Philips SHP9500 Review | IMPRESSIVE!

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Before we get into the Philips SHP9500 Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

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What I will bring you in this review

  1. Ratings/Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Amp/DAC requirements
  8. Who these headphones benefit?
  9. Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
  10. Consensus/Conclusion
  11. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!

Philips SHP9500 (and 9500S)

Philips SHP9500

Philips SHP9500



  • Type: Open back
  • Magnet Type: Neodymium
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Maximum power input: 200mW
  • Sensitivity: 101dB
  • Speaker Diameter: 50mm
  • Frequency Response: 12 – 35,000 Hz


The Philips SHP9500 is an open backed headphone that will leak quite a bit of sound. Open back vs. Closed back headphones. I wouldn’t recommend taking these puppies out because they will bother everyone around you. Lol. At full blast, I can literally hear the details of every song, so  you should definitely chill with these in your studio. They are pretty big and bulky, but not that heavy. They sit on my head quite nicely, and the fit is rather odd. It’s not loose or tight, but just right I suppose. I’m thinking that the cloth padding is what’s throwing me off. Rest assured, they are quite comfortable.

I truly believe these are a hidden gem among-st the audiophile world. I had previously heard nothing about them until I did a search for the best headphones under $100 out of curiosity. I wanted to see what people were saying, and for the most part there’s a consensus about a select few. The top 10 best headphones under $100.

It’s interesting, they kind of mimic a closed back in that the sound is pretty aggressive, but yet still airy and laid back. I know it sort of doesn’t make sense. The instrument separation is there in spades, and everything just comes through really crisp. It sort of relaxes you in a way. Whereas something like the HD600 has a forward mid-range, the SHP9500 seems more balanced overall. The bass is definitely there, but stays in it’s place. If there’s a heavier emphasis on the low end in a song, the 9500’s will let you know. However, it never feels bloated or artificial.

While I love the comfort factor, the ear-pads themselves are rather shallow. I imagine these also wouldn’t be good for a person with a small head. I’ve been accused of having an “apple a*s head” so yeah. Lol.

There are some people courageously comparing these to the HD600’s and HD650’s, calling them on par with such headphones. While I do see some similarities, the 9500’s aren’t quite as good but do put up a good fight.


  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • Crisp, balanced sound.
  • Durable. They are light, but don’t feel like they will break. They are mostly plastic with some metal for the headband.
  • Great instrument separation.
  • Detachable cable.


  • The SHP9500S version does not come with a 1/4″ adapter.
  • They can be a tad bright/sibilant at times. What does sibilant mean?

Video Review

Amp/DAC requirements

These don’t really require an amp, but I’m sure they would sound fantastic with one. How to choose a headphone amp!

Who these headphones benefit?

They do very well with a variety of genres and uses:

  • Indie
  • Hip-Hop
  • Classic Rock
  • Gaming
  • Movies
  • Mixing/Producing
  • Pop
  • Classical
  • Jazz

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

  • The S model is the same as the original model sound wise, but does not come with a 1/4″ adapter which disappointed me.
  • These will sound really good coming out of your phone, but be aware that with your laptop, results may vary. Mine is a little older so the internal soundcard isn’t that great. What is a Soundcard?
  • These are not for bass heads, but they will render hip-hop very nicely. If the track has bass, they will let you know. Overall though they are what I would call “bass lean.” The emphasis is more on the overall sound rather than any specific frequency. The bass is tight, but doesn’t bleed into the mid-range which I really appreciate. For instance, Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” sounds a lot different due to the fact that you can actually hear the subtle instrumentation going on.
  • These will sound really good straight out of your phone.
  • The fit is good, but a tad loose. I actually kind of prefer it to some tighter fitting headphones. They do seem to be made for big melons and I definitely have one of those. 🙂 Also, your ears will touch the drivers as the ear cups aren’t very deep. I haven’t had any issues with comfort in this regard but keep it in mind.
  • I would put these above the AKG K240’s as far as build quality goes; they are a bit heavier and feel less like a toy. I love the 240’s but I could imagine them breaking down pretty easily. The 9500’s don’t feel like they’re going to just sporadically break down, but also aren’t on the level of say an M50.
  • The ear pads are said to not be removable but I heard that if you’re extremely careful you can get them off.
  • The headband is very unique in that it actually displays numbers on each side so you aren’t guessing while trying to size them to your ears.
  • Not portable or practical for outside use. They are pretty much strictly studio headphones.
  • The inclusion of the large white “R” and “L” to indicate which ear is which is extremely helpful, especially since most headphones put them in tiny letters that you can’t even see without a magnifying glass.
  • The Soundstage is pretty good but not extraordinary. You will get some added depth and extension to about shoulder width, with some effective instrument separation. What is Soundstage? As I was listening to “Missed the Boat” by Modest Mouse, I thought the voice at the start was in the room with me, which stopped my heart for a second, lol.


Surprisingly good sound. Nice clarity and detail. Somewhat loose fit. Durable. A bit bass lean. Treble is sometimes harsh. They will move around on your head at times, but this is usually subtle. Don’t bother taking them out of your studio. They will leak sound but do extremely well in quiet environments.

Final Word

The lightweight fit and open, airy sound is what keeps me coming back to these. I love the crisp sound and attention to detail. These are just immensely enjoyable headphones. They make you want to kick back and analyze the intricacies in the sound, and perhaps pin point something you haven’t heard before. They aren’t so analytical as to ruin the experience, but do reveal stuff that you may have missed. These would undoubtedly be a perfect entry level open backed headphone for the enthusiast looking to see what audiophile sound is all about.


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Philips SHP9500 review.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

What do you think about these bad boys? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..

All the best and God bless,





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Philips SHP9500

Philips SHP9500

Build Quality


    Sound Quality







          • Nice Soundstage
          • Good Build
          • Crisp clear sound
          • Comfortable


          • Harsh at times
          • A little loose fitting