Kramer made a good point. The inflated brand new cushions may affect things too (no guarantees). Although as you described, the ear cushions should not be thin. They should most definitely be pillow-like. I feel that if you bought these from amazon from a reliable seller, the XB500 should be real but you cannot know for sure I suppose. Perhaps you can check online to see if Sony ever had a revision where they made the bass even more prominent and the rest of the sound more muddier
Re-bought xb500, but now they suck??!!? - Page 2
Gear mentioned in this thread:
It may be possible this is all entirely in my head. And my friends head, since I kind of biased him from the start by telling him I think something is wrong. Anyways, one thing I'm noticing is that the headphones are barely audible at low volumes....i seem to remember my old headphones having no problem being audible at the lowest volumes. Anyways I put in a return order for these headphones but now I'm unsure if its just in my head or what so I'll keep them a few more days and see if anything changes.
But the thing is you can still get them.........
Just maybe not at best buy. I just feel like music sounds "good/amazing" on other headphones but on these its like an entire experience onto its own.