UPDATE - FEB 10
I'VE NOTICED LOADS OF CHEAP PIONEER HDJ 1000'S FOR SALE ON EBAY THAT NO LONGER HAVE THE TELL-TALE CLUES THAT THEY ARE FAKES (HEADPHONE STRAP AND BLACK SWIVEL JOINTS). LOOK'S VERY MUCH LIKE THE COUNTERFEITERS HAVE WISED UP AND ARE PRODUCING BETTER COPIES - PHYSICALLY AT LEAST, AS I SUSPECT THE SOUND QUALITY WON'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO THE REAL THING.
I'D BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL BUYING THESE ON EBAY NOW - IT'S TOO HARD TO TELL WHAT YOU'RE GETTING.JUAN
Welcome to the definitive guide to spotting fake Pioneer HDJ 1000 Headphones.
Suffice to say, there are loads and loads of cheap and really nasty replicas out there. Of the 18 auctions for this product active at the time of writing, 8 were almost certainly counterfeit.
Aside from the usual tell-tale sign of 'too good to be true' pricing, it's really easy to tell with this product - there are really obvious physical differences between the fakes and the genuine article which you can clearly see from photos. If there's no photo, don't buy them whatever you do. And personally, I wouldn't touch anything shipping direct from the Far East at bargain prices even if they look like the Real McCoy – it could well be a stock photo.
But let's start with pricing. These headphones retail at about £140 in the UK - they are a top of the range product used by some of the world's best know DJs. So if you see them on sale for £35, they're more than likely fake as that's about half the genuine wholesale price. The cheapest I saw an authentic set for was £60, and then only for a nearly-new, unpackaged pair. £120 is a good price for a new set of these babies, £100 is an absolute bargain.
If you pay £50 for one of the counterfeit copies you are definitely NOT getting a bargain. You're just getting a bog-standard pair of headphones worth no more than £20 at best, and you will not be a happy bunny.
Onto the 'phones themselves. The packaging is fine. In fact, the packaging is about the only thing about counterfeit HDJs that bears any resemblance to the original. In fact, the packaging has been copied so well that you’ll find instructions for features that have been omitted from the fakes. Which, incidentally, is just about all of the special features you’d be buying these headphones for in the first place.
There is no mono-stereo switch on the copies. The rubberized, ‘soft touch housing’ on the back of the cups has been replace with hard, shiny plastic. The genuine article is ‘hermetically sealed’ to prevent sound loss - the copies are noisy beasts. The cord doesn’t look like a service part, although that makes no odds as you’d get no customer service on your fakes anyway.
One thing the counterfeiters have got right is that the cups are mounted on the useful swiveling ‘universal joints’. But only half right – the copies use a different joint design and are black rather than silver. This is the main, tell tale indication of authenticity. If they’re black, return them (or don’t buy them in the first place, as this feature should be clearly visible in the listing photo).
The other dead giveaway is the headphone strap. On the real HDJ’s it extends all the way across and is lushly padded. On the fakes it’s a horrible black plastic thing that only extends about 10cm across the top – you can clearly see in the photos which one you’re getting. And this is the best one of all – if you’ve bought these and suspect they’re fake, check on the inside of the 'phones, just above the universal joint. You’ll see they’re apparently ‘Made in Japan’, yet on the packaging they say ‘Made in China’. Quality control is obviously not high on the counterfeiters' list of priorities.
And that’s about it. I was going to add some photos to this, but the fakes are so obvious it seems almost pointless. I would avoid buying HDJ 1000 knock-offs unless you really don’t care, and if you must buy them, don’t pay much. You will definitely not be 'getting one over on the greedy corporations' if you do – you will have been scammed by slapdash counterfeiters and unscrupulous ebay traders, and you will be making life harder for the honest traders who are trying to offer you high quality, genuine products at prices below the high street.