Philips Audio SHB9500//00 Hifi Precision Stereo Over-Ear Headphones, Black
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- 50mm neodymium drivers deliver full spectrum of sound
- 1.5m cable gives you freedom of movement for indoor use
- Comfortable double layered headband cushion, breathable ear cushion for longer wearing comfort
- Finishing of connector: gold-plated, acoustic system: open, Magnet type: neodymium
- Impedance: 32 ohm, maximum power input: 200Mw, sensitivity: 101 dB, speaker diameter: 50mm, Frequency response: 12-35 000Hz
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High precision sound. Enjoy an authentic listening experience in style. Created to offer outstanding performance through open back architecture and high-precision 50mm speaker drivers.
High precision sound
Enjoy an authentic listening experience in style. Created to offer outstanding performance through open back architecture and high-precision 50mm speaker drivers.
Find the sound you are looking for
Ready for use with or without amplifiers
Philips SHP9500 and its open-back, over-ear design is comfortable for long-term wear and has low impedance so that it will work great with and without headphone amplifiers, allowing you to enjoy greater sound transparency and smooth high frequencies.
It comes with a 1.5m cable (removable) for freedom of movement for indoor use, as well as a gold-plated 3.5-6.3mm adapter for those with audiophile grade equipment.
- Frequency range: 12 - 35,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 101 dB
- Maximum power input: 200 mW
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- Acoustic system: Open
- Magnet type: Neodymium
- Speaker diameter: 50 mm
High Precision Sound
Philips SHP9500 HiFi stereo headphones
With over 50 years of heritage in headphone acoustics, we remain dedicated to ensuring exacting standards in both sound and ergonomic performance. That's why we continually work to refine and innovate our products, integrating your preferences and experiences into our signature designs.
- Exquisite open-back, over the ear design for authentic sound
- 50mm neodymium drivers deliver the full spectrum of sound
- Angled drivers align perfectly with your ear
- Breathable ear cushion for longer wearing comfort
- Steel headband for strength and durability
- Comfortable double layered headband cushion
- 1.5m (4.9 ft) cable (removable) gives you freedom of movement for indoor use
- 3.5mm jack on the headphones allows for easy removal of cable for switching sources or adding a microphone (microphone not included)
Just play your favorite tunes
50mm high power drivers
The 50mm drivers utilize high power neodymium magnets to reproduce all your music’s dynamics and deliver well balanced crisp bass, transparent mid-range and pristine high frequencies.
Open-back, over-ear headphones
An acoustic open-back architecture eliminates air pressure build-up behind the driver, giving the diaphragm greater freedom of movement. This greatly enhances sound transparency and smooths extended high frequencies.
Precisely angled drivers
Engineered to fit the ear's natural geometry, the ear-shells offer precise and accurate sound. Audio signals are directly channeled into the ears, creating a dynamic and authentic listening experience.
Comfortable headband cushion
SHP9500 is fitted with a comfortable double layered headband cushion is soft and breathable for listening hours-on-end.
Breathable ear cushions
Philips has engineered the SHP9500 with deluxe breathable ear-pads that improve breathability and dissipate pressure and heat for longer wearing comfort.
Durable steel headband
SHP9500 comes with headband made with cold rolled steel provides just the right amount of tension and ensures strength and durability. The headband size is also easily adjustable with markings for the optimum fit.
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Cons: Non-replaceable ear pads; somewhat uneven treble response (can be corrected, read further)
These headphones are a real treat for the price. They should sell at a significantly higher price than they do now, but are available at low prices only because they are being discontinued (not official yet, but apparently they are).
I am a headphone enthusiast and own numerous headphones many of which are more expensive than the Philips SHP9500. Among them, the closest contender to the SHP9500 in many ways, including price, may be Audio Technica ATH-TAD500, which I highly regard as well. In fact, adding the venerable Sennheiser HD 518, I judge these three headphone models are the best, full-size, open headphones that can be had under $100 on the market now. These models have their own strengths and weaknesses. But my favorite is the SHP9500 and there are reasons.
First, I consider the SHP9500 as one of the most comfortable full-size headphones at any price. When it comes to headphones, you do not want to ignore comfort in your buying decision. To me (and to many, perhaps), it is THE most important element, if wearing them for at least an hour is what you use them for. Some headphones are unbearable even for 15 minutes. Why is the SHP9500 so comfortable to wear? They are *light* for full-size cans, have *no* pressuring (self-adjusting) headband, have less clamping force, and most importantly, *open to outside* not to jack up temperature at your ears. Keeping temperature down by making ears breathe air is, in my opinion, is the most important, yet not well appreciated, reason why you need open headphones for extended use. In the case of the SHP9500, even the ear pads breathe, something that not all open headphones feature. This excessive openness sacrifices some of its sub-bass performance, but I would trade any day (and advise people to trade) sub-bass for comfort.
The sonic character of the SHP9500 is midrange-centric, I would say, but extends quite well to bass and treble ranges. Treble is somewhat uneven and accentuated. If you are a classical music lover, you will be most likely pleased. If you are a bass head, this is not for you. If I am asked to compare the SHP9500 to more expensive, sonically better designed headphones such as Sennheiser HD 600, HD 650, or Sony MDR-MA900 (the Sony is also my favorite due to its outstanding comfort), I would rate the SHP9500 a notch below them in terms of pure sonic balance. However, unless you are an extremely discerning listener of classical music (which I am, unfortunately), I would not like to recommend those higher priced products, whose prices, I think, are somewhat above a common-sense range for most people (except enthusiasts). So, here I am sharing my experience as an enthusiast who does not have common sense ^^
These headphones are also one of the best choices for use with a digital piano. In fact, I purchased these for my son’s piano practice. Why best for digital pianos? The first reason is same as above: Comfort. Practicing on a digital piano requires extended use, so comfort is critical. Second, the SHP9500’s low to high audio frequency responses are balanced enough for such use---you will be hard pressed finding headphones under $100, including closed-back headphones, with this good balance. Third, most digital pianos have headphone jacks with high output impedance. In such cases, relatively flat impedance across the audible frequency band is important in order not to modulate the headphone’s frequency response. The SHP9500 satisfies this requirement. Last, the headphones are sensitive for any digital pianos to generate sufficiently loud sound.
So, grab a pair when they are still available!
One drawback of these headphones' design is that ear pads are not replaceable, but I think the low price can easily offset this weakness. I knew it, of course, when I made the purchase. You may think differently, but in my experience, replaceable pads are not critical. On the other hand, one strong point of the SHP9500 is that you can replace its cord with *any* 3.5mm stereo male to male cable, the most common and inexpensive type of audio cables these days. Cable problems are quite common in headphone usage. So, having this feature is nice.
If you have very discerning ears but are on a budget, here is one way you can improve the SHP9500's audio balance. It works best if you use them on a PC or a smartphone. Using digital equalization (EQ) is the solution. Let EQ be your friend! Do not be afraid of using EQ, especially in this era of highly reliable, digital signal processing. When properly applied, EQ presents absolutely no sound degradation, only improvement.
The EQ setting for the SHP9500 suggested below can only be implemented through parametric EQ apps. They are Equalizer APO (on PC), Electri-Q (on PC through VST wrapper), EasyQ (on PC through VST wrapper), Rockbox (on some MP3 players), Audioforge Equalizer (on iOS), Accudio (on iOS; custom EQ mode), Capriccio (both iOS and Android), Onkyo HF player (both iOS and Android). If you use a PC as a source, I highly recommend Equalizer APO. It applies EQ to system sound so that you can enjoy all contents including YouTube materials in equalized audio.
Parametric EQ uses three parameters: Fc (center frequency), Gain, and BW (bandwidth). In the EQ setting below, note that the third parameter is denoted by both Q and BW, which are essentially the same parameter on different scales, so care must be taken to enter right values. If you use Equalizer APO, Rockbox, or Audioforge Equalizer, enter Q values; if you use Electri-Q, EasyQ, or Accudio (custom mode), enter BW values; if you use Capriccio, enter 12 times BW values; if you use Onkyo HF player, read further.
EDIT: an optimal EQ setting has been updated (as of 6/28/19). The old setting has been moved to the bottom.
Global Gain (also called Preamp, Precut, or Pre-Volume): -2.0 dB
Filter 1: Fc 40 Hz Gain 2.5 dB Q 0.8 / BW 1.7
Filter 2: Fc 200 Hz Gain -3.0 dB Q 0.5 / BW 2.5
Filter 3: Fc 1900 Hz Gain 2.5 dB Q 2.0 / BW 0.7
Filter 4: Fc 3300 Hz Gain 3.5 dB Q 4.8 / BW 0.3
Filter 5: Fc 5000 Hz Gain -7.0 dB Q 2.0 / BW 0.7
Filter 6: Fc 7400 Hz Gain 4.0 dB Q 4.8 / BW 0.3
Filter 7: Fc 10500 Hz Gain -5.0 dB Q 1.8 / BW 0.8
I strongly recommend adjusting the Gain level of Filter 7 to make the treble sound to your liking (my suggested range is -8 to -1 dB). I also attach below a picture of the above EQ’s transfer function (the effect of EQ on a frequency response graph). If you use Onkyo HF player, simply make its EQ graph same as shown in the picture.
Global Gain (also called Preamp, Precut, or Pre-Volume): -2.0 dB
Filter 1: Fc 40 Hz Gain 2.5 dB Q 0.8 / BW 1.7
Filter 2: Fc 200 Hz Gain -3.5 dB Q 0.5 / BW 2.5
Filter 3: Fc 1900 Hz Gain 2.5 dB Q 2.0 / BW 0.7
Filter 4: Fc 3300 Hz Gain 3.0 dB Q 4.8 / BW 0.3
Filter 5: Fc 5000 Hz Gain -6.5 dB Q 2.4 / BW 0.6
Filter 6: Fc 7400 Hz Gain 4.5 dB Q 4.8 / BW 0.3
Filter 7: Fc 11000 Hz Gain -7.5 dB Q 1.4 / BW 1.0
DESIGN/FEATURES: The drivers of the SHP9500 are 50mm, which is large. The frequency response is an outstanding, 12-35,000 Hz, which is 1,500 Hz short of Hi-Res territory. Nevertheless, they still sound superb. The impedance is 32 ohms. For PS4 gamers, 32 ohms is low enough for the controller to drive the headphones with the controller volume set to max. The maximum input power is only 200mW, meaning a user will have to be careful when using an amp. A DAC can be used but is not needed. Of course, the sound will be improved and of course, increasingly loud.
The design of the SHP9500 is very cool in my opinion. Some could argue that it looks cheap, which they sort of do. However, they have some style to them. The headband is aluminum, cased with a hard, matte black, plastic. Atop of the headband is a glossy-black, Philips insignia. The sides of the headband have measuring notches and a hole, which shows a number, indicating the level, which the headband can be adjusted to. Underneath the headband is a cushion, made of breathable, dual-layered, cloth fabric for head support. On the bottom, inside the right and left side of the headband, a plastic tag with R and L can be seen on the corresponding sides of the headband. This is the part of the design, which I love the most. The ear cups are made of plastic. In addition, the speakers are made of aluminum. On each speaker, R and L are painted in white on the corresponding sides of the speakers. Personally, I believe that the design feature is cool and unique. The speakers are transparent enough, where the drivers can be seen. The ear cushions are over-the-ear and made of the same, breathable, double-layered, cloth fabric.
BASS/MID-BASS/SUB-BASS: There is bass. When playing games, which have explosions, I can hear that boom. However, the bass is inconsistent, overall. With that said, the sub-bass is non-existent. I could not hear much of a subwoofer-like rumble when I was playing certain games, which had explosions.
HIGHS: The SHP9500 is bright sounding headphones. The sound is crystal clear, overall. The treble highs can be grainy at times. However, there Results and ears vary. For example, Call Of Duty Black Ops 4 is a prime example, which has lots of sharp sounds. Gunshots are loud but clear. Each time bullets hit, there a loud, thumping sound, which follows with a loud, “squish”, when a kill is achieved. I found having the volume high while hearing this sound can be harsh of the ears. The high end of female voices sounds great. Hearing female voices on Call Of Duty Black Ops 4 is another. Hearing my female character, Battery’s voice lines sound great. “Cluster grenade, enjoy!” “Splash!” “Dropped!” “All right, boom time.” “All talk!” “Doggone!” Those are some of my favorite voice lines of hers. Once, Battery ran inside of an open-ended bay of the Summit map. Battery said a voice line, while outside of the bay. Then, her voice became magnified, as she entered the bay. Plus, there was an echo of Battery's voice. The authenticity of the echo was unbelievable and nearly, scary. This was a good example of a transition between mid to high sounds.
IMAGING/SOUNDSTAGE: The SHP9500 has good imaging. They handle directional sounds, exceptionally, well. With that said, I tested the performance of the SHP9500 while playing Call Of Duty Black Ops 4. The best map, which showcases the performance of the best is the “Occupation” map, which is a close-quarters. I could hear what was going on and direction, where the action was taking place on the map, whether it was dialogue, gunshots or explosions. Of course, footsteps could be heard, as well. It seems the sound magnifies toward closer sounds coming from a different direction. For example, each time my character looks in one direction, the sound increasingly amplifies in the direction and less in the opposite direction, where lesser actions were taking place. The soundstage is great. Of course, they are open-back, so that is expected. The airiness and open sound of the SHP9500 is great. Very spread out. I played a match on the very open. “Gustav Cannon” map. I could hear sounds, very clear from across the map at a far distance. Not to mention, sounds from a distant, sounded a bit closer than they actually were.
LOWS/MIDS: I must say, the SHP9500 picks up subtle sounds, pretty good. Hearing shells hit the floor, coming from a blasting shotgun is addictive to listen to, strangely. On the Morocco map, outside of hearing the common sounds, during game-play, I could hear the subtle, clinking and breakage of pottery being kicked around, while traversing the area. I could barely, hear this with other headsets, but in more abundance with the SHP9500. The unbelievable sound of crunching, as my character was trampling through the deep snow, cracking of the ice or sounds of moving water, while swimming on the Icebreaker map. Once, my character, Battery, ran inside of an open-ended bay of the Summit map. Battery was communicating, while outside and finished talking, while going inside of the bay. There was an echo of Battery's voice while speaking inside of that open-ended bay. The authenticity of the echo was unbelievable and nearly, scary.
MIC (OPTIONAL): An external mic, such as a V-Moda Boom Mic Pro will have to be purchased to utilize, while online gaming. The prices vary. I have not tried this, yet, as I do not have a mod-mic at this time. I do know, with one attached, it should perform exceptionally, well.
VERDICT: Overall, the SHP9500 is a great headset. For the past year, when constantly, hearing about these, I was wondering, if these lived up to the hype and they did. Never in my wildest dreams, I would ever think Philips would make such an outstanding headset. They were smart to put these back on the market and at an affordable price. With that being said, I would advise anyone looking for a headset to pick these up, just in case they are no longer available, as they were, prior to resurfacing. Honestly, I believe my search for the “perfect” headset(s) is over.
I hope this review was HELPFUL, folks!