Forget About Gaming Headsets! The Philips SHP9500 Is What You Need!
For $100, is the Philips SHP9500 the best gaming headset experience you can get and treat yourself with?
We have received so many requests to check out the Phillips SHP9500 and see what all the fuss is about and thank you to everyone who has pointed us towards this wonderful inexpensive gem. Based on countless user reviews, it’s the best $69 you can spend on a pair of open back headphones. But combine that with the BoomPro microphone from V-MODA, you have yourself incredible sound for your ears and for your voice too.
Design & Comfort
Let’s run down the basics for the headphones first. The SHP9500 is a lightweight at 320 grams. It is size adjustable to fit all head sizes with numbers on the headband to remember your profile. The build quality is mainly plastic with metal mesh covering the driver and a good amount of resistance on those swivel joints. They’re not flying around and conform to the shape of your head. The padding here is enough for my preference – I don’t make contact with the driver wall and the clamping force is pretty light. There’s no way you’d have any pressure or fatigue after hours of use, but some might feel the clamping force is a bit too light. The cable is removable but, in my opinion, it’s too long at three meters. At least it’s rubber so the cable noise is not that significant.
Because of the removable cable we’re able to convert this into a headset. Meet the $35 BoomPro by V-MODA, one of the best microphones I’ve tested in its class, which is why it’s easy to recommend. As long as your headphone has a 3.5mm jack, you’ll be able to use the BoomPro with it. It carries both the headphone and microphone signals. There’s an inline remote for volume and muting the mic, plus the low profile nature of the mic is just a bonus.
I initially wanted to run this pair with the ModMic Wireless and that is a great microphone, but that would skyrocket our total value for this contraption that we’re creating, and the BoomPro is just a better value overall. Plus, it replaces the default cable, therefore we’re not adding any bulk.
Now the clarity is there, it sounds natural, it doesn’t sound nasally. It has beautiful bass and adds fullness to vocals. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it does not have any noise, compression and noise cancellation for the background. You can say it’s kind of a negative if you’re typing on a keyboard, it will pick that up. If you’re using a mouse, it will pick that up. If you can hear someone typing from a different dimension, it will pick it up as well.
The reason why this thing sounds so good is because we don’t have any noise compression characteristics and no noise cancellation built into the microphone capsule and for me that is a positive but let me know what you think in the comments.
Now in terms of sound quality, I can describe it in three terms. Open sound, clear detail and smooth playback. The open nature of the drivers plus light clamping force delivers a type of mellow and non-aggressive listening experience. The clarity is impressive, especially with any vocal playback, but at the same time pushing through with that smooth high end. A really interesting combination that keeps the detail without adding any harsh elements. The low end is present, making the signature is a bit fuller but don’t expect anything too deep with regards to the bass. My only complaint with the sound signature would be the mid range as it’s not so forward making some elements sound a bit too distant. This is already an open back headset, therefore the mid range is a little bit too far.
Now in a gaming environment like Read Dead 2, it gives me nice environmental expansion to make the sound is open. Effects come through well and have good definition when it comes to raindrops, mosquitoes in the forest, layering of the wind, footsteps and speech. The mid range could be slightly more forward to give you even more definition in the entire spectrum, but this thing is fantastic for competitive genres.
Modern Warfare 2 is a great example where audio cues are crucial as those footsteps are just so loud and help with directionality. The open style and good clarity is a perfect combination for shooters like COD and having that quality mic in there is a massive bonus for online play.
I do have a few complaints about this pair and even though it’s $69, let’s still mention them. The clamping force, for users who prefer a tighter seal even with an open back design like the HD 58X or HD 650 from Sennheiser, you might be disappointed because these are quite light on the clamping force.
The original cable is three meters, which is way too long for mobile use. The left and right distinction on the ear cups is just a bit obnoxious. Sure, it’s part of the design element, but we already have the left and right distinction inside the headband. So why are they repeated? And number four, the little confusion that is caused by the 9500 versus the newer 9500S, which is a significantly more expensive at $99 and that also comes with a 1.5m cable instead of 3m, and the main difference is a slightly different frequency tuned on the driver. However, they’re practically an identical pair.
Eber’s First Impressions
I was really impressed with the Phillips 9500 and after taking a listen, thought the price to be higher than $70. As soon as I tried them on for the first time, I thought “wow.”
The material does pick up hair and is difficult to keep clean so that’s something to keep note of. Other than that, I can’t really complain anything about this headset, especially since it cost $70.
Mike’s Impressions for Comfort
I find that they’re nice and light. The only problem that I have is that the clamping force for my head just isn’t enough. They feel like they’re moving around a little bit too much, and even if I go to the smallest setting, they do feel a little bit like they’re riding on the top of my ears.
Regarding the mic, I absolutely love the quality. My issue is that it’s too malleable. If you bump it, it’s going to get all bent out of sorts and you’re going to have to reposition it. The cable itself, the braiding is well done enough that you don’t have to worry about a kinking or anything else. But I do like the rubberized cable on the original headset a lot better. From a price performance perspective, I can’t think of anything else that comes anywhere close to it, especially in the gaming headset market that’s considerably overpriced these days.
Having mentioned all that, this is a great combination for around a hundred dollars that gives you fantastic vocal clarity and a really nice sounding headphone too that will make a killer gaming combo.
Let me know if you’ve experienced this pair and what are your thoughts? Is it a worth the hype and the $69 price point? I mean that’s a really good price point. Thanks so much for reading our review.
Buy items in this review from Amazon at the links below:
V-Moda BoomPro: http://geni.us/BoomPro
Phillips SHP9500: https://geni.us/SHP9500
Phillips SHP9500S: https://geni.us/SHP9500S
Under $100 recommendations:
Drop PC37X : http://bit.ly/2Lr8hwz
Sennheiser GSP300 : http://geni.us/GSP300Headset
CM MH751 : http://geni.us/MH751
Corsair HS50 : http://geni.us/CORSAIRHS50
Antlion ModMic 5 : http://geni.us/Efgm6
Antlion ModMic 4 : http://geni.us/aGQp
HyperX Cloud II : http://geni.us/CLOUDII
Over $100 recommendations:
Logitech G Pro: http://geni.us/GPROHEADSET
Antlion ModMic Wireless: http://geni.us/Modwireless
Sennheiser Game ONE: http://geni.us/GAME1
Sennheiser GSP600: http://geni.us/GSP600
HyperX Cloud ALPHA Gaming Headset – http://geni.us/V071nZ
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