Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-ear Headphones (Black)
|Price:||$74.95 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- 50mm neodymium Drivers Deliver Full Spectrum of Sound
- 3m 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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This item Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-ear Headphones (Black)
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|Sold By||EastCoastDeals||StagePrime||Amazon.com||JUST ELEKTRONIKA LLC||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||3.94 x 6.69 x 7.87 in||7.4 x 4.17 x 7.87 in||5 x 11 x 88 in||6.8 x 3.3 x 7.7 in||11.25 x 12.05 x 3.15 in||0.39 x 0.39 x 0.39 in|
|Item Weight||0.71 lb||7.8 ounces||0.58 lb||0.57 lb||2.94 lbs||0.57 lb|
|Additional Features||50mm neodymium Drivers Deliver Full Spectrum of Sound, 3m cable gives you freedom of movement for indoor use||ios-phone-control||lightweight||lightweight||lower distortion||lightweight|
Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-ear Headphones (Black)
Top customer reviews
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.
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
I strongly recommend adjusting the Gain level of Filter 7 to make the treble sound to your liking (my suggested range is -11 to -4 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.
When I first bought the SHP-9500s, I thought they were no where near as good. While the bass was better (bass definitely isn't something you come to expect from any Grados I've heard), the mids and highs were harsh sounding. I was really disappointed because I had read so many good things about these headphones.
However, I'm a real believer in "break-in" on stereo equipment. So, I let the SHP-9500s break-in overnight at the loudest volume my DAC/amp could handle without distortion, a total of about 6 hours. Even that little time really made a large difference. Now, while the bass is still strong (but not overbearing), the mids and highs have smoothed out and, IMO, now exceed those of my SR-60s (based on side-by-side) listening tests, using the same playlist/amp. By comparison, the Grados, while they have a slightly better soundstage, don't have anywhere near the fullness of sound (from bass to highs and everything in between) that the SHP-9500s now exhibit. I'd even go so far as to say the Grados sound a bit "tinny" by comparison. If the SHP-9500s have improved this much in just 5-10 hours of listening, I would imagine that there will not be any comparison between the two after 50-100 hours of listening.
I should also mention that the SHP-9500s are a bit heavier than the Grados. The Grados, especially with the G-Cush ear pads, are so light and comfortable you can easily forget they are there. The SHP-9500s feel about 25-50% heavier, but you can still forget you are wearing them. They are very comfortable, but I find that the earpads are slightly too shallow for my, apparently, "Dumbo ears". I find them comfortable, but I am reminded they are there because of this.
I have a bit of a large head (at least that is what my kids say), but the SHP-9500s can accommodate my head with about 50% of the adjustment to spare. I can't imagine there are many people out there whose head would be too large for these headphones. On the other hand, the SHP-9500s are probably not appropriate for people with smaller heads. My 14 year old daughter tried these on while studying and they kept falling off whenever she tilted her head forward. I can feel them try to fall forward when I'm wearing them (kept on my head because of my ears), but they don't have enough clamping force for smaller heads.
Please note that these headphones also appear to be more efficient than my old Grado SR-60s. The volume, at any given level appears to be about 15-25% louder, more than what you'd expect from the published "ohm resistance" for each headphone (Grados=32 ohms, SHP-9500s=30 ohms). Definitely noticeable and very welcome while using with my smartphone.
All-in-all, I think these are a FANTASTIC value and would make great replacements for any Grado SR-60s (including the i, is, and e generations of these headphones. I can't say how the SHP-9500s would compare to higher-end Grados as it has been ~15 years since the last time I listened to a pair of SR-80s and a pair SR-125s.
Please keep in mind that the SHP-9500s are "open-back" headphones. Because of this, you will be able to clearly hear sounds from, and leak sounds out to, your environment. These are not appropriate headphones in quiet settings.
They have a standard, detachable cable that can easily be replaced. The included cable does not allow for phone calls. However, a replacement cable with microphone can easily and cheaply allow you to use these with your phone for calls: VOJO Aux Cord for Car 3.5mm Auxiliary Audio Cable with Mic / Microphone 4ft Coiled HOTLINE [Black], Premium Metal Shell for iPhone 6 6s Plus, Tangle-free. I have tested this cord and it works fine.
I grew up when "Philips" was synonymous with cheap/junky, but pricy (for what you got) electronics. Imagine my surprise after listening to these headphones. At this price, they have no business sounding this good!
Hope this helps!