Philips SHP9500 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Sep 15, 2016 at 12:14 pm
Philips SHP9500 Picture
5.2
Mixed Usage
8.1
Neutral Sound
4.0
Commute/Travel
5.3
Sports/Fitness
4.8
Office
4.7
Wireless Gaming
6.8
Wired Gaming
1.7
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic No
Transducer Dynamic

The Phillips SHP9500 are 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.

Our Verdict

5.2 Mixed Usage

These headphones are not designed for everyday, casual use. They're best used for critical listening in private.

Pros
  • Comfortable design.
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Durable build.
Cons
  • Big and bulky headphones.
  • Open-back design, so they leak a lot.
  • Very sensitive to ambient noise, by design.
8.1 Neutral Sound

Great sound quality for neutral listening. The SHP9500 deliver a comfortable listening experience and reproduce 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.

4.0 Commute/Travel

They purposely don't block any ambient noise, which is not ideal for commuting.

5.3 Sports/Fitness

Not designed for sports. They're too cumbersome and unstable to use while doing any strenuous physical activity.

4.8 Office

Not designed for office use, unless you work in an isolated environment, these headphones will be distracting to the people around you.

6.8 Wired Gaming
1.7 Phone Calls
  • 5.2 Mixed Usage
  • 8.1 Neutral Sound
  • 4.0 Commute/Travel
  • 5.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 4.8 Office
  • 4.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.8 Wired Gaming
  • 1.7 Phone Calls
  1. Update 2/5/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  4. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  5. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  6. Update 3/1/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Phillips SHP9500 have 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.

8.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.65 lbs
Clamping Force
0.70 lbs

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 are 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.

0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
No Controls
Ease Of Use No Controls
Feedback No Controls
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No
7.8
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 2.5 C
5.2
Design
Portability
L 8.75 "
W 7.13 "
H 4 "
Volume 249.6 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

The SHP9500 are not portable headphones. They're quite large and don't fold into a more compact format. The ear cups also don't lay flat to save space, which results in a headphone that's cumbersome to carry around, and that will only fit in a backpack. Disappointingly, they also don't come with a case or a pouch either.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
7.0
Design
Build Quality

The 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.

6.0
Design
Stability

These headphones are not meant to be used while doing physical activity. They have the typical critical listening headphone build, which means they're big and bulky, and they will slip off your head if used during exercise or while running. They will stay in place during regular listening sessions, but they're not going to be stable enough to use while moving around outdoors. On the upside, the cable is detachable and will disconnect if it gets hooked on something.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  •  Phillips SHP9500 Headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-4.67 db
Treble Amount
-1.15 db
7.9
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.42 dB
Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.0
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.89 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
58.23 Hz
Low-Bass
-7.82 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.52 dB
High-Bass
1.96 dB
9.3
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
0.96 dB
Low-Mid
0.54 dB
Mid-Mid
0.35 dB
High-Mid
0.98 dB
8.6
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.91 dB
Low-Treble
0.99 dB
Mid-Treble
2.01 dB
High-Treble
-8.56 dB
7.7
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.63 db
Dips
0.73 db
8.6
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.2
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.44
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.85
Weighted Phase Mismatch
7.42
7.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.9 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
3.61 dB
PRTF Distance
10.85 dB
Openness
9.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
9.2
0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
8.0
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.098
WHD @ 100
0.196
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
No Microphone
Isolation
1.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-3.24 dB
Bass
0.13 dB
Mid
1.33 dB
Treble
-10.84 dB

Poor isolaton. 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.

0.8
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
66.76 dB

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

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
N/A
LFE
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
N/A
HFE
N/A
Weighted THD
N/A
Gain
N/A
0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise N/A
Speech + Subway Noise N/A
SpNR
N/A
Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

No compatible app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 9.84 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

Compared to other headphones

See our recommendations for the best wired headphones, the best audiophile headphones, and the best headphones under $100.

Philips Fidelio X2HR
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Philips SHP9500 and the Philips Fidelio X2HR are both great open-back headphones for neutral sound listening. The Fidelio X2HR have a sleeker and more premium design, and look and feel a bit more durable. Their bass range is also more accurate, and they come with a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter, as well as a slightly longer audio cable. While the X2HR have an auto-adjusting headband, the SHP9500 are a little bit more comfortable overall as they don't clamp the head as tightly. Both perform very similarly, but the SHP9500 likely represent better value overall.

Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Philips SHP9500 are all-around better headphones than the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X. They reproduce audio much more accurately, with more bass and a more present and detailed treble. The Philips feel better-built and are more comfortable too.

Sennheiser HD 599
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Both the Philips SHP9500 and the Sennheiser HD 599 are both very comfortable headphones that are great for neutral listening. The Sennheiser deliver more bass for those who prefer a bit of extra punch, but the Philips sound less boomy.

Sennheiser HD 600
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sennheiser HD 660 and the Philips SHP9500 are both great audiophile headphones if you like a neutral sound. Their sound profiles are very similar - they both have a very balanced sound, although some people get a bit more bass with the Philips. They're also more comfortable for long listening sessions thanks to their spacious ear cups, but they don't feel as well-made as the Sennheiser.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO and the Philips SHP9500 are both very good audiophile headphones if you like a neutral sound, but they have different sound profiles. The Beyerdynamic get more bass, but they also sound fairly sharp and even piercing to some people. The Philips have a significant bass roll-off, but their treble is much better-balanced and they have a more natural soundstage. They're also less fatiguing to wear for long listening sessions since they fit less tightly than the Beyerdynamic.

Sennheiser HD 598
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Philips SHP9500 offer better value than the Sennheiser HD 598. Both headphones perform almost identically and there are only minor differences in their audio quality. Both are very comfortable, but the Philips are slightly heavier and bulkier. For most people, the affordable Philips SHP9500 will be a better option.

Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Philips SHP9500 and the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017 are two over-ear headphones with different uses. The Philips are more designed for critical listeners in mind as they have consistent sound delivery, a fairly neutral sound profile, and an open-back design to help immerse you in your audio. The Astro, on the other hand, are designed for wired gaming. They offer controls that allow you to tweak your sound experience on-the-fly, have an excellent boom microphone, and can receive full audio and microphone support on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, whether using an analog or wired USB connection.

Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee
Unavailable
Amazon.com

The Philips SHP9500 and the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee are both great audiophile headphones if you like a neutral sound, but they have slightly different sound profiles. The Sennheiser produce more thump and rumble while slightly reducing the presence of sibilants. The Philips sound brighter in comparison, with less bass and more intensity in the treble range. They also have a wider soundstage and are much more comfortable for long listening sessions, but the Sennheiser feel more durable.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the Philips SHP9500 are both very good headphones for fans of a neutral sound, but they use different enclosures, which changes a couple of things. The closed-back design of the Audio-Technica results in better noise isolation and punchier bass, but makes the headphones sound more closed-off. The open-back design of the Philips gives them a much more natural, spacious soundstage, but they leak a lot of sound and lack quite a bit of bass. The Audio-Technica are better in a noise-sensitive environment, like recording or even commuting. However, the Philips provide a more open listening experience if you're in a quiet space.

AKG K702
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The AKG K702 and the Philips SHP9500 are both great audiophile headphones if you like a neutral sound. Their sound profiles are fairly similar overall, but the AKG sound even brighter. They can sound a bit too harsh and piercing for some people though, so the Philips are a better option if you prefer a smoother sound, without losing much detail. The Philips are also more comfortable for long listening sessions, although the AKG feel more durable.

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Philips SHP9500 Price

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