Fake Sony MDR-V700DJ Headphone IRL Review- These were the first in person headphones I got to experience that were fake. A minor issue for me at the time of purchase, I simply didn’t think the fake headphone makers could get it this good. At that point, my experience with “fanban” (fake in Cantonese) items was mostly with clothing. I had a few fake Calvin Klein wallets/shirts, the usual bad quality material stuff with a screener logo or stamp pushed in. While this didn’t bother me at the time, what did bother me was fake electronics. For me, even if it looked real, you can’t fake the experience and usage. I was fresh out of high school at the time and I wanted a pair of good headphones. Up to that point, my best pair was probably the Koss PortaPro, Sony MDR-V300 and the Sennheisser PX100 (that I got at Sears of all places). I was pretyt influenced by imagery at this point, so the big silver cups of the V700s on all the super cool DJs at the time was a big influence. However, I also wanted good quality too- basically this was a lifestyle headphone for me. At the time of purchase, these typically went for over 200 CDN. I remember a posting on EdmontonOnline for these asking for 120- I managed to bargain it down to 70 CDN and thought I was getting a great deal. Years later I realize I wasn’t but it doesn’t matter now I suppose. I rememebr thinking I was being pretty smart- I met the seller at the mall and sat on the bus stop entrance with my MD player and plugged these in for a listen. I recognzied the guys as probably being recent travellers to Asia. No red flags from my newbie mind at the time. My inexperienced ears also didn’t flag anything. I think I got a good 20 minute listening session before I gave the thumbs up and said I would take them, laughing in the back of my head about the excellent steal I just got. Alas. After owning these knock offs for more than a decade, the following is my IRL review.
Design- If I was to look at the real V700, I would say I absolutely love the design. Its not a SKullcandy in your face design that tires easily. However, its not a quiet professional can that disappears into the background like a typical set of monitors. These had an excellent silver and balck design with little color accents on them and a big swanky Sony logo on top to let teh world know what you were listening to. Subtle but strong at the same time. I loved the design and I think they still hold their own to this day as a classic enthusiast headphone in the early days of headphones before Beats blew up.
If I look at the fake one, this is probably where you will notice small changes that take away from the original design. The swanky Sony wording is missing from the headband- surprising because a silk print is pretty easy to do. The amazing thing is that the molded logos for the brand and left/right indicators look pretty spot on to me- they wouldn’t screen the Sony logo but they would make a physical mold! I’m impressed. And that likely lead me to thinking these were real. And while I don;t have the box on me right now to show, the box was pretty real looking too- now that I am familiar with fakes, that’s something I realize is very easy to do, but at the time, they looked pretty real. Importantly, you can see that these are the MDR-Z700DJs not V700DJs. This was the Asia version- again, another red flag I missed. Anyways, going back to the box, I was pretty dumb to to think that made them authentic. In this day and age, you can find fake Bowers and Wilkins P5s- these are very elaborate headphones with clearly high end materials that would make faking expensive. And yet they exist. So a plastic headphone with a cardboard box really isn’t that far off. Oh and these didn’t come with the case either. I believe it is a ivory white soft cloth case (HifiGuy528 on YouTube has an excellent unboxing vid covering the fake vs real pack ins).
Build Quality- I haven’t held an authentic V700DJ in awhile, so I can’t really compare them. But these fake ones SCREAM fake the minute you pick them up. The cable in particular is VERY stiff and cheap feeling- the coils are difficult to separate and would clearly get in the way of a real DJ trying to go back and forth equipment. Next, the entire headphone is just squeaky feeling. Stretching them out or adjusting on the head has this creaky chitnzy feel/sound. Finally, the cups and headband feel cheap- especially the nonremovable cups- they feel like packaging plastic, and not some soft pleather. That’s a huge warning sign right there that I missed. So basically these feel like junk. But you wouldn’t guess it if you just saw them. Its the build quality that gives them away.
Sound Quality- And this is probably the final area that should really give these away as fake. And it really tells me what kind of ears I had at the time. These sound muffled and detailess. A clearly lower level than the muffled detailess sound of the Nixon Master Blaster I just reviewed. I would say these barely pass the quality expected from a 20 dollar headphone. And this is where fake really shows in an audio product- you can fake the design, but faking the audio quality requires actual engineering.
Isolation- you can tell these POS cannot isolate because the plasticky headphone cups don’t actually mold to your ears to seal them. Basically, you wont be able to isolate anything.
Conclusion- Buying fakes has really lead me to be more cautious in buyign used equipment. Considering that I haven’t hit a fake product in some time leads me to believe that I have become very good at weeding out shitty listings. At this time, the fake part just gives me a sense of disgust and I’m glad I haven’t been tricked again. Looking back at this purchase, I should have recognized the signs- the seller I was buying it from (he mentioned if was from Asia- which isn’t bad on its own, but a higher possibility of fake than buyign a readily available headphone here in Canada), the cheap build quality, the crappy sound quality….lots of signs that said DONT DO IT! I think the biggest thing I do now is actually get a good listen from the real product in stores if possible so I can recignize the sound signature when testing used headphones. That way I know what to expect. It was dumb when I went in to try these- I didn’t know what they really sounded like and so I wouldn’t have known what to recognize as bad sound.
TLDR- I got duped but I haven’t been duped again.