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Philips SHP9500 Discussion Thread

post #1 of 1194
Thread Starter 
Hi all!

I've been intrigued by these fancy Philips headphones that were recently released, maybe in the past few months by now.

Thought I'd make a thread as I'm rather curious about these, and they can be found on eBay for around $200 ish.

So, if you know anything about them; do feel free to drop your opinions below.

Cheers.

500x1000px-LL-89fc91c2_SHP9500_00-PID-global-001_highres.jpeg
post #2 of 1194

50mm angled drivers , detachable cable , neat visual , $200

You could be on to something

post #3 of 1194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogmatrix View Post

50mm angled drivers , detachable cable , neat visual , $200
You could be on to something
I've seen a few mentionings in the L1/X1 thread, but no one took it further.

Hopefully, we gather enough information to know how these cans perform.
post #4 of 1194

I just bought this SHP9500 on ebay a few weeks ago and I can say that it's worth every dollar. I usually read and I'm not good at describing sounds, so please excuse me if I can't write well :) I have this headphones and it's really good I feel I need to write and share since I also couldn't find a review of the SHP9500 on the internet.

 

I also have the old Philips SHP9000 and Philips X1 so I can give some comparisons between the 3 of them.

 

SHP9500 is supposedly the upgraded version of SHP9000 and I must say that its performance is really an "upgrade". It takes SHP9000 beyond. The 9000 is known for it's spacious sound and the detailed high while the bass isn't quite impressive. The bass amount is lacking and not solid. SHP9500 bass is very tight and solid. Not only the quality but 9500 has more quantity of bass. This is the major area where 9500 outperforms 9000 in my opinion. The high notes of 9000 is a bit soft sounding. The 9500 has more sparking details which can be good or bad, depending on your music. The sparkling high of 9500 makes it sounds more alive than 9000 and it's so good with Jazz and Classical, while it can sound harsh with pop and rocks. In my opinion, 9500 is the ultimate Jazz/Classical headphones. It presents the music that's punchier, more alive, than the SHP9000, while sounds less spacious and is harsher in the high notes on modern pop/rock genres. If I have to describe in 1 word to compare between 9500 and 9000, I'd say 9500 is punchy, while 9000 is laid back.

 

Comparing 9500 to X1 is like comparing apples and oranges. X1 is warm, while 9500 is more lively. X1 bass is more boomy, although well controlled. The 9500 bass is much tighter. People who don't like X1 boomy bass would love the tight bass of 9500. And 9500 is more sparkling than X1. In my opinion, X1 is an all rounder and easy to listen to with all music genres, the highs are soft and not harsh to the ears and can listen to for a long time without pain. The 9500 is as if it's tuned for Jazz, classical, those audiophile genre in mind which is the kind of music I like. I find myself listening to 9500 more than X1 lately. However for the modern pop, rock, hip-hop, 9500 can sound painful in the high notes and dry and I'd prefer the X1 sounds more.

 

If Jazz, classical, audiophile recordings are your type, I can't recommend enough to try the 9500. The music is so alive and realistic. It can't stop making me smile. SHP9500 is like a dream come true for people who love the discontinued SHP9000.

 

For wearing comfort:  SHP9500 is as comfortable to wear as SHP9000, and is more comfortable than X1 which has more pressure on bigger heads.

 

Amp: SHP9500 is easiest to drive. It sounds loudest on my phone out of the 3. So SHP9500 > X1 > SHP9000.
 


Edited by reveine - 6/13/14 at 3:15pm
post #5 of 1194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by reveine View Post
 

I just bought this SHP9500 on ebay a few weeks ago and I can say that it's worth every dollar. I usually read and I'm not good at describing sounds, so please excuse me if I can't write well :) I have this headphones and it's really good I feel I need to write and share since I also couldn't find much info about the SHP9500 on the internet.

 

I also have the old Philips SHP9000 and Philips X1 so I can give some comparisons between the 3 of them.

 

SHP9500 is supposedly the upgraded version of SHP9000 and I must say that its performance is really an "upgrade". It takes SHP9000 beyond. The 9000 is known for it's spacious sound and the detailed high while the bass isn't quite impressive. The bass amount is lacking and not solid. SHP9500 bass is very tight and solid. Not only the quality but 9500 has more quantity of bass. This is the major area where 9500 outperforms 9000 in my opinion. The high notes of 9000 is a bit soft sounding. The 9500 has more sparking details which can be good or bad, depending on your music. The sparkling high of 9500 makes it sounds more alive than 9000 and it's so good with Jazz and Classical, while it can sound harsh with pop and rocks. In my opinion, 9500 is the ultimate Jazz/Classical headphones. It presents the music that's punchier, more alive, than the SHP9000, while sounds less spacious and is harsher in the high notes on modern pop/rock genres. If I have to describe in 1 word to compare between 9500 and 9000, I'd say 9500 is punchy, while 9000 is laid back.

 

Comparing 9500 to X1 is like comparing apples and oranges. X1 is warm, while 9500 is more lively. X1 bass is more boomy, although well controlled. The 9500 bass is much tighter. People who don't like X1 boomy bass would love the tight bass of 9500. And 9500 is more sparkling than X1. In my opinion, X1 is an all rounder and easy to listen to with all music genres, the highs are soft and not harsh to the ears and can listen to for a long time without pain. The 9500 is as if it's tuned for Jazz, classical, those audiophile genre in mind which is the kind of music I like. I find myself listening to 9500 more than X1 lately. However for the modern pop, rock, hip-hop, 9500 can sound painful in the high notes and dry and I'd prefer the X1 sounds more.

 

If Jazz, classical, audiophile recordings are your type, I can't recommend enough to try the 9500. The music is so alive and realistic. It can't stop making me smile. SHP9500 is like a dream come true for people who love the discontinued SHP9000.

 

For wearing comfort:  SHP9500 is as comfortable to wear as SHP9000, and is more comfortable than X1 which has more pressure on bigger heads.

 

Amp: SHP9500 is easiest to drive. It sounds loudest on my phone out of the 3. So SHP9500 > X1 > SHP9000.
 

Thank you for your first impressions! From the looks of things, it seems the Philips are rather good. I had feared at first that they'd lack bass, but after reading this, it appears it is not at all. 

 

How do you find these to compare to your Grados? Of which of the two is brighter in sound?

post #6 of 1194

Worry not. :) SHP9500 has ample bass and far from general concensus of what bass lacking headphones sound like.

 

My grado 225 is already quarter modded with Sennheiser yellow pads, so it is no longer true to the original grado sound signature.

 

I just did a quick AB comparison between my modded Grado 225 and Philips SHP9500 and this is my impression.

 

The modded Grado is obviously brighter than SHP9500 and its bass is also more subdued. On the positive sides, this makes the Grado as if being able to resolve more details from low end to high end at the expense of irritating the ears. While Grado can produce solid bass that I could hear the subtle details of the drum vibration, the amount is more lacking that I personally would like more, and the high end can be so bright that it's not comfortable to listen to at high volume for a long time. Chimbal can be too harsh and impactful I need to turn the volume down. At moderate volume, grado performs great, but bright and punchy can be a pain at high volume.

 

Once I put the SHP9500 on, the whole impression is a bit darker, a bit less punchy, and the bass is noticeably boomier. This is by no means bassy headphones. The bass is still solid. But it's not as dry and rolled off quickly as Grado's. The amount and solidness are perfect for the double bass and drums in Jazz and acoustic music, while hip hop music lovers would demand more and X1 would be more satisfying. It still presents the distinct airiness and lively sound of open back headphones. SHP9500 is still considered bright headphones but it smooths the rough edges of high notes more, making it easier to the ears at high volume. The vocal can be hissing on my modded Grado but not on SHP9500. I personally hate muddy sound and the SHP9500 lively sound is just perfect for me.

 

This makes my modded SR225 vs SHP9500 comparison feel like comparing tfully open back headphones with semi open ones, all else being equal.

 

The SHP9500 still has that Philips signature sound. It's well balanced and a different approach to X1. The X1 is unique how open back headphones can sound so warm and bassy which appeal many people. The SHP9500 seems like developed from another Philips team with different approach and philosophy, and build on the concept of SHP9000. It doesn't have the warmth of X1 and Fedelio line, but the airiness and spaciousness of SHP9000 with more amble, solid bass, the change from 2.5mm to 3.5mm connector, shorter from 4m to 3m cord, more solid build quality, and with drivers that are easier to power on portable devices without dedicated amp, while many design elements are borrowed from their Fidelio siblings. It's also more compact than SHP9000.

 

And for the price I paid, $169 on ebay including shipping, it offers one of the best value and deserves more attention. This is seriously great headphones at this price. If you have a chance to try or buy, I wholeheartedly recommend. :)


Edited by reveine - 6/3/14 at 1:16am
post #7 of 1194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by reveine View Post
 

My grado 225 is already quarter modded with Sennheiser yellow pads, so it is no longer true to the original grado sound signature.

 

I just did a quick AB comparison between my modded Grado 225 and Philips SHP9500 and this is my impression.

 

The modded Grado is obviously brighter than SHP9500 and its bass is also more subdued. On the positive sides, this makes the Grado as if being able to resolve more details from low end to high end at the expense of irritating the ears. While Grado can produce solid bass that I could hear the subtle details of the drum vibration, the amount is more lacking that I personally would like more, and the high end can be so bright that it's not comfortable to listen to at high volume for a long time. Chimbal can be too harsh and impactful I need to turn the volume down. At moderate volume, grado performs great, but bright and punchy can be a pain at high volume.

 

Once I put the SHP9500 on, the whole impression is a bit darker, a bit less punchy, and the bass is noticeably boomier. This is by no means bassy headphones. The bass is still solid. But it's not as dry and rolled off quickly as Grado's. The amount and solidness are perfect for the double bass and drums in Jazz and acoustic music, while hip hop music lovers would demand more and X1 would be more satisfying. It still presents the distinct airiness and lively sound of open back headphones. SHP9500 is still considered bright headphones but it smooths the rough edges of high notes more, making it easier to the ears at high volume. The vocal can be hissing on my modded Grado but not on SHP9500. I personally hate muddy sound and the SHP9500 lively sound is just perfect for me.

 

This makes my modded SR225 vs SHP9500 comparison feel like comparing tfully open back headphones with semi open ones, all else being equal.

 

The SHP9500 still has that Philips signature sound. It's well balanced and a different approach to X1. The X1 is unique how open back headphones can sound so warm and bassy which appeal many people. The SHP9500 seems like developed from another Philips team with different approach and philosophy, and build on the concept of SHP9000. It doesn't have the warmth of X1 and Fedelio line, but the airiness and spaciousness of SHP9000 with more amble, solid bass, the change from 2.5mm to 3.5mm connector, shorter from 4m to 3m cord, more solid build quality, and with drivers that are easier to power on portable devices without dedicated amp, while many design elements are borrowed from their Fidelio siblings. It's also more compact than SHP9000.

 

And for the price I paid, $169 on ebay including shipping, it offers one of the best value and deserves more attention. This is seriously great headphones at this price. If you have a chance to try or buy, I wholeheartedly recommend. :)

Very interesting. Once again, your opinion is greatly appreciated, as this unit is pretty much unheard of until recently, and of course, from your contribution.

 

But yeah, I'm going to have to put these cans back on my "To Buy" list, as from your description, they don't seem to be overly bright, nor bass-lacking - Which seems to put this headphone in the neutral area that leans a touch bright; my type. 

 

Time to start saving up for them! :D

post #8 of 1194

:beyersmile: cool! I'd love to hear what you think of the sounds! :) The only reviews I found are from German Amazon and mostly positive so I bought ones to try since I love the old SHP9000. I don't get though why Philips only sell this top of the line headphones in a few countries. If they do, I'm certain they would sell very well. Perhaps to avoid conflict with the Fidelio and only market in the countries where the Fidelio don't sell well?


Edited by reveine - 6/3/14 at 1:24am
post #9 of 1194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by reveine View Post
 

:beyersmile: cool! I'd love to hear what you think of the sounds! :) The only reviews I found are from German Amazon and mostly positive so I bought ones to try since I love the old SHP9000. I don't get though why Philips only sell this top of the line headphones in a few countries. If they do, I'm certain they would sell very well. Perhaps to avoid conflict with the Fidelio and only market in the countries where the Fidelio don't sell well?

Yeah, only if I end up buying it. :) 

 

I'm not sure if the SHP9500 would be their flagship though? They have their Fidelio L-series too, which seem to have a bigger name than the SHP line. Isn't Fidelio from Philips too? Hence what conflict would there be? (Sorry, I'm a bit unclear as to what you meant here)

post #10 of 1194
To my knowledge, the shp9xxx serie used to be Philips' flagship long before Fedelio was born. Philips used to charge moderately sub $200 even for the then flagship model until somebody in philips came up with a great idea and started the premium Fidelio line aimed at audiophiles and it's the first time they have headphones in $300-$400 range. Still, for me, the shp9xxx serie still carries the old top of the line prestige.

It's like Toyota and Lexus branding. The reason I think there might be a conflict is because the new shp9500 is quite hard to find. They only sell in a few countries and not many know about.

This is supposed to be an upgrade of the shp9000 and they price it below the Fidelio X1. The sounding of the shp9500 is totally distinquished from the Fidelio. And I dont think it sounds any worse than X1. They are just different. However when comparing the specs number between the old shp9000 and the new shp9500, there seems to be some intentional downgrades going on, perhaps to fit the new position and avoid clashing with Fidelio. For example,

The discontinued shp9000 was advertised as having maximum Power input of 1500 mW, 106db sensitivity, 5-40,000 freq response.

The new shp9500 however features 200 mW max power, 101db and 12-35,000 freq.

and X1 has 500 max power, 10-40,000 response. 100db

I know these numbers dont tell anything about sound quality but electronics companies like to give bigger numbers to higher up models smily_headphones1.gif

These 3 headphones sound relatively different and none is significantly better sounding than the others so I believe these specs numbers are used to position class of these headphones and their selling prices regardless of sound quality.

I believe shp9500 was developed by the same folks that built shp9000 purely to continue the legacy of the shp line while avoiding the conflict with the new Fidelio which supposedly makes more money for Philips. Just my 2 cents though smily_headphones1.gif
post #11 of 1194
Thread Starter 

Ah yes, you do prove a good point, my friend!

 

I guess that does explain it all :) 

 

Thanks, mate.

post #12 of 1194

I bought it yesterday from a local shop for $150. I previously used the SHP8900 but the cable was finally broken. The cable of the SHP9500 seems to be a little better that the 8900, and should last a couple of years. And the connector is a plain 3.5mm one without locking mechanism, unlike the 8900, so replacement cable can be easily found.

 

I used the 8900 for playing with digital piano for a few years. The new one sounds definitely better. It has more bass (in a good way), and the treble is comfortable to the ears.

 

The SHP9500 has a good value for its price. You cannot find other 50mm-drivers headphone for this price and performance.

post #13 of 1194

thank you all for your reviews of the shp 9500.

I alreaddy own a fidelio x1 and a shp 2000 (from € 179 to € 5,99 :D). I am very happy with these two but reading this review i am very tempted to buy an shp9500 to fill the gap. It can be had over here for € 79, which seems a bargain....

 

Gr GJ


Edited by gugi100 - 8/6/14 at 10:29am
post #14 of 1194

I got one- these are 123$ on ebay from USA seller right now. These are great open air headphones, and compete well with audio technica's ad500/700/900x series, and sonys mdr-ma900 (all of which I have had)

post #15 of 1194

Just as a bit of a quick comparison to the new Philips SHP9500 I pulled some of my other philips headphones out for a comparison - my X1 is out on loan but I did a lot of comparisons with the older generation SBC 890, SBC hp1000, and SHP9000 and the x1 being the top end of the philips ranges. I don't have my shp8900 any more so I can not do a recent comparison.

 

I tested these on a portable on the go set up - using little dot MK1+ amp and cowon D20 MP3, a desktop set up with Barvo audio ocean amp and cowon J3, and my favorite set up of a little dot MK IV and a cowon X7

 

I have some photos below of equipment used and the headphones side by side for a size comparison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In terms looks I think the new SHP9500 and the X1 are clear winners - The HP1000 is just ugly in my view and in terms of purple earpads on the 890 well ???

In terms of build quality the X1 is by far the best - all the others feel and look of cheap plastic - the 9500 is OK

In terms of comfort - tough call the SHP9000 and SBC HP1000 about the same - very comfortable to wear

In terms of sound quality this is how I rate them HP1000>X1>9500>9000>890

 

The 9500 is definitely the brightest of the bunch with a crisp punch sound that definitely benefits from amping - similar to comparing the amperior vs the momentum in terms of a contrast

The X1 has the warmest sound and is very good as well

The 1000 is in my view just a good all round classic headphone - I did numerous comparisons with my HD 598 sennheiser and HD600 and while the sennheisers may be technically better the enjoyment and comfort was with these philips and found myself listening to these more

I have heard people comparing the 890 to the 9000 and 1000 but in all honesty i don't think these are in the same league 

 

I would love to have the sound of the 1000 in the looks and build of the X1 or 9500

 

In terms of value the 9500 are significantly cheaper than other headphones of similar sound quality and the SBC HP1000 occasionally come up as new old stock ($30-$50) and are worth grabbing if you get the chance and don't mind the looks.

 

All in all unless you are a bass head the 9500 are worth a go - they have rounded off after 20 hours of break in and the tube amplification warms the tone a bit

 

It is worth noting that all these headphones don't sound that great direct from an iphone, ipod etc as they seem to struggle with volume and amping certainly helps

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