I ordered my version 2s (gold with brown cables) directly from Xiaomi World online and they arrived yesterday after a pretty standard 3 week wait.
I got a tracking number and was able to check on them through China Post now and then to see how much longer they were going to be.
Straight out of the box, I got that lovely chocolatey smell.
All accounts confirm that these are the real deal and not fakes which seem to be quite common. But then, I wouldn't expect Xiaomi to be selling fakes from their own store.
I plugged them into my iPhone 5 for a quick listen and noticed an immediate improvement in all respects over my Vsonic R02 PIIs.
This model Vsonic was regarded as a benchmark product until fairly recently and purchased locally in Australia, cost AU$99.00.
The Pistons cost me AU$32.00 shipped!
I also has Shure CXs a little while back.
The Shure is more extended at each end of the spectrum than the Vsonic but the Vsonics were much more refined in what they did play. The Pistons have given me back the extension and transparency but are a much more refined sound compared to the Shures which could sound a little rough.
I struggled to get a good fit with all the new flanges so I resorted to my well used Sony ones that are a firmer silicon, stay better inserted and 'gripped' in my ears and give a better sound. Best fit is with the wiries pointing up and pulled back over the top and down the back of my ears.
The Xiaomis are more extended in the top end, much fatter in the bass, and much more transparent sounding in the mid and upper mids.
While the treble more prominent compared to the Vsonics, it is clean and precise and far from harsh and fatiguing.
Bass is very deep and powerful. It's also more defined and I can hear textures now rather than just tones.
The mid lends the stage a much more layered presentation and an improved sence of exactly where performers are located relative to each other.
The stage now really fills my head and the whole listening experience is more intense and involving. These are a very revealing phone and I am really enjoying hearing so much more of the recording.
They only have about 4 hours on them now but they're already running in nicely and gaining in musicality (the top is smoothing out a touch more).
And to think I was looking at Martin Logan Micros 70s (I use ML electrostatic speakers in my home system) or Monster Coppers for 10x the price.
Not any more.
Last point to note; the volume buttons will not work with iPhone. Only the single button around the other side of the tube from the volume buttons works for stop, start, Siri, next track.
Edited by Winno - 2/20/14 at 5:58pm