of billionaires but mean nothing in real life.
A shoe is still a shoe, even if it costs $800. It goes to the leg. (The other shoe is free at that time, right?) A $20,000 watch still tells time. A $500 belt still holds your pants up.
But technique? This is where things get a bit interesting on the show. For the most part, the upper crust is still limited to the same products that you or I can buy. Sure, they might get gold plated or something, but an iPhone is an iPhone. And a phone is a phone.
And that brings us to season 4 episode 2. Kendal Roy (Jeremy Strong) crouches outside a Manhattan bar to accept an invitation, something we’ve all done countless times. And like us, Kendal puts on headphones so she can hear what’s being said without anyone else hearing.
But unlike the person on the other end of the call (only very mild spoilers, but we’ll avoid naming names anyway), Kendal wasn’t using Apple’s AirPods Pro with her iPhone.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen something like this. We’ve seen him with some monster Beyerdynamics before, exactly what you’d expect him to wear in his pajamas. (AirPods Max didn’t exist yet in Season 2.) But what were these rather large headphones that he was wearing? Surely you’re not just throwing out perfectly reasonable $100 headphones like the rest of us?
That doesn’t seem to be the case. I popped the question to our own Simon Cohen, who quickly responded with the assumption that Kendal Roy is wearing Master & Dynamic MW08 headphones, and quite possibly a Mercedes-Benz edition. This makes sense for several reasons. The first is that the rest of us use AirPods Pro, and Kendal is not like the rest of us. There’s also the matter of branding: Mercedes is no stranger to Succession; In the same episode, Logan Roy is seen arriving at a karaoke bar in a Maybach.
And then there’s the simple fact that the M&D MW08s are, as Cohen puts it, “really classy.” Of course, the active noise cancellation, transparent mode, and call quality aren’t quite as good as you’ll get from Apple. And you won’t get surround sound or head tracking, or a search function. But instead, you get ceramic and stainless steel, better battery life, and a better status symbol.
What he obviously won’t give you is your father’s love. Some things money can’t buy, Kendal.