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Drop + THX Panda Wireless Headphone

Drop + THX Panda Wireless Headphone

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Product Description
The world’s first wireless headphone with a high-bandwidth Bluetooth audio codec, a THX AAA™ amplifier, and phase-correct planar-ribbon drivers (a combination we call the 3P Signal Path), Panda puts you closer to your music than ever before—wherever life takes you.
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All of our reviews are from verified customers.
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77%
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RynoW
35
Jul 5, 2020
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Hands down fantastic
I've been waiting for a headphone like the Panda for many years that sounds great in wireless mode without resorting to EQ that would heavily compromise the listening experience in passive mode. Now it's here, and I can't think of what Drop could have done better. Pros: The sound is on the exciting side of neutral, with a lot of resolution and a decent sense of space for a closed headphone. It's been a long time since I've heard the Oppo PM-3, but as far as I can remember, the Panda at least matches their sound signature. I find them extremely comfortable even for extended listening, but YMMV based on head shape/ear size. Codec support is great. USB DAC mode is great. The build quality feels solid and looks, IMO, fantastic. Cons: The navigation button feels flimsy, the actuation point does not feel very tactile in some directions. I would guess this will be the part that commonly fails, but time will tell. Mixed: If you live in a city, LDAC will frequently drop to low-bitrate mode due to interference, unless you force it to 990kbps, which will drop out frequently due to interference. This is an issue with Bluetooth's bandwidth, and no LDAC device is immune from this, so Drop shouldn't be blamed for this. Still, it's worth noting if you're planning on using LDAC for uncompressed music, that the experience will not be the best. I would suggest settling for LDAC 660 or AptX HD for a more stable connection. Or moving into the woods. Conclusion: Could not be happier with my purchase. Panda enters the hall of fame of Drop audiophile releases along with the HD6XX and the THX AAA 789. In many ways Panda is more impressive than either of those, given the complexities of making a wireless headphone. If you need a new portable headphone, whether wired or wireless, the Panda should be at the absolute top of your list.
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Would recommend to a friend.
MaverickAH
674
Sep 7, 2020
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If you want just one headphone for everything........
Okay, I'm over 2 months in..... I didn't want to rush a review but I do want to give my viewpoint & perspective  before things get any crazier than they already are. Short Version First, let's discuss the physicals. This is a very attractive, unassuming set of headphones. I know that  beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I don't see many objecting to the stealth look of these. They are  a bit on the weighty side but they do sit well on the head ( at least my head!) & I find the clamping force  to be perfect. Build quality is impeccable & is the other reason why I don't mind the weight. I really  appreciate the ability to be able to store the headphones in its carrying case without having to change your settings for head size. I also love the spring loading on the cups. Nice touches all around that quietly  contribute to everyday use. I was hoping that headband padding would've been more substantial, but it's fine &  I get the silicone material used on something that's meant for portable, outdoor use. The joystick control is  fairly responsive but I find that it can be a bit finicky & it's the one part of the headphone that concerns me about long term durability. Package presentation is top-notch.   Straight out of the box, you get a good sense of the Panda's sonic capabilities. This is a set that doesn't  require or need an extensive break in period. I do think that you get a slight extension in the upper frequencies  that make them more acceptable to me (more on this later) & a slight tightening up of the bass after about 20 hours or so but that's about it. Negligible latency using my iPhone 11 Pro & Bluetooth range has been very good with solid connection. That's the short version for those who don't like to read. :) Long Version The boxed presentation of the Panda is stellar! Drop really went above & beyond on this one & I couldn't be more  pleased. Probably Drop's best to date. The materials use in the Panda's construction are of very high quality &  commensurate with their price. One could easily think that it's an all metal construction instead of a combo of  metal & plastic because of the high quality of the plastic used. Of course that comes with a weight consequence but it's manageable & the fit & clamp force on my head is just right. The feel of the ear pads are very nice & comfortable with good noise isolation. Overall they present a good profile, are well balanced on my head with an acceptable level of pressure for long listening sessions. YMMV....... Now I want to go over a few things before I get into the body of this review. The first thing is that the ultimate  arbiter for any piece of audio equipment, for me, is live, unamplified music. Having over 15 years of piano lessons  & at one time also being proficient on the clarinet & trumpet, it's what I Know & trust. So what I'm saying is that I  primarily use acoustic music of all types to judge performance. I find that it's the best way to determine capabilities no matter what type of music you ultimately prefer. If it doesn't handle acoustic music, it's not going to do anything else well.  The second thing is that I live in NYC. I only mention this because I've listened to all types of music in all types of environments. My sense of neutrality is very heavily environment dependent. Different venues will sound different & a good headphone/speaker should be able to translate those room differences to the listener. Thirdly, the reason for the review delay is the season. It's hot & humid here & just not conducive to wearing over ears outside, not to mention the current state of things otherwise. On to the sound....... As stated previously, the sonic characteristics of the Panda does not greatly change with burn-in. More on the specifics later. I spent probably more time using them wired than using them wireless. Probably a 60/40 split. The bass region is where I had the most concerns when first listening to the Panda. It seemed a bit loose, soft & not well defined. As the hours were put in, it's the area that has shown the most improvement. It is now well defined, quick & extends well. The frequencies below 80dB are about 2 or 3dB down from flat but is acceptable. The is a slight rise from 80dB to 200dB which adds a slight bit of warmth to the sound but it does not bleed into the midrange. The midrange on the Panda is the jewel of these headphones. I am a midrange monster. The timbre & tonality of the Panda in the midrange is the truth! It's probably the reason why when I've gone from more expensive headphones with better overall technicalities to these, I don't find myself missing the better headphones. Vocals on these are rendered with what I hear as complete accuracy. The same with instruments. The treble on the Panda is also very good & it's an area that's shown improvement over time. It's also the area where I have my biggest criticism. I was really concerned about treble extension upon first listen. Yes, it has improved over time but it does lack some sense of air which affects cymbal harmonics & roll off. It can also affect the sense of space. The steep drop from the upper 8kHz to about 10kHz without a significant rise back up is what I feel is responsible for the effect.  It seems to be the limitation of the driver. Now don't get me wrong. The presentation is still lovely but the sense of air is the one thing I miss when switching from headphones that do it better. I feel that this is what imparts the sense of the Panda being on the warm side of neutral when you combine this with the slight mid bass rise. Overall, I find the effect to be very musical. I'm crossing my fingers hoping that the proposed software will allow me to correct this area of performance when it's released. What of the technicalities like soundstage & dynamics? Both have shown some improvement over time. The soundstage is decent for a closed back. I also think that the sense that you are wearing closed backs, while still there, is greatly reduced from where it originally was. Dynamics are very good. Resolution & clarity are also very good to the point of being able to tell the differences in equipment upstream. Image separation & the sense of space around voices & instruments are very good as well.  Microphone performance is also above average. The only other area of weakness besides treble extension that I've found is when things get too busy & complex.  Throw something that contains a full blown chorale & orchestra going full bore at it & it does show some signs of struggle. This is me being hyper critical but it still bears mentioning for accuracy's sake. So my overall consensus is that the Panda is a wonderful headphone worthy of being considered as best in class. It does nothing of any real consequence wrong. It sounds as good wireless as it does wired. I currently have 3 other BT headphones (B&O H7 II, Sony WH-1000XM3 & JBL E55BT Quincy Edition).  None of them are as satisfying, across the board, as the Pandas. While I haven't heard every single BT competitor in its price range, what I feel safe saying at this juncture is that if you want just one headphone for home/commute/office, the Panda should be at the top of your list unless ANC is a necessity. I wish that Drop allowed partial stars when rating products. I would rate the Panda as 4.5 Stars. Maybe 4.7. As it is, I'm giving them 5 Stars. Highly recommended! Addendum Are there any other ways to go? Well, I would definitely consider the Sennheiser PXC 550 II. They're on sale at Sennheiser right now for half the price of the Pandas. I used the own the originals & liked them very much. My memory says that they both are similar tonally with the all of the technicalities going to the Panda. The PXC 550 II will have ANC & the edge in microphone performance.  I could also make an argument for less eloquent solutions such as a German Maestro GMP 8.35 Mobile with a pad change, a 12" 3.5mm cable & a Radsone Earstudio or Fiio BTR5 clipped to the headband. I could also make the argument that if you have any wired headphone you love that's capable of being used portably with an Earstudio or BTR5 could be a more cost effective option. 12/21/20 Quick Update: I'm rapidly approaching 6 months of ownership. My Panda's have continued to perform flawlessly. Again, I can't speak to the issues with Windows 10 that have been reported as I don't have BT on my desktop. Hopefully those issues will be addressed in the accompanying software that's supposed to be here by the end of January 2021.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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clench
12
Nov 7, 2020
These headphones do not last. Mine broke just today, can't turn them on, can't charge them, 3.5mm doesn't work. When they *did* work, connection with any Windows PC had critical issues. The headphones would disconnect every 10 minutes (unless the mic on the headset was paired with my phone....?) They sound great, but are absolutely garbage if using them with Windows. The drivers are just awful.
MaverickAH
674
Dec 2, 2020
I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems with your particular set. I can't speak to how widespread the problems you speak of exist. All I can speak to is how my particular set is performing. I have had no issues whatsoever. They have been flawless. I also can't speak to their performance with Windows as I don't have of use Bluetooth with my PC. I don't even use WiFi with my PC although I have it in my home. It's a security thing for me. What I would advise Drop to do is, under the current environment & pressure to roll product out, to QC every single headphone before it heads out the door. I have no clue what the failure rate is on these but I'm pretty sure that the end customer would prefer to wait an extra few days & receive a properly functioning unit rather than go through the experience of receiving a bad one.
SUPERTOMMO
184
Aug 2, 2020
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First Impression : The hype is real!
Let me start by saying that this is my first review on Drop and English is not my first language so please bear with me. This is as mentioned my first impression, I will continue to add more details the longer I get to test them out and compare to other contenders. My expectation for these headphones, like many of you I suppose, is quite high. After having a look at a few reviews on YouTube in January, in search for a wireless headphones I'd really like, I placed my order for the Panda. 7 months later, here they are in my hands and I believe they do live up to the expectation albeit with a few caveats. Following the debacle on the shipping process which I chimed in on a few occasions on the discussions page, I was thankful that this time Drop decided to go with USPS which proved to be a much better solution for international customers who do not have the option for a more express service. The item was marked as shipped on 24th of July and arrived in my hands on the 1st of August, this is a huge improvement over my two previous orders from Drop which took 5 weeks by DHL Global. (DROP THX-AAA789 and Koss Porta Pro X). I strongly suggest Drop adds this as a permanent option. The box itself is nothing extraordinary, black with Drop + THX Logo on the front, sliding out the inside container you will see another artwork which I thought to be quite nice.
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In the box, apart from the headphones and the carrying case, you will find a few documentations. The Quick Start Guide is good and provides sufficient information, much easier to understand than your typical IKEA's instructions. I personally don't think that you really need them to operate the Panda if you've had any experience with other headphones since it is fairly simple with little learning curve. DROP Sticker seems to be missing from my package though.
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I do like the carrying case, I am no expert on the subject so I cannot comment on the build material but I find the case to be of good size and quite rigid, should be easy enough for anyone to throw in a backpack and be confident that you will not damage your precious new cans. The zipper might not be the best quality as I found it stuck a bit at times, simple alignment helps.
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I like the dedicated compartment for accessories, inside you will find the 3.5mm and USB-C cables. You may also be able to store your Panda in the case at wearing position unless you wear them fully extended or almost.
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I recalled Linus saying something about the design and at first glance I completely agreed. If there were an Achievement Award in Understatement, the Panda deserves it. It is a little too bland for my taste but of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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The Panda looks and feels strong, the headband bends nicely with no creaking noise, the padding is still quite thin and if this was already improved, I really cannot comprehend how bad the prototype would be. The earcups on the other hand tell a totally different story, they swivel a little bit more than 90 degrees, are soft and feel very nice, though they do touch my ears a little when wearing. The extension point is quite "stiffed" for me but the range is good, I wear them at about the half point and am very confident it will never slip unless there was an impact that also causes serious trauma to my head.
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They are heavy when I hold and feel heavy while I wear, the clamping force is also quite strong, this is to be honest, on an uncomfortable side to my liking but your mileage will definitely vary. Getting connected via Bluetooth is straight forward, hold the + buttons for 4 seconds when they are off. I tried pairing them with a few devices and found no delay. One thing I thought strange was that it doesn't return back to pairing mode if the existing connection was lost and there is no other paired device within range but maybe I should go back and check that manual I never read. I'm on middle ground when it comes to break in headphones or speakers or anything for that matter, I like to let them play a few hours (like 20+) before serious listening but I always believe that noone will ever like the sound coming out of a "broken in" headphones if they did't feel any glimpse of goodness since the very beginning. I found the Panda to be quite powerful, I normally listen to wireless headphones/buds at almost or 100% but I was quite happy with around 70% volume or a little less on the Panda, passive isolation also does its jobs well. My initial impression for the sound is clean, clean but not flat. The bass is strong where it needs to be and there is a lot of details everywhere, it feels almost like you are standing right in front of a waterfall. The soundstage seems to be more emphasized on the wider side and they do feel quite wide for a closed back. My initial impression on the sound quality is very promising to say the least. I found no latency when watching YouTube on an iPhone or an iPad, but this is to be expected from any headphones/buds that came out in 2020. I still have yet to try connecting with an Android and/or playing games, I'll be sure to test it out with the 3.5 mm and USB-C connections as well. Like I said before, this is only my first impression so there is not a lot of details. Please let me know if what I wrote made sense to you and if you want to read more, suggestions are also welcomed. I will also be comparing the Panda to other headphones I have and can record the audio from my binaural mic if any of you guys want to hear, feel free to also let me know if there is any use case in particular you'd like me to investigate. For now, thank you for putting up with me until the end.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Gh130
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Aug 18, 2020
Thanks good te hear i was afraid that they don't have good bass punch
Gohmn
1
Dec 26, 2020
Rad! I saw in another post of yours that you also have a pair of Beoplays. Are those the H9i's? If so, how would you compare these to those? Thanks for the review!
MATT2364
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Jul 8, 2020
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Exceeded Expectations
I had very high expectations for the Panda's and they have exceeded in every area. I am not great at describing the audio profile so I am just going to say they give me chills. I have Bose QC 35 II, beyer T5p, T1, T70p, Airpods, Fostex TR-X00, AKG K7XX, and have owned a lot of other headphones over the years. I have only had these for a few days but if I had to keep one pair, it would be the Panda's hands down.
  1. Noise Isolation: 10/10, I have not taken them on a plane yet but as far as everyday noise isolation I would put these pretty close to the Bose QC II. I am honestly blown away here, I love my Bose QC II for travel but the ANC drives me crazy after awhile.
  2. Sound Leakage: 10/10, at full volume someone 2-3 feet away will have to strain to tell if your headphones are on or not, nearly impossible to determine what you are listening to.
  3. Comfort: 8/10, I have worn these for about 8 hours today and they are very comfortable. A little extra padding in the headband would make these perfect. Ear-cups are extremely plush and comfortable, I do not get hot wearing them like others mentioned. Clamping force is high enough you can elevate the band over your head to remove pressure on the top of your head if it bothers you. They are heavier than I would prefer but given the opportunity I would not swap out any of the tech to make them lighter.
  4. Build Quality: 9/10, These seem incredibly solid, no complaints. Very slick looking, I wish the ear-cups were a bit thinner but I know there is a ton of tech packed in there.
  5. Carrying Case: 10/10, I love the magnetic latch to seal in cables and adapters, Velcro cable ties which stick to the interior of the case, and carrying loop are great touches.
  6. Controls: 9/10, Control stick is fantastic, only complaint is I have not been able to get the double click for voice assistant to work. Might be a set-up issue, have not dug into it too much at this point. Stick is very intuitive and easy to use. Much more intuitive than a jumble of buttons.
  7. Microphone: I have not been on the receiving end of any calls from a THX Panda but feedback so far has been great. My one complaint (just need to get used to it) is the noise isolation is so good I end up talking really loud without realizing it. The strong noise isolation is one of my favorite things about these so I would not change that. I just might prefer my air-pods for long phone calls.
  8. Audio: 10/10, Sound is neutral and warm, Bass can pack a punch when called for but is not over-powering. I would put the sound profile as close to an open-back as I have heard for a closed-back headphone. Closing my eyes these transport me into the crowd at my favorite concert. I can't imagine anyone not loving these.
  9. Noise floor and phone interference: I saw a few people mention this in the discussions, I have not noticed any interference from my iphone 11. I am sure this will very from device to device but so far no issues for me.
  10. Bluetooth: I have noticed the clicks a few times that people have mentioned. It would be nice in the future if you could adjust the amount of time the amp takes to turn off, etc. Currently, it seems Drop is optimizing for battery life which I appreciate. It will be nice when a little more customization is offered through software updates though.
If anything changes I will come back and update but for the moment, these are quite close to perfection in my book. For $399 there is nothing that comes close to competing with these, I have tried the Hifiman Ananda-BT and a number of other high-end bluetooth headphones ($1k+) and was unsatisfied with them all. You can't go wrong with these IMO.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Pandalover1
116
Jul 9, 2020
Hi Matt, great review thanks, I was wondering what your thoughts on them are in a direct comparison with the t5p? I had a pair of t5p 2nd gen and am looking forward to receiving my pandas but was interested in how those two faired against each other? Thanks
Blur180
90
Jul 2, 2020
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Solid wireless headphones for people who care about sound, but poor build quality
Alright, so I got mine ( #00056, apparently :P ) and I'm gonna give some first impressions. Keep in mind, I'm by no means a huge audiophile or headphone reviewer, just a guy who likes stuff that sounds good. So take everything I say with a grain of salt or two, and feel free to disagree completely. The gear I'm coming from, for those interested, is the Fostex T-X0 Planar magnetic headphones, and the Drop O2+SDAC, and also a FiiO M6 player and Tin T2 IEMs. So when I talk about audio, know that that's my frame of reference. Anyways... Unboxing & Setup - 8/10 Very solid experience; they were packed well, plenty of padding, and a snug fit in the box. The carrying case they come in is nice, and although it doesn't feel as premium as the headphones, it gets the job done. The quick start manual is good, and nicely, neatly shows the controls and how the headphones work. Pairing was simple, and worked well with both my phone and computer. They also make a little audio chime when powering on, powering off, and pairing, which is nice. I also love the ability to use Google Assistant with a double tap of the button. Fit & Feel - 6.5/10 The Panda feel like premium headphones; nice build quality, and solid design. The directional button for controls is awesome, and works very well in my experience so far. The headphones are fairly hefty, but really not too bad. As for fit, they're not the most comfortable headphones I've worn. I have a large head, so I've got the Panda headband extended all the way, and the ear cups fit right over my ears and create a good seal. A side effect of that though, is that my ears have gotten pretty hot while wearing the headphones. Not unbearable, but significantly more than I'd like. They have a significant amount of clamping force on my head, and after about 30 minutes of wear, I find myself fidgeting with them, repositioning off the pressure point they create along the top of the headband. Drop said they added "additional headband padding," but either mine didn't get that, or it still isn't enough, in my opinion. I feel like the Panda will break in after more wear, though, and should fit better as time goes on. If they don't, wearing these for more than like two hours at a time is gonna be a no-go, unfortunately. UPDATE: Over time, they've gotten more comfortable and "broken in" I suppose, so I changed the score from 5.5 to 6.5 Bluetooth & Connectivity - 7/10 So far, the bluetooth has worked great. I haven't had any significant connection issues, and the freedom of being wireless is great to have combined with headphones that sound like these. I have the Panda paired to 3 different devices currently, and have had no issue switching between them. As for range, perhaps it's the devices I have the Panda connected to, but I can only get about 20ft away before there's crackling and little drop-outs of sound. By 30-35ft, might as well just not wear them. As for delay, as long as you listen with aptX-LL, it's really not noticeable, and you could use the Panda for casual gaming if you want. For games that rely heavily on quick reactions to sound cues, I'd recommend using the Panda wired, but in most games, you shouldn't have an issue. Watching videos is more than fine too, and people's mouths move pretty in-sync with the audio. If you don't listen with aptX-LL though, you'll likely be able to notice delay, especially if you use LDAC or something, but that's not really the Panda's fault lol. Having the option to use these wired is also great, and a super convenient feature. Sound - 8.5/10 Overall, the Panda sound great, and I'd recommend them to anyone with a high enough budget who wants really high-quality audio with no wires attached. They have great detail, with very present but not overbearing bass, smooth mids, and crisp highs. So far, they've been very enjoyable to listen to, and not fatiguing at all. If you have a high quality source for your music, aside from just Spotify or something, these will really shine. Between the fit of the ear cups, good sound stage, and great detail, the Panda are really immersive and fun. As for some comparison, I do prefer the Panda over the Massdrop x Fostex T-X0 planar magnetics. I do love my T-X0 but I feel like the Panda sound better in nearly every way, especially with the detail. I'm also excited to try out the EQ App that Drop has announced and dial in the sound. Should help everyone to get the exact sound they're looking for. I don't have much more to say right now, other than I'm very pleased with the Panda's sound so far, and would recommend them for people who care about sound and want wireless! Battery - 8/10 I haven't had these for long, so I don't have any frame of reference for average battery life or anything yet. I charged them up to 100% last night, and I've been using them basically non-stop today (despite the discomfort). Now that I'm about to go to bed, my phone says they're at 50% charge. So, if you wanna use the Panda every day, I'd guess you could likely get away with charging them every other night. 1 YEAR UPDATE: I've had these for just under a year now, and am updating a few things.
  1. They're slightly more comfortable than when I got them, but they creak and make all kinds of noise when putting them on, taking them off, rotating the ear cups, etc. so they sound really cheaply built.
  2. There's occasional popping and disconnects, especially when trying to do anything with multiple devices.
  3. Battery life has averaged to about a 7/10
  4. The right part of the headband snapped and broke when I put them on today. They still work, but the headband is starting to just come apart now, and I don't know how long they'll be wearable. So I'm giving updated build quality a 4/10. Something this expensive shouldn't only last this long before things break.

Conclusion Really solid headphones, highly recommended. They may not be the most comfortable by any means, but wireless audio that's this good is worth it. I'm really excited to continue using these, and happy with the purchase! (1-year updated conclusion: They're still good headphones, but know that the build quality is pretty bad for the price, and they haven't really lived up to the hype before they were released, and I would no longer recommend them to a friend.)
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Would not recommend to a friend.
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Blur180
90
Jul 4, 2020
Well, I don't have it connected to more than one thing at a time. It's paired to multiple things though; I think that's the correct term.
Motorrad
2973
Jul 5, 2020
memory for 8 devices. per the manual.
Fluffeepuff
50
Jul 8, 2020
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Great sounding headphones
For my head/ears, these headphones sound and fit great. My only complaints are that when the headphones go to sleep (e.g. after 30 seconds of no sound), there is an audible noise akin to light static pop sound. Additionally, there seems to be a bit more of a lag compared to my Sony & Bose headphones for the panda's to turn on from sleep when a sound is played. For example, if I get a new email, most of the audio cue is cut off while the headphones turn on. Other than those two small complaints, I really enjoy the headphones! EDIT #1: 15 July 2020 --- I noticed a serious issue when I have the Panda's paired to a windows PC. The Pandas show up, in the Sound settings in Control Panel, as two options in the 'Playback' tab of Sound (Headphones DROP Panda Stereo & Headset DROP Panda Hands-Free AG Audio) and one option in the 'Recording' tab (Headset DROP Panda Hands-Free AG Audio). The headphones sound great when the sound setting is set to the "Headphones DROP Panda Stereo" setting, however, in normal meeting applications (Skype, Teams, and Zoom), you have to select the "Headset DROP Panda Hands-Free AG Audio" option in control panel to be able to use the microphone (also Headset selection). The two issues: 1) audio quality is far worse when Headset is selected (not a big deal since I can select Headphones when listening to music) 2) the much LARGER issue: the Panda's turn off approximately every 15 minutes while in use!! When set to the 'Headset" for sound... they automatically power down while sound is playing or someone is talking throughout a meeting. This is incredibly frustrating. When the selection is "Headphones" in settings this doesn't happen, but then I can't use the microphone and often hear a LOUD high pitch via the headphones; for whatever reason the Panda's don't work properly if Headphones is selected for sound output and Headset is selected for mic input. Thus, I select Headset for both sound and mic and experience the DROP automatically turning off. I went through normal troubleshooting steps (including re-pairing, re-charging, etc.) and no joy. I'm assuming this is an issue with the sleep settings inside the Pandas which may be easily adjustable if/when the phone app is deployed (based on the device or input via the BT connection?). I have sent an email to DROP support and am waiting to hear back. I wanted to bring this up in the review in case other people experience this issue and/or have found a solution. I'll update the review again when I hear back from support to troubleshoot! EDIT #2: 24 Sept 2020 --- a lot of time has elapsed since my first edit. I iterated many times (to include several factory resets) to try and resolve the issue of a windows PC not properly recognizing/communicating with the "headset" vs "headphone" functionality of the Pandas. Occasionally, I would get it to work with no issue and then other times, I would repeatedly have problems. Drop customer support was patient and played middle-man between the Panda team and myself for several weeks. We reached a point where Drop support offered a replacement - I shipped my unit back and received the new unit, only to immediately discover the new unit (also a low s/n) had a persistent buzzing/noise in the right driver. The electronic noise persisted regardless of the paired device; it would exhibit that behavior if the power was on and the amps were activated (not powered down for sleep mode). I was pretty frustrated after I received the replacement unit that had such a glaring issue that I asked for a refund. Drop facilitated a return without question (Pandas were sent back 1.5 weeks ago). I'm disappointed I wasn't able to get the Panda's to work (initially) for my use case. Again, the sound was fantastic. Hopefully over time with firmware updates the windows PC pairing/usability improves. I'm dropping my rating from a 5-star to a 4-star. I'm tempted to drop it lower due to the defective 2nd unit I received, but for whatever reason I'm feeling like a 4-star is more reasonable to reflect the first pair of Panda's I had. I partially regret sending them back for the replacement unit... they were a nice pair of cans.
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Guhn3r
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May 4, 2021
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Overall impression: Regret
Initially, I was content with the purchase of these headphones. Sound was good, functional, aesthetically pleasing, and wireless! But as time went, instead of being broken in, it just brakes. Not of my own doing but of the company that made these damning headphones. I'm willing to bet the firmware push was rushed and wasn't thoroughly tested. If you don't believe me, scroll through the reviews and discussions. When I asked for the original firmware (so that I can use these headphones instead of it being a $400 paper weight), nothing, nada, zilch. This was my first purchase from DROP, and surely it will be my last.
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Would not recommend to a friend.
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john.yu
628
Aug 29, 2020
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Great wireless sound; most polished product Drop Studio has produced to date
I will preface this with the context that these are my first set of high quality closed-back headphones, and really the only wireless headphones I've spent an extended amount of time with. My overall impression of this product is very positive, and that this is one of the best Drop Studio products that I've had the chance to experience. Thoughts on audio quality: The sound stage is a bit more narrow than my open-back home desk setup (AAA 789 amp + HD58X or HD6XX), but that's probably a fundamental limitation between open and closed back. THX amp is faultless; no perceptible noise floor, and sound quality remains great at any volume. Bluetooth connection works well when I play lossless files (I can't discern a difference between a wired vs wireless connection). Comfort for me is good. Clamping pressure is adequate to get a good seal without getting painful over time, and the headband cushioning is fine. All of the touch surfaces are nicely molded and finished. I haven't tried using this with the boom mic yet, but I'm also not sure it's worth $50. Maybe $25-30 would be more reasonable (like the Minimic, back in the day) Minor issues I've experienced so far:
  • If I have two paired devices within range of the headphones and both are semi-active (e.g. my phone and laptop), sometimes the headphones seem to be trying to keep both connections active and sound quality/signal takes a huge hit and things sound delayed or garbled. My only workaround so far is to turn off Bluetooth on the device I'm not actively using. (hopefully a firmware fix can resolve this).
  • When plugged via USB connection, it doesn't seem to allow the internal mics to be used as input. I'd really prefer to see that functionality added in a firmware update, if possible.
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    Would recommend to a friend.
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    Aedufare
    1
    Sep 25, 2020
    Yeah what you've mentioned is what I've come to expect with a lot of tech products that lack a little foresight and consideration into the actual use cases of real life: the use of two bluetooth devices simultaneously affecting sound and use of a usb connection disabling the mic. They've developed a product that reached the vision of a feature-filled audiophile bluetooth headphone, now to not blemish the refined product that it should be, certainly just as it can connect through usb it should definitely have firmware updates to make full use of its features to create a seamless user experience. This product is almost there. . . just a little coding touchup! Also looking at your image of your phone on the case, I'm not aware of what music player that is. If that's an Apple music player then I can't blame not knowing about it since I don't have experience using their phones. But that GUI and interface of that music player is elegant and gorgeous. Can you tell me what it is? Much appreciated.
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    john.yu
    628
    Sep 30, 2020
    Ah sorry for the delayed response, but the media player on my phone is VOX. I mainly use it because it supports lossless files (free version requires transferring files via USB cable in iTunes). Definitely worth checking out! :)
    Blkicy
    56
    Sep 22, 2020
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    The only catch is the plastic end piece that holds the head band fell apart within 2 days, pretty disappointed since it's not a cheap headphone. The sound however is good.
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    clench
    12
    Nov 7, 2020
    It's likely common, happened to mine as well after a month or two.
    K.Mak
    112
    Nov 13, 2020
    It happened to mine after a few months, I ended up having to use a superglue brush (more precise) to stick it back in place permanently because it would just keep rattling if I didn't.
    JHann
    27
    Jul 16, 2020
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    Above and Beyond
    First off, my shipment showed up on my doorstep the day after I received my emailed shipping notification, which set the general theme of “far better than expected in wonderful and surprising ways.” Physically, they are solid, with the swivel on the cups feeling smooth and precise. The colorway is all slight variants on matte black, and there’s also zero visible branding, which I love. The case follows suit, with a magnetic clasp securing the holder for the cables (which secure to the case and stay neatly cooled themselves with velcro fasteners). I’ve also worn them for 3-5 hour stretches most afternoons while I work, and neither my ears nor my neck mind in the least. The Bluetooth is solid, and it’s adorable seeing “Drop Panda” showing up as the connected device. I need to give my other devices cuter names. But most important of all: the sound. These are the sort of headphones where you want to listen to every favorite song you’ve ever had, and then every reference track you’ve ever been impressed by. And then maybe make a weekend of it. I finally got a Qobuz subscription to listen to some high-resolution audio, and it’s been nonstop joy. Full spectrum wow, everywhere from classical to hip-hop to electronic to blues. I’ve never owned such a versatile set of headphones - I’ve found something new in every favorite track. They also do a fantastic job in blocking outside sound, so my initial concern about the lack of noise cancellation turned out to be moot. These headphones are remarkable. You won’t regret the purchase (though you might be bummed that you waited so long to get them once they arrive).
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    Would recommend to a friend.
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