New member and can't find the New Post button, so I'll reply to this one. I also recently got a 2nd pair of Audio Technica ATH-ESW9s and something screams fake about the 2nd pair. However, the seller said these were supposedly the Japan Import ATH-ESW9 headphones. I already have the US version.
Basically my original ATH-ESW9s look of better build quality and sound way better in treble, however the Japan Imports still have some pretty solid surround stage depth..just poor highs. The suspect fakes also have a more red tone and stained wood grain (feels like real wood) but not as much shiny varnish finish to them. The labeling is pretty faded on the suspect fakes too. Here are photos to compare them. Suspect fakes on the "right" side. Shoot, let me know if anything looks strange about both though. Always good to check. The ones on the left honestly sound tremendously better and I think that alone is a sign that something isn't right with the 2nd pair. Haven't seen anything about the Japan Imports sounding worse or "really" different. If I have it correct, the US ones are made of African Padauk while the Japan ones are made of Cherry wood?
Here are the photos: