The Philips SHP-9500 is the successor of the SHP-9000. It has similar weight (very light weight) and similar type of cloth pads. The headphone is very comfortable and nice looking. It is more neutral sounding than the SHP-9000 and has better highs extension but lacks bass extension. Bass itself sounds good and tight but bass heads should look elsewhere. Bass wise it is similar to AKG K500 / ATH AD700. The treble is somewhat peaky and elevated and thus it sounds overly sparkly. The dip around 3kHz removes some ‘clarity’ but the elevated treble ‘compensates’ more or less.
The cable is low in microphonics. biggest 'problem' for me are the NON replaceable pads. They seem to be glued on and they will tear when removing them and probably aren't available as spare parts anyway.
Below the CSD of the SHP-9500 which isn’t as ‘clean’ as some other headphones in this price range (€ 100.- = $ 150.-) but resonances in the 3-5kHz range aren’t as bad as in higher and lower parts of the frequency range. Left = blue, Right = red.
Fortunately this headphone reacts very well to EQ and when the missing bass is ‘added’ and the treble peak is lowered it sounds very good !
When 2mm thick felt is mounted in front of the drivers the peaky treble is lowered to more normal levels and this headphone sounds really well with this simple mod. The effect is shown below in the overlay of the CSD. Original SHP-9500, SHP-9500 with felt in front of the driver. Resonances are shorter and the amplitude of the treble is lowered to ‘normal’ levels. Aside from the bass extension (bass itself sounds fine and tight) this headphone sounds surprisingly good.
Blue is stock SHP-9500, green = 2mm felt in front of the drivers.
Below the SHP-9500 with felt (green trace) compared to the much more expensive Philips X1 (red trace).
The SHP-9500 with felt is a little brighter (which I thought was lacking in the X1) but doesn’t have the bass extension.
Fortunately with EQ this bass issue is easily solved and in my opinion the SHP-9500 (with EQ/felt) sounds better than the X1.
All in all a very light weight and comfortable headphone that sounds very good (certainly with the felt and some EQ) and can recommend it.