Although the CX95 has been discontinued by Sennheiser since 2009, counterfeiters are still in full blast in its production. There seems to be no stopping them due to it's high demand, specifically in Asia.
I would have liked to have compared a genuine CX95 with a fake, but unfortunately, all I have that comes close to a genuine CX95 is a CX 300-II headphone, also by Sennheiser. Looking at these graphs from HEADPHONEINFO, the CX 300-II should be similar to the frequency response of the original CX95. Hence, similar sound quality:
The CX 300-IIs are quite a step up from their older siblings, the CX 300, as shown by the comparison graphs. It's performance level shows it's at par with the CX95.
The Fake CX95 (50+ hrs burned-in) vs the Original CX 300-II (80+ hrs burned-in):
I had a chance to meet up with someone who unsuspectingly purchased one of these CX95's.
First impression is that the bass on the fakes are unmistakably stronger than the CX 300-II's. The graphs above show that the bass response is quite close at the 85-87db level judging by the lowest frequency. However, on the fakes, the muddy bass sounded overpowering which further muddied the highs on the songs. It's not too bad, but the highs are not as crisps and as airy as the CX300-II's.
The volume level of the CX95 is also significantly louder than the cx300-II. I had to lower the volume on my player so that it is around the same loudness as the CX 300-II while testing. They are supposed to have the same IMPEDANCE and SENSITIVITY, 16ohms and 113dB, respectively. (For those of you who don't know about sensitivity, a low number in dB means that the headphones need more power to sound as loud as those which have a higher sensitivity) This means the fake CX95 must have a higher sensitivity because its volume is louder than the ORIGINAL CX 300-II. They should have the same loudness if his CX95 was a genuine Sennheiser.
For everybody reading this, if you're about to purchase a CX95, this review should serve as a guide. Although you shouldn't have access to a brand new genuine boxed CX95 anymore since it's already out of production for two years. But there might be genuine's still waiting on a store shelf somewhere.
CX 95 Left, CX 300-II Right. Both have the exact same sensitivity rating as advertised by Sennheiser. I drew the yellow line to highlight how similar they are with regards to loudness on the above frequency response graph.
Edited by tenmagnet - 2/10/11 at 4:00pm