Drop + THX Panda vs. Bose Noise Canceling 700: Which should you buy?

Dropthx Panda Headphones
Dropthx Panda Headphones (Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

Drop + THX Panda

Drop + THX Panda render

The Drop + THX Panda put sound quality above all else whether you decide to use them wired or over Bluetooth. They also feature long battery life, the ability to charge and listen at the same time with USB-C, and great comfort, even though they might be a bit heavy.

Drop + THX Panda

Sounds great

Long battery life
Exceptional sound quality
Great comfort
Simultaneous charging and listening over USB-C
Lacks active noise-cancelation (ANC)
Can't be folded up
Heavier than most other Bluetooth headphones

Bose Noise Canceling 700

NCH 700 render

If you need great ANC with superb comfort, the NC 700 from Bose are an easy pick. They also last a decently long time and feature USB-C for charging. You'll just be sacrificing sound quality.

Bose Noise Canceling 700

Block it out

Good battery life
Exceptional comfort
USB-C for charging
Excellent ANC performance
Sound quality is decent at best
Cannot be folded up
Can't charge and listen simultaneously

The Drop + THX Panda and Bose Noise Canceling 700 are both wireless over-ear headphones at the same starting price. However, they both give you two completely different listening experiences. The Panda are designed to have the best and most consistent sound regardless if you're using them wired or via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, to achieve this, the Panda have to omit a very popular feature among Bluetooth headphones in this price range: acitve noise-cancelling.

On the other hand, Bose's main focus with the Noise Canceling 700 is... well, noise canceling. The NC 700 have some of the best ANC on the market and are designed for comfortable, long listening sessions without distractions. However, this all comes at the cost of sound quality. Now you see the dilemma.

Drop + THX Panda vs. Bose Noise Canceling 700: Sound quality vs. noise-canceling

Dropthx Panda Headphones

Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

These are both expensive, high-end headphones, but they cater to different needs. Because these are both high-end headphones, you're going to get a lot in the areas where it counts. In terms of battery life, the Panda come out on top with a rated 30+ hours of battery life on a single charge. The NC 700 feature up to 20 hours of battery life with ANC enabled. Of course, you can always turn off ANC and get a few extra hours of juice. Both sets of headphones charge over USB-C, which is always welcome.

However, the Panda take it a step further and allow you to pass-through audio to allow simultaneous charging and listening over USB-C. The NC 700 are actually non-functional when charging. Neither the Panda nor the NC 700 will let you use your headphones over Bluetooth when charging, though.

The NC 700 feature a smartphone companion app that lets you control the level of ANC you want, in addition to downloading and installing firmware updates. Notably missing is an EQ to tune the headphones to how you want them to sound. The Panda don't currently have a smartphone app. Drop says they're working on one, though, that will let you update your headphone's firmware and feature an EQ. Hopefully, the app releases sooner rather than later.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Drop + THX PandaBose Noise Cancelling 700
Battery life30+ hours20 hours
Active Noise-CancelationNoYes
USB-C for chargingYesYes
USB-C audioYesNo
Smartphone appNoYes

Bose Noise Canceling 700

Source: Bose (Image credit: Source: Bose)

Now, to arguably the most important thing when looking at headphones: sound quality. The NC 700's ANC performance is some of the best you'll find in the industry and you won't be disappointed wearing them for 10+ hours at a time. They block out consistent noises such as engine noise or the whine of a fan. They're also good at blocking out some inconsistent, higher-pitched noises.

These are both expensive, high-end headphones, but they cater to different needs.

The Panda don't feature any active noise-cancelation, but their passive isolation is solid. They have a strong clamping force, so they'll immediately attach to your head with ease.

Unfortunately, the NC 700 aren't the greatest sounding set of headphones around. The only real thing the NC 700 are better at over the Panda is treble presence, which is more balanced overall. The Panda's treble response is detailed but not bright. Some may find the treble from the Panda a bit lacking and dull, but there's no denying that the treble is detailed.

The midrange goes to the Panda without a doubt. They're balanced but acoustic guitars, vocals, wooden instruments, etc. sound clear and distinct. The NC 700's midrange is still good and balanced, but it can't compete with what the Panda offer.

Bass is laughably bad on the NC 700. In terms of tonality, the bass is balanced, but it still sounds fake, as if the driver isn't capable of producing bass so they try to replicate it in software. The bass sounds distorted and muddy.

Bass on the Panda is detailed and distortion-free. It's balanced overall, with a small boost in the upper-bass that makes the bass sound a bit bloated at times, especially on bass-heavy songs. The Panda's bass also goes deeper, so you'll feel the bass a bit more than with the NC 700.

Dropthx Panda Headphones

Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

Lastly, let's discuss comfort. The NC 700 destroys the Panda in this regard. The NC 700 are a set of headphones that you can wear for 10+ hours without feeling any sort of discomfort or fatigue. The headband doesn't squeeze the crown of your head, and the clamping force from the ear cups aren't terribly strong, which means they won't squeeze the sides of your head, either.

The Panda will probably be fine for a lot of people, but if you have a big head it may become an issue. These are pretty heavy headphones, so a lot of the weight gets transferred to the headband. If you need to max out the headband, this can become a problem as all the weight gets transferred to your head.

Neither set of headphones are capable of being folded up. So, in terms of portability, both the NC 700 and Panda aren't great and will take up a good amount of space in your bag.

Bottom line

To wrap things up, if you need a lightweight set of ANC headphones, the Bose NC 700 are your best bet. They are super comfortable, and quite frankly sound quality doesn't matter a whole ton while commuting or flying as there'll be so much going on around you anyways that sound quality probably won't be your main concern.

But if you care about sound quality, the Panda are the right choice when it comes to Bluetooth headphones in general. They don't feature ANC, but they feature much longer battery life than the NC 700 and offer superior sound quality.

Peter Cao