Drop is an intriguing concept. Drop is a company that markets and designs its products differently. It draws on data and insights from passionate enthusiasts to create a carefully curated selection of products and unique designs that will catch the eye of anyone searching for headphones or a keyboard. This is the kind of organization I like, since I love headphones and a keyboard.
Drop works a lot like having your own tech shopper. It searches the market for the best products and then rates them before releasing them to the public. It can be described as a personal vetting agency that compiles a list of the top products for you to review.
Drop was founded in 2012 and participates in product development for third-party keyboard manufacturers. Drop currently has seven million members, who rely upon Drop to recommend the best products.
Steve El-Hage, Nelson Wu and Nelson Wu founded the company. August Capital, Cowboy Ventures and Mayfield are the backers of the company. KPCB, First Round, Cowboy Ventures, Mayfield and KPCB also support it. This is a novel concept, and although it sounds quite eclectic on paper, the company seems to be capable of shifting large quantities of premium products due to its customers trusting it to choose the best.
I ordered a pair Massdrop x Sennheiser HD58X Jubilee headphones to test the Drop concept. Drop products are sometimes co-branded. They retain the model and name of the original manufacturer but have the Drop imprimatur to show that it has been selected, tested and recommended.
Axel Grell was the audio engineer who designed the Sennheiser HD58X Jubilee headphones. He joined Sennheiser in 1991, and also created the HD 580 Precision. This model launched a beloved series of headphones that have dominated Sennheiser’s audiophile product line for over 25 years.
After the launch of HD 580 Precision in 2005, Sennheiser celebrated its 50th year anniversary with the HD 580 Jubilee headphones. This would eventually become the HD 600, and then the HD 650. Drop launched the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee in the spirit of HD 580. It uses current technology and incorporates the optimizations learned during the series’ development.
Massdrop and Axel Grell tuned these headphones based on feedback from audiophiles. Massdrop designed the new 150O drivers for the open-backed headphones. The design and look of the headphones are influenced by the HD 580 Precision, which is the classic model that launched the entire series.
The HD 58X Jubilee headphones require less amplifying than previous models’ drivers, but they still have the same size and magnet strength as their predecessors. The new HD 58X Jubilee headphones are easier to power with a variety of audio sources such as a smartphone, digital audio player, or a hi-fi system.
The HD 58X Jubilee’s sound is warm and clear. It has a natural, flat response that allows the music to shine through. It sounds similar to Sennheiser HD 600, but has a smaller soundstage. The bass is clear and deep, but it never becomes too loud. Thanks to the drivers being close-matched, the upper midrange is very clean. The result is a clear and focused treble response. These headphones are able to extract the most detail from music. These headphones are extremely relaxing and have a wonderful, open, and fresh sound.
The HD 58X Jubilee is a tribute to the HD 580 Precision headphones. It features a glossy black headband with gray metal grilles and elliptical shaped ear cups that cover the entire ear. The headband is cushioned and the earpads have soft velour padding that can be easily removed by the user. The 6ft cable can be detached and is made of oxygen-free copper with a paraaramid sheath which creates very few microphonics.
The HD 58X Jubilee headphones are open-back, which means that they don’t create the same claustrophobic or sweaty feeling as closed-back headphones. The downside is that open-back headphones allow ambient sounds to reach listeners’ ears. However, it can also cause music leakage from the headphones which can cause irritation to other passengers on trains or planes. These headphones are best for listening to music in a quiet room. The open-back design is great, but they’re not the best for music listening on the move.
Many parts of the HD 58X are interchangeable with other parts in the series. There’s also a thriving aftermarket for modifications and accessories, as well as excellent support from Sennheiser. The HD 58X Jubilee’s cables can be detached and replaced with a balanced cable using a 2.5mm jack connector. These balanced cables are specifically designed for Drop’s Sennheiser HD6XX and HD58X headphones. They can be connected to the balanced output of a digital audio device or portable amplifier with a 2.5mm plug.
The velour earpads that come with the HD58X Jubilee headphones are extremely comfortable and can be swapped out for something else. Drop offers a variety of compatible earpads, in four styles. They provide a comfortable, breathable feel that can be used for extended listening sessions. Velour pads are made from a soft, tight-knit, velour pad. The seams are stitched for security and good sealing. Drop also sells sheepskin pads made from supple sheepskin. They produce a tight soundstage, and a truer sound because they absorb more early reflections of sound before it enters the ears. Drop’s fenestrated sheepskin pad is similar to the sheepskin pad, but has perforations for more airflow. The fourth Drop earpads, which combine a sheepskin outer band with velour on their faces, are a hybrid Velour design.
Verdict The Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee headphones produce a wonderfully relaxed sound due to their open-backed design, and the genius of Axell Grell’s original design. It is very comfortable and not too loose. Although the standard velour earpads feel cool and comfortable, I imagine that sheepskin pads could add a new dimension to these headphones. The Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee produces a superb sound that sounds much more expensive than its very affordable price tag. The HD 58X Jubilee headphones will be a great choice for audiophiles who want to listen to music at home or use a digital audio player. These headphones are worth every penny, thanks to the 3-year warranty that includes accidental coverage and a “no questions” return policy.
Prices & Availability: The Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee headphones cost $190 plus shipping.
More information: Drop.com
Make: Massdrop x Sennheiser
Appearance: Glossy, black headband with gray metal grilles
Ear coupling: Overear (circumaural).
Drivers are open and dynamic
Frequency response: 12 – 38,500Hz (-10 dB)
THD + N: 0.1% 1kHz, 100dB
Sound pressure level: 104dB @ 1V, 1kHz
Connector: 1/8 inch (3.5 mm), gold-plated stereojack plug
Cable: 6 ft (1.8 m) OFC, detachable
Weight with no cable: About. 9.2 oz (260 g)
Made in Romania