I own both an Offworld V3 and a Xymox ID pad (the ID being the low-profile version with 1/8" gum rubber on the top playing surface), and I also have experience playing on a Xymox Reserve Corps pad.
I'm gonna give you a run down based on different categories, comparing the two companies/products, then I'll give an overall rating for each on at the end. ProductOffworld:
These guys were the biggest and baddest thing around about 2 years ago. They offered a rim system that wasn't specific to the little crappy remo pads that kids purchased for their first year as a percussionist. They also introduced their "dark matter," a product that makes a great combination of articulation and durability.
Pros - This pad is very articulate. The rim has a very accurate height, and what you put into the pad is what you get out of it. You have a full dynamic range that isn't cut off by the material of the pad. The black matter pad, straight out of the box, is one of the most sleek pads you're going to find on the market, hell, they almost give the pad a mirror-finish when it's shipped. Finally, the best thing about this pad would have to be the durability. I've literally dropped my V3 from the roof of a 2 story building just for the sake of seeing how durable the pad is. After dropping it, I went to check it out, and there was hardly a scratch on the pad.
Cons - The V3 is a very heavy pad. It's not one that you want to carry around with you all day every day without at least a backpack or something to throw it in. While the pad is very articulate, and you can hear what you're playing, the dynamic balance between rim and playing surface is far from perfected. When practicing your show music, your rim shots are going to be heard all across your neighborhood, basically no matter how hard or soft you hit the rim. In addition to this, there's no real way to tell if you're getting a rim shot, or missing the shots completely other than by feel. The only other problem I have with the V3 would be the way that it picks up fibers, dust, and dirt. The dark matter, being a "non-slip" surface, also makes it a great way to pick up anything loose that you set it on. If you're obsessed with making your pad look great, then keep some turtle wax, windex, and a wash cloth with your pad almost at all times. Overall PRODUCT rating - 4/5 stars
Let's face it, the V3 is the stepping stone to marching practice pads. They raised the bar for marching drum pads, but I don't know where they're going to go next with their product. Because this is a comparison, I'm giving the V3 a 4 merely because I do find the Xymox to be a better overall pad. The V3 still gets the job done. Xymox:
These guys are definitely giving Offworld a run for their money. The guys and gals at xymox offer a FULLY personalized pad in the low-profile form (or a carbon fiber upgrade for $20 extra), this can include any photos that you upload to their design portal, the color of the wood, rim color (upon request), all the way down to what playing surfaces you're using. In addition to the iD pads, Xymox offers a great line of "base" models, if you will, that don't have fancy lettering or pictures, but just offer you the most recent pads on the market.
Pros - The Xymox carbon-fiber surface is equally as articulate as the dark matter on a V3, in addition to being articulate, the feel is also much more accurate than that of the V3, being that batter heads are generally made of KevlarŪ, which is fibrous material. The rims that are offered on the Xymox pads definitely surpass that of the invader. While having an accurate height set up, and also being removable (UNLESS you purchase a low-profile iD pad, those rims are NOT removable), you also have a rim that is much thinner than that of the V3, offering a bit more accuracy to that of a snare drum. They've even thought to put stick notches in the rim, so you can set your sticks down on top of your pad when you're not playing, and they won't roll off the front! As far as sound, the Xymox pad is a loud pad that can be heard, just like the V3. However, unlike the V3, Xymox has better closed the dynamic difference regarding the playing surface/rim hit ratio. With that being said, all rim shots are still quite a bit louder than your regular playing, it's merely just a closer match than that of the V3.
Cons - My biggest con, in regards to the xymox pads is their durability. The day I received my pad, I managed to drop it from about 5'. It landed on concrete (something my invader has done many, many times) and took a couple small chips out of the wooden base of the pad. With that being said, they weren't like diameter-based cracks or anything serious like that, but I would personally like for a pad to last me as long as possible before it starts REALLY showing wear and tear. With that being said, the Xymox pad is still a very durable pad, I'm merely pointing out the biggest differences between the two products.Overall PRODUCT rating - 4.9/5 stars.
I would give Xymox a 5 for product, but nothing in life is perfect, it's just the best thing out right now. Xymox has found a great combination of personalization, performance, sleekness, and application that is going to take a lot of effort to match or surpass. COMPANY
This one, I'm not going to give you quite as much detail, mainly because you didn't request for this information, but it's good to know these things before making a purchase. Offworld:
Offworld's company offers a wide array of products, including an over-priced and over-sized mouse pad that, when used on your invader, will deaden the sound, and can offer the quiet playing opportunities that you'll want in some situations. With that being said, the same oversized mouse pad can be used on the Xymox pads and reap the same benefits. Offworld also offers a practice pad-height snare stand so you don't always have to be sitting to practice appropriately. We all know it's a pain when you pick up a snare stand that doesn't have a basket wide enough to hold a 14" drum or pad, better yet hold up to 3 to 4 feet high up. Offworld offers a stand that does just that. Offworld also manages a website that's fool-proof to navigate, and upon any purchase, they handle their customers professionally, maintain great communication, and ship punctually/safely.
From purchase confirmation to my door in about 2 and a half weeks. Overall COMPANY rating: 4/5 stars
Offworld is a great company that offers great products, however, their product selection is rather limited to anything that isn't specific to their V3 pad. If this was a rating based solely on shipping/handling and communication, Offworld would get a 5. I had no problems with their shipping process whatsoever. Xymox:
Xymox offers a little bit of everything. They have some of the best quad pads on the market, some of the best snare pads, table pads, practice sticks, etc. You name it, they've pretty much got it when it comes to percussion practice needs. Xymox also runs a great website that's pretty easy to navigate. However, Xymox is a company run by a small group of people, and their pads are almost all made to order. With that being said, when the next big thing comes out in the drumming community, the company responsible for that next big thing tends to get completely swamped with orders. The guys at xymox were behind on their orders for a while. While they have since caught up, they're still finding their place in the percussive world, and likely will eventually be able to meet the demands as one of the more elite pad companies on the market. Until then, however, their communication is very mediocre, at best. I never received a tracking email from the company once my product was shipped, and after trying to reach the company through several different mediums (email, the contact section of their site, and direct messages to the owners of the store), I never received any correspondence from Xymox. Again, I am understanding of how waves of orders come in, but that is definitely a category they're going to have to address to better the company.
Order confirmation to my door in a little over 6 weeks.
Keep in mind, my pad was an iD pad, meaning that it was made completely unique to me after I ordered it. I wasn't just ordering 1 of the hundreds of the exact same pad that they had waiting to ship from their warehouse. Overall COMPANY rating: 3.5/5 stars
If this rating was specific to their website and what they offer as a company, they'd get a much higher rating. However, if this rating was based solely on customer service, they would have received a much lower rating. You can't expect to be praised for your customer service when you never send a tracking email (an issue that doesn't just seem to have effected me) or respond to the countless attempts to reach the company
So, here is the way the overall scores average out: Offworld Percussion - 4.0/5 stars
Xymox Percussion - 4.2/5 stars
These scores are actually pretty accurate, based on how I feel on overall experience. The pads are darn near even, when it comes down to it. I personally prefer my Xymox just a little bit better, namely because it's a pad that I designed specific to me, and even if it was an all black pad like my invader, I would still likely give the edge to xymox.
I hope that helped some, because I believe I just contracted CTS from typing that much.