Tested: Drop + THX Panda headphones are an interesting alternative to AirPods Max

Panda utilizes a subset of planar drivers called planar ribbon drivers. Audiophiles would get into all type of discussions about whether these are or arent genuine planar ribbons, so lets just call them planar chauffeurs.

Look and feel.
The style epitomizes discretion. There is no sign of any branding anywhere on the outdoors! No Drop logo design, no THX branding, absolutely nothing: simply plain black earphones. The only logo design is a super-discreet Drop one on the within the headband above the ideal earcup.
Im a fan of minimalism, so the total design does appeal, though it does not always look premium– more confidential.
What Im not a fan of is phony leather, but I have to say that the protein leather used both looks and feels genuine. The headphone cups are very comfy, and the passive noise seclusion is exceptionally remarkable. Drop claims -40 dB, and I have no issue at all believing this. The headband cushioning is a little too minimalist, which is my one small grievance about the design.
The earphones fold flat( tish) for easy packing, and include a difficult case.

The other headline function of the Drop + THX Panda is the addition of THX tech. The company was founded by George Lucas to supply audio standards for cinema, home movie theater products and other audio tech. His goal was to accredit sound package as being capable of allowing movies to be heard the way that the sound engineers planned.
The Panda headphones have a qualified THX-AAA amplifier which certainly provides when it concerns movie audio, but also makes for very excellent bass when listening to music. More on this soon.
Drop + THX Panda: complete requirements

Many earphones and speakers use what are understood as vibrant motorists, or moving-coil chauffeurs. Magnets trigger a coil of wire to move back-and-forth, and that in turn moves the speaker diaphragm to which the coil is connected. The diaphragm moves air, and produces the sound waves.
The issue with moving-coil drivers is that the system is just moving the coil, which is just straight moving the area of diaphragm to which its connected. The rest of the diaphragm gets dragged along behind it, which suggests it is never ever in ideal alignment to the coil. Thats one of the primary methods you get distortion, particularly at higher volumes.
A planar magnetic driver operates in a different way. Rather of magnets moving a coil which drags the diaphragm along for the ride, the magnets move the entire diaphragm straight. That offers a faster action, and eliminates the distortion impact.

Headphone type: Closed, planar magnetic
Bluetooth cordless innovation: 5.0
Supports: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, LDAC
Battery life: 30+ hours
Impedance: 26 ohms
Sensitivity: 100 dB @ 1kHz/ 1mW
Seclusion: -40 dB
THD: 94 dB SPL @ 300Hz < < 0.1%. THX-AAA-0 ™ Amplifier: -130 dB THD, 2.6 uV A-wt sound, and 10 mW power intake. Frequency reaction: 10-- 50,000 Hz. Chauffeur system: 55mm, ribbon planar magnetic. Microphones: Dual. IPX 6 waterproof. Weight: 13.2 oz (375 g). The Drop + THX Panda headphones are either a very intriguing option for anyone thinking about buying Apples AirPods Max, or wouldnt be in the running. Which uses depends completely on what it is youre trying to find ... The Drop + THX Panda headphones dont provide you the delightful setup experience of AirPods Max, nor do they offer active sound cancellation (though the passive seclusion is exceptional). What you do get, however, is a set of planar magnetic headphones at a wonderful price-- with THX audio tech consisted of for movie fans and players. Planar magnetic motorists I described the tech in a previous review if youre not familiar with planar magnetic motorists. Controls. Or, rather, control singular. This is basically the same joystick control as the Marshall Mid ANC headphones I tested back in 2018. I liked it then, and love it here. Long-press to power on and off, and to set. Short-press for play/pause and to answer and end calls. Press left for previous track, and right for next track. Rise to increase volume, down to decrease it. Its super-intuitive, and I enjoy the reality that your finger only has to learn the position of a single control. The only disadvantage is no Siri control. Sound quality. The Drop + THX Panda headphones are effectively a remake and update of the extremely well-regarded Oppo PM3 earphones. (You can discover more about the background in the in-depth review of a pre-production set of the Panda headphones over at 9to5Toys.) Drop-- formerly Massdrop-- also has an excellent audio heritage, so I was expecting a lot, and wasnt dissatisfied. As you d anticipate from the THX amp, the bass is incredibly powerful without ever being distorted. I know some audiophiles get sniffy about it, and I dislike exaggerated bass myself, however to my mid-range ears, this sounds fantastic! For motion pictures with THX noise (Live Free, Die Hard is a great example), it sounds fantastic. Drop has actually chosen a U-shaped response curve along the lines of the Marshall one, however in more restrained kind. This includes an increase to bass and treble at the expense of mid-range. I find Marshalls curve fun for the right kind of music, while Drops curve worked for me throughout music genres. I happily listened to a wide variety of music on it, from acoustic singer-songwriter through tango to rock. As someone who normally likes extremely neutral noise recreation, the Panda sounded fantastic. My B&W PX7 are my present preferred earphones-- or, I need to state, were. These just took the title, and by a beneficial margin. Thats as high an appreciation as it receives from me. Drop + THX Panda: rate and conclusions. The Drop + THX Panda are priced at $399. This is a deal by planar magnetic earphone requirements, however likewise significantly less expensive than AirPods Max. Personally, much as I adore the simplicity of Apples pairing system, thats something you do once, so I would not factor this in. The ease of headphone switching between Apple devices may be an aspect, though many appear to consider it more of a problem than a feature. The other thing youre quiting is active sound cancellation. If youre buying earphones for use on flights, then you want ANC. That might hold true in other loud environments, though -40 dB passive seclusion is certainly absolutely nothing to be sniffed at. But for outright sound quality, it would be these instead of AirPods Max. While Ive undoubtedly just have an opportunity to attempt the latter for around 20 minutes, and was considerably more satisfied than I expected to be based upon other AirPods, the Drop + THX Panda still leave them standing when it comes to audio quality. Drop + THX Panda are available from the companys own site for $399. FTC: We use earnings earning auto affiliate links. More. Examine out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:. The Drop + THX Panda headphones dont give do not offer delightful setup experience of AirPods Max, nor do they offer active use cancellation (though the passive isolation is superb)Exceptional What you do get, however, is a pair of planar magnetic headphones at a wonderful price-- with THX audio tech included for motion picture fans and gamers. No Drop logo design, no THX branding, nothing: just plain black earphones. The Drop + THX Panda headphones are successfully a remake and update of the incredibly well-regarded Oppo PM3 headphones. The Drop + THX Panda earphones are either an extremely fascinating alternative for anybody considering buying Apples AirPods Max, or wouldnt be in the running. Which applies depends totally on what it is youre looking for ...