How to spot fake Sennheiser headphones?
This article let you know how to easily and quick spot a fake Sennheiser headphones, such as CX300, CX300 II, CX 400, CX400 II, CX500, mm30i, mm70i, they all share similar design with different shape and cable type.
First of all, below are 3 possible ways to get genuine product
1. Retail Box items from authorised Sennheiser dealer around RRP price
2. Factory Direct items from Sennheiser factory without retail package
3. Refurbished (no official refurbished item, most are factory second and repaired by individual)
First, It’s nearly IMPOSSIBLE to distinguish some counterfeit items from the package as they can reach almost 99% same as genuine product, so you can’t be sure the item is genuine if you only inspect the package, so if you want a Genuine Retail Package version, then you have to buy from an authorized Sennheiser dealer, e.g. JB HI-FI, Dick Smith in Australia or other large retail outlets. Also, the item should have a country distributor label with contact detail on the package, e.g. Australia should have “Syntec International Pty Ltd” contact details, which is Australia distributer, or label of other overseas company if it's a Parallel Imports. It must be a fake item if no distributor label on the package. Also, please note retail package versions offered at an extraordinary low price online are absolutely fake as Sennheiser will never sell their retail product far below RRP.
Below are some examples of labels on genuine package from authorized Sennheiser dealer in Australia, Russia and China.
Second, if the item without retail package and you don’t know where they come from, you can check below to see how to acoustically or visually distinguish a counterfeit from the original product.
1. How to visually distinguish a counterfeit from the original product?
It’s hard to distinguish a counterfeit item as they can reach almost same as original, they are almost same. The only way to verify is to check the preciseness of the product.
From original Sennheiser headphones, there is a perfect gap with width around 0.2mm between the metallic silver ring and the plastic body, please note they are not caused by low quality production and it’s a special designed invisible Bass Vent, which used to release air for bass effect, other brand headphones with a hole and do same thing.
Check the whole circle between the metallic silver ring and the plastic body, and you will find genuine item with a perfect parallel gap. Fake item will never reach the preciseness of original product, they normally have unbalanced gap width or even totally sealed, some people rather think that sealed one is original as they don't know it's a special designed air vent.
2. How to acoustically distinguish a counterfeit from the original product?
Here is an example of CX300 II to explain how sound difference between counterfeit and original product. (REF.1)
Genuine CX300 II Frequency Response
Genuine CX300 II Impedance
Below is the comparison between fake (best version) and real ones. (REF.2)
Genuine are Green
Fake are Red
Headphone sound are significantly different, the original sound are comfortable and clear, No lack of details and good bass. Fake item sound is lacking detail, especially on lows. Most people are not able to feel this point as they never heard originl sound before,
Third, Refurbished item, please note there are no official refurbished items, most are factory second and repaired by individuals. You can verify according above, some refurbished items with non-original parts installed, most are cables, it won’t affect the sound quality and you got genuine sound unit only.
Final words, as Sennheiser said, unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule to spot fake items. You should be alarmed if item selling as "Brand New" condition with full package and offered at an extraordinary low price. The skills of the counterfeiters can often make it hard to distinguish a counterfeit from the original product, but you still able to verify the item based on look and hear the detail as fake item will never reach the quality of original product.