Drop Wireless Headphones
Apr 23, 201915282 views

Announcing Our First Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

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Bluetooth headphones are known for their convenience—it’s great not to have that cable hanging around—but in the past, they haven’t been able to hold a candle to wired headphones when it comes to sound quality. We’re looking to change all that with our next project, our first foray into Bluetooth headphones. Taking advantage of advancements in Bluetooth technology and battery design, we’re aiming for the best of both worlds: an audiophile sound in a wireless package. These headphones will use Bluetooth 5.0, the latest version of the Bluetooth standard, and communicate over Bluetooth Low Energy for reduced power usage and a longer battery life. Bluetooth 5.0 is faster than older versions and can operate over greater distances. Plus, it allows you to play audio on two connected devices at once. They’ll feature the latest Qualcomm® Bluetooth chipset and THX AAA™ technology, which is known for delivering the world’s highest fidelity audio with infinitesimally low levels of noise, distortion and power consumption. Stay tuned for more updates on this project as it moves through the development process.
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Hoping all aspects of comfort are considered.
I already know Drop will do a fantastic job on these cans so no worries there. I just want these headphones to look kool as well.
Mini Poll: Physical buttons or touch/ gestures for media controls?
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classified22
Mmmmmm. Touch/gestures unless they can get the buttons to not make an enormous amount of sound inside of the headset.
classified22
i prefer gestures...more modern and faster
It must also come with a corresponding wireless headphone amp--otherwise, no dice!
(Edited)
LDAC would be nice, although I suspect it won't happen due to working with a Qualcomm chipset.
grado sound signature but in a closed back can? i just love the speed and colour of grado's
type c ports for charging please. the biggest gripe with many wireless headphones.
What's most important to me is signal transmission & stability. I live & travel in highly congested signal areas & signal breakup is almost a given in certain places. While I really like Bluetooth, it can be infuriating at times when in some locations.
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if i remember correctly, the arctis 3 does have BT capabilities, but only for non-gaming audio, and you're effectively forced to use it wired for gaming. all of steelseries's literature for the arctis 3 seems to make this distinction.
motod
You could connect it to the Nintendo Switch Online app via bluetooth while connected via cable to a Switch for voice chat capability along with game audio. But yes, in every other case the bluetooth function is effectively for non-gaming purposes.
Please make it with replaceable battery or support rechargeable AA batteries. All the battery powered equipment goes to waste because of the battery. It is time for Drop to start taking a part in something greater for human-race and our home Earth.
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I agree on your point about the space. But you will agree with me 2-3 years later when the battery dies and you will have to throw it in the bin and have generated another waste. Money invested has been lost. I had QC-25 and ANC-7b from reputable manufacturers and they have served me very well for many years. All I lost were a few rechargeable AAA batteries. In the end, i was able to give it to my friends as a gift so they can try those headphones. I believe internal batteries may save some space and make the product slimmer a bit but if they are not replaceable then we are helping companies produce more and more waste. Longevity of above mentioned headphones have not stopped me from buying more headphones. It just helped me share more love and prevent some waste.
If rechargeable AAA batteries are not possible, at least user replaceable(serviceable) batteries may also be an option. Drop can then sell rechargeable batteries too.
Came back to the site hoping for any rumors of a wireless set and saw this, love everything about it so far. I currently use a pair of 6XX’s with a Creative SXFI Amp, have been looking for the perfect pair of wireless closed-back headphones to compliment it
Crushlet
I keep thinking about that Creative SX-Fi, I’m addicted to their surround (have almost all their DSP stuff since 2010). I’m surprised to hear about someone pairing it with an HD 6XX though, as it looks small to have a satisfying amp inside. Do you mind going a little off-topic and sharing a few comments on the pairing? on-topic though, I think Drop staff have commented that there will be an analog option in addition to the Bluetooth, but I totally understand the appeal of an on the go BT solution complimented with a nice wired home solution. :)
Evshrug
Totally, I typically use the headphones with the SXFI and a USB A to C adapter to plug into my computer. Really open, unique atmosphere for gaming. Can’t pinpoint objects as well as you probably could with a closed back set but the quality for games where the main setting is outdoors is on point. The binaural sound can be very subtle for games but, again, i think that is due to the pairing with the headphones specifically. Music, though, is out of this world. I listen with Philips Hue lights synced up to match in my room and it’s an incredible experience I highly recommend
Pls add a play music/audio via usb cable connection, while charging feature. (a' la PXC 550).
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Consider an analog volume adjustment that modulates the digital volume control. Far too many bluetooth headsets jump from 0=mute to 1=too loud for some codec/source devices. Other people find that they cannot hear anything less than 5/10 on the volume scale. There is no reason that a $$$ headset should be unusable (or have significant unusable ranges) when paired with some devices.
I hope at the very least CSR8675 or 2 QC3026 for each side
I really hope these get memory foam Alcantara Pads.
(Edited)
Khronus
Yes I really don’t dig pads that flake after a few years 😩
AptX, AptX HD, AAC and LDAC please
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R413
Yasss for LDAC. Maybe HWA and UAT also
red_hawx13
Oh yaaaaaas! Is HWA Huawei’s LHDC bluetooth codec? I heard rumors that they were making a phone app to add the codec almost universally to any phone, and that it would have transmission specs comparable to LDAC. I heard the licensing to headphone manufacturers is cheaper than LDAC too! Would love to find a higher spec option for my iPhone! 🤞
aptX please
dave.clark
aptXHD please!
dave.clark
Qualcomm bluetooth chipset, so odds are good for at least aptX!
When it will be available? What will be the price ? Will ship internationally?
Mad-Dog
Dunno about first 2 but I wouldn't hold my breath for international shipping. MD hates to ship anything internationally, particularly if it has a battery in it.
Release date?
Everything sounds awesome but please, could you make big earcups in diameter please? Sincerely, someone with huge ears who struggles to find comfortable over-ear headphones.
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Sennheiser HD 700, with Dekoni earpads ;)
Evshrug
I have considered that solution.
From the comments below, I gather that a regular 3.5mm port will be included. Can I request that the port be balanced? My Modhouse Argons have a balanced port that works with both balanced and single ended cables. I cant see myself buying audiophile hardware without the option to go balanced these days.
PolloLoco
+1 this comment. More single entry audiophile headphones should be wired for balanced input like the Oppo PM-3. I thought Philips missed an opportunity when they rebranded the X2 as “HD” and failed to upgrade it for balanced. Granted, I don’t know anything about the engineering or manufacturing of headphones, but it seems feasible and affordable to accomplish, as long as there’s room inside the headphone for the additional parts.
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PopZeus
If it's using true wireless tech then each side has a separate ground signal, allowing possible balanced cabling :)
Fascinating! Can’t wait to see a picture once this comes “out of the shadows!” What kind of driver tech is this using? The earpads look good (kinda square shaped... makes me think of Planars, which is why I asked about the driver!), how is the headband padding? Any estimates on weight? I like that it uses Bluetooth 5.0, that standard shows a LOT of promise for bandwidth and distance... theoretically several times the range of BT 4.2!! I have an iPhone, so I hope to see some AAC codec love, but I also have a Sony ZX300A with aptX and LDAC. I have an Audeze Mobius, but I think it’s strange that it offers AAC and LDAC, but no aptX! Is this the fruit of the earlier “closed-back preferences” topic post?
Evshrug
LDAC codec offers better sound quality than Apt-X and Apt-X HD, so you have nothing to complain about :)
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R413
Waaaaah. ;) For the Drop headphone, I’m just hoping for AAC support because otherwise all iPhone users will be using SBC... which is the most significantly lo-fi codec option. The debate of LDAC vs aptX HD doesn't even enter into it (though I like aptX Low Latency the best, really), since this Drop headphone has both. So long as both Android and iPhone users are served with something better than SBC ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . I just felt like citing another example of a bluetooth headphone with an odd codec omission (though I think omitting AAC is worse than not including aptX, except for people with older Android phones that can't update to add LDAC).
Wow, this is pretty exciting! Very cool that these are meant to be used passively as well. I wonder what kind of tuning the driver will have.
How about the price? Is there any chance it will be below $300?
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I would hope the former (Oppo) over the latter, I really liked the Oppo (great comfort, detail, impact, portability, but I wished it's bass extension was a little deeper/more exciting).
Evshrug
I do have the PM3 as well, and i can relate what you’re saying, unfortunately they have to stop the headphone business.
Could we have ear pads that are like hybrids?Meaning velour touching the ears, instead of leather. Then surround ear pad is leather for better isolation/acoustic purposes. More comfortable for humid and hot countries. Especially if these are designed for on the go.
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AndrewSim
The included ear pads will likely be a leather-type material but we have plans to offer more earpad options on Drop in the future.
AndrewSim
We like the way you think ;)
Will the headphones be shipped outside the US?
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in this thought, can you send items declared as 10 $ foe example so ppl outside US can skip +20% VAT and Duty fees :P
bloodpig
Good suggestion!
Wow Cool!
any plan on noise cancelling.
finleym
Not for this headset. We'll probably make a lower price ANC headset in the future on a dynamic driver platform. That said, we're designing this headphone to have strong passive isolation, still designed to commute.
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Will
I’m cool with that. I always get tired faster listening to ANC headphones anyway, and I also suspect it impairs sonic quality. Save the battery for the planar drivers and longer runtime :)
For now assuming the drivers might be 40mm dynamic, just like other headphones on the market. Possible 15+ hours battery life with Planar drivers?
Mohjong
After exploring several options, we're working with more exotic driver structure. This tech has only been used in a couple headphones; our engineers are calling it Planar Ribbon right now. We'll have a full explanation and final naming as we get closer to launch. We're shooting for 40+ hrs of battery life, we'll see how close we get. There's a lot of power draw in this, AAA amplifier feeding a driver that NEEDS an amp (what's the point of putting an amp in, if we're not going to use a driver tuned for use with amplifiers?).
Will
If I may speak in this matter, I would propose the use of an AMT driver (if possible, and the want for an exotic driver is too much) as it has been mentioned to be as quick as an Stat, and yet it doesn't require the Bias voltage such needs. Of course, it has it's shortcomings. For example, let's take the closest headphone to what this would be: The Precide Ergo AMT. Lean in bass would not be a problem in these headphones since the Ergo is a fully open earspeaker. Meaning it inherently will not be able to create the necessary pressure for the Bass to bloom. Since it has been mentioned the... Drop THX-1? Is going to be a fully enclosed, isolated headphone, the bass would be no problem. And because of the naturally low impendance of THX, this shortcoming would not be significant, although a board with resistors might be necessary for wired mode. How about the required power to drive it? Well, there is no given information on this anywhere. Meaning we are on the blind in this, and yet my guess is that because it is going to be a highly isolated closed-back, volume should not be major trouble. Even then, putting in a 4, 5, heck, 6000 mah battery inside should be piece of cake because of how good technology has become. I've read the option of putting in a planar ribbon, and although tempting, I don't think our current technology would allow you to do so. Let's take the RAAL SR-1A (by many considered to be an Orpheus Slayer), yes, one of, if not the best piece of personal audio equipment in the world.... and it needs a fricken 100 WPC speaker amp to work properly since it has an impendance as low as a THX 789's Balanced Distortion. Unless you go to the experts (AKA, Magnepan, and even then I feel doubtful), this option doesn't seem usable. On the other hand, you could also use the design cues from... say... a Quad ERA-1 which is said to be one of the most efficient planars out there (Aside from being a baby Abbyss, but that's another day's story) to make these headphones. But that if you decide they should be planar. Thanks for reading!
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I am unsure if it was asked previously: when will these ship and be available? Cheers
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It’s a pretty big stretch but that’s the range we’re shooting for
Will
Thank you for avoiding the temptation to overcommit! Secret to success is to under commit and over deliver! :-)
Please use a standard 3.5mm to 3.5mm wire, instead of a proprietary standard. Also can you confirm if these will have usb-c Port for charging? Finally, can we listen to music while charging? Thank you!
badgooner
Yes to 3.5mm, yes to USB C. It's probably possible to use the 3.5mm while they charge, I'm not sure about wireless while they charge, I'll ask the engineers.
Will
I mean, hardly any rechargeable battery powered product I own stops working working while charging, not sure why headphones should be any different... That said, my AKG K845BT do (meaning, they don't work wireless when charging) and it's bloody annoying. Keeping my fingers crossed. Also, USB-C for charging please, it's nearly 2020...