Philips SHP9600 Headphones Review

Better in almost every way

Alex Rowe
6 min readSep 10, 2020


Photo taken by the author.

The Philips SHP9600 is the long-awaited followup to the SHP9500, a model that I and many others heralded many years ago as an excellent choice for both its performance and incredible value.

This new model fixes the small problems the original had…but that comes alongside a significant price increase. For years the classic 9500 has sold for well below its MSRP of $99, dropping as low as the ~$50 mark and most often hovering around $70. It provides an astounding value for that price and as of this writing, it is still on the market.

The SHP9600 has an MSRP of $129.99, and as it’s such a new pair, it hasn’t received any major discounts yet. That’s nearly double the common price of its predecessor, and although I’ll argue that it isn’t “double” the headphone in terms of raw performance, it is still an improvement in every way. The 9600 could even be considered aggressively priced in a hypothetical vacuum where the earlier pair never existed.

After four days of straightening, the cable is still rather springy. Photo taken by the author.

Philips’ official page for this new headphone is right here, and you can find it at a few retail partners as well. I bought mine from Amazon. In the box, you get the headphones, some basic instructions, and a 3 meter rubber-coated detachable cable that’s very springy and tangle prone. Fortunately, both ends use industry-standard non-proprietary 3.5mm plugs, so finding a replacement cable is incredibly easy if you decide the stock cable doesn’t serve your needs.

The only other included accessory is a very basic 6.3mm snap-on adapter plug with a rubber grip on it. In spite of the grip, the adapter is weirdly cheap-feeling compared to the nice logo-emblazoned plug it’s meant to attach to, so I think Philips is expecting you to use these with a 3.5mm connection. If they’d skipped the standard gold plate and gone with a silver or nickel coating on the adapter, it would elevate the aesthetic dramatically.

Sound-wise, the 9600 is a little bit better in every way than its predecessor, in my opinion, and you don’t need any kind of special amp to drive them. My biggest issues with the 9500 were that the…



Alex Rowe

Commentary on Games, Music, Tech, Movies | Support Me: | Threads: