We’ve compared the AirPods Max to several other competing sets of headphones from companies like Bose, Sennheiser, and Sony, but recently, the Drop + THX Panda Wireless Headphones have been getting some attention, so we thought we’d see how they measure up to Apple’s over-ear headphones.
Priced at $400, the Drop + THX Panda Wireless headphones are the first headphones that offer THX AAA Amplification, for what Drop says is the “world’s lowest possible levels of distortion.” They’re also equipped with “planer-ribbon drivers” for additional distortion resistance and more realistic sounding audio, and they’re supposedly super comfortable with plush foam earpads wrapped in leather.
These weren’t on our radar until we started hearing from the YouTube community, so they’re not as familiar as other, more popular brands, but they have some impressive features. That said, these are not better than the
AirPods Max, which is not unexpected given the disparity in price points.
When it comes to sound,
MacRumors videographer Dan, who tested the headphones, said the Drop + THX Pandas are “dead even” with the AirPods Max in terms of sound quality, and perhaps even a little bit better.
The AirPods Max are more comfortable than the Drop + THX Panda headphones, with the latter exerting more pressure on the temples and the cheeks while the AirPods Max are able to better distribute weight. The mesh ear cups of the AirPods Max are also more comfortable than leather ear cups, as leather along with the tight seal can get hot.
Compared to the AirPods Max, the Drop + THX Panda headphones are lacking Active Noise Cancellation, but there is enough of a seal around the head that it drowns out most outside noises.
The Drop + THX Panda headphones come with a hardshell case that fits the headphones plus additional cables, and they come with a USB-C cable for charging and a 3.5mm audio cable if you want to use them in a wired capacity. Comparatively, the AirPods Max have the Smart Case, which is not particularly protective.
When it comes to battery life, the Drop + THX Panda headphones can last for up to 30 hours, which is 10 hours more than the AirPods Max. As for controls, the Drop x THX Pandas have a little joystick that can be used to skip tracks and control playback.
All in all, the Drop + THX Panda headphones may be ideal for those who want good sound quality and don’t mind the lack of Active Noise Cancellation, but the AirPods Max win out in comfort, ANC capabilities, Spatial Audio, head detection, and ease of use with Apple devices thanks to the H1 chip that allows for fast pairing and fast device switching.