The Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X are wired open-back gaming headphones. They were originally a collaboration between Drop and Sennheiser; however, EPOS took over the production of these headphones after splitting from Sennheiser Communications, so you may encounter this model listed as a product of either manufacturer. That said, only the name has changed; both products are the same and have the same Sennheiser drivers. They also look and perform fairly similarly to the Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset, with an indented volume wheel and open-back design.
The Drop + EPOS PC38X are great for neutral sound. These over-ear headphones have a very warm sound profile out-of-the-box, so vocals and lead instruments are present, detailed, and accurate in mixes. However, they lack a bit of thumpy low-bass, and their treble is slightly dark, so sibilants like cymbals are dull.
The Drop + EPOS PC38X are poor for commuting and travel. They have an open-back enclosure, so they leak a lot of audio at high volumes, which can disturb others around you, and they don't block out any rumbles from bus or plane engines. They're also quite bulky, and their pouch doesn't protect them when you're on the move. On the upside, they have a very comfortable design and feel well-built.
The Drop + EPOS PC38X are sub-par for sports and fitness. These headphones aren't for this purpose, so it's expected that they lack an IP rating for water resistance. They can also fall off your head with moderate movement, and since they have a wired design, the cable can snag on something and pull them off your head.
The Drop + EPOS PC38X are middling for office use. They're open-back headphones, so they don't block out office chatter, and they also leak audio at high volumes. They have a very comfortable design and have a mic, which is nice if you tend to take many calls at work.
The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X are wired-only headphones; you can't use them wirelessly.
The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X are good for wired gaming. These headphones have a comfortable fit, and their flippable boom mic captures your voice clearly, even in moderately noisy environments. They also have a decently immersive passive soundstage, and their wired design ensures a virtually latency-free gaming experience. However, they lack companion software, and their controls are limited.
The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X are okay for phone calls. The boom mic does an excellent job recording your voice, even in moderately noisy environments like a busy street. However, since these open-back headphones don't block out background noise, you may have trouble hearing whoever is on the other end of the line.
When these headphones were first released, their name was the Drop + Sennheiser PC38X. However, in 2020, Sennheiser Communications dissolved their joint venture, creating two different brands: Sennheiser and EPOS. EPOS manufactures gaming and business products and even produces co-branded EPOS | Sennheiser products under a trade license agreement. As a result, you may see these headphones listed as 'Drop + Sennheiser' or 'Drop + EPOS'. However, both models are exactly the same and come in two color variants: 'Black', which is an all-black colorway, and 'Yellow', which is a black model with yellow accents.
If you encounter another variant, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.
The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X are open-back gaming headphones made in collaboration with Drop and Sennheiser/EPOS. They offer a similar overall performance to the Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset, although they have a slightly warmer sound profile and come with an additional pair of velour earpads. However, their passive soundstage doesn't seem as immersive as the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019. If you're looking for a similar pair of open-back gaming headphones with a less steep price, it could be worth it to check out the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC37X, which have a slightly different look.
The Sennheiser HD 560S are better for neutral sound than the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X. While both headphones are comfortable, the Sennheiser have a more neutral sound profile and a slightly better passive soundstage performance. However, the Drop are better if you like to game with others. They have a flippable boom mic with excellent recording quality and feel better-built.
While the Sennheiser HD 599 and Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X are both great headphones for neutral sound. The Drop are specifically designed for wired gaming. Their boom mic records your voice clearly, even in moderately noisy environments. These headphones are also better built and have volume and mic controls. However, the Sennheiser are more comfortable.
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless are better overall gaming headphones than the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X. The SteelSeries have a virtual soundstage feature, though we don't currently test its performance, and their mic has a better noise handling performance. They can also be used wirelessly, support Bluetooth for more casual use, and are compatible with SteelSeries Engine software, which offers a graphic EQ and presets to help adjust their sound to your liking. However, the Drop are more comfortable and have more consistent audio delivery.
The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 are better wired gaming headphones than the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X. While both headphones are comfortable, the Astro have better controls, are better built, and are compatible with Astro Command Center software, which allows you to customize their sound using a graphic EQ and presets. Some users have reported issues when using the companion software though. They also have a virtual soundstage feature, although we don't currently test its performance.
The Sennheiser HD 6XX and the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X are both great choices for neutral sound, but the Drop are more suitable for wired gaming. The Drop have a boom microphone that's able to capture your voice clearly, even in moderately noisy environments. They're also more comfortable and have volume as well as mic controls. However, the Sennheiser have a more consistent frequency response.
While the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X are both great choices for neutral sound, the Drop are a better choice for wired gaming. The Drop have a boom mic to record your voice clearly, even in moderately noisy environments. They're also more comfortable and have a mic as well as volume controls. However, the Beyerdynamic are better built.
The Philips Fidelio X2HR are better for neutral sound while the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X are better for wired gaming. The Philips have a more neutral default sound profile and a better passive soundstage performance. However, the Drop have a boom mic that's able to capture your voice clearly, even in moderately noisy environments.
The Corsair VIRTUOSO PRO and the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X have similar strengths, and your choice will depend on personal preference. Both are open-back, wired headphones designed with gaming use in mind. The Corsair have a more immersive, wider-sounding soundstage, but the Drop + Sennheiser are more comfortable and have a better mic recording quality. Both feature non-detachable boom mics, but the Corsair's mic is attached to a cable, which can easily be swapped out for a mic-less one for a more casual look.
The Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset offer a more customizable wired gaming experience than the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X. The Logitech are compatible with G HUB software, which allows you to customize their sound using a graphic EQ or presets. They can also be used with a wired USB connection. However, the Drop have a more immersive passive soundstage and a better overall boom mic performance.
The Philips SHP9500 are better for neutral sound, while the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X are better for wired gaming, particularly if you're looking for audiophile headphones with a mic. The Philips are more comfortable, have a more neutral sound profile, and their passive soundstage performance is better. However, the Drop have a boom mic that captures your voice clearly, even in moderately noisy environments. They're also better built.
The Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X are better headphones for gaming than the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee. The Drop are more comfortable and have controls as well as a boom mic, which delivers an overall great performance. However, if you don't need a microphone, the Sennheiser offer a similarly warm sound profile with a natural, spacious passive soundstage.
The Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X are slightly better gaming headphones than the HyperX Cloud Alpha S. While both are similarly comfortable, the Drop have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their boom mic offers better overall performance. The HyperX are better-built and are compatible with HyperX Ngenuity software, though it doesn't offer much customization.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro GameDAC and the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X have different strengths, and you may prefer one over the other. The SteelSeries are more customizable gaming headphones thanks to their GameDAC. They're compatible with SteelSeries Engine software, which offers a graphic EQ and presets so you can adjust them to your liking. They have better controls and have a closed-back design, which allows them to block out a bit more background noise. However, the Drop are more comfortable and, thanks to their open-back design, have a more spacious passive soundstage. Their boom mic also offers a better recording quality.
The Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X are better wired gaming headphones than the RUNMUS RGB K1 Gaming Headset. The Drop are more comfortable, better-built, and their sound profile is more neutral, which some users may prefer. They also have a better overall boom mic performance, and they come with an additional pair of velour earpads.
The Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X and the Beats Solo Pro Wireless have different strengths and depending on your usage, you may prefer either one. The Drop are wired gaming headphones that are more comfortable, have a wider, more spacious passive soundstage, and their boom mic delivers a better overall performance. However, the Beats are better for casual use. They're better-built, are wireless, which some users may prefer, and they have ANC, which helps block out a great amount of noise around you.
The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X look very similar to the Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset. The frame has a gray satin finish, while the ear cups and mic have primary yellow accents. These headphones are available in this color scheme or in an all-black colorway called 'Black'. Unfortunately, you can't detach the mic for a more casual look, and the mic isn't attached to a swappable cable the way it is with the Corsair VIRTUOSO PRO.
The Drop + EPOS PC38X are very comfortable. Even though these headphones have a high clamping force, you don't feel it, and they feel light on your head. The headband is comfortable enough for long gaming sessions, and you can swap out the microfiber ear pads for ones with velour padding included in the box.
The controls are quite limited. Like the Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset, there's only one control: a volume wheel on the right ear cup. You can also flip the mic upwards to mute it. The volume wheel has a circular indentation to help you turn the wheel, and it stops when you've reached the min and max volume. However, it can be tricky to tell which direction raises or lowers the volume when you're wearing them.
They have mediocre breathability but still have some air circulation due to their open-back design. They trap in some heat, but it's not enough to make you sweat more. If you're getting worked up and into your game, the pads can make your ears feel warmer.
These over-ears aren't very portable. The headphones can't fold into a more compact form, and their ear cups don't swivel to lay flat. They also have a bulky design, making it harder to take them with you on the move. Their carrying case doesn't offer a lot of additional protection either.
The case is sub-par. It's made of thin fabric, which can help keep dust from accumulating on the headphones but won't protect them from impacts or water damage.
These headphones are well-built. The frame is mostly made of plastic with metal grilles on the ear cups to allow sound to escape the cup. The braided audio cable feels very sturdy, too. Overall, they feel like they'll survive accidental drops and falls without taking too much damage. However, their headband also feels like a weak spot and could be prone to breaking over time.
These headphones are fairly stable. They won't move around if you wear them during casual gaming sessions at your desk or on the couch, but they can easily fall off with more vigorous head movements.
Using the microfiber ear cup padding, these headphones have a very warm sound profile. Although they lack thumpy low-bass, they have extra boom to help bring out sound effects like footsteps in your game. Dialogue and instruments in soundtracks are also forward, clear, and detailed. Unfortunately, they don't have companion software, so you can't adjust their sound to your liking.
If you swap out the microfiber padding for velour padding, you'll get a touch more bass and a slight boost in airiness due to added high-treble. However, vocals and instruments are slightly more veiled due to a dip in low-treble. There's no difference in noise isolation or leakage, though. You can see a frequency response comparison between the velour pads and the microfiber pads here.
Their frequency response consistency is good. While they deliver bass quite consistently, their treble delivery varies according to their fit and positioning on your head. You may need to adjust them each time you wear them for a more consistent sound.
These over-ears have great bass accuracy. While they lack a thumpy low-bass, there's a bump in the mid to high-bass to help balance the underemphasis. This extra bass adds punch and warmth to audio and can also help emphasize sound effects like footsteps or gunshots. Unfortunately, the additional bass muddies vocals and instruments a bit.
The Drop + EPOS PC38X have outstanding mid accuracy. The range is very flat and even. As a result, dialogue in games like Disco Elysium and lead instruments in soundtracks are accurate, clear, and detailed.
The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X have good treble accuracy. The low-treble is fairly neutral, so dialogue and lead instruments sound present and detailed. However, a dip in the mid-treble weakens and dulls sibilants like cymbals. These headphones are also somewhat prone to inconsistencies in their treble delivery due to their fit and positioning. The response here represents the average treble response; your experience may vary.
The peaks and dips performance of these headphones is great. Although there are some deviations, they're minor, meaning the headphones can control their sound profile. There's a prolonged peak in the bass range, adding a touch of extra thump, punch, and boom. A dip in the mid-mid nudges vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix, while another peak in the high-mid to low-treble makes the upper harmonics of these sounds harsh. Another dip in the mid-treble dulls sibilants like cymbals.
Sennheiser makes a lot of headphones, but the quality control and ergonomics of the vast majority of those we've tested are very good. That means that most of Sennheiser's headphones also have well-matched drivers and, in turn, high imaging performances. That said, imaging varies across units. Our unit's L/R drivers are well-matched in group delay, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Our unit's L/R drivers are also well-matched in phase, frequency, and amplitude response. This is important for the proper placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field. While there's a peak in the phase response in the high-treble, it's not audible when listening to music or other audio content, especially since we lose sensitivity to this range as we age.
The passive soundstage performance is decent. The soundstage is perceived as if sound is coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed around you, and it seems small. On the upside, it seems more spacious and open-sounding than closed-back headphones.
Their weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. There are a couple of peaks in the treble range at moderate volumes, but it's hard to hear with real-life content, especially since it affects a very small frequency band. Most frequencies fall within good limits, so your audio sounds fairly clean and pure.
These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid in this configuration.
The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X's noise isolation performance is bad, but this is due to their open-back design. They aren't designed to block out sounds like car engine rumbles from an open window or ambient chatter from roommates. They barely reduce the high-pitched whirl of computer fans, too.
These headphones have a poor leakage performance. Their leakage is concentrated across a broad range and sounds fuller than that of closed-back headphones. If you're listening to audio at a high volume, others around you can hear your audio.
The mic's recording quality is excellent. Your voice sounds clear, full-bodied, and easy to understand.
The mic has good noise handling. It can separate your voice from moderate ambient noise around you, so you won't have too much of a problem being understood by your teammates and enemies.
These headphones come with a 1/8" TRRS to 1/16" TRRS cable and a Y-splitter to 1/16" TRRS cable. Both TRRS connections ensure a nearly latency-free experience, so your audio and visuals will be in sync while gaming.
The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X have full audio and mic compatibility on PCs when using the analog cable.
If you plug their audio cable into your PlayStation console's AUX port, you'll have full audio and mic compatibility.
The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X have full audio and mic compatibility on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles via an analog connection.