Authentic pair on the left, Counterfeit pair on the right.
The fake headphones came rather loosely packed and did not really form-fit into the packaging like the authentic pair do. The manual is a cheap copy, and the little leather pouch feels like it’s made out of cheap plastic-leather material, definitely a different kind of leather than the authentic pouch.
With the fake headphones, the red material is sloppy and hastily attached, on the authentic pair it is clean and professional looking. The boxes are nearly identical but on the fake pair all of the printing is done on a plastic insert that is behind the first plastic layer of the box. On the authentic pair, there is only one layer of plastic, that is part of the box, and it’s printed directly on there.
The fake pair did not come with the cord wrapped up while the authentic pair did.
One thing that is immediately obvious is the headband. The authentic pair actually clamps on my head pretty well. The counterfeit pair feels like it’s about to fall off my head and has very little clamping force. The headband itself is slightly different between the two. The leather material is very slightly different, and the stitching is tighter on the authentic pair. The metal part where you adjust the headphone to fit your head is slightly different. On the authentic pair it slides in and out like a well-oiled machine and you hear a click for every notch. On the counterfeit pair adjusting the size feels like you’re adjusting something cheap, and there is much less of a defined “click” for each notch on the metal.
The cord on the fake pair looks to be made of a slightly cheaper rubber and the cord isn’t coiled as tightly (top cord is authentic, bottom is fake).
Now we’re getting to it. There are clear differences in the driver. The metal on the authentic pair feels like thin steel, while the metal on the counterfeit pair is definitely aluminum. The configuration of the holes is slightly different as well.
Authentic on top, fake on bottom. Overall the drivers look a lot closer to each other than I expected. You can tell that there are some differences when you look in through the metal in the front.
Overall, I’d say it’s a pretty good counterfeit. It would be extremely difficult to tell that it was a fake by looking at it without having a real pair sitting right there.
The sound however, reveals the biggest difference.
Listening to the authentic pair, one of the first things you notice is the rather bright treble that these headphones are known for. Along with the punchy bass these are basically the exact same sound I remember from my MDR-7506 headphones. There is really no mistaking that treble, these are the real deal.
Listening to the counterfeit pair, you immediately notice that the highs that you expect to be there are simply gone, not there at all. MDR-V6 headphones have a fairly easy to identify sound signature and these definitely don’t have it. In addition to the lack of treble, the bass was also muddy with each beat not being particularly defined. Pretty much the kind of sound you would expect out of a ~$20 pair of headphones purchased at K-Mart. Even though there are a lot of subtle differences between the two, you could probably write off the differences as them coming from different factories or something. The sound is a clear giveaway though. I feel bad for anyone who bought a pair and thinks they are real, as they simply don’t know what they are missing.
Edited by GotNoRice - 12/12/12 at 9:50am