Pros: Warm sound signature, large soundstage, bass, detail, comfortable
Cons: very slightly recessed treble
Bought these from ebay for £15 . Originally I believe they were going for £50 in 2007 then reduced to £20 - £30. Firstly what struck me was the warm sound and nicely presented bass, no problems with bass clarity here! They are semi-open as there are tiny holes for the hinge pivoting on the earcups. Also they feature angled drivers so you get a wide soundstage with clear instrument separation. They are the best headphones I have had and having had quite a few (see my profile) that is saying something, although I have never really owned expensive ones apart from the Sennheiser HD598 which lacked bass in my opinion, and the Philips Fidelio X1, which had a neutral midrange. Also, a fellow reviewer here on headfi by the name of ljokerl has praised these shp8500's and he has reviewed lots and lots of portable headphones in depth (search for 'shootout' here on headfi). The only criticism is that the treble is sometimes slightly lacking on some recordings, but most of the time it is just right. Comfort is really nice, the cloth earcups are so comfy and the headband is well padded.