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Philips SHP9500S 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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|Sold By||212 Distributors||Precision Audio||Amazon.com||Kellards||aSavings - Same Day Shipping||TACTICA|
|Item Dimensions||4.33 x 6.69 x 7.48 in||7.4 x 4.17 x 7.87 in||5 x 11 x 88 in||7.36 x 4.21 x 7.87 in||11.25 x 12.05 x 3.15 in||6.8 x 3.3 x 7.7 in|
|Item Weight||0.66 lb||7.8 ounces||1.25 lbs||4 ounces||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||Noise Cancellation||Wireless, lower distortion||lightweight|
Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-ear Headphones (Black)
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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.
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.
- I love testing headphones, In-ear-monitors, earphones, earbuds, earwax (jkjk)...ya know all of that stuff. Recently I picked up a pair of Philips SHP9500S (Note the "S" refers to the new version as the original 9500 was discontinued years ago). These were originally intended as a replacement for my broken gaming headphones, but upon receiving them and testing them on music I was extremely surprised with their sonic performance (or quality of their sound). At $70 these are what I would consider to be relatively "budget friendly" headphones. What surprised me the most was that even at that price, they competed equally with headphones/earphones/IEMs upwards of 3x that price point. Now I understand that these are Open-Back headphones and aren't suitable for everyone's needs (more on that later) and that the sound signature/style of sound is not traditional to what people are accustomed to hearing (again...more on this later). So without further ado, let's dig into this shall we?
- Not much to say other than BRAVO Philips...At $70 I couldn't be sure what to expect from full sized Over-Ear headphones, but I was very impressed with the quality of materials that Philips chose to use in the design/manufacturing of these headphones. The headphones are constructed with relatively sturdy plastic integrated into an almost perfectly engineered fit design. Not only does the plastic feel well constructed, but every movable joint is engineered to have some degree of resistance giving it a much more premium feel than many flimsy, loose and poorly constructed headphones. To add to that, the headphones also have a very flush design with little to no excess poke between any given part and only a 3mm offset at the most where the driver/speaker tilts forward or back to conform to the persons' head. Last but not least, the slide adjustment points at the top-sides of the headband are made with aluminum and a plastic reinforcement plate under it (probably also to aid with sliding)
- I'll makes this simple, THEY ARE THE MOST COMFORTABLE HEADPHONES I'VE EVER USED! You know when headphones claim to be "Over the Ear", but they're really just large On Ear Headphones...? Yea well these headphones literally are OVER the ears! Unless you have Dumbo sized ears, then your ears will completely fit inside the earpads with the padded ring all the way around your ears (The way Over the Ear headphones are suppose to be). Not only that the brilliant engineers at PhilipsSound also thought it would be great to make the padding at the top of the headphones detached from the headband. Not only does this prevent stretching damage to the the padding, but it also acts as suspension space between the users' head and the headband adding to the great comfort! The headphone clamp force (elastic force used to keep the headphone "clamped" on to the head) is rather loose so this may or may not be good depending on your head size. While the clamp force is very pleasing and causes zero fatigue or headaches, it is important to note that they could fall off more easily when leaning forward or back on smaller heads.
- The highs are quite fantastic in that they are very revealing in terms of detail retrieval without being harsh or sibilant (piercing). I would consider them to be warmer/smoother than most headphones in the $100-200 category with Sennheiser being the only exception. In general, the highs are consistent across all genres of music in that they're there to say hello and be present, but not overbearing and fatiguing like some headphones are.
- This is where it's at!! The mids on these are INCREDIBLE! Because these headphones are made to have more neutral/reference style sound signature, the mids are well presented in the body of its sound. Vocals are crystal clear regardless of your genre! I listened to everything from indie alternative, tropical house, rap, r&b, rock, you name it! It honestly doesn't matter what you play, everything sounds super clear and in some instances it almost sounds live depending on the recording. Any instruments will be brought forward to your attention while still remaining behaved and in line with everything else at an equal intensity level (not over emphasized).
- This is the most controversial section by FAR but hear me out...everything you understand about bass is not "incorrect" but rather "shaped" metaphorical also to the sound signatures of a large majority of headphones in the mainstream market. What I mean by this is that a large majority of headphones you've used have what the industry considers to be a "pop sound" aka: V-Shaped (or U-Shaped) sound. This basically means that most headphones emphasize low/bass and highs. In the case of the SHP9500S, there are lows/bass, but not in the way most of you are accustomed to. The lows/bass on these are present and impactful, but also tight with very little decay time (they don't stick around for long). In these headphones the lows/bass are there to add to the dimension of the sound to create an overall experience rather than become the focus of the experience...if that makes sense. If you're dead set on hearing a rumble and prefer that experience, then these are not the headphones for you. HOWEVER! If you're interested in trying something new and hearing your music in a completely different way, then the SHP9500s are tuned to give you the opportunity to hear everything else that a "pop sounding" headphone won't offer you.
- This might be a brand new category for some of you because a good portion of you have probably only ever used earphones or closed back headphones which have a very intimate sounding experience. Even earphones/closed back headphones that claim to have a "large sound stage" are COMPLETELY different than that of an Open Back headphone. To put it simply, sound stage refers to how "open" and how real to hearing music "on stage" headphones can reproduce. The bigger the sound stage, the more life like and real it typically sounds. The SHP9500S is not the largest sounding open back headphone on the market, but it is considered to be 90% close to what open back headphones in the $300 offer and 100% competitive to open back headphones in the $150-250 range. Basically they're REALLY good overall and EXCELLENT for their price! The sound stage is open and detailed enough to give you the experience of being in the recording room with the artists which is a super fun and exciting experience! I like to consider the sound stage to be open enough to pick out instrumental positions while still being intimate enough to sound like a private performance just for you!
- I'm not here to hide this fact...they are VERY loud! If you're in a room with other people and you plan to play music at 60%+ on any device...everyone in the room will hear what you're listening to clearly. These are open back headphones and nothing is there to block the sound coming in or coming out...simple as that. Don't expect to be volume conscious with these because either way, it's still audible from the outside. If you have your own room and or you have a secluded space to listen using these, then these are perfect! OR you can let your roommates try these, they'll fall in love and then if you convince all your roommates to get one too and invest into a large aux 3.5mm splitter for everyone to connect to, then all of you can share the SUPERB experience...problem solved! Ohh...if you have annoying siblings and want to torture them with forcefully making them hear your infinitely better taste in music, you can play these at full blast and watch the expression on their face change from a smirk to anger! CAUTION...they may try to steal it if they get a chance to put them on and listen. (I am not liable for any stolen headphones)
- at $60-70 the Philips SHP9500S is a GREAT investment! They are the perfect headphones for people looking to hear 90% of what those expensive $400+ "audiophile" headphones sound like at only a small fraction of the cost! I think that these headphones can also be a great alternative to buying speakers to watch movies or listen to music because you get a very similar listening experience to that of relatively decent speaker system (due to the sound stage) in a much smaller package that's also portable. If you're tired of hearing the same style of sound from every headphone and want to take a step into a completely different experience, then I HIGHLY recommend these! I promise you that if you're looking for a fantastic experience where you'll get to sit and re-listen to ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING to hear the difference, then THESE ARE FOR YOU!!