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