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View Full Discussion I received mine yesterday, and it sounds great. Comparing to Sennheiser HD 598 Cs (also closed back), definition is noticeably better so you can hear the lighter touches in songs if you are listening for them. The noise floor on the Panda is imperceptible, and isolation is great. Bluetooth quality is identical to wired in my experience. I don't have any serious comfort issues, but the top band does push down a little hard on my head. I have a thinner head, so the clamping force isn't enough to completely support the headset on me as it was intended.
Some annoying information about the microphones:
Edit: One other problem - The USB-C port is recessed into the curved section of the headset. To make it look less intrusive, this recessed section is very thin, about 1-1.5mm around the plug. The cable that comes with the headset actually steps down to a thinner section around the plug to accommodate this. I do not own any other USB-C cables with thin enough housings to fit this port, and the curved body of the headset stops larger cables from being inserted far enough. Therefor none of my other USB-C charging cables can be used to charge the Panda.
- The microphones can only be used in bluetooth mode. USB-C cannot use the mic as an input. It would be really sweet if this could be added in a software update, but that might require internal hardware that the Panda doesn't have. Using the 3.5mm jack switches the headset over to passive mode, so no microphone use there either.
- Quality will depend on which codec you are using. Some phones will be able to use high quality audio when using the microphones, and that's great. You may need to access this in your developer settings on Android. iPhones will not be as capable in this regard.
- Windows 10 cannot do this. If you are using windows, then it will default back down to a lower resolution codec for 2-way audio. Voices (of the human variety) will sound fine through the compression, but any music will sound wavy and horrible. You will either need to get a bluetooth USB dongle that supports controls for HD audio in both directions, or you will need to use a boom mic accessory like the Panda one or ModMic Wireless. If you didn't order the Panda boom mic or don't want to wait, then you can get basically identical products by searching "inline boom mic" on Amazon. The V-MODA BoomPro is out of stock at the moment, so I ordered the no-name one instead.
I was planning to use these with the v-moda boompro on my pc. Will my set up work fine?
It should be fine as long as it has a 3.5mm jack on it. Inline mics like that don't actually interface with the headset, so the mic is technically a stand-alone mic that is just physically held near your face by the socket on the headset. Unfortunately, I don't have one with me to test the fit for you.
A little surprised by the comments about the USB port. I just tried and every cable I have (from a variety of sources) fit without issue. Maybe the socket on yours is further recessed?
It looks like it is recessed the correct amount, but maybe it is too far in. Hard for me to say. For you, my friend, I will pull out the calipers.
The USB plug itself is 2.4mm thick (per the USB-C spec). The plasting housing on the Panda plug is 6mm thick, but it steps down to 5mm thick for the last 1.92mm. I can't find an actual spec for the housing thickness, but that might be more related to cable shielding requirements in multiple countries/EU. Based solely on the fact that they made a custom housing shape, it stands to reason that the Panda team saw that a 6mm housing was required to protect the cable end, but that a 5mm housing would fit their aesthetic more, and the results are as you would expect. Cables with housings larger than 5mm in thickness might not be able to fit, however this can be compensated for by increasing the length of the exposed USB-C plug. On the Panda cable, this length is 6.44mm, not including the 1.92mm of thinner housing that lets it extend farther.
Samsung T5 Portable Hard Drive power and data cable: Does not fit - Housing Thickness 7.10mm - Exposed Length 6.77mm
Lepow Portable Monitor power and data cable: Does not fit - Housing Thickness 7.14mm (stainless steel) - Exposed length 6.98mm
Google Pixel charging cable: Fits (barely) - Housing Thickness 5.90mm - Exposed Length 6.78mm
I do have a few non-charging USB-C connectors (such as on the Hidizs Mermaid MS4 IEMs) that can fit, but that doesn't help me aside from knowing that some connectors out there are small enough to work. Charging cables (particularly if you like to only carry one and bring the biggest one you have) will always be hit or miss. I guess we'll just have to always carry the Panda-specific cable when traveling, and best of luck if you break/lose it.
Thanks for those details. Interestingly I do have cables with 7mm thick housings that do fit comfortably. So I wonder if the socket on your pandas is slightly deeper set for some reason.
Thanks for the microphone details. Do you have the boom mic? I don't understand the "mic only on Bluetooth" issue. Would the Boom Mic work over Bluetooth as well?
I am interested in using these for calls with the boom mic on Windows.
I have a boom mic, but not the Panda one. They function identically, but the one I got was just cheaper. The Panda headset has shape cut into the side of the audio jack so that the Panda-specific boom mic can lock in place and not rotate away/towards your face during use. I haven't had any issue with my mic rotating, but I might try to 3D print something to make use of this feature anyway.
"microphones can only be used in bluetooth mode" is referring to the stereo microphones built into the headset. When connected in Bluetooth mode, these microphones can be used for voice calls without any additional hardware. However, depending on what hardware and software are on your receiving end (Windows/MacOS in most cases), the sound quality will depend on what bluetooth codec you are using. Unless you are using a specialized USB dongle or a phone that supports specialty bluetooth connections, you will probably be stuck with the normal headset compressing that Windows and Mac allow. This works fine for voice calls, since the compression is designed to preserve human voice sounds, but any music or game noises sent through this compression will sound bad. Hence, the inline boom mic was offered as a way to allow full audio quality to the headset while also connecting a microphone for voice chat at the same time.
The way these boom mics work is that you have your normal 2-channel stereo audio jack that plugs into the Panda. This type of audio cable has the 2 black bands on it. Just below that connection, the boom mic extends out and adds a channel inside the wire (it as "inline" microphone). The end of the cable that connects to the computer then has all three channels; stereo left, stereo right, and microphone. You can recognize it as being the same audio connector, but with 3 black bands to separate the channels. The Panda headset will shut off its Bluetooth connection and switch over to passive mode any time an audio cable is plugged into it. This means the connection to the stereo mics is also turned off, so unless you have an inline microphone like the Boom Mic attachment, then you have no microphone input. This will not matter for most use cases, but it would have been nice if the headset could function as a bluetooth mic while connected to high quality audio (or use both with USB-C) to avoid the necessity of purchasing an inline mic for gaming with friends.