People aren’t sure what to think of it.
Drop, formerly known as Massdrop, is ready to launch the “world’s highest fidelity wireless headphones.” While that’s all well and good, the company is making a move that’s confusing potential buyers.
The Drop x THX Panda headphones have all the makings of a great pair of cans. First of all, they come with a high-bandwidth Bluetooth audio codec, THX’s own AAA amplifier, and phase-correct planar-ribbon drivers. Drop claims that this combination is a first of its kind for wireless headphones, making them all the more special.
So, what exactly is there to ponder? Well, despite being announced last December with an expected mass production to follow, these headphones have popped up on Indiegogo, a site normally reserved for crowdfunding early prototypes.
Taking the Crowdfunding Route
The issue came up on Reddit shortly after the Indiegogo announcement. The thread starter questioned Drop’s motive for taking the crowdfunding route when it didn’t seem necessary.
One commenter explained that by placing the product on a large-scale website, Drop gains a greater reach and more exposure as compared to using its own platforms.
He goes on to provide examples of other established brands using crowdfunding as a means toward a larger market of consumers. However, other Reddit users pointed out that Indiegogo isn’t exactly a platform you’d want to associate with.
One user called this move “sketchy,” while another commenter reiterated that Indiegogo has a “terrible reputation.” One more user had high hopes which turned into “mixed feelings” after learning about Drops’ Indiegogo plan.
Investing in a prototype with no guaranteed returns is what makes crowdfunding websites like this a potential risk for interested customers, and rightfully so. There have been countless horror stories from those who threw money at a product that showed promise, only for it to faceplant on the way out the door.
One Bright Side to All This
It isn’t all negativity, though. By placing the Panda headphones on Indiegogo, Drop is offering an Earlybird promotion that slashes 20 percent off the product’s retail price, bring it down to $319 from $399. The estimated shipping date is August 2020.
But like any working project, the target date could easily move. The product page is currently in the Prototype stage, explaining that there’s a working demo but no final product yet. The disclaimer adds that the “ability to begin production may be affected by product development or financial challenges.”
If you lack faith in the crowdfunding platform, you could just wait for the Panda headphones to go on its eventual mass production and become available through Drop’s official website.