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.
These headphones are not designed for everyday, casual use. They're best used for critical listening in private.
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.See our Neutral Sound recommendations
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.
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.
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.
No compatible app.
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.