Drop + Koss GMR-54X-ISO Gaming Headset
Drop + Koss GMR-54X-ISO Gaming Headset
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Product Description
You don’t have to pay like the pros to play like the pros. Our latest collaboration with Koss is an audiophile-approved gaming headset with Drop-exclusive upgrades you won’t find anywhere else.
Here's what our community has to say
All of our reviews are from verified customers.
3.5
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69%
would recommend to a friend
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RJSmithy
6
Aug 7, 2019
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Great headphone, very light
I wanted a uniform black high-end headphone without all the flashy lights you normally see. This delivered perfectly.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Aug 7, 2019
SilentSam
5
Aug 7, 2019
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Great Sounding Headphones!
I love the design of these phones. As a larger head guy I find they hug my ears nicely without feeling like they are putting my head in a vice like some headphones. Removable mic and alternate short cord for using with my phone is a nice touch. Sound quality is great for the price. Love them!
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Aug 7, 2019
epony
57
Aug 8, 2019
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Oodles of value for the money!
These really punch above the pre-sale price! I've been in the market for a new gaming headset when these had come along and I'm very happy I chose to wait for them! Lightweight, solidly built (except for the mic which feels a little flimsy), comfortable, isolate decently and the flexibility of 2 corded mics (4' inline, 8' boom) - this headset is simply above and beyond what anyone could or even should expect for less than $100, let alone sub-$50.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Aug 8, 2019
Lefibonacci
616
May 13, 2019
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The first thing that I noticed upon trying this headset is how light they are - in a good way. They feel to be of high build quality for their price, with accompanying sound quality to match. With how light they are, I find that I am able to quickly forget that they’re there once I put them on. The adjustable headband pairs well with this, encouraging a quick and comfortable fit. Thanks to this and the muffs which completely engulf my ears, finding the ideal position can be done with ease. Not before three to four hours of use have passed do I begin to notice them more, and feel a slight bit of fatigue. In those hours, I usually binge watch some anime (okay, I binge watch a lot of One Piece!) or play some video games, and I am fully immersed. I will admit though, that the person near me in the same room has been able to pick out which anime I was watching based off of ambient sound - although I do tend to keep the audio quite loud. The most loud that I seem to enjoy this headset is at (according to my laptop and phone) around 55% of the maximum volume. I dared to crank the volume to 75% just once, and that was far too much for me; If you like your content to bump, I don’t think that you will have an issue with this headset. Gaming wise, this is easily the best headset that I have ever used at or near this price-point. The sound stage is undeniably impressive - so if you enjoy competitive shooter games or similar, you will have fun with these. When I spend many hours playing Black Ops IIII, I can’t help but notice the strong ability to present a directional awareness of explosions and footsteps that this headset is able to provide. I am equally impressed by the bright tones and deep bass that I can’t help but to indulge in when it comes to good ’ol Japanese City Pop music. Another awesome couple of features are the two detachable microphones; one in-line, the other is a boom. The in-line mic makes the transition from watching YouTube videos on my phone with great audio quality, to taking a casual phone call very seamless. Meanwhile, the boom mic is excellent for more serious conversations such as in a professional environment, or letting the opposing team know that they don’t stand a chance! Upon asking, each mic was reported by my listeners as relaying a clear and accurate transmission of my real life voice. Overall, I would absolutely recommend this headset to anybody that wants to significantly improve their listening experience while maintaining a good balance of quality product and a stable savings account. 5/5.
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May 13, 2019
BadSeedTech
118
May 14, 2019
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The Drop x Koss GMR-54X-ISO is a lightweight, comfortable, and very capable gaming headset at a price that should embarrass a lot of the competition. Design This is the closed back version of this headphone and, in conjunction with Drop, brings out the already understated design in a black/midnight blue colorway - ditching the red accents of the original Koss version. The beauty part here is that no part of this headphone screams - or even says - “gamer”.  You can go from the desk to around town without attracting any weird looks. Frame design is simple with a single plastic arc and a slim, padded suspension headband.  Pads are pleather with a pretty premium feel and a light foam. Cups are D-shaped and have a just a little bit of swivel and a pretty healthy tilt range so you can get a good seal.  Only warning here would be for people with taller heads: when that suspension headband reaches its max, you may have trouble getting that solid seal under your ears. Cables here are detachable and come with 2 flavors - a 4ft 3.5 to 3.5mm TRS with an inline mic suitable for mobile use.  You also get an 8ft detachable boom mic that has inline mic mute and volume controls.  Connection here is a standard 3.5 with no proprietary connection so you can upgrade to another external boom mic if you prefer. You’ll also have an included 3.5mm splitter as well. Mic Mic quality for the inline is passable for quick calls, nothing I’d use for gaming.  Boom mic is passable for gaming - though a touch noisier than I’d like. Moreso than I remember from the original models I reviewed, though onboard mic-ins do have a tendency to be noisier than their USB counterparts.   Its nice to the see the addition of inline volume controls. They are analog and largely forgettable in terms of quality but nice to have them nonetheless. Sadly, no revision to how the mic attaches to the headphone. It simply plugs in via the 3.5mm jack - there is nothing to prevent the boom arm from swiveling inside the jack. This was bothersome on the original GMR units and is here as well. Sound Quality As far as sound - this is classic Koss.  They are arguably the masters of price versus performance.  This is definitely a headphone first with the addition of the mic bringing it into the gaming arena. At 35 Ohms and 103 dB you can drive these with practically anything.  Tested without a discreet amp - off the front case headers of onboard audio - they have great definition but overall tone is a bit stuffy.   These are bottom heavy.  Low-mid heavy specifically. This can prove a challenge in a bass-heavy game like Black Ops 4. For casual gamers - this will offer a very immersive experience.  For competitive settings - I’d give it the ‘Scout Mode’ treatment in the eq - rolling off the lows and punching the highs. Musically these will get LOW as well - depending on how good of a seal you can manage these will tease into sub bass territory but never quite getting as low as something like a DT 770. Mids are very well defined.  Its an interesting tuning for a gaming headset - not the usual v-shape.  This comes across musically as well with vocals being a focal point. I feel like these struggle with separation between the mids and lows, though they execute at a higher level between the mids and highs. Highs never run the risk of being peaky or offensive. If anything they are pushed back slightly and again, slightly stuffy or flat.  I don’t get air and I don’t get sparkle, but they do have an analytical detail and separation to them. Running these off the Magni 3 - it brought some energy to the mix but didn’t change the overall tonal quality for me. These can handle a serious amount of power/volume before they start to show distortion. The imaging is notably impressive - VERY much so at this price point.  Was even able to detect some verticality at certain points which isn’t something a lot of sets do well. And while soundstage isn’t on par with the majority of my open-backs sets, it was surprisingly good for a closed back set.  Again, maybe not as wide as a DT 770 but very capable. It would be great to see these offered in the open back variety, but the mix of imaging, definition, and soundstage make for a high performing gaming headset. Conclusion Overall, this headphone punches above its price point by a substantial margin.  Its light enough at 192 grams on my scale to basically disappear on your head. There’s just enough clamping force to let the pads do their job, though they do get a touch warm for me around the two hour mark.  Luckily, that's the only fatigue I experienced with these as the audio signature isn’t one that would cause you to need a break. They are easy enough to drive from any basic gaming pc, laptop, or console controller and the understated looks and optional 4ft cable makes them suitable for mobile use. You get features and cable options that you generally don't see at this price point. Mic is probably the weak point here and while the GMR-54X-ISO audio isn’t stunning, its surprisingly capable at $40 and certainly better than most “gaming” branded headsets hovering around the $80-$100 mark. Rating - 4/5 stars

*Disclaimer: This unit was provided to me in advance of release for the purposes of a review. Drop did not attempt to influence the review in any way nor did they have any advance access to the final review copy.
May 14, 2019
Alfredo3001
33
May 18, 2019
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Excellent review. Are you going to make a video review? Fan of your YouTube channel.
May 18, 2019
Nephlock
57
Nephlock
May 13, 2019
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Construction The GMR-54X-ISO is primarily made from plastic but does include padding where you'd expect it, on the sling headband and the ear pads. Continued with their ultra lightweight design similar to their 545-AIR model, Koss has instead opted for a closed back design with the 54X. While open back is generally preferred these days, a closed back design still has its place for those that like the isolation it provides. The ear cups feature the same "D-Profile" ear cups as the aforementioned 545-AIR models, which is welcome. I found this shape helps limit the headphones from sliding around and makes them feel a bit more "snug" on my head, without having them need to be tight. Some may see this simple construction as a bit rudimentary, but it really keeps these headphones light weight, and definitely limited the fatigue I've found with wearing a headset for long sessions. Overall I would say that these headphones are very comfortable, with my only gripe being that the ear pads are not as breathable as I'd like. Packaged with the headphones are two microphone options, a detachable boom mic as well as an in-line mic. The detachable boom mic has a healthy 8' cord that allowed me to plug it into my PC at the far end of my desk, while the in-line mic is a more appropriate 4' for using with a controller or a phone. Also included is a cord splitter should you wish to use the boom mic in place of the in-line. While the boom mic is adjustable I wish that it had a bit more support than relying solely on the 3.5mm jack... Attaching in this way tends to loosen over time, and in turn makes the boom have trouble holding its position--Even just a small recession into port would prevent this. Ultimately not a deal-breaker, but it can be nuisance for those that like to keep their mics in a singular position. Attached to the boom cord is the inline mute and volume control--This is almost a necessity for gaming, and while this one feels a little cheap, ultimately it does its job well and doesn't get in the way.
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Sound After spending some time using this headset accross gaming, music, and chat I can say that I'm impressed. The audio through the GMR-54X-ISO is excellent out of the box, and in my opinion punches well above their price point. It feels very well balanced, with the bass sounding appropriate and not overly loud like I've experienced in other headsets at this range.
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Mic The mic is where I've hit my first major issue. With the audio in the drivers being such a surprise, I was hoping to get a similar surprise with the microphone. The capture audio is good, and comes through loud and clear, but sadly the microphone produced a small amount of background static when used. While talking this wasn't a huge deal, but due to background noise pickup it caused an intermittent hiss for those on the other side. The in line microphone had a tinny sound quality but the background static was much less pronounced. Conclusion Overall I think the GMR-54X-ISO are an excellent choice in a gaming headset, and offers a lot of bang for your buck in terms of quality and comfort. The microphone quality falls a bit short, but will still get the job done.
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------ PROS + Audio quality + Lightweight + Affordable CONS - Mic quality 4/5 stars


May 13, 2019
Malla
9
May 30, 2019
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This... Is a different sort of review. So I'll start by jumping the gun and saying: The GMR-54X? As far from perfect as it may be, I see it exactly as the kind of product we need more of in the gaming world. Let me explain... - Price: because budget More often than not, gamers will budget like 5x what they should for RGB lights and bling for their setups - even when an upgrade to a mouse, keyboard or headphone would be far more beneficial... And that's just the nature of a process of which I'm guilty too:
  • You pretty up your setup to make your gaming environment be as gorgeous as the awesome looking games you play.
But there are pitfalls still... If your setup looks awesome, your games play at 300fps in 4k at 244hz, but your mouse doesn't work properly or your audio is lackluster, your whole gaming experience is compromised, and this definitely breaks the immersion. But it doesn't matter if you've already spent thousands of dollars on your setup, or that you and I know very well that gaming gear is usually priced pretty unreasonably... We just end up putting in those extra couple of hundred, just to get a decent Headset anyway... After all, we need it. THIS is why, when I see a company that I've known to make great stuff in the past, attempting to launch something in the gaming market with a price tag of $50 (well, $40 until the Pre-Orders end), you just don't let it pass!
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Anyway, I'm not about to just leave you guys wondering "what makes a great headset, GREAT" and where in that spectrum does the 54X stack up.... So let's clear the basics: - Open x Close back Like most gaming headsets, this is a closed pair, which isn't my usual choice, but plays in it's favor in terms of sound signature, after all... Gaming! And it also lends itself to the more Flexible proposal of the 54X.  Turns out, this is easily something you could take with you on the go, and it even comes with cable options for that. And also, no fear of being "that person"... You know, the one who's music everybody else around also has to listen to?!... Yeah. - Impedance / Power And obviously, to help with that mobility, being easy to drive is sort of paramount, so it comes with 35ohms of impedance, and 103dB of sensitivity, which puts this headset amongst the easiest to drive I've had on my table in quite a long time... Pretty good for mobile use, even if not exactly the smallest or easiest of packages to take with you, since it doesn't fold nor is it wireless... - Build and Comfort But some could argue then, that other things like Comfort would get in the way of you even wanting to go out with these on your head, before you ever think of portability...  Thankfully tho, not the biggest of concerns here. The plastic construction, fabric self-adjusting head-strap, cushiony fake leather/synthetic ear pads, forgiving clamping force, lightweight build - both of headphone and any of the cables and adapters it comes with... You almost need to nit-pick in order to complain about how the 54X was built. And truth be told, the only issue I have with it, comes from me having a big head, which makes the earcups press against the lower lobe of my ears, even when the head-strap is fully extended, but even that doesn't make using it uncomfortable... Ok, maybe a little, but only when I've been gaming for like 6 hours straight, and at that point, hard to tell if it's the Headset or just too much fun. But the very fact I can game for 6 hours with them, and not just once or twice, says a lot about how much I enjoy using the 54X, after all, I was testing them, sure, but I could have hit pause and gone back to any of the other headphones I got in the studio when I was "tired" of testing, but that scenario never happened. It doesn't mean I think the 54X is better than all the other headphones I got, but it means it's both comfortable enough, and that it SOUNDS good enough, that I wouldn't even bother to stop having fun in order to go switch them up for something else. - Sound and Mic Quality But let's stop top beating around the bushes... The 54X sounds GREAT! Taking price aside even, it sounds really good, in a way that even with my KOSS level expectations, I was still surprised! Bass response is adequate, albeit a bit punchier than what I usually go for, but in this case it fits, since... Gaming... The Low-end doesn't quite perform on the Sub-Base territory, but almost... Brushing up against the door, just shy of actually getting there, and it doesn't muddy up the mids and highs either.  Low to no distortion, no hissing noise, no sibilance that I could hear even after hours and hours of music, games and movies... And I pushed it:  I threw in my smartphone, plugged it directly to my system (actually 2 systems), then to my Scarlett 2i2, and then to a couple of AMPs, and whenever you throw more power at them, they just take it and keep on rolling... Like a sponge! I had to go well above what I would consider a COMFORTABLY LOUD threshold before they started distorting from the sheer volume being pushed against the drivers, and by then, you'd be inflicting permanent damage to your ears anyway. And Sound Stage and Imaging were also decisively better than my own expectations. It's not the widest of headphones out there, but there is "enough" sound stage that you WILL notice it, and imaging is surprisingly detailed. You'll get follow sound from center to left and right, even a bit of up and down, but since this is a GOOD gaming headset and not the Holy Grail, no forwards or backwards projections, unfortunately. ;)
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All these home runs are not easy to pull off, let alone find in one product... It's rare! But for a gaming headset, the Microphone being the point I saw the most contention about, with talks of too much compression, or noisy signals... That's usually not a good sign, and there's merit to some of what's being said. And yet... Even with the missed opportunity of the convenient 3.5mm connection not being designed at an angle, I was captivated by what I heard. Yes, this microphone has some slight compression that sometimes makes me sound like I have a cold, but at the same time it's "open and airy"... Enough that it feels more natural to me. It doesn't have the same body to the voice as something like a PC37X does, but more often than not, it sounds less processed. Unfortunately, that means your noisy mechanical keyboard will be part of every voice chat in game so... More power to silent switches, I guess! But, design quirks aside, and maybe BECAUSE I don't use a "traditional" noisy keyboard when gaming, I actually like more the open and natural sound coming from the 54X... Even if sometimes I sound like I have a cold! And it almost pains me to say it, since this is me taking the crown away from my previous microphone champ (PC37X), but it's true! - CONCLUSION And from all that, the biggest conclusion I came to after testing these cans, is that the experience, and perspectives it provoked were, in one word: Refreshing! It's gotten me to think again about how audio can be approached in the gaming market, and to hope all the more for new gaming-centric versions of headphones from companies that aren't in this gig yet. But most of all, I feel like this is another great opportunity to shed light to our somewhat misguided allegiances, because truth be told, in the end it's all a game of supply and demand, and as long as we keep valuing RGB lighting and other less than important shenanigans over raw quality and packages that deliver all you need to just pick up and play, we really can't complain that much about prices being high. So in this spirit, let's - all of us gamers - keep giving companies like KOSS and DROP all the reasons we possibly can for them to keep pushing the envelope... To keep them bringing us MORE... Since we're the ones to gain, kind of win-win, right? And so, be this your first gaming headset, or maybe a second or third to add to your collection, I'd still highly recommend paying the attention the 54X deserves, before going back to thinking "whats to gain?" from that 15th extra RGB strip.... In short? 5 out of 5 ;)
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Disclaimer: The headset was provided in advance of release for the purposes reviewing. Drop did not attempt to influence the review in any way, they didn’t have any advance access to the final review copy, and all the opinions discussed here are 100% legit (a.k.a.: my own).
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May 30, 2019
Malla
9
Jul 1, 2019
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Sorry bro, didn't see this before... S10+, actually ;)
Jul 1, 2019
Malla
9
Jul 1, 2019
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As OCBob said, the shipping dates vary depending on how DROP's been able to move production and all that. Since I just received the unit in advance to test and review, I don't really know how shipping is being handled, but if you bought it, it's gonna get to ya... The shipping estimates should be on your account tho, with the rest of the purchase info. cheers!
Jul 1, 2019
NickiTaylor
8
May 16, 2019
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The Drop + Koss GMR-54X-ISO is a very impressive gaming headset, especially for it's cost($40). This headset is VERY comfortable. It's light weight and feels secure on your head without crushing your ears or glasses. I'm trying out this headset after using the Drop x Meze 99 Noir($200), both closed back headsets. In comparison to the Meze, this headset does not have the same clarity but the sound is still impressively well balanced and pleasing to the ear. Possibly the best I've heard from a gaming headset and for only $40 it can't be beat. It comes with a detachable boom mic which is super helpful if you have a different mic you like to use and don't want this one in your face. However, the boom mic is great quality and would be perfect for chatting with friends while gaming. 5/5 Stars
May 16, 2019
deathlybeat
8
Aug 9, 2019
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Lightweight gaming headphones that you can take to the office!
Audio setup:
  • Mayflower Electronics Arc (Gaming)
  • MacBook Pro (Office)

Music used for this review:
  • Spaces by Yosi Horikawa
  • Tron: Legacy by Daft Punk
  • La Festin - Camille by Michael Giacchino
  • Christmas (Deluxe Special Edition) by Michael Buble <- because why not?

Games used for this review: 
  • Apex Legends
  • Rocket League

Comfort: The 54x is a very lightweight pair of headphones. I honestly forgot that I was wearing them after gaming for a couple hours. During that period, my ears didn’t sweat or get super warm. The pads do a great job of providing comfort even with glasses on and they don’t need a break in period. Headband does an excellent job balancing the weight across the top of your head. Overall, they are super comfortable for casual listening or long gaming sessions.  Design: I love the design of these headphones. When you typically see the word “gaming” on any piece of technology it screams look at me!!! These however do the complete opposite. I wore the 54x at my job and nobody could tell their “gaming” headphones.  Sound: The sound is very pleasing for extended listening and gaming sessions. The sound stage is not super narrow or wide but a nice in-between. Imaging is very good horizontally but is just okay vertically. This will cause some positioning issues in something like Apex when you are below a cliff and a team is above you. Clarity is a high point for me. I was easily able to hear the different sounds in Spaces without feeling congested which is usually a problem with closed back headphones. Bass can get punchy during some songs but it doesn’t get overwhelming. Vocals are great for this price range for males and females. Females vocalists don’t have the same “range” as male vocalists in some tracks though. This is probably due to the focus on bass. Treble is almost to the point of being sharp but its barely under that threshold. The mic quality is very clear for this price range. Your voice will have some body to it but a windscreen would definitely help with hisses.  Summary: For a $50 pair of gaming headphones that you can take to the office or game in all day, what more can you ask for? I think the 54x blow a lot of “gaming” headphones out of the water and now dominate this price range. The next step up from these would have to be the Cooler Master MH751 and they are $60 on Amazon but lack the bass that these give you. I would highly recommend these to someone on a budget that is looking for great comfort, sound quality, and can be used for an office or gaming setting. 
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Would recommend to a friend.
Aug 9, 2019
deathlybeat
8
Aug 18, 2019
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I haven't tried the Hyperx Cloud Stingers yet.
Aug 18, 2019
deathlybeat
8
Aug 18, 2019
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They are almost the same when it comes to imaging and positional accuracy. However, the MH751 are going to be more comfortable over long gaming sessions. The pads on those feel like the Bose QC 35 II if you have tried them.
Aug 18, 2019
Luxxbunny
8
May 15, 2019
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Really enjoyed this headset so far, it's simple and gets the job done at a super reasonable price point without sacrificing any sound quality- especially for games. Pros - Lightweight, good ear padding and not too snug, sound quality is pretty amazing for the price and honestly can keep up with most top of the line gaming headsets that are 2x the cost of this headset. Pretty sleek, minimal design with not too much extra going on which I really like. I personally like a closed back headset as it feels more immersive so this is a pro for me as well. Cons - Little light on the bass but it's definitely still there and honestly might have more bass than some of my open back headsets at a higher price which was surprising. Only other con for me is the wire is pretty thin and could get torn or (if you have pets) chewed easily but that's not really a takeaway from the performance of the headset. Conclusion - if you're looking for a headset at this price point this headset is amazing and probably the best sound quality and comfort you'll find on the market. I've personally tried so many headsets from a lot of different brands and this one was pretty impressive for the $. Overall rating - 4/5
May 15, 2019
Dxter
40
May 18, 2019
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Woah Shelby got to try out a pre-release Massdrop headphones? I'm jealous!
May 18, 2019
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