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.
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.
They purposely don't block any ambient noise, which is not ideal for commuting.
Not designed for sports. They're too cumbersome and unstable to use while doing any strenuous physical activity.
Not designed for office use, unless you work in an isolated environment, these headphones will be distracting to the people around you.
See our recommendations for the best wired headphones, the best audiophile headphones, and the best headphones under $100.
The Philips SHP9600 are very similar open-back headphones to their predecessor, the Philips SHP9500. The SHP9600 have a sleeker, all-black design, and leak less noise. They also have a more extended bass, and they have a little extra boom and punch in the bass range that some users may prefer. That said, both headphones have very balanced sound profiles that suit a wide range of music genres.
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.
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.
The Sennheiser HD 560S and the Philips SHP9500 have different strengths, and you may prefer either. Both models are great for neutral sound, but the Sennheiser have a more neutral bass response, which some listeners may prefer. On the other hand, the Sennheiser are much more comfortable, so they may be less fatiguing to wear for long listening sessions.
The Philips SHP9500 are better for neutral sound than the Samson SR850. The Philips are open-back headphones with a much more comfortable and breathable fit. They have a much more accurate treble response and a more neutral sound profile that some may prefer. They're also much more comfortable and breathable. On the other hand, while the Samson may sound overly bright to some, they also deliver more punch and boom in the bass range, thanks to their semi-open design.
The Sennheiser HD 600 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.
The Philips SHP9500 and the HiFiMan HE400se are two great entry-level audiophile headphones with small differences between them. The Philips are more comfortable, and have a more even, although slightly brighter treble range. On the other hand, the HiFiMan are better-built, have fewer deviations in audio delivery, and are able to deliver a bit more low-bass. However, most users should appreciate either model.
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.
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.
The Philips SHP9500 are better headphones for neutral sound than the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x. The Philips are much more comfortable, breathable open-back headphones. They have a more neutral sound profile and a significantly better passive soundstage performance. On the other hand, the closed-back Philips SH9500 leak less audio and do a better job of passively isolating you from background sound, although they still don't block out very much noise. They're also much more stable.
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.
The Philips SHP9500 are marginally better headphones for neutral sound than the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO. The Philips are open-back headphones with a much better passive soundstage performance. They're also much more comfortable and breathable. On the other hand, the Beyerdynamic have better build quality, a much more stable fit, and have a more neutral bass response. They also isolate you from more ambient noise and leak less audio, thanks to their closed-back design.
The Philips SHP9500 are somewhat better for neutral sound than the Superlux HD 681. The Philips are more comfortable, more breathable open-back headphones. Their passive soundstage is perceived as much more open and spacious as well. On the other hand, the Superlux have a semi-open design. They leak less sound and have a more accurate bass response, so mixes have more thump and rumble.
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.
The Philips SHP9500 are better headphones for neutral sound than the Philips Fidelio X3. The SHP9500 are more comfortable, and they have a more balanced, neutral sound profile, especially in the treble range. However, the Fidelio X3 have a better build quality.
The Philips SHP9500 are better headphones for neutral sound while the Drop + Sennheiser PC38X are better for wired gaming. The Philips are more comfortable, have a more neutral sound profile, and their passive soundstage performance is better. However, the Drop have a boom mic that captures your voice clearly, even in moderately noisy environments. They're also better built.
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.
The HiFiMan Sundara 2020 are somewhat better for neutral sound than the Philips SHP9500. The HiFiMan deliver audio more consistently. They have a better passive soundstage performance and better bass accuracy, so your mixes have more thump and rumble. They also have a significantly better build quality. On the other hand, the Philips are much more comfortable and very breathable.
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.
The Beats Solo Pro Wireless and the Philips SHP9500 have different strengths, and you may prefer one over the other. The Beats are wireless on-ears designed for casual use. They're better-built, more stable, and thanks to their ANC system, they're able to block out more ambient noise around you. However, the Philips are audiophile headphones. These over-ears are more comfortable and have a neutral sound profile. Since they have an open-back design, they also have a more immersive passive soundstage.
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.
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. For headphones with a slightly sleeker look, see the Philips SHP9600.
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.
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.
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 or the Philips Fidelio X3.
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.
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.
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.
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