Drop + THX Panda Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Jul 06, 2021 at 11:42 am
Drop + THX Panda Wireless Picture
7.5
Neutral Sound
7.1
Commute/Travel
7.1
Sports/Fitness
7.2
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
6.9
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Planar Magnetic

The Drop + THX Panda Wireless are over-ear headphones initially crowdsourced on Indiegogo and now available through Drop's website. Thanks to their planar magnetic transducer and built-in THX-AAA-0 amplifier, they have a smooth, warm sound profile, although they still lack a thumpy low-bass while their treble is a bit dark. They have a long-lasting continuous battery life of just under 27 hours, great for long listening sessions, and support LDAC codec for Hi-Res audio. However, they lack premium features like an active noise cancelling (ANC) system or a dedicated companion app.

Our Verdict

7.5 Neutral Sound

The Drop + THX Panda are good for neutral sound. These headphones have a smooth, warm sound profile, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear, accurate, and detailed. While they lack low-bass and their treble range is dark, you can customize their sound using a third-party app's EQ. Their passive soundstage isn't very immersive, and they're prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, so you need to adjust their fit and positioning each time you use them to ensure a more consistent sound.

Pros
  • Comfortable, well-built design.
  • Third-party app with EQ available.
Cons
  • Prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.
7.1 Commute/Travel

The Drop Panda are decent for commute and travel. They have a comfortable, well-built design and just under 27 hours of continuous playback time, which should get you through long days on the go. However, they don't block out the low rumble of bus or plane engines and struggle to block out commuter chatter around you. They also have a bulky design, making it harder to take them with you on the go.

Pros
  • Comfortable, well-built design.
Cons
  • Sub-par noise isolation performance.
7.1 Sports/Fitness

The Drop Panda are satisfactory for sports and fitness. Although the manufacturer claims they have an IPX6 rating for water resistance, their manual says not to expose them to water. We don't currently test for this, though. They also have a bulky design, and they can fall off your head during moderate physical exercise. On the upside, they have a comfortable fit and a long-lasting continuous battery life.

Pros
  • Comfortable, well-built design.
Cons
  • Can fall off your head with more intense movement.
7.2 Office

The Drop + THX Panda are decent for office use. These over-ears have a bit under 27 hours of continuous playback time, so you don't need to worry about recharging them throughout your shift. They also have a comfortable fit, and their leakage performance is great. However, they struggle to cut down office chatter around you.

Pros
  • Comfortable, well-built design.
  • Great leakage performance.
Cons
  • Sub-par noise isolation performance.
5.5 Wireless Gaming

The Drop Panda are compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, but their latency is likely too high to be suitable for wireless gaming. They aren't compatible with Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, or PS5 consoles.

6.9 Wired Gaming

The Drop + THX Panda are alright for wired gaming. Using their 1/8" TRS cable, they can be used on PCs, PlayStation, or Xbox consoles but can only receive audio, so you won't be able to use their mic. That said, they have a comfortable, well-built design and a warm sound profile that ensures dialogue is clear and accurate.

Pros
  • Comfortable, well-built design.
Cons
  • Prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.
6.5 Phone Calls

The Drop Panda are just okay for phone calls. Their integrated mic does a decent job recording your voice. However, it struggles to separate speech from ambient noise around you, so whoever's on the other end of the line may have trouble hearing you clearly if you're calling from a busy street. These headphones also really struggle to block out ambient noise like the rumble of bus engines or ambient chatter around you.

Pros
  • Comfortable, well-built design.
  • Decent recording quality.
Cons
  • Sub-par noise isolation performance.
  • Mic struggles to separate your voice from ambient noise.
  • 7.5 Neutral Sound
  • 7.1 Commute/Travel
  • 7.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.2 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.9 Wired Gaming
  • 6.5 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jul 06, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Jun 30, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Drop + THX Panda have a simple understated design that's similar to that of the Oppo PM-3. They only come in an all-black look and have a small brand logo on the inward-facing hinge.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.84 lbs
Clamping Force
1.4 lbs

These headphones have a comfortable fit. Although they have a high clamping force, they feel lightweight. Their ear cups are well-padded, but if you have bigger ears, they may touch the drivers and the sides of the cups. Some users have also reported the headband can feel uncomfortable over time.

6.6
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Drop + THX Panda have alright controls. They have a unique '+' directional button found on the right ear cup. You can push this button in different directions to register controls. You can press it once to play or pause audio or press it twice to activate voice assistant. You can also push the button up or down to adjust the volume or left and right to skip tracks, respectively. Holding it turns the headphones on or off, as well as activates Bluetooth pairing. The button is clicky and responsive. There are also beeps for turning them on or off, but there aren't any voice prompts, and the beeps can sound similar, so it may be hard to tell which control was registered.

6.5
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 5.8 °C

These headphones have okay breathability. Their ear cups trap in heat, which could make you sweat a bit more if you're wearing them for long listening sessions.

6.0
Design
Portability
L 7.8" (19.8 cm)
W 7.5" (19.0 cm)
H 1.9" (4.8 cm)
Volume 110.21 in³ (1,806.00 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

The Drop Panda have mediocre portability. They're bulky, and while their ear cups swivel to lay flat, they don't fold up to reduce their footprint. Luckily, they come with a carrying case so you can safely transport them in larger bags.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 8.8" (22.3 cm)
W 9.1" (23.1 cm)
H 2.3" (5.9 cm)
Volume 185.45 in³ (3,039.00 cm³)

The Drop + THX Panda come with a great hard case. It has a zipper that fully closes. There's also a small compartment inside the case to store cables. However, the stitching at the base of the strap looks like it may rip over time.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Drop + THX Panda have a good build quality. They're mostly plastic and silicone. If you don't like their faux-leather earpads, you can purchase replacement pads made of sheepskin or velour directly from the manufacturer. On the downside, the insides of the ear cups feel flimsy, and the silicone base on the headband could peel off from the headband.

Note: Although we don't currently test for it, Drop's website advertises that these headphones are rated IPX6 for water resistance. However, their manual says not to expose them to water.

7.0
Design
Stability

The Drop + THX Panda Headphones have decent stability. They should stay on your head during regular use, but they can fall off during moderate physical movement.

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

  • Drop + THX Panda headphones
  • USB-C -to USB-C audio cable (audio only on PC)
  • 1/8" TRS to 1/8" TRS audio cable
  • Carrying case
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-3.7 dB
Treble Amount
-2.07 dB

The Drop Panda have a smooth, warm sound profile. They lack a bit of bass, and their treble is a bit dark and veiled. Luckily, their mid-range is very neutral, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear and detailed. If you prefer a different sound, they're compatible with the My SoundID app, which offers a graphic EQ and presets. However, this is a third-party app, which requires you to install the Drop updater to access it.

5.5
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.18 dB

The frequency response consistency of these headphones is sub-par. They're prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery. You may especially notice a drop in bass if you have thick hair or glasses. You may need to adjust them on your ears each time you use them to get a more consistent sound.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.7
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.34 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
18.88 Hz
Low-Bass
-3.24 dB
Mid-Bass
-4.5 dB
High-Bass
0.09 dB

The bass accuracy of the Drop Panda is good. There's a dip in the low to mid-bass, so your mixes lack thump, rumble, and punch. The high-bass is fairly accurate and neutral, though, resulting in adequate boom. However, these results are the average of our measurements, and due to their inconsistent bass delivery, your experience may vary.

9.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.28 dB
Low-Mid
0 dB
Mid-Mid
0.9 dB
High-Mid
1.65 dB

The Drop Panda's mid accuracy is outstanding. They have a very neutral and accurate mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear, detailed, and accurate.

7.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.76 dB
Mid-Treble
-2.55 dB
Low-Treble
-1.04 dB
High-Treble
-7.35 dB

The treble accuracy of the Drop Panda is good. It's underemphasized across the range, so vocals and lead instruments are slightly veiled while sibilants like cymbals are dull. Note that these results are the average of our measurements, and your experience may vary, especially as they're prone to inconsistencies in their treble delivery.

7.5
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.48 dB
Dips
1.43 dB

The Drop Panda have good peaks and dips performance. There's a peak in the low-bass that adds an intense thump, while the dip between the low to mid-bass reduces punch. A peak in the high-mid brings boom to your mixes, and another peak in the high-mid intensifies vocals and lead instruments. Dips in the treble range veil the upper harmonics of these sounds, while sibilants like cymbals are alternatively dull and piercing.

7.3
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.66
Weighted Phase Mismatch
22.88
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.42
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.86

The Drop + THX Panda have decent imaging. Although there's a large peak in the group delay's low-bass response, it shouldn't be audible. As a result, a lot of the response falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in mostly tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Their phase response also falls below the audibility threshold, while the left and right drivers are also well-matched in amplitude and frequency. This results in an accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo field. However, our results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

5.2
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.25 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
6.68 dB
PRTF Distance
10.05 dB
Openness
4.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.2

The passive soundstage of the Drop + THX Panda is disappointing. Their soundstage is perceived as natural and large. However, it also struggles to pull audio from out of your head, and it doesn't seem as spacious or open as that created by open-back headphones.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
7.4
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.369
WHD @ 100
0.164

The weighted harmonic distortion performance of these headphones is decent. There's a couple of peaks, one in between the low to mid-bass and another between the low to mid-treble at moderate listening volumes. However, this can be hard to hear with real-life content, and it shouldn't be too noticeable.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
20003
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
aptX HD, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

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

Isolation
5.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-17.72 dB
Bass
-0.05 dB
Mid
-14.42 dB
Treble
-39.92 dB

The noise isolation performance of the Drop Panda is sub-par. The manufacturer advertises that they can isolate you from a significant amount of noise. However, our measurements show less isolation, even with subjective testing. The headphones don't block out any bass-range noise like the rumble of bus or plane engines. They also struggle to cut down ambient chatter, although they can reduce a significant amount of high-pitched noise like the hum of a fan.

8.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
33.16 dB

The Drop Panda Headphones' leakage performance is great. The leakage is concentrated in the mid-range, so audio that escapes sounds fuller than in-ears and earbuds. However, if you're listening to your favorite tunes in a moderately noisy environment like an office, people around you shouldn't be able to hear it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

The Drop + THX Panda have an integrated microphone. However, you can purchase a boom microphone with a volume slider and mute switch from the manufacturer.

7.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
253.98 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.83 dB
HFE
6,933.79 Hz
Weighted THD
2.743
Gain
20.97 dB

The integrated mic's recording quality is decent. Your voice sounds natural and fairly open, although somewhat thin.

5.5
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
11.48 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
5.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The integrated mic's noise handling performance is sub-par. It struggles to separate your voice from moderate background noise, so you may have some trouble being understood if you're taking a call from a busy street.

Active Features
9.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
26.8 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
26.8 hrs
Charge Time
1.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port USB-C

The Drop + THX Panda have an outstanding battery performance. They're advertised as having 30 hours of continuous playback time, but we measured just under 27 hours. Note that battery performance can vary depending on usage, so your experience may vary. That said, they have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when you're not using them. You can also use them while charging as well as passively with their 1/8" TRS cable.

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

The Drop + THX Panda don't have a dedicated companion app, but they are compatible with My SoundID. Since it's a third-party offering that requires you to install the Drop updater to access it, we don't consider it to be an app for these headphones. Also, it's only compatible with select headphones, and it just offers a parametric EQ.

Connectivity
8.0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
216.54 ft (66.00 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
235 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
219 ms
PC Latency (aptX HD)
279 ms
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
141 ms
Android Latency
86 ms

The Drop + THX Panda have great Bluetooth connectivity. While they don't support NFC pairing, you can connect them with up to two devices simultaneously. They also support many codecs, including aptX Adaptive, LDAC, and AAC, which we don't currently test. They have high latency on most codecs, although their latency on iOS and Android devices is more suitable for streaming video. However, some apps and devices seem to compensate for latency differently, so your real-life usage may differ.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.4
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
USB-C
Detachable Yes
Length 4.63 ft (1.41 m)
Connection
1/8" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
21 ms

These headphones come with a USB-C to USB-C charging cable that can also be used to receive audio on PCs. They also come with a 1/8" TRS cable for passive playback.

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

The Drop + THX Panda Wireless Headphone only supports audio on PCs when used with either its 1/8" TRS or USB-C to USB-C cable.

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

These headphones only support audio on PS4 and PS5 consoles when using their 1/8" TRS cable. As a result, you won't be able to use their integrated mic.

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

The Drop + THX Panda can only receive audio on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles when using their 1/8" TRS cable. Unfortunately, you won't be able to use their integrated mic.

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 + THX Panda Wireless Headphone comes in one color variant: 'Black'. You can see our model's label here. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Drop + THX Panda Headphones are closed-back planar magnetic headphones designed with audiophiles in mind. Out-of-the-box, they have a smooth, warm sound profile that ensures vocals and instruments sound clear, accurate, and detailed. While they lack a bit of a thumpy low-bass and have a dark treble range, you can customize their sound with the third-party My SoundID app. However, like other closed-back planar magnetic headphones like the Audeze Mobius, their passive soundstage isn't very immersive. They also lack high-end features like an active noise cancelling (ANC) system.

If you're looking for more headphones, check out our recommendations for the best audiophile headphones, the best closed-back headphones, and the best over-ear headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are more versatile headphones than the Drop + THX Panda Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, better-built, and have a more bass-heavy sound profile, which some users may prefer. They also have a companion app, an active noise cancelling system that can block out a significant amount of noise, and their continuous battery life is longer. However, the Drop have a planar magnetic transducer, which some users may prefer.

Razer Opus Wireless

The Razer Opus Wireless are better over-ear headphones than the Drop + THX Panda Wireless. The Razer are more comfortable, better-built, and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer. They also have an active noise cancelling system that does an outstanding job of blocking out background noise, and you can customize their sound profile using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. However, the Drop can connect with up to two devices at once, and you can still receive audio while they're charging.

Apple AirPods Max Wireless

The Apple AirPods Max Wireless are more versatile headphones than the Drop + THX Panda Wireless. The Apple are better-built, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and an active noise cancelling (ANC) system that can block out a significant amount of ambient noise. They also have an H1 chip so that you can seamlessly pair them with your Apple devices. However, the Drop are more comfortable, and their battery performance is better, too.

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Drop + THX Panda Wireless. While both headphones are comfortable, the Sennheiser are better-built, deliver audio more consistently, and have an active noise cancelling (ANC) system that's able to block out a lot of ambient noise around you. You can also customize their sound using their companion app's parametric EQ and presets. However, the Drop have a better battery performance.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are more versatile than the Drop + THX Panda Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, have a more neutral sound profile,  which some users may prefer, and have an outstanding active noise cancelling system. They also have a better Bluetooth performance. However, the Drop have longer continuous battery life.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are more versatile headphones than the Drop + THX Panda Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, better-built, and have an outstanding noise isolation performance thanks to their active noise cancelling system. They also have a companion app with a graphic EQ and presets. However, the Drop have a better battery performance and can pair with up to two devices at a time.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Beats Solo Pro Wireless and the Drop + THX Panda Wireless are for different uses. The Drop are audiophile over-ear headphones that are more comfortable, have a significantly better battery performance, and can pair with up to two devices at a time. However, the Beats are better for casual use. They have better build quality, a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and active noise cancelling, which can help block noise around you.

+ Show more

Recommended Articles

Discussions