Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Jul 12, 2021 at 09:31 am
Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Picture
8.1
Neutral Sound
4.1
Commute/Travel
5.6
Sports/Fitness
5.6
Office
5.7
Wireless Gaming
7.7
Wired Gaming
6.8
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset are wired gaming headphones created by Drop and Sennheiser. They look and perform fairly similarly to Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset, with an indented volume wheel, open-back design, and warm sound profile. They can reproduce dialogue clearly and accurately, and their bump in high-bass adds boom to in-game sound effects. Their flippable boom mic has an excellent recording quality and can separate your voice from ambient noise around you. However, they lack companion software, so you can't customize them, and they struggle to reproduce a thumpy low-bass.

Our Verdict

8.1 Neutral Sound

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset is 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. However, they lack a bit of low-bass, and their treble is slightly dark, which could particularly dull sibilants like cymbals. They don't have companion software to adjust their sound to your liking, either.

Pros
  • Very comfortable design.
  • Decent passive soundstage performance.
Cons
  • No companion software.
4.1 Commute/Travel

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset is poor for commute and travel. These headphones 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.

Pros
  • Very comfortable design.
Cons
  • Bad noise isolation performance.
  • Leaks a lot of audio at high volumes.
5.6 Sports/Fitness

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X is sub-par for sports and fitness. These headphones aren't for this purpose, so they lack an IP rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for it, and they can fall off your head with moderate movement. They also have a wired design, which can snag on something and pull them off your head.

Pros
  • Very comfortable design.
Cons
  • No IP rating for water resistance.
  • Can fall off your head with moderate movement.
5.6 Office

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset is 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.

Pros
  • Very comfortable design.
Cons
  • Bad noise isolation performance.
  • Leaks a lot of audio at high volumes.
  • No multi-device pairing.
5.7 Wireless Gaming

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset are wired-only headphones and can't be used wirelessly.

7.7 Wired Gaming

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset is 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.

Pros
  • Excellent recording quality.
  • Very comfortable design.
  • Decent passive soundstage performance.
Cons
  • No companion software.
6.8 Phone Calls

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset is 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 are open-back headphones that don't block out background noise, you may have trouble hearing whoever is on the other end of the line.

Pros
  • Excellent recording quality.
  • Very comfortable design.
Cons
  • Bad noise isolation performance.
  • No multi-device pairing.
  • 8.1 Neutral Sound
  • 4.1 Commute/Travel
  • 5.6 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.6 Office
  • 5.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.7 Wired Gaming
  • 6.8 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jul 12, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Jul 06, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X has a similar look 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 only available in this color. Unfortunately, you can't detach the mic for a more casual look.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.55 lbs
Clamping Force
1.4 lbs

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset is very comfortable. Even though these headphones have a high clamping force, you don't really feel it, and they feel light on your head. The headband is comfortable, and you can swap out the microfiber ear pads for ones with velour padding included in the box. They should be comfortable enough for long gaming sessions without causing too much fatigue.

5.6
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset has sub-par controls. Just 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. However, it can be hard to know which is min and which is max.

6.4
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 6 °C

These headphones are fairly breathable, thanks to their open-back design. They still trap in a bit of heat, but it shouldn't be too noticeable during casual gaming sessions. Even though they're not for sports, if you wear them during moderate physical exercise, they can make your ears feel warmer and cause you to sweat more.

5.5
Design
Portability
L 7.4" (18.9 cm)
W 6.7" (17.1 cm)
H 3.6" (9.2 cm)
Volume 181.42 in³ (2,973.00 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset isn't very portable. The headphones can't fold into a more compact form, and their ear cups can't swivel to lay flat. They also have a bulky design, making it harder for you to take them with you on the move, and their carrying case doesn't offer a lot of additional protection.

5.5
Design
Case
Type Pouch
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

The case is sub-par. It's made of thin fabric, which can help keep dust from accumulating, but it won't protect the headphones from impacts or water.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset has a good build quality. The frame is mostly made of plastic with metal grilles on the ear cups. The braided audio cable feels very sturdy too. Although we don't currently test for it, the headphones don't have an IP rating for water resistance, which is to be expected for gaming headphones. Their headband also feels like it could break over time.

6.5
Design
Stability

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset has fair stability. These headphones shouldn't move around if you're wearing them during casual gaming sessions, but they can easily fall off during moderate physical activity. They're not designed for this use, though.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset
  • 1/8" TRRS to 1/16" TRRS cable
  • Y-splitter cable
  • Velour pads
  • Pouch
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-2.16 dB
Treble Amount
-3.5 dB

These headphones have a very warm sound profile. Although they lack thumpy low-bass, they have extra boom to help bring out sound effects 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.

7.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.48 dB

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset has good frequency response consistency. While the headphones deliver bass quite consistently, their treble delivery can vary according to their fit and positioning. You may need to adjust them each time you wear them to get a more consistent sound.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.2
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.46 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
34.62 Hz
Low-Bass
-3.27 dB
Mid-Bass
1.12 dB
High-Bass
3.16 dB

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X have great bass accuracy. The low-bass is underemphasized, so mixes lack thump and rumble. The rest of the range is overemphasized, adding extra punch and boom, which can help emphasize sound effects. However, some users may find this to be a bit muddy.

9.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.39 dB
Low-Mid
1.36 dB
Mid-Mid
0.25 dB
High-Mid
1.43 dB

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset has outstanding mid accuracy. The range is very flat and even, although a little overemphasized. As a result, vocals and lead instruments are accurate, clear, and detailed.

7.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.76 dB
Mid-Treble
-4.29 dB
Low-Treble
-0.05 dB
High-Treble
-10.28 dB

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X have good treble accuracy. The low-treble is fairly neutral, so vocals 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, and your experience may vary.

8.0
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.34 dB
Dips
0.92 dB

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset's peaks and dips performance is great. 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.

8.8
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.17
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2.83
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.93
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.43

These headphones have excellent imaging. The weighted group delay's response falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The left and right divers of our unit are also well-matched in phase, frequency, 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. However, these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

7.1
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.84 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.22 dB
PRTF Distance
8.7 dB
Openness
9.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
7.8

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X's 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.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.359
WHD @ 100
0.134

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset's weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. There's a couple of peaks in the treble range at moderate volumes, but it can be hard to hear with real-life content. That said, most frequencies fall within good limits, so your audio sounds fairly clean and pure.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
1.3
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-3.32 dB
Bass
-0.22 dB
Mid
1.38 dB
Treble
-10.75 dB

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X's noise isolation performance is bad due to the open-back design. They don't block out any bass-range noise like the rumble of bus or plane engines, as well as office chatter. They also barely reduce the high-pitched hums of an AC unit.

3.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
57.66 dB

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.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
No
8.8
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
1.6 dB
HFE
8,010.97 Hz
Weighted THD
0.176
Gain
27.08 dB

The mic's recording quality is excellent. Your voice sounds clear, full-bodied, and easy to understand.

7.5
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
35.95 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
7.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
7.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic has good noise handling. It can separate your voice from moderate ambient noise around you, so you shouldn't have too much of a problem being understood by whoever's on the other end of the line.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No
Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4.23 ft (1.29 m)
Connection
1/16" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

These headphones come with a 1/8" TRRS to 1/16" TRRS cable and a Y-splitter to 1/16" TRRS cable.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
Audio + Microphone
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset has full audio and mic compatibility on PCs when using the analog cable.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No

When using their analog cable, they have full audio and mic compatibility on PS4 and PS5 consoles.

Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X have full audio and mic compatibility on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles via an analog connection.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X come in one color variant: 'Black'. If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X are open-back gaming headphones made in collaboration with Drop and Sennheiser. 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.

Check out our recommendations for the best gaming headphones, the best headsets for PS5, and the best headsets for Xbox Series X|S.

Sennheiser HD 560S

The Sennheiser HD 560S are better for neutral sound than the Drop + Sennheiser 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.

Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset

The Drop + Sennheiser PC38X perform similarly to the Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset. While both headphones are well-built, comfortable, the Sennheiser have a better overall boom mic performance. However, the Drop have significantly better bass accuracy.

Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee

The Drop + Sennheiser 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. 

Sennheiser HD 6XX

The Sennheiser HD 6XX and the Drop + Sennheiser 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. 

Sennheiser HD 599

While the Sennheiser HD 599 and Drop + Sennheiser 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. 

Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset

The Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset offer a more customizable wired gaming experience than the Drop + Sennheiser PC38X. The Logitech are better-built and 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. 

Philips SHP9500

The Philips SHP9500 are better headphones for neutral sound while the Drop + Sennheiser PC38X are better for wired gaming. 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.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless are better overall gaming headphones than the Drop + Sennheiser PC38X. The SteelSeries are better built, 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.

Philips Fidelio X2HR

The Philips Fidelio X2HR are better for neutral sound while the Drop + Sennheiser 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. 

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

While the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Drop + Sennheiser 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. 

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Drop + Sennheiser 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. 

SteelSeries Arctis Pro GameDAC

 SteelSeries Arctis Pro GameDAC and the Drop + Sennheiser 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, are better-built, 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.

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019

The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 are better wired gaming headphones than the Drop + Sennheiser 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. They also have a virtual soundstage feature, although we don't currently test its performance. 

HyperX Cloud Alpha S

The Drop + Sennheiser 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.

RUNMUS RGB K1 Gaming Headset

The Drop + Sennheiser 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.

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