• Beau Steward

Drop+THX Panda Still Has Problems

I just trashed a previous article I wrote but hadn't published. I was prepared to write about the Panda being a failure because, once again, firmware updates to solve its problems were delayed. But...Drop finally released the update. And I'm a bit upset with what was released.

Drop put a lot of emphasis on releasing the parametric EQ functionality and it seems like the firmware delays were caused by problems with this feature. The problem with this is people were having issues with their headsets and delays to fixing those issues for functionality no one had yet is, in my opinion, the wrong approach. Even worse, they didn't solve a major issue I have with them, and someone else also confirmed persists.

So, yeah, I can use SoundID to develop an EQ curve that suits my preferences and they sound great. It definitely improved the sound substantially for me. But I was also okay with the sound profile before. Even if not tuned for my audio preferences, they still sounded better than most headphones I've used.

But, also, while I was listening to a webinar, the headset inappropriately went to sleep. This is a defect that was specifically noted to be fixed. And it wasn't.

And, of course, I still can't use them with my TV. This was one of the big reasons I went for this headset, because they were initially noted to support AptX LL, but this functionality was removed in favor of AptX Adaptive, for which there are no transmitters I can hook up to my TV. All the other supported protocols on this headset have enough latency to make TV/Video watching distractingly out of sync, and none of my equipment offers a sync compensation to deal with this. There's just no options available for me to use these with my TV for an enjoyable movie experience in my apartment to not disturb the neighbors.

Drop's handling of this product has been really poor. Their priorities, in my opinion, are way out of line. Their support and communication has been poor. And these are $400 headphones. I've paid less and gotten far more.

So, as of now, for $400, if you are just looking for a high-end set of headphones for music, these will do the job. But if you want anything beyond this, it's not worth the frustration. There's plenty of other products out there that actually work as advertised, and in many cases, are cheaper. So, overall, I still don't recommend the Drop+THX Panda headset.

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