Review The Philips SHP9500 Headphones

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The Philips SHP9500 is a great pair of budget critical listening headphones. They’re incredibly comfortable and have a sturdy yet lightweight build that feels durable. They’re not casual headphones that can be used outdoors, but they deliver a good, well-balanced sound, on par with much pricier open-back models.

Review The Philips SHP9500 Headphones

1. Design & Build Quality

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The Philips SHP9500 has a utilitarian design that looks good without being too flashy. They come in a matte black color scheme highlighted by the metal frame and Philips branding on the ear cups and headband. They’re well-padded and look more premium than other headphones above their price range. The ear cup padding is soft, however, it’s not the best, and looks a little cheap compared to the rest of the build quality. For headphones with a slightly sleeker look, see the Philips SHP9600.

The SHP9500 are very comfortable headphones. They have large ear cups that will easily fit around most listeners’ ears. They’re not too tight or heavy on the head for their size. The headband like the ear cups is well padded but coated in a slightly rough fabric that’s not as pleasant on the skin as the leather or faux leather used on some models.

The Philips SHP9500 are well-built and durable headphones but feel a little too plasticky. The ear cups and headband can withstand a couple of drops without getting damaged. The headband especially is reinforced with a thin metal frame that should be able to handle a fair amount of physical stress. However, the fabric covering the padding feels easily tearable and will show more signs of wear than leather. The swiveling ear cups are also a weak point being relatively narrow and susceptible to breaking under moderate stress. If you want something that looks and feels a bit more premium and durable, check out the similarly-performing Philips Fidelio X2HR or the Philips Fidelio X3.

2. Sound Quality

Phillips SHP9500 headset V MODA BoomPro mic Eber Impressions

The 50mm neodymium drivers are designed to deliver a full sound and accurately all frequencies. We have found the sonic character of the SHP9500 to be midrange-centric. However, that definitely doesn’t mean that the headphones would be unable to cope well with lows and highs.

Bass, especially, is represented accurately, which could make a few bassheads feel like the headphones lack a punch. In reality, they simply do their best to avoid unnecessary sound coloration. Many happy owners have found them to work amazingly well for home instrument practice, including the piano and drums.

If you intend to use the headphones outside and plan on replacing the cable with a shorter one, you need to make sure that you don’t buy a low-quality cable. We had one laying around, which resulted in connectivity issues and general sound degradation. Audio cables are cheap, so pay a bit extra for higher quality.

3. Stability

The Philips SHP9500

The 50mm neodymium drivers are designed to deliver a full sound and accurately all frequencies. We have found the sonic character of the SHP9500 to be midrange-centric. However, that definitely doesn’t mean that the headphones would be unable to cope well with lows and highs.

Bass, especially, is represented accurately, which could make a few bassheads feel like the headphones lack a punch. In reality, they simply do their best to avoid unnecessary sound coloration. Many happy owners have found them to work amazingly well for home instrument practice, including the piano and drums.

If you intend to use the headphones outside and plan on replacing the cable with a shorter one, you need to make sure that you don’t buy a low-quality cable. We had one laying around, which resulted in connectivity issues and general sound degradation. Audio cables are cheap, so pay a bit extra for higher quality.

4. Noise Isolation & Leakage

Poor isolation. Due to their open-back design, these headphones don’t offer any isolation below 1KHz. Above 1KHz, there is a 3dB/Octave roll-off present, which won’t be effective in blocking outside noise.

Poor leakage. These headphones are quite loud and leak a lot. A significant portion of the leakage is between 300Hz and 20KHz, which is a very broad range. The overall level of leakage is also quite high. The leakage out of these headphones will be loud and comprehensible.

The Philips SHP9500

Great sound quality for neutral listening. The SHP9500 delivers a comfortable listening experience and reproduces tracks with above-average fidelity. Bass, mids, and treble are well balanced, and the large and open ear cups give these headphones a spacious soundstage.