For fake's sake.
A few days ago I lost my basic earphones, a pair of Sennheiser CX 300's that I'd had for about three years.
To be honest, I was surprised that they had lasted so long, though I never thought that I would lose them. I always assumed that they would simply fail; most likely as the result of a broken or cut cable.
I think when I bought them, I paid about £35, so I was expecting to pay a little more to replace them with the same model.
I called in to a couple of electrical retailers and, sure enough, they were just under £40. I also checked Amazon and was amazed to see the same model for less than a third of the high street price. My immediate thought was to look at a slightly higher model in the range, the CX 300 II. Again, these were very inexpensive. I read a few online reviews and decided to order a pair of CX 500's. The price, including the rather exorbitant Amazon, standard postage and packaging fee was still less than £20.
My order was placed on Saturday, I was notified that they had been shipped on Sunday and they arrived at my home on Tuesday morning. Or course, I wasn’t at home, and the package required a signature, so the postman left a note through the letterbox telling me that I would have to collect them from the local sorting office and that I would have to wait a further 24 hours before they would be available from the customer collection office.
I picked them up this morning and everything seemed fine. I used them for a couple of hours during the morning, listening to both music and podcasts and they were comfortable and the sound quality was perfectly acceptable.
During my lunch break I decided to check a few more reviews to see what other people thought of them. I noticed a large proportion of Google hits for the CX 500’s were offering details about how to spot fakes. Of course, I couldn’t help myself, I started to look through them, comparing pictures of counterfeit earphones with details on my new 500’s and the included accessories.
They are certainly well made, there are no rough edges or badly moulded components. All the Sennheiser logos are sharp and printed squarely. The packaging is of a very high standard, both from a print and board/plastic engineering perspective.
There are just one or two niggling suspicions in my mind that suggest that they may still be a good quality fake; but how can I know for certain, and, more importantly, does it matter?
I bought a pair of Sennheiser earphones from a third party seller, through Amazon. They arrived quickly, they appear to be what they are advertised to be, they sound okay. At £13.68 plus shipping and handling, it really doesn’t matter if I only get a year of regular use out of them.
So why do I still feel just a little uneasy?
Yesterday, (Friday, July 8th) my Sennheiser CX 300 earphones were found at the premises of one of my customers.