The Sennheiser CX300 headphones are a very good quality piece of equipment, characteristically described as having warm bass and excellent external noise reduction qualities. And they do. They retail at around £30. There will be genuine Sennheisers on eBay, however unfortunately most are fakes.
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I recently bought a pair from eBay from a seller who also sells on the Amazon marketplace (which also apparently has the same problem with fakes) for £8 and cosmetically they were very very similar to the real Sennheiser CX300s. Comparing to existing guides the packaging seemed legitimate,
so much so they passed 90% of the tests to determine whether or not they were genuine.
Comparing them to a genuine pair bought from HMV, however, there are several clues to spot fakes. I have included high res photos to illustrate. Starting from the jacks:
1. Some fakes have straight jacks. This is an obvious clue as the real ones have "L" shaped jacks (see the photo for #2)
2. Some fakes have gold plated jacks. Genuine Sennheisers are silver. The rubber wire protectors are very slightly different, as seen in the photo below; the real on the right have gaps where it is possible to see the wire inbetween, the fakes it is barely possible to see the wire, although this may not be the best test.
3. Lead lengths. My real Sennheisers measure ~85cm from end of the jack to the splitter, then ~20cm from splitter to top of left headphone, and ~52cm from splitter to top of the right headphone.
Other guides say that real Sennheisers have a 50cm length from splitter to right headphone, I measured to the end of the right headphone,
which agrees with this.
The fakes measured ~65cm, 25cm, 55cm respectively.
Looking at the logo on the back of the headphones could tell, however decent fakes have copied the logo brilliantly.
4. The buds: the silver rings around the buds are a good point to start. Fake buds will have quite crudely manufactured rings;
these rings are turned down on a lathe and the fakes have telltale cutting rings, whereas genuine phones seem very polished and smart. Real Sennheisers are HIGH quality, and the edge of the ring will be rounded and quite smooth rather than quite sharply chamfered.
5. Remove the rubber noise excluder. Since fakes are manufactured cheaply, it could be possible to see a joining line in the plastic or extra "bobbles" of plastic due to quick production.
(See pictures above)
6. With the rubber excluder still removed, look at the gauze that covers the speaker. I was surprised to see how well manufactured the real ones were
compared to the fakes. The photos below show the comparison, with the fakes having cheap gauze stuck on top of the plastic, and the real ones
having much better gauze stuck to the inner sides of the walls. Again note the cheap manufacture on the silver rings.
7. It was possible to look beyond the gauze at the speaker shield in the headphones without taking them apart if you know what to look for: fake headphones generally have 4 holes in the metal plater infront of the cone (top, bottom, left, right) whereas the real headphones have 8. This is probably the most telltale sign.
Hopefully this will help anyone else tell whether they have bought a fake. A lot of these sellers offer "7 day money back guarantees" - probably in an attempt to mimic authenticity, if you find yours is a fake, call them on it and get your money back.
Fake Sennheiser CX300 (White) Headphones/Earphones
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28 November 2007
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